Thursday, July 5, 2018

Be A Beautiful Mother

If you are a woman, you would want to be beautiful, youthful, and forever young.

What is beauty? Is beauty only skin deep, or something only in the beholder’s eye?

In the Orient, the perception of beauty may vary from that in the West: the focus in the East on inner beauty or the "inner eye" may sometimes seem difficult for the Western mind to comprehend.

The traditional Oriental perception of beauty may have the following inner innate qualities:

1. Compassion for others

2. Detachment from negative thoughts and feelings

3. Peace of mind and inner tranquility

4. Right-mindedness from a true heart

A truly beautiful woman has a serene face with a softening spirit. Such a face is often a reflection of the physical, the mental, and the spiritual aspects of that individual. Beauty is more than skin deep: it exudes inner confidence and radiance.

You may become aware of the first click of your biological clock around age 30, when your first streaks of silver appear on your hair, or around 35 when you first notice your crow’s feet (for some, this may have happened much sooner). Can you turn back the biological clock?

According to Phyllis R. Koch-Sheras, clinical psychologist and professor at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, understanding the changes and learning how to accept and cope with them are anti-aging strategies.

Complement your inner beauty with your extrinsic beauty. Nature has given you a lovely face: take good care of it and preserve it diligently with daily facial regimens to make you forever look the best of your age.

Your skin is your beauty. The youthful look of a person is primarily based on the skin of that individual. After all, the first impression of a person is the face: the skin color, the skin texture, and the feel and touch of the skin. Your skin renews itself every 35 to 45 days. Do not interrupt or slow down that skin cell replication process with alcohol or nicotine. Get right and get enough sleep. Above all, do everything you can to maintain its color, texture, and softness. Makeup only masks the defects.

Naturally Skinsational: It provides natural skincare recipes to keep your skin youthful and healthy. It saves you a lot of money on cosmetics that don't work.

Stephen Lau

Copyright©2018 by Stephen Lau

Thursday, June 21, 2018

The Role of the Father-to-Be

The man plays a pivotal role in the pregnancy of a woman. In addition to giving the sperms to make the pregnancy a reality, the man plays an important role during and throughout the pregnancy.

The father-to-be should become actively involved in every aspect of pregnancy: attending prenatal check-ups; seeing ultrasound scans; listening to the baby; feeling the baby moving. In addition, he should become knowledgeable, such as talking to his friends or relatives who are fathers-to-be, or who have recently become fathers. He should also make an effort to attend prenatal classes to empower himself with knowledge of pregnancy, labor, and delivery. Most importantly, the man should prepare himself with information about what to do in case of emergencies.

The father-to-be should encourage his wife to get more family support, especially her mother, to create a stronger bond between mother and daughter, and even the mother-in-law, especially if the relationship has not been good, and now is the time to mend it.

The man should appreciate his wife’s changing body and emotional feelings. She might have feelings of fear, doubt, and uncertainty. He should give her a sense of security, and a feeling that he is always there for her. It is also important for the man to share his own feelings with her, instead of letting her feel that she is on her own.

As the husband, the man should expect some changes in their sex life, and thus learn to adjust accordingly. The man should help his pregnant wife to feel happy and relaxed throughout the entire pregnancy. In addition to spending more time at home, the man and his wife should exercise together to get her in shape, as well as to tone up the muscles getting physically ready for labor.

When the baby is born, there will be a lot of work for the new parents. Therefore, the man should do grocery and household work to let her get more rest, as well as to prepare himself for the daily chores ahead.

The father-to-be should learn how to massage his wife to help her overcome some physical discomforts throughout the pregnancy, especially the lower back. He should  also know how hold and support her during labor: massaging her lower back, neck, inner thighs, and feet; constantly reminding her to breathe and relax. It is also important for the man to practice with his wife different birth positions—lying on the back, squatting, and kneeling—to facilitate labor and delivery.

When the time comes for the birth of the baby, the father-to-be should be ready, alert, and available when water breaks or when contractions begin. He should be present at the delivery room. In addition to keeping calm, he should be prepared for the expected, such as what happens during labor, as well as for the unexpected.

Be a smart father-to-be to have a healthy baby. Parenting is always challenging.

Stephen Lau
Copyright©2018 by Stephen Lau

Monday, June 18, 2018

Living in the Now

In this day and age with the advancement of technology, living in the now is not easy. Speed is everything, and performance is based on speed and efficiency, which has much to do with speed too. As a result of the craving for speed, the human mind slowly and increasingly becomes more compulsive.

According to the most recent NBC news, even young children have become addicted to speed with their multi social media in their digital world that they have become disconnected with the real world and the people around them.

As a parent, you should make sure that your child or children stay more in the present. Of course, you, as the parent, should also set a good example, such as, not talking on the phone while driving.

Are you yourself living in the present? If you are, your mind should not be focusing on the electronic gadgets, which you are holding in your hands. According to the NBC news report, some children are even texting hundreds of messages a day, and they have lost physical contacts with their families and friends. Instead of eating their dinners, they are looking at their electronic devices. This multitasking is not living in the present, just as texting while driving is not living in the present

Not living in the present is akin to the mind shuffling between the past and the future. Your actions or inactions are derived and driven by your thoughts and memories of your past experiences, and how you project them into the future as desires and expectations. Accordingly, the human mind constantly shuffles between the past and the future. As a result, it seldom stays in the present moment. To illustrate, while talking on the cell phone, how often do you talk about what happened or what you are going to do next? If you think more deeply, the subject of your conversation mostly involves the past or the future. In a worse scenario, if you are talking or texting while driving, your mental focus is certainly not on the present—which is driving your car.

The first step to train your mind to focus more on the present is to concentrate on your breathing. Most of us are totally unaware of our breaths, unless we are short of breath after running or climbing stairs, or due to some medical conditions that may cause difficulties in breathing. Concentration on how you breathe in and breathe out, as well as your body’s sensations during the inhalation and exhalation trains you to develop mindfulness. It is important to know that your body is yours only, and it is always with you. Finding the moment-by-moment relationship with your body through your breathing is your key to wellness of the body, the mind, and the soul. Be mindful of the present.

Mindfulness is your deliberate attention to the present moment. This purposeful focus enables you to recognize your thoughts as they occur, but without paying judgmental attention to them; in other words, they neither distract nor disturb you, and you just observe them objectively, like watching a movie about yourself unfolding before your very eyes. Essentially, letting the mind stay in the present is a simple way to meditate.

Learn mindfulness from an expert who provides a useful guide to harness the power of your mind with mental training tools and techniques to perfect the art of mental transformation. Are you living your life, or your life living you?

Stephen Lau

Copyright©2018 by Stephen Lau

Thursday, June 14, 2018

The Paradox of Pain

If you're a mother, you must have experienced pain in your delivery or during your pregnancy. We all experience pain--which is an inevitable reality in life.

Many people may choose to believe that God has inflicted pain--physical, emotional, and spiritual pain--on them to punish them because of their sins and disobedience. The paradox is: who is really responsible for the pain that comes with aging, separation, physical loss, and dying, among others. The truth of the matter is that humans have no control over their pain. This human limitation is a common human dilemma. Who is really responsible for human pain?

The paradox further perplexes when humans deny the pain, while striving for healing--just like an alcoholic or a drug addict denying, rationalizing, and blaming. That doesn't work. Pain, much like an addiction, can never be overcome simply by denial, rationalization, and unaccountability. 

Pain, despite its darker and unpleasant side, enables us to look at and reflect on the pain we are experiencing. Pain may even show us the brighter side of life--being thankful for what we have, and grateful for not getting what we rightly deserve. Just think about that!

To effectively cope with pain, we must accept it in the first place without denying its existence, then we must embrace it, that is, experiencing it fully and completely, whether we like it or not, and then, surprisingly, we will be on the road to healing and recovery. This is the reality of life. Whether you believe in God or not, this is the miracle of living.

Stephen Lau
Copyright©2018 by Stephen Lau

Monday, June 11, 2018

Exercise During Pregnancy

Exercise on a regular basis not only helps you overcome many of the physical challenges but also offers many health benefits throughout your pregnancy.
Exercise increases the brain’s production of serotonin, dopamine and endorphins, which are brain chemicals to balance mood swings, reduce stress, and promote positivity.
Exercise enhances body posture, which ultimately affects breathing.
Exercise improves heart and lung functions.
Exercise reduces digestive discomfort.
Exercise strengthens muscles, relieves muscle aches and cramps.
Exercise controls weight gain.
Exercise provides stamina to get through the long hours in labor.
Exercise helps faster recovery from childbirth.

The Dos and Don’ts of Exercise

Do exercise on a regular basis.
Do exercise safely based on your physical fitness level.
Do exercise to maintain, and not to improve, your physical fitness.
Do exercise preferably with a friend or your partner.
Do keep your breathing even and regular throughout the exercise.
Do maintain a healthy body temperature throughout the exercise, especially in the first trimester (why: a core temperature of over 39.2°C may harm the baby).
Don’t over-exercise or push yourself to the limit.
Don’t exercise with the intention of losing weight.
Don’t exercise with reduction in fetal movement.
Don’t exercise with respiratory disorders, or cardiovascular diseases, such as high blood pressure.
Don’t exercise when bleeding occurs.
Don’t exercise when diagnosed with severe anemia (due to lack of iron in the blood).
Don’t exercise when diagnosed with placenta previa (a low-lying placenta, diagnosed in routine scan after 20 weeks).
Don’t exercise when diagnosed with an incompetent cervix (a high risk for miscarriage in the second trimester).

Do Select the Right Exercise

Stretching is one of the best exercises during pregnancy. It focuses on flexibility, which plays a pivotal role in body balance, posture, physical fitness, and overall well-being. Flexibility, one of the essential components of fitness, is much needed during pregnancy. Unlike many other physical exercises that emphasize fitness strength and endurance, stretching focuses on reducing muscle tension and the potential for fall. Stretching also emphasizes correct breathing which is essential to a healthy pregnancy, especially during labor.

Do get the book STRETCHING by Simon Frost (Barnes & Noble).The book provides many simple and easy-to-follow illustrations of how to perform many different stretch exercises to attain total flexibility of different types of muscles to help labor and childbirth.

Yoga is an ancient exercise that teaches body awareness through breathing and relaxation, thereby instrumental in facilitating labor and childbirth.

Yoga poses relax the mind and relieve muscle tension. Certain yoga poses also help indigestion and constipation frequently experienced during pregnancy.

Walking is an ideal exercise, especially during the first two trimesters.

Do practice awareness walking, which is walking with full attention to what you are doing—noticing the movement of your limbs, the shifting of your body weight as you move your right and left foot. Awareness walking enhances your concentration and mental focus, which play a pivotal role during labor and childbirth.

Don’t walk while talking on the cell phone, or listening to music. Avail the opportunity to focus on your body, or any subliminal message you have created, such as “I’m going to have a healthy baby.”

Stephen Lau

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Teach Your Smart Child to Read

Teach your child to read as early as possible if you are a smart parent.

The ability to read holds the key to intelligence as it unlocks the door to a vast realm of human knowledge. There is, in fact, a very close connection between reading ability and intelligence, since children learn mostly by reading. In addition, the skill of reading, once acquired, will be used and enjoyed all their lives, just like swimming or cycling.

Therefore, reading is a human skill fundamental to academic and intellectual progress, and the failure of schools to teach all children to read efficiently has become an acute problem in education, especially in the United States. Illiteracy in America is still growing at an alarming rate. In fact, according to the National Adult Literacy Survey, about 42 million adult Americans cannot read, and another 50 million people whose reading skill is so poor that they can hardly be qualified as literates.

Reading should always begin at home, and parents should be children's first teachers. Ideally, teaching children to read should be the joint efforts of both parents and teachers. It has always been a wrong presumption that teachers alone should do the teaching of reading and that teaching should be conducted only at school. Contrary to popular belief, educational researchers have found that important aspects of intellectual behavior are often acquired at home rather than at school.

Parenthood is not just a moment; it is an ongoing process. It would be wrong for parents to assume that they could ease their responsibility of teaching once their children attend school. At best, the nursery or kindergarten should be an adjunct to, not a substitute for, the home and the role of parents.

Since parents teach their children to talk, it is only natural that they should teach them to read as well. If parents think they should educate their children, they should shoulder the responsibility of teaching their children to read. To teach their children to read and write is the greatest gift and enjoyment of all parents. If you do notenjoy your child, why did you bother having one in the first place?

I began teaching my daughter to read when she just turned two, and she mastered her reading skill by three-and-a-half. If I could do it three decades ago, you can do it too.

Stephen Lau
Copyright © 2018 by Stephen Lau

Monday, June 4, 2018

Healthy Sleep for Healthy Pregnancy

Sleep is natural to man. It relaxes and rejuvenates both the body and the mind. Good sleep is an essential component of holistic health and wellness, especially during pregnancy.

Good sleep is just as important to your health as exercise and a balanced diet. Good natural sleep is important to a healthy pregnancy.

Unfortunately, many pregnant mothers have developed sleep problems during their pregnancy. Sleep problems have little to do with how much sleep you can get. As a matter of fact, experts cannot agree on how many hours an individual should sleep: some experts say if you sleep 1 to 2 hours less than what you should, you will suffer sleep deprivation; others maintain that you should sleep at least 8 to 9 hours for optimum health during pregnancy. But both sleep deprivation and oversleeping may cause health problems. The bottom line is not the quantity but rather the quality of sleep you are getting that defines your sleep health during pregnancy. Hence, sleep problems have to do with how well you sleep, and, of course, whether you can sleep at all.

Sleep problems derive from stressful emotional and mental problems during pregnancy. Natural sleep is about relaxation of the body and the mind. Stress is the No. 1 enemy of emotional and mental health. When you are under stress, your body naturally responds to the increased tension by producing hormone epinephrine. Excess production of this hormone may wear out your hormonal glands, leading to elevation of blood sugar, acceleration of breathing rate, increase of muscle tension, and excessive sweating—all contributing to insomnia.

Do get my book NO EGO NO STRESS. The book has an unconventional approach to stress relieve: it is based on the ancient wisdom from China. Learn how to let go of your ego in order to live a stress-free life.

In addition, during pregnancy, physical discomforts, such as constipation, cramps, heartburn, indigestion, and frequent urination, among others, may also result in difficulty sleeping.

The Dos and Don’ts of Healthy Sleep Throughout Pregnancy

Do keep a regular sleep pattern throughout the pregnancy.

Do sleep and lie on your left-hand side (why: preventing the baby from pressing on the inferior vena cava, the blood vessels responsible for bringing blood to your heart)
Do sleep on several pillows, tucking under your belly, as well as under and between your legs to provide extra comfort for a better sleep position.

Do exercise regularly.

Do drink a glass of warm milk before going to bed.

Don’t sleep less on weekends; regularity is important.

Don’t sleep flat on your back, especially in the last few weeks of your pregnancy (why not: this may result in palpitations and other problems).

Don’t eat a heavy meal before going to bed.

Don’t take long daytime naps.

Don’t go to bed unless you are tired.
Stephen Lau