19 Feb / She Did It… In Front of a Live Audience!
At 26 years old this actress took a risk that others have been black listed for. We salute this brave spirit!
In her speech at the Time to Thrive conference Friday, actress Ellen Page came out as gay. This was a big moment for the 26-year-old as her speech will not only make others more empowered but it’s ultimately a big step in her own journey as well. After introducing her insight into the ideals that mainstream media imposes on everyone’s life, she offered the reminder to stay true to yourself as much as possible, “It’s weird because here I am, an actress, representing—at least in some sense—an industry that places crushing standards on all of us. Not just young people, but everyone. Standards of beauty. Of a good life. Of success. Standards that, I hate to admit, have affected me. You have ideas planted in your head, thoughts you never had before, that tell you how you have to act, how you have to dress and who you have to be. I have been trying to push back, to be authentic, to follow my heart, but it can be hard.” Then Ellen showed the world that she wasn’t afraid to step forward and live her truth. “I am tired of hiding and I am tired of lying by omission. I suffered for years because I was scared to be out. My spirit suffered, my mental health suffered and my relationships suffered. And I’m standing here today, with all of you, on the other side of all that pain. I am young, yes, but what I have learned is that love, the beauty of it, the joy of it and yes, even the pain of it, is the most incredible gift to give and to receive as a human being. And we deserve to experience love fully, equally, without shame and without compromise.”
Another peek into the present future from Apple.
We all know how important it is to be in our body and experience the benefits of regular exercise. So why can it be so hard to stay consistent? The issue is motivation. Think of how addictive video games have become for millions of people all over the world. It’s because there is a satisfaction gained from the feeling of success. What if there was a technology that offered that same success in real life? Race Yourself is a new app for Google Glass that allows you to track your personal performance in real time. When you use the app while exercising, it tracks the progress you make and allows you to constantly push yourself to meet new goals. Still sounds like work right? What if you could play levels in all of your favorite physical activities, adventure sports, or even outrun a zombie invasion. That’s where the genius lies. Gaming + Exercise.
Check out Race Yourself HERE
visions we love
This Ted Talk offers a simple, yet profound message – just for you.
Kathleen Taylor is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor with over 20 years of experience in the nonprofit healthcare and social services sector. She currently directs the community engagement functions of a large nonprofit hospice organization. In her career, Kathleen has worked with children in foster care, teens in the juvenile justice system, people with traumatic brain-injuries, priests awaiting ordination, people who are dying and those that love them, faith communities, coalitions, healthcare organizations, first responders, women’s groups, public libraries, and even dental offices. What has all of that taught her? When people are in the last chapter in their book of life, there is one common truth – they are incapable of bullshit! This is a lesson derived from the collective reflections of all those Kathleen has witnessed in the final stages of their lives.
video of the week
Good movies are conversation starters. Here’s a juicy conversation inspired by one of the best movies of 2014.
Chronicling reactions to Spike Jonze’s Oscar-nominated film, Her. The documentary, directed by Lance Bangs, features stories and reflections from writers, musicians, actors and contemporary culture experts, including Olivia Wilde, James Murphy and Bret Easton Ellis, on the film Her, and their thoughts on love in the modern age.
Movie review: An unexpected masterpiece! (Action figures included)
If movies are to any degree a reflection of the collective consciousness, we’re headed in a brilliant direction! Only two months into the new year and the Elevate team has experienced several truly wise and wonderful films. On top of that list is the masterpiece my family and I watched this past weekend… Ready for this? THE LEGO MOVIE!
Yes, the Lego Movie is simply brilliant. In all my years of working to inject a little higher learning into mainstream media, I don’t remember a more effective message for the young and young at heart. The writers of this action packed adventure have managed to address many of the most critical and complex challenges we currently face as a culture, and they’ve done it in a way that’s fun and not preachy. To say more might trigger spoiler alerts, so I’ll suffice to close with this: RUN, DON’T WALK! If your friends hesitate, go alone. You’ll thank me. Oh, and please see it in 3D if possible.
Mikki Willis, Founder ELEVATE
How Rewarding Is Love? Some Clues From Neuroscience
What do those butterflies in your stomach feel like when you lean in for your first kiss? Good enough to go in for a second one?
Neuroscientists and psychologists have been trying to unpack the various components of love for decades. For example, a few years ago, two research groups studied the brain activity of individuals reporting to be ‘truly, deeply and madly in love’ while they viewed pictures of their loved ones. [1, 2] Both studies found that reward-based brain regions were activated, and concluded that this activation of reward circuitry may explain “the power of love to motivate and exhilarate.”  Stanford University took this a step farther and sponsored “The Love Competition,” in which they scanned peoples’ brains while they were “loving on” their special someone to see who could activate these reward centers the most.
From an evolutionary standpoint, this type of love makes sense. Without it, propagation of the human species might not go so well. From a practical standpoint, when it comes to forming relationships, this is the same type of circuitry that we use to learn a variety of things, including what food is safe to eat and which people to avoid. And from an experiential standpoint, it usually doesn’t get much better than being head-over-heels in love. Or does it?
Think back to the last time you began a romantic relationship. Suddenly, you were full of energy; life seemed wonderful. You’d go on and on about how amazing your special person was to anyone who would listen. You couldn’t get that person out of your head. And you couldn’t wait for that next text, phone call or date. Your friends may have even said that you were addicted to this person. This makes sense, given that the reward circuitry associated with love is the same as that which gets activated when we smoke crack cocaine.
In a TED talk, Helen Fisher summed it up nicely: “romantic love is one of the most addictive substances on earth.”
This also fits with the irritability that comes when your special someone doesn’t call you when he or she says they would, or the funk that you go into when that person is away for several days. All the highs and lows of being in love are just like being strung out on heroin. How great is this?
Now, contrast this to the type of love demonstrated by folks like Mother Theresa or The Dalai Lama. Described by Christians as agape or ‘selfless,’ this type of love seems a bit different. There aren’t records of Mother Theresa getting mad crushes and spending her days daydreaming about that perfect someone. We don’t see the Dalai Lama going into a funk when someone doesn’t reciprocate his affections (a good example here is his relationship with the Chinese government). He seems pretty content –all the time.
Not caught up in the personal highs and lows of romance, people like Mother Theresa and the Dalai Lama have a track record of getting a lot of work done — for the benefit of many, many people.
Do these experiential differences between selfless and ‘attached’ love also show up in the brain? Recently, in our lab at Yale University, we studied the brain activity of novice and experienced meditators while they performed ‘loving kindness’ (metta) meditation.  As practiced traditionally in Buddhist communities for centuries, and more recently in the West as part of Insight meditation and mindfulness-based stress reduction programs (among others), individuals were given the following instructions: “Please think of a time when you genuinely wished someone well. Using this feeling as a focus, silently wish all beings well, by repeating a few short phrases of your choosing over and over. For example: May all beings be happy, may all beings be healthy, may all beings be safe from harm.” Similar to many forms of prayer, the intent of this practice is to specifically foster selfless love –just putting it out there and not looking for or wanting anything in return.
Interestingly, the reward parts of the brain that previously were shown to become active with romantic love (and in studies of cocaine addicts) were notably quiet during loving kindness practice. And importantly, the brain regions that get activated with self-referential processing (i.e. how does this affect me) were significantly deactivated in experienced meditators, compared to novices. This may help to explain what is seen with this practice when we truly, selflessly wish for the wellbeing of others, we’re not getting that same “hit” of excitement that comes with a tweet from our romantic love interest, because it’s not about us at all.
And if you’re wondering where the reward is in being selfless, just reflect on how it feels when you see people out there helping others, or when you hold the door open for someone the next time you are at Starbucks.
By Dr. Judson Brewer
Invigorate your mission in life at Renew U Super Seminar IV
Featuring best-selling transformational authors and motivational leaders offering extraordinary opportunities to learn new life strategies and tools in an interactive environment. It’s a 3-day majestic experience of “fun and learning”. The atmosphere will be vibrant, energetic, and big. Spirit will fill the air and the excitement from day to day will keep you riveted and engaged as our dream team of spiritual leaders, coaches, trainers and world-renowned speakers line up to share their latest breakthrough technologies and processes. Look forward to learning from these featured teachers: Dr. Ray Blanchard, Mabel Katz, Marianne Williamson, John Gray, DC Cordova, Janet Attwood, Stuart Emery, Don Jose Ruiz, Marcia Wieder, Neal Rogin, Gabriel Nossovitch and more!
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elevate in action
Have dinner with Elevate, and contribute to something very worthwhile. One night only. Tickets are almost gone!
The Unstoppable Gala is an event we never miss! Last year, for the first time Elevate sponsored a table and invited our community to join us. We had a blast and everyone left completely high on inspiration! If you would like to join us for what will be a deeply inspirational evening, purchase your tickets now directly from the Unstoppable site listed on the link below. Due to the popularity of the event, this time we only have 10 seats available at the Elevate table. They will go fast! Reserve yours now! Come see why people are calling it “The Oscars of Transformation.” Your participation and generosity at the GALA will go towards helping the Unstoppable Foundation to expand their mission and ability to achieve their goal of bringing education to an additional 5,000 children in 2014. Let’s see what we can create together for these children. We look forward to spending a magical evening with you! Please do let your friends and colleagues know about the event. They’ll be glad you did! 100% of the proceeds go directly to the Unstoppable mission. We are in full support of this amazing team and the work they’re doing. Let’s get elevated together! Hope to see you there!
P.S. (Gala ticket prices go up March 1, 2014)
Buy your ticket HERE and list ELEVATE as your “Table Captain” when checking out.