From Rick Hanson: “WHAT DO YOU GIVE”

“What do you give?
Giving – to others, to the world, to oneself – is deep in our nature as human beings.

When our mammalian ancestors appeared, about two hundred million years ago, their capacities for bonding, emotion, and generosity were extraordinary evolutionary breakthroughs. Unlike reptiles and fish, mammals and birds care for their young, pair bond (sometimes for life), and usually form complex social groups organized around various kinds of cooperation. This takes more smarts than, say, a fish laying a swarm of eggs and swimming away – so in proportion to body weight, mammals and birds have bigger brains than reptiles and fish do.

When primates came along about sixty million years ago, there was another jump in brain size based on the “reproductive advantages” (love that phrase) of social abilities. The primate species that are the most relational – that have the most complex communications, grooming, alpha/ beta hierarchies, and so on – have the largest cortex (in proportion to weight).

Then early hominids emerged, starting to make stone tools about 2.5 million years ago. Since then, the brain has tripled in size, and much of this new cortex is devoted to interpersonal skills such as language, empathy, attachment to family and friends, romance, cooperative planning, and altruism. As the brain enlarged, a longer childhood was required to allow for its growth after birth and to make good use of its wonderful new capabilities. This necessitated more help from fathers to keep children and their mothers alive during the uniquely long juvenile phase of a human life, and more help from “the village it takes to raise a child.” The bonding and nurturing of primate mothers – in a word, theirgiving – gradually evolved into romantic love, fathers caring for their young, friendship, and the larger web of affiliations that join humans together. Additionally, our ancestors bred mainly within their own band; bands that were better at the give-and-take of relationships and teamwork out-competed other bands for scarce resources, so the genes that built more socially intelligent brains proliferated into the human genome. In sum, giving, broadly defined, both enabled and drove the evolution of the brain over millions of years.

Consequently, we swim in a sea of generosity – of many daily acts of consideration, reciprocity, benevolence, compassion, kindness, helpfulness, warmth, appreciation, respect, patience, forbearance, and contribution – but like those proverbial fish, often don’t realize we’re wet. Because of the brain’s negativity bias, moments of not-giving – one’s own resentments and selfishness, and the withholding and unkindness of others – pop out with blazing headlines. Plus modern economies can make it seem like giving and getting is largely about making money – but that part of life is just a tiny fraction of the original and still vast “generosity economy,” with its circular flows of freely given, unmonetized goods and services.

When you express your giving nature, it feels good for you, benefits others, prompts them to be good to you in turn, and adds one more lovely thread to the great tapestry of human generosity.

Take care of yourself. Don’t give in ways that harm you or others (e.g., offering a blind eye to someone’s alcoholism). Keep refueling yourself; it’s easier to give when your own cup runneth over-or at least you’re not running on empty.

Prime the pump of generosity. Be aware of things you are grateful for or glad about. Bring to mind a sense of already being full, so that you’ll not feel deprived or emptied out if you give a little more.

Notice that giving is natural for you. You don’t need to be a saint to be a giving person. Generosity comes in many forms, including heart, time, self-control, service, food, and money. From this perspective, consider how much you already give each day. Open to feeling good about yourself as a giver.

Give your full attention. Stay present with others minute after minute, staying with their topic or agenda. You may not like what they say, but you could still offer a receptive ear. (Especially important with a child or mate.) Then, when it’s your turn, the other person will likely feel better about you taking the microphone.

Offer nonreactivity. Much of the time, interactions, relationships, and life altogether would go better if we did not add our comments, advice, or emotional reactions to a situation. Not-doing is sometimes the best gift.

Be helpful. For example, volunteer for a school, give money to a good cause, or increase your own housework or child care if your partner is doing more than you.

Do your own practice. One of your best contributions to others is to raise your own level of well-being and functioning. Whatever your practice is or could grow to be, do it with a whole heart, as a daily offering to whatever you hold sacred, to your family and friends, and to the widening world.”

JUST ONE THING (JOT) is the free newsletter that suggests a simple practice each week for more joy, more fulfilling relationships, and more peace of mind.
A small thing repeated routinely adds up over time to produce big results.

Just one thing that could change your life.
(© Rick Hanson, 2016)


This comes from Rick Hanson, Ph.D., psychologist, New York Times best-selling author, Senior Fellow of the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley, and invited speaker at Oxford, Stanford, and Harvard universities.

Rick Hanson, Ph. D.

rick_hanson 3 of my favorite books that have propelled me into self love, self caring, and self appreciation of my life as it is. I do it by teaching my brain to change my mind which in turn changes my brain.

Why should you read any of them or all of them?

There is always advancement in technology and science and such movement forward has given scientists an open world on how we can improve our brain and mind. It will also be good for you to be your best friend and your best advocate to be resilient.

Rick Hanson, Ph.D. has been writing books and has created meditations that help people understand how the mind and brain function. In Mind Changing Brain Changing Mind by Rick Hanson The Dharma and Neuroscience he refers to the mind as the place where “the flow of information through the nervous system, most of which is forever unconscious.” and the brain which he refers as “the brain is embedded in larger systems, including the nervous system as a whole, other bodily systems, and then biology, culture, and evolution. It is shaped by those systems, and also shaped by the mind itself.” all of this to say we know so little and there is so much chaos that the little we know we can use to our benefit to understand the chaos of our mind/brain. But when we teach ourselves to see our thoughts without judgement, when we stop and settle to see how we think, what we think before we act upon the actions of others we are able to feel less chaos and to be settled with the always changing of what’s around us.

The books have not just helped me understand my chaotic brain, they have also, along with meditations, helped me take on the world as it comes.

In conclusion, I am advocating for you to be informed and for you to  STOP and watch your thoughts come and go as if they are sitting on top of clouds. Sometimes those thoughts are negative, just watch them without judgement and let them go. When they are positive, embrace them without judgement and take them in as they fulfill you with love, appreciation, and care. Then let them go too. The many little good things that can help you feel good can happen 15 seconds at a time.

Here is what Rick Hanson wrote in one of articles: “The reality is that the more we study how the mind and brain intertwine, the more we find how well it maps with Dharma. The Buddha clearly understood this cycle of using the mind to change the brain, which then changes the future mind. If this is done well, it reduces suffering. He showed us ways to examine our experience, see how this works, and use that intuitive, direct understanding to free ourselves from suffering—completely free ourselves, in this very life, potentially.”

Here is a way to get started on “Take in the Good”:



M.E. time and Wellness Class

MEtime_ClassIn 4 weeks learn how to apply simple solutions to create lasting habits in your life. Find out, how you can carve 45 minutes to one hour of your busy routine into a time to bring focus, calmness, and satisfaction to your hectic schedule.

Success takes time, you can cut the time with help. Start this exploration class where you will learn about exercise, plant based-nutrition, meditation and exploration methods to change your life in positive ways.

Get started with small steps:

Find time to be still – and explore your five senses, and ways to stay focused.

Find time to be moving – gain stamina, agility, physical resilience.

Explore your curiosity about “what if” you ate a vegan menu for 7 days? 🙂

Engage with activities that explore your creativity.

Experience what motivates you to change habits and be the Best Self you can be.

The class is for 4 weeks, starting February 1st and every Monday. $5 per class. You need to commit to every class since there is only room for 6 people.

Email me for 1 of 6 spot.

ME time and wellness class download flyer.
ME time and wellness class

Coaching Class to Soar to your Best Self by creating your Wellness Vision!

Funnelof_WellnessVisionWhat motivates you?

Feel free to wonder with the question what if?

Often, we allow our negativity to take over our actions. We form negativity from past experiences, from the criticism of others, from the expectations we have of others, expectations of an outcome that is out of our control or from a combination of those, regardless of the origin, negativity promotes stagnation. This stagnation blocks your ability to focus and your ability to explore and experience the world as it presents itself.

Now, I invite you to start a journey filled of possibilities in a world vast of opportunities!


After taking this class, you will be able to:

  • Define what you need to do to soar to your best self
  • Discover what gives life in your environment
  • Dream and envision your purpose
  • Design your goals as you see fit best
  • Draw a picture of what will be your best self!

As you prepare to embark in this adventure, think about this moment and picture yourself at a point in your life when you have had the most success?

Little by little, I will help you incorporate those times to balance your life, to take small steps to change and to create an action plan to grow. You will learn about yourself using the system of Balancing your Wellness through Change.

The Wellness Wheel A representation of your overall Wellness and Health
This is an assessment where you can start looking at critical places where you need the help of a professional to unveil your immediate purpose.
Fundamentals of Change A method to help you gain new habits
Action Plan You will successfully learn how to map your goals by using a guided plan according to your vision.

Sign up here

M.E. & Wellness Webinar


Make connections that bring ever lasting changes to your life. Find out what moves you to stay focus with your values.

In this 3 day webinar you will learn how to put an idea into action.
Also, you will learn about yourself as I guide you in a process that is inviting, non-judgmental, powerful, and life evolving for you. You will learn how to take small steps to make fundamental changes that focus on your positive experiences to discover the answers of what motivates you.

We will discuss a wellness tool to discover something new about you and we will put it in an action plan.

The Wellness Wheel: A representation of your overall Wellness and Health
This is an assessment where you can start looking at critical places where you need the help of a professional to unveil your immediate purpose.

Fundamentals of Change: A method to help you gain new habits

Action Plan: You will successfully learn how to map your goals by using a guided plan according to your vision.

You can register at

For questions send me an email or call.

Exercise for unforeseen diseases

Are you able to include the recommended weekly physical activity as prescribed by American College of Sports Medicine, ACSM?

According to the American College of Sports Medicine, doctors can greatly impact a revolution to prescribe Exercise as Medicine. Exercises and recommendation to get started.

Alzheimer EX anxietyDepression EX Asthma ex Epilepsy Ex

Classification of Total Weekly Amounts of Aerobic Physical Activity Into Four Categories by

Levels of Physical Activity

Range of Moderate-Intensity Minutes a Week

Summary of Overall Health Benefits


Inactive No activity beyond baseline None Being inactive is unhealthy.
Low Activity beyond baseline but fewer than 150 minutes a week Some Low levels of activity are clearly preferable to an inactive lifestyle.
Medium 150 minutes to 300 minutes a week Substantial Activity at the high end of this range has additional and more extensive health benefits than activity at the low end.
High More than 300 minutes a week Additional Current science does not allow researchers to identify an upper limit of activity above which there are no additional health benefits.

Action is needed at the individual, community, and societal levels to help Americans become physically active. Even if you have a disease, most exercise can improve the ailments of your condition.

  • Inactive is no activity beyond baseline activities of daily living.
  • Low activity is activity beyond baseline but fewer than 150 minutes (2 hours and 30 minutes) of moderate-intensity physical activity a week or the equivalent amount (75 minutes, or 1 hour and 15 minutes) of vigorous-intensity activity.
  • Medium activity is 150 minutes to 300 (5 hours) minutes of moderate-intensity activity a week (or 75 to 150 minutes of vigorous-intensity physical activity a week). In scientific terms, this range is approximately equivalent to 500 to 1,000 metabolic equivalent (MET) minutes a week.
  • High activity is more than the equivalent of 300 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity a week.


Pilot Wellness Class

Boost Metabolism, Lower Cholesterol, Prevent Diabetes, Lose Weight, and Dramatically Improve your Well-Being.

Onmywayto PilotWellnessClass

On My Way to Wellness Class

We will engage in exercising 2 times a week, you will learn what to eat to lose weight, gain energy and we will practice releasing each thought, emotion, and sensation as they arise: exploring how to fulfill a sense of contentment, peace and love.

By meeting the mind in the stillness of the body and allowing the breath to be our gentle guide, this class will introduce you to transformative body-mind practices, offering
physical activity in 7 minute intervals to experience the body as it connects to the mind.

Exercises using your body and keeping an intensity according to your fitness level. The exercises will last between 20 to 35 minutes. Then you will learn how to prevent hypertension, diabetes and what foods to eat to tame your appetitie. Each exercise session will be followed by a lesson on what foods to eat to boost your metabolism. Finishing with a guided meditation.

Mindful activities to nurture and fulfill mind, body and spirit.

A few of the benefits:
• Stress reduction
• Lowered blood pressure
• Weight loss
• Stronger muscles and a toned body
• Social interaction with healthy people
• Reduction of disease symptoms
• More energy and a positive attitude
• Overall happiness

You will participate in experiential activities: meditation and journaling. You will learn about three basic needs of safety, satisfaction, and connection for a lasting sense of well-being through exercise, eating sensible meals and incorporating meditation.

Be part of a unique class in Elko
Starts: September 15th, 2015
Ends: October 15th
When: Tuesday and Friday
Time: 6pm (10 classes)

Cost: $120 with free workbook


Walking Class to Prevent Disease

Most of us started walking when we were between 9 months to a year but somewhere between our upbringing and life commitments we have become less active. It is recommended for everyone to walk everyday to prevent disease, but yet almost 40% of the US population doesn’t actively move regularly according to a study by Brownson RC et al. published online on 2005.


Walking Class to Prevent Diseases

What measures can you take to start a walking program?  

  1. Find a friend or a couple of friends who also want to walk.
  2. Make a plan to meet at least twice a week.
  3. Select a walking route
  4. Time yourself and track your progress.
  5. Get started with me and meet me on Thursdays.

The trick to preventing disease is to start physical activity 10 minutes at a time. Walking improves your immune system, it lowers your blood cholesterol, it helps you regulate your glucose intake, it helps your heart become more efficient at pumping blood and it helps you lose or maintain your weight.

Walking is inexpensive and easy to do, after all, you probably started walking when you were one year old. If you have diabetes or other diseases make sure to consult your doctor or exercise physiologist.

To get you started, I offer a walking class most Thursdays of the week. The next scheduled walks will be starting at Natural Nutrition in Elko, Nevada. Text (415) 225-9405 for more information.

The 100-Mile Goal

Training Plan to do a 100 mile bike ride

Before starting any training plan consult your doctor by obtaining a full physical examination.

In order to be successful on the bike you must be physically and mentally prepared to overcome the challenges of riding a bike. When you ride keep training logs of your miles take into consideration the following:

  • Course
  • Weather
  • Intensity (hills, intervals, steady pace, etc.)
  • Elapsed time
  • Mileage
  • Average speed
  • An assessment of how you felt
  • Stretching time

Mile 185 during a 600K

Keep a log next to your bike so that you can add the information as soon as you are back from a ride. This should take less than 2 minutes. The information you collect will give you specific data of your progress, it will keep you motivated and it will help you avoid overtraining.

Now, how many miles should you ride? When should you start? What is an easy day and what is a hard day? What are intervals? How often should I ride? Many questions like these and more will arise as you start your plan. The following plan is a general plan for the person who wants to finish a century for the first time.

Increasing mileage to your training should be proportional with your fitness level. As a general rule of thumb, increase mileage by 5% – 10% each week, if you have been cycling regularly. It is best to start as soon as you decide you want to ride 100 miles, 12 weeks before is recommended assuming you have had base miles of about 40 – 50 miles a week.

In order to define intensity, divide up your efforts into zones 1 – 4.

Zone 1, an easy day is a leisurely ride that will help you rest, warm up or cool down.

Zone 2, a ride at the pace you will ride the century. This is when knowing the average speed of your long distance bike rides come into play.

Zone 3, it’s the speed faster than your century pace. This becomes the pace you do during intervals.

Zone 4, it’s the maximal effort you can do in a small amount of time 10 seconds to 30 seconds.

Once your zones are defined you can easily create different workout plans for yourself. Always dedicate one day for long rides, one day for zone 4 rides, one day for zone 3 rides and a combination of zones rides.

Incorporate strength training and stretching days to be more successful with your plan. Interval training is defined as a workout with periods of zone 4 or Zone 3 intensity and zone 1 or 2 intensity as recovery. For example an interval to improve speed; warm up for 15 minutes followed by 1 minute of pedaling at zone 4, recover at zone 1 for 2 minutes, repeat 5 times and finish with a cool down. This workout is about 45 minutes, 15 minutes for a warm up, 15 minutes of intervals and 15 minutes of cool-down. Increase repetitions every week for three weeks by adding 2 repetitions each week. After the 3 weeks allow for one week of less intense work so that your body can recover and grow stronger.

Ride 5 to 6 times a week even if some days are only 10 miles. Neurologically your body will adjust to the regimen and advance to a higher level. Physiologically, adenosine triphosphate (ATP) molecules in muscle cells are split to release energy that enables the muscles to contract, however muscles respond to the commands from the central nervous system. Therefore, mind and body is a powerful connection that cannot be undermined. During high intensity workouts as it occurs during an event your mind will overpower your muscles to give that last “push” to fulfill your goal.

I highly recommend hiring an experienced cycling coach to help you attain the best results. Hire a coach in your area who can help you define your zones and accurately prepare a training plan for your success, in the mean time you can start with the following plan.

Monday: Recover from the weekend long ride by either taking a yoga class, riding no more than 10 miles or go to the gym and lift weights for your upper body and core only. Rest the legs!

Tuesday: Do hill interval lasting between 20 seconds to 45 seconds and rest for one minute in between hill repeats. Start with 4 hill repeats. Pick a hill that is 3% to 5% incline. As training increases, add two hill repeats each week until you reach 10 hill repeats as your maximum. This will be considered lower body and core training.

Wednesday: Easy 10 – 20 miles, pick loop near your home to do at your zone 1 pace. This will also help you mentally, especially at mile 90 during your century ride, to give you the last “push” needed to complete your first century.  Another option could be to take the day off and stretch for about 30 minutes or go for a 30 minute walk.

Thursday: Lift weights and ride for about one hour at zone 2, with warm-up and cool down at zone 1.

Friday: Mentally prepare for your long ride on Saturday and ride for about 1 to 2 hours at zones 1 and 2. If you are sore from lifting weights the previous day ride at zone 1 to allow for your body to recover.

Saturday: Go for a club ride where you will be able to chit-chat most of the ride, with its occasional fast pace lines at zone 3. If the pace is too fast for your training, slow down. Another pace line might be just around the corner. The Saturday ride should be fun and taxing to your body. Use it as the day to experiment with food, take note of the amount of water you need, discover favorite foods, find out about equipment positioning, etc. The Saturday rides should be between 40 to 75 mile rides every weekend. The more time you spend on the bike, the easier it will be to ride 100 miles

Sunday: rest day or easy 10-25 miles at zone 1. Keep it short so that you can enjoy the rest of the day with family or friends.

The following matrix shows the recommended miles you should attain as the week progresses. Note the accumulated total miles for the week is based on a gradual progression; week 4 stays with the same total miles as week 3 to help the body adjust to the training. In some instances the total mileage increases but the daily riding miles varies according to the intensity. Some days you might need recovery at the end of the week instead of the beginning of the week. One of the main aspects to keep in mind when training is to listen to your body, if it’s too sore then rest, choose proper meals to recover, a healthy choice of fresh vegetables and fruits can help you recover faster than a greasy meal. If you are gaining weight instead of maintain you current weight or decreasing weight then you might not be fueling your body properly. Injuries and a lack of interest to ride your bike might arise as a consequence of not listening to your body.

Sample of Training Plan to finish a 100 mile ride

Week M T W Th F Sat. Sun. Total miles for the week
1 0 10 12 10 0 30 12 74
2 0 10 12 5 10 35 10 82
3 0 10 10 5 10 40 10 85
4 0 10 15 10 10 40 0 85
5 0 15 15 10 10 45 15 110
6 10 15 20 10 10 50 15 130
7 5 15 20 10 12 50 15 127
8 0 20 20 10 15 60 15 140
9 10 20 25 15 20 55 10 155
10 10 20 20 20 20 70 0 160
11 10 20 25 20 20 65 10 170
12 0 20 25 20 10 65 20 160
Week of the Race 0 20 10 10 10 100 10 160
Zone 1 Zone 3- 4 Zone 1 Zone 2 Zone 2 Zone 2 Zone 1


Written originally for Marin Cyclists Club by Susan Scarlet-Macaw (Forsman), Exercise Physiologist and USA Cycling Coach II (2005-2009)