Wisdom from Books

<b>Wisdom from Books</b>
Stephen Lau's website to help you get the wisdom to live as if everything is a miracle!

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Acceptance to Deal with Grief, Pain, and Sorrow

The downside of longevity is that you may have to cope with many negative emotions, such as grief, pain, and sorrow, among others. The only way to deal with them is acceptance. Everything has to follow a natural cycle, such as the cycle of the four seasons, what goes up must also come down, and life is inevitably followed by death. We just have to accept the reality of life.

Life is not easy, and living is complicated. Life is never a bed of roses. Even if it is, there are thorns, which often come in the form of grief, pain, and sorrow. Given that everything is this world is impermanent, grief, pain, and sorrow are as inevitable as death.  If you live long enough, many of your loved ones may go ahead of you. Depression often accompanies grief, pain, and sorrow, but don’t let them get in your way, making you live the rest of your life as if nothing is a miracle.

Depression is as powerful a risk factor for heart disease as diabetes and smoking, according to a study by Dr. Amit Shah, a cardiologist at Emory University in Atlanta.

Dr. Shah believes that there is a biological reason as to why depression harms, especially devastating to young females’ hearts. According to Dr. Shah, mechanisms underlying the association of depression and heart disease could be inflammation or hormonal regulation.

“When people get depressed, they stop taking care of themselves. And when they stop taking care of themselves, they get sick," said Dr. Suzanne Steinbaum, a spokesperson for the American Heart Association, who was not involved in the study.

On the other hand, when sick people don’t take care of themselves, they can also become depressed.

There are, of course, many factors that contribute to depression. But the major cause of depression is grief, pain, and sorrow due to loss, especially bereavement of loved ones. Unfortunately, that is something as inevitable as death, especially as one continues to advance in age. If you live to eighty or ninety years old, your friends or loved ones may go ahead of you—this is the reality, and you must learn to accept it, whether you like it or not.

After the death of a dear friend or someone close to you, you may experience a period of denial—refusing to accept the harsh reality of death. Then anger comes: anger with yourself or whoever responsible for the death of your loved one. If you blame yourself, then guilt and regret may ensue; if you blame others, anger or hatred is generated. After the initial denial, reality begins to sink in. You start to feel the bereavement, driving you into deep depression with emotions of fear, grief, regret, sadness, and sorrow. This is the darkest or even the longest stage of grief, pain, and sorrow.

The only way of the darkness of depression is acceptance. Sooner or later, you will come to terms with the death of your loved one when you ultimately become aware that everything is going to be OK, that you will survive the loss of your loved one, and that comfort will begin to set in. In the end, you will realize that life will go on even though it may be different without your loved one.

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Empower the Mind with Tao Wisdom

by Stephen Lau

This book contains the 81 chapters of the translated text of the ancient Chinese classic on human wisdom, written by the Chinese sage Lao Tzu. It also explains in plain English the essentials of Tao wisdom, which is the profound wisdom of TAO TE CHING.

The original text of Tao Te Ching in Chinese is difficult to understand, not to mention to translate it into another language, because the text without any punctuation mark was intended to be controversial and open to multiple interpretations. It should be noted that more than 2,600 years ago Lao Tzu was reluctant to put down his wisdom in words; as a matter of fact, he was specifically told by the guard at the city gate that he could not leave China for Tibet unless he put down his words of wisdom.

Tao wisdom is profound wisdom that may not be easy to understand despite its simplicity, such as “the softest overcomes the hardest” and “the long and the short are only relative”, among many others.

Get the Tao wisdom resources to have a better understanding of the natural cycle of spontaneity, such as what goes up must also come down, success is followed by failure, and the cycle of the four seasons.


Stephen Lau has expressed and interpreted the original text in plain English for readers worldwide to understand the profound Tao wisdom. Tao Te Ching has been translated into multiple languages; it has become one of the most translated works in world literature.

Stephen Lau has published several books based on the wisdom expressed in Tao Te Ching: Books by Stephen Lau


Thursday, June 16, 2016

How to Improve Body Image

Body image has an important impact on how you feel about yourself. There is a direct connection between body image and self-esteem: they reinforce each other. If you have a positive self-image, you will not only feel better about yourself, but also pay more attention to what is happening to your body and your appearance.

In the past, men were concerned about how their bodies functioned, and women were concerned about how they looked. Today, both sexes are concerned about both their looks and their bodies.

Remember, both the look and the body will change no matter what: they will not survive ravages of time and decades of changes despite all your efforts.

Your waist size reflects your body image. Measure your waist circumference (between your rib cage and above your belly button). A waistline of 35 inches or more for most women, and a waistline of 40 inches or more for most men indicate an increased health risk for developing chronic diseases and disorders because an inflated waistline is an indication of abundance of belly fat.  According to several research studies, too much belly fat releases inflammatory molecules called interleukin-6, leading to chronic inflammation that causes damages to organs and tissues, such as arterial stiffness and heart disease.

So, what is your waist circumference, or, more specifically, your Body Mass Index (BMI)?

Body Mass Index (BMI) is a measure of body fat based on your weight and height: BMI is determined by the formula: BMI = (body weight in pounds) divided by (body height in inches x body height in inches) multiplied by 703.

To illustrate, if you are 5’11” tall and you weigh 165 pounds, your BMI will be: (165/71x71) x 703 = 23

The BMI numbers have the following implications:

Any BMI that falls between 19 and 24.9 is considered ideal and healthy.
Any BMI that is below 18.5 is considered underweight.
Any BMI that ranges from 25 to 29.9 is considered overweight.
Any BMI that is above 30 is considered obese.

Step on the scale and find out your current body weight and determine your BMI, or simply look at yourself in the mirror. Do you have too much belly fat?

What if you do have too much belly fat? Cut down on your insulin and carbohydrates (processed and not complex carbohydrates).

Your sugar intake should come from fruits and vegetables, and not from plain sugar, fructose, sucrose, glucose, and corn syrup. Read all food labels. The average Americans consume nearly 200 grams of sugar a day. Your goal should be consuming less than 20 grams of sugar a day. Can you do that? Try at least.

Complex carbohydrates may include barley, brown rice, beans, whole-wheat bread, oatmeal, green beans and vegetables, and fruits. Any processed carbohydrates should be avoided as much as possible. Processed foods usually come in boxes or cans.

Less belly fat makes you more attractive, and healthier.

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Are You Overweight?

”Are you overweight?” This sounds like a simple question to answer, but not really. Cultivate your intellect to begin your weight loss. Begin weight loss with knowledge acquisition. Knowledge is empowering.

First and foremost, you need knowledge about yourself: who you are, and what you want.

Are you overweight? This is a simple and straightforward yes-or-no question.

There are three possible scenarios to the question.

Scenario one

Your body shape and the figure on your bathroom scale, or even your doctor’s warning may not indicate whether or not you have a weight problem, because you see no evil and hear no evil. You simply ignore the facts confronting you. In other words, you are in a state of denial. Not confronting the truth is an easy way out of any difficult and undesirable situation in life. If you see no problem, then there is no problem. In that case, you are not overweight.

Scenario two

You are fully aware of your weight problem. But you choose not to do anything about it. Knowing is one thing, while taking action is another. You may have a live-and-let-live attitude. You may have resigned to the fact that there is not much you can do about your problem any way, so why bother yourself with solving it. Yes, there is a problem, but so what? You live to eat, not eat to live. To you, tomorrow is another day, and possibly a better day at that. So, you simply don't give a damn!

Scenario three

You are hurt badly enough that you want to make a meaningful change. You are short of breath when you climb the stairs, you wobble, instead of walking, and you look grossly out of shape. This is the best scenario if you really take some action.

The Complexity of Weight Loss

So, it is not that easy to answer that simple question: Are you overweight?
The following questions may shed some light on how to answer that simple question:

Do you have high blood pressure?
Are your blood cholesterol levels normal?
Do you experience regular physical pain, or frequent headaches?
Do you have difficulty going to sleep?
Do you have insatiable cravings for certain unhealthy foods?
Do you have anxiety or mental depression?
Is everyday life stressful to you?
Do you have any degenerative disease or chronic illness?

Because the answer to that simple question “Are you overweight?” is far from simple, you can now see why weight loss is such a complex problem—so complex that most of us may choose to ignore it totally, instead of dealing with it.

After all, we are human, and it is human nature to avoid any complex problem, and to procrastinate in doing what we ought to do.

But why is that?

It is because we have been exposed so much to the media and bombarded by the weight-loss industry that many of us become confounded and overwhelmed. Many of us simply don’ know what to do, or what to believe. There are many truths, but also many myths, as well as half-truths.

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Friday, June 10, 2016

Tao Wisdom to Sleep Better

According to Tao wisdom—the ancient wisdom from Lao Tzu, who lived some 2600 years ago—things are not as they seem, nor are they otherwise. In other words, everything is "objectification of the mind"—or simply put, an illusion of the mind. Tao wisdom may show you the ultimate truth of everything. Life is a continual process of discovery of the ultimate truth; it is an eternal journey of exploring and awakening. This  enlightenment may help you solve many of your daily problems that may cause sleep problems.

Tao wisdom may play a pivotal role in your sleep health.

Do you have enough sleep? It is a wrong concept that you can adapt yourself to getting less sleep so that you may have more waking time. If you think you can be a thief of time and outsmart Nature, think again! You will always have to pay back your accumulated “sleep debt” somehow in the form of sleep disorders, which underlie many diseases, including heart attacks and strokes. Chronic fatigue due to insufficient sleep will take its toll somehow and sometime. As a matter of fact, your immune system needs more than nine hours of sleep in total darkness in order to recharge itself completely. Turn off all lights even though you can sleep with some lights on.

Find out if you have enough sleep for your daily good health maintenance: Start going to bed a half-hour earlier this week.

If your alarm clock wakes you up, keep going to bed a half-hour earlier each week until you wake up before the alarm clock wakes you up.

That will be the hours of sleep you really need. Each individual's need is unique. Just don’t deprive yourself of sleep. Health rejuvenation requires daily restful sleep.

Tao wisdom may relieve your stress, which, according to Lao Tzu, comes from the ego, which comes from the mind that perceives the self. Let go of the ego, you may let go of all attachments in the material world that create the ego-self. No ego, no stress, and sleep better.

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau