There is Always Someone to Remind Us of Our Limitations

September 22, 2011
How does your dexterity compare to this woman’s?


We’re on our last days of a river cruise on the Seine. On Sunday we’ll take a train across the Chunnel into London, where I’ll have my first visit to England. As much as I am sure I will have enjoyed France, I am sure I will appreciate being somewhere where I can understand the language.


Over the past twenty years I’ve had two back operations that are supposed to make movement easier. I’ve been going to a physical therapist for exercises to increase my strength and recently to get some exercises to do on the long plane rides of my vacation. Nevertheless, I have absolutely no expectations that I will ever be able — or have ever been able — to do what this gymnast does.

What a wonderful demonstration of the potential of the human body when genes and age are on your side.

How did anyone ever come up with this routine? Amazing control of the ball.

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What in the World Will They Think Of Next?

July 20, 2011
What item would you reproduce if you could?

Technology is progressing at such a pace that it almost feels as though anything is possible. Aside from machines not yet able to produce human babies, what do you think is totally impossible for machines to create?

Watch this short video for something that was completely unimaginable when I was born. Well, that was an awfully long time ago, so let’s say that it probably wasn’t thought possible when you were born either.

I am particularly interested in this video for two reasons.

First, I am always fascinated with factory tours. I love to see how things are made. Maybe that’s because I’m technically challenged, or maybe I just like to know more about how the world works.

And I am particularly pleased with the video because I had a personalize tour of this contraption several years ago by my son-in-law, who is one of the engineers there. Absolutely great to see these machines up close.

However, the second reason I was glad to see the video is because they didn’t have the capacity to scan in a tool or other item. As I understand it, they had to have an engineer write a program for the “printer” to read.

The one thing they don’t mention is the cost. This is unlikely to be a home device for a very long time. But then, they said that about the first computers, didn’t they?

How to Become Your Own Expert on Personal Growth

May 20, 2011
Discover how six questions can help you realize that you are the expert on yourself and on how to change yourself.

If you’ve been reading the blog for awhile, you know that I’m learning how to create videos with Sony’s Vegas Pro.

NOTE: Click here to read the text if you are someone who doesn’t like watching videos. However, if you like this video, please share it with your friends.

While I am writing this on May 16 and have it scheduled to appear on May 20, if you see Getting Ready to Gather Memories, you will know that today, the day before my grandson’s wedding, I am thoroughly experiencing everything I do.

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My First Relationship Stress-Buster

January 31, 2011
Reduce your stress while you work on a relationship.

If you’ve been reading my posts for awhile, you’ll know that I’m learning to create videos. Loving it! A bit time-consuming as I work my way through glitches caused by my ignorance of minor technical points that cause major problems. But all and all I’m looking forward to taking the many things I’ve learned over the years in helping people and putting them into a form that can reach people who want to watch a lesson rather than read it.

Today I bring you the first of what I expect will be many videos to help you reduce stress while you work on improving a relationship. Here you learn the importance of disconnecting stress neurons that are all tangled up with the thoughts you have of another person.

NOTE: The video may take awhile to load depending on your computer, the size of the video file, your Internet connection, your server, our server, and whether you had a cup of coffee this morning. It shouldn’t take very long, but it’s worth the wait.

If you want to read what I have to say in the video, below is a text version of what I said (well, approximately anyway).

Welcome to Relationship Stress-Buster #1

I am Arlene Harder and if you wonder why I’ve put Pumba from The Lion King on my head and set the timer for 1 minute, I’ll tell you. It’s a demonstration designed to show how you can reduce your tension and improve your relationships.

One of the problems with strained and broken relationships is the tension in your body when problems don’t get solved. The neurons in the brain grow ever more tight around thoughts of the other person and the problems you have. We tell ourselves that our bodies will have less stress if we resolve our conflicts. Well, what I’ve learned is that we can feel calm despite our conflicts, and because you are more calm, we are more likely to solve our conflicts.

So what I’ve done is create a series of what I call “stress busters,” that can give you a sense of freedom even while you have a relationship that needs a lot of attention. You can work on the relationship, but your body doesn’t have to suffer while you’re doing it.

This is Stress Buster 1, the first of more than ten and I call it “A 60-second Balancing Act.” Many of them are inspired by a special feature of Support4Change called Take-a-Break. I’ll add other Stress-Buster videos from time to time.

So let’s get started on improving a relationship you have that gives you stress by having a little fun.

Balance something on the top of your head for 60 seconds. As you can see, it doesn’t have to be difficult to do, like using a heavy book or a round object that would roll off. I just suggest you don’t use anything breakable. The only requirement is that you balance it for one minute.

Sometimes I make a face because it’s hard for me to focus on the difficulty I have with someone else when I’m making silly faces. My brain can’t handle silliness and seriousness at the same time. I imagine none of us can.

You see, I’ve learned that no matter how much I want another person to change, the only person I can change is myself. And that can be hard sometimes, so I need things that distract me from the difficulty I am having with someone. What I discover when I’m not focused on getting the other person to change, I am calmer and I’m able to see solutions that aren’t so obvious when I’m focused on the problems I have.

I invite you to do this Stress Buster right now, but before you do, for just a moment think about a relationship that is difficult for you. Notice how your body feels a bit tense, or maybe very tense. Then pick up the item you will balance and do the one minute balancing act.

Notice that while you were balancing something on your head, the difficulty of your relationship faded, even if for only a minute. The tension neurons in your brain were disconnected from the idea of the other person and they were able to relax and, just possibly, open up a pathway to a solution to your relationship.

Look for other Stress Busters in the weeks to come.

Good luck.

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Practicing What I Preach

December 22, 2010
No matter what the weather is like where you are, may you have a wonderful holiday this week and into the new year.

My daughter will be arriving from the airport within an hour, but I think I have just enough time to finish this post. I am, however, as the title of this states, taking my own advice about not making myself do more than I have time to do.

Yesterday I finished a video as a greeting to my family and friends and decided I would use that video as a greeting to readers of my blog as well. After all, even though I may not personally know you, I feel friendly toward the people for whom I write, so I’ll consider you friends.

Earlier this week, I thought that I might be able to create a special video just for the blog, but now time has run out. And I adhere to the admonishment that grandmothers should not spend their time in the office when grandchildren come to visit, especially when the visits are few.

Be sure to have your sound turned on so you can hear the rain.

Merry Christmas. Happy Hanukkah. Happy Kwanzaa. Generally Cheerful Winter Celebrations.

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