Tag Archives: Feed The Muse

43 Free Career-Advancing Courses You Can Take (and Actually Finish) This Summer

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Career Guidance

A board member of Columbia Organization of Rising Entrepreneurs, Kat is either hosting inspiring founders or trekking across cities (Silicon Valley and London, anyone?) to discover the hottest startups. And, when she’s not putting together large-group gatherings for InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, Kat is planning food excursions to discover the best Taiwanese beef noodle soup in NYC. The only thing she loves almost as much as crafting content as an Editorial Intern at The Muse is studying content as an English Major at Columbia University. Say hi on Twitter @katxmoon.


Feed Your Muse – Signs You Are A Mystic

8 Signs You May Be A Mystic

Intellect – by Michelle Rene Goodhew http://michellerenegoodhew.com

Mystic: a person who claims to attain, or believes in the possibility of attaining, insight into mysteries transcending ordinary human knowledge, as by direct communication with the divine or immediate intuition in a state of spiritual ecstasy.

Mystics have been present throughout human history. Mysticism pre-dates organized religion, but it’s something that has been almost lost in the modern world.

1) Personal connection rather than texts and doctrines.

Mystics want to personally connect with spirituality, rather than relying on someone else’s spiritual experience. They like to hear about the experiences of others, but aren’t tied to them.

2) Always Questioning

By nature, mystics are iconoclasts. They ask questions that some think shouldn’t be asked. They wonder about the nature of humanity and the nature of existence. For this reason, mystics are often uncomfortable with systems of authority, especially religious ones. Mystics are the ones who challenge authority and the status quo. The mystic isn’t attached to old paradigms.

3) Relying on Intuition

Mystics have an ability to rely on insight and intuitive perceptions. These are essential for a spiritual seeker.

4) Seeing the Truth Within

Mystics measure successes on the spiritual path based on their own internal guidance, rather than some external forms and rituals. The only purpose of ritual is to trigger some insight within.

5) Looking up at the stars in wonder.

Does it take you out of yourself when you look up at the sky? Even if you aren’t thinking about the vastness of the cosmos, this is still a sign of the mystic worldview. This means you’re connecting to deeper truths in the universe.

6) Feeling a lot of empathy, often too much.

The mystic has a tendency to transcend the ego, so the boundaries between Self and Other are a little more thin.

7) Connection to nature.

A feeling of relaxation when you are away from civilization is normal for the mystic. Not only because of the isolation, but also because the wonders of the natural world are manifested before us when we aren’t distracted by the city.

8) Devotion to Truth.

A love of facts and knowledge, as opposed to opinion and conjecture. A real seeker of the truth is rare

Source: http://expandedconsciousness.com/2014/12/15/8-signs-may-mystic/#BOcJRVS0SgbPK1rq.99

Feed The Muse – Never Never Land

Fast Asleep

Shut Eye Boosts Your Creative Capabilities


Too much or too little sleep is associated with a shorter lifespan. A lack of sleep is linked to heart disease, stroke, diabetes, arthritis, and premature aging.

Sleep is connected to successful weight management. Your health is affected by your sleep, a lack of sleep puts added stress on your body and effects your cardiovascular system. Sleeplessness also affects reaction time and decision making. A lack of sleep can contribute to depression. A good night’s sleep can help a moody person decrease their anxiety. You get more emotional stability with good sleep.

A good nights sleep is an invitation to your muse.

In addition to consolidating memories, or making them stronger, your brain appears to reorganize and restructure them, which may result in more creativity as well. Get a good night’s sleep before getting out the easel and paintbrushes or the pen and paper. Researchers at Harvard University and Boston College found that people seem to strengthen the emotional components of a memory during sleep, which may help spur the creative process.

What Will Help You Improve Your Sleeping Habits?

  • Stop drinking caffeine after 2pm.
  • Avoid a big, heavy meal right before bed.
  • Even though a nightcap may help you relax and fall asleep faster, it’ll make the second half of your sleep cycle restless and unsatisfying. Have your drink at dinnertime (6pm) so it wears off before bed.
  • Doing anything that raises your body temperature too close to bedtime may actually hinder you from falling asleep.
  • Stretching with yoga before bed can calm down your mind, steady your breath, and reduce muscle tension without increasing your heart rate.
  • Bright light too close to bedtime can make it hard to fall asleep. Low lighting signals the biological clock that it’s time to wind down, while bright light signal the brain to remain alert. Try low wattage lightbulbs.
  • Typing in bed can wind you up, so when you do unplug, it will be harder to fall asleep. Disconnect an hour before bed, turn your smartphone off, and put any gadgets on an out-of-reach dresser or in another room so you won’t be able to grab it if you get the late-night urge.
  • The bedroom should be for sleep and sex only, anything else is clutter and has the ability to signal your brain and body that it needs to be alert. Make your bedroom your sanctuary for love and rest.

Surprising Health Benefits Of Sleep

Sleep makes you feel better, but its importance goes way beyond just boosting creativity and mood or banishing under-eye circles. Adequate sleep is a key part of a healthy lifestyle, and can benefit your heart, weight, mind, and more.

“Sleep used to be kind of ignored, like parking our car in a garage and picking it up in the morning,” says David Rapoport, M.D., director of the NYU Sleep Disorders Program.

Not anymore. Here are some health benefits researchers have discovered about a good night’s sleep.

Improve Memory

Your mind is surprisingly busy while you snooze. During sleep you can strengthen memories or “practice” skills learned while you were awake (it’s a process called consolidation).

“If you are trying to learn something, whether it’s physical or mental, you learn it to a certain point with practice,” says Dr. Rapoport, who is an associate professor at NYU Langone Medical Center. “But something happens while you sleep that makes you learn it better.”

In other words if you’re trying to learn something new — whether it’s Spanish or a new tennis swing — you’ll perform better after sleeping.

Live Longer

Too much or too little sleep is associated with a shorter lifespan — although it’s not clear if it’s a cause or effect. (Illnesses may affect sleep patterns too.) In a 2010 study of women ages 50 to 79, more deaths occurred in women who got less than five hours or more than six and a half hours of sleep per night. Sleep also affects quality of life.

“Many things that we take for granted are affected by sleep,” says Raymonde Jean, M.D., director of sleep medicine and associate director of critical care at St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center in New York City. “If you sleep better, you can certainly live better. It’s pretty clear.”

Curb Inflammation

Inflammation is linked to heart disease, stroke, diabetes, arthritis, and premature aging. Research indicates that people who get less sleep — six or fewer hours a night — have higher blood levels of inflammatory proteins than those who get more. A 2010 study found that C-reactive protein, which is associated with heart attack risk, was higher in people who got six or fewer hours of sleep a night. People who have sleep apnea or insomnia can have an improvement in blood pressure and inflammation with treatment of the sleep disorders, Dr. Rapoport says.

Be A Winner

If you’re an athlete, there may be one simple way to improve your performance: sleep. A Stanford University study found that college football players who tried to sleep at least 10 hours a night for seven to eight weeks improved their average sprint time and had less daytime fatigue and more stamina. The results of this study reflect previous findings seen in tennis players and swimmers.

Improve Your Grades

Children between the ages of 10 and 16 who have sleep disordered breathing, which includes snoring, sleep apnea, and other types of interrupted breathing during sleep, are more likely to have problems with attention and learning, according to a 2010 study in the journal Sleep. This could lead to “significant functional impairment at school,” the study authors wrote.

In another study, college students who didn’t get enough sleep had worse grades than those who did.

“If you’re trying to meet a deadline, you’re willing to sacrifice sleep,” Dr. Rapoport says, “but it’s severe and reoccurring sleep deprivation that clearly impairs learning.”

Sharpen Attention

A lack of sleep can result in ADHD-like symptoms in kids, Dr. Rapoport says.

“Kids don’t react the same way to sleep deprivation as adults do,” he adds. “Whereas adults get sleepy, kids tend to get hyperactive.”

A 2009 study in the journal Pediatrics found that children ages seven and eight who got less than about eight hours of sleep a night were more likely to be hyperactive, inattentive, and impulsive.

“We diagnose and measure sleep by measuring electrical changes in the brain,” Dr. Rapoport says. “So not surprisingly how we sleep affects the brain.”

Have A Healthy Weight

If you are thinking about going on a diet, you might want to plan an earlier bedtime too.

Researchers at the University of Chicago found that dieters who were well rested lost more fat — 56 percent of their weight loss — than those who were sleep deprived, who lost more muscle mass. (They shed similar amounts of total weight regardless of sleep.)

Dieters in the study also felt more hungry when they got less sleep.

“Sleep and metabolism are controlled by the same sectors of the brain,” Dr. Rapoport says. “When you are sleepy, certain hormones go up in your blood, and those same hormones drive appetite.”

Lower Stress

When it comes to our health stress and sleep are nearly one and the same — and both can affect cardiovascular health.

“Sleep can definitely reduce levels of stress, and with that people can have better control of their blood pressure,” Dr. Jean says. “It’s also believed that sleep effects cholesterol levels, which plays a significant role in heart disease.”

Avoid Accidents

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported in 2009 that being tired accounted for the highest number of fatal single-car run-off-the-road crashes due to the driver’s performance — even more than alcohol!

“Sleepiness is grossly underrated as a problem by most people, but the cost to society is enormous,” Dr. Rapoport says. “Sleeplessness affects reaction time and decision making.”

Insufficient sleep for just one night can be as detrimental to your driving ability as having an alcoholic drink.

Steer Clear Of Depression

Sleeping well means more to our overall well-being than simply avoiding irritability.

“A lack of sleep can contribute to depression,” Dr. Jean says. “A good night’s sleep can really help a moody person decrease their anxiety. You get more emotional stability with good sleep.”

If you think the long hours put in during the week are the cause of your anxiety or impatience, Dr. Rapoport warns that sleep cannot necessarily be made up during the weekend.

“If you sleep more on the weekends, you simply aren’t sleeping enough in the week,” he says. “It’s all about finding a balance.

A Musing Science – There May Be an Ancient Earth Inside Earth


There May Be an Ancient Earth Inside Earth, Say Harvard Scientists


If you thought it was a trip to see the Earth from space, then wait until you get a load of this: A team of scientists from Harvard University believe that have found evidence that an ancient Earth exists inside the Earth.

The team believes that a previously unexplained isotopic ratio from deep within the Earth might be a signal from material from before the Earth collided with another planet-sized body, which led to the creation of the Moon. This might be an echo of an ancient Earth that existed 4.5 billion years ago, prior to the proposed collision.

The current favored theory says that the Moon was formed 4.5 billion years ago when the Earth collided with a mass the size of Mars, dubbed “Theia.” This theory states that the heat generated by the collision would have melted the whole planet before some of the debris spun off to create the Moon.

But now, the team at Harvard, led by Associate Professor Sujoy Mukhopadhyay, believe that they’ve found evidence to support that only part of the Earth melted, and that an ancient part still exists within the Earth’s mantle.

According to Professor Mukhopadhyay: “The energy released by the impact between the Earth and Theia would have been huge, certainly enough to melt the whole planet. But we believe that the impact energy was not evenly distributed throughout the ancient Earth. This means that a major part of the impacted hemisphere would probably have been completely vaporized, but the opposite hemisphere would have been partly shielded, and would not have undergone complete melting.”

The team analyzed the ratios of noble gas isotopes from deep within the Earth’s mantle and compared the results to isotope ratios closer to the surface. They found that 3He to 22Ne ratio from the shallow mantle is significantly higher than the equivalent ratio deep within the mantle.

Professor Mukhopadhyay remarked: “This implies that the last giant impact did not completely mix the mantle and there was not a whole mantle magma ocean.”

Further evidence comes from analysis of the 129-Xenon to 120-Xenon ratio. Material brought to the surface from the deep mantle has a lower ratio than what’s normally found near the surface. Because 129-Xenon is produced by the radioactive decay of 129-Iodine, the isotopes place the formation age of the ancient section of mantle to within the first 100 million years of Earth’s history.

“The geochemistry indicates that there are differences between the noble gas isotope ratios in different parts of the Earth, and these need to be explained. The idea that a very disruptive collision of the Earth with another planet-sized body, the biggest event in Earth’s geological history, did not completely melt and homogenize the Earth challenges some of our notions on planet formation and the energetics of giant impacts. If the theory is proven correct, then we may be seeing echoes of the ancient Earth, from a time before the collision,” said Professor Mukhopadhyay.

Professor Richard Carlson of the Carnegie Institution Department of Terrestrial Magnetism stated: “This exciting result is adding to the observational evidence that important aspects of Earth’s composition were established during the violent birth of the planet and is providing a new look at the physical processes by which this can occur.”

The findings of the team at Harvard coincide with a German team’s findings supporting the theory that the Moon was formed 4.5 billion years ago after a catastrophic collision with a planet-sized mass.

Both the Harvard and German teams presented their findings to the Goldschmidt Geochemistry Conference in November.

(Pictured above: An ancient impact crater, via Wikimedia Commons.)

Source: http://ultraculture.org/blog/2014/06/13/may-ancient-earth-inside-earth-say-harvard-scientists/