Breathe Deeply

The ancient Greeks used pneuma to indicate both œbreath and spirit and that’s not just a coincidence. The advice to take a deep breath when feeling stressed has help us for years because it’s been shown to reduce blood pressure and stabilize the sympathetic nervous system as you increase the oxygen in your system.

A number of current fitness options emphasize deep, regulated breathing along with physical movement, such as yoga, tai chi, and chi gung. Joining a fitness class isn’t necessary to reap the benefits of stress-relieving breathing, however. You can practice breathing exercise throughout daily life to invigorate your body and mind.

Here are a few tips to relieving stress through breathing techniques:

  • Go deep
    To maximize the benefits of relaxation breathing, be sure to use your diaphragm and breathe deeply. This can be done by envisioning that you’re sucking in air through a straw. Your stomach should push out as your lungs fill with air. If your shoulders are moving instead, then you’re breathing shallowly.
  • Slow down Silently count slowly (1-2-3-4) while breathing in, hold your breath for another four counts, exhale fully while silently counting again (1-2-3-4), and pause for another four counts before breathing again. Repeat this series for about a minute (five to six times), and then return your breathing to its normal rhythm. You should feel calmer and more peaceful right away.
  • Add value
    While engaging in these breathing exercises, meditate on a strengthening word or phrase, like peace or power, that contains a value or characteristic you would like to feel. Repeat this silently with each breath taken and released. As you breathe, focus the breath, envisioning it cleansing and releasing tension from head to toe. Continue for three
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My Home

This is a Poem written by my Great Great Grandfather, from his home in Coleraine Ireland, in January of 1909. Notice he makes mention of Jimmie and Harry in Yankeeland, Harry was my Great Grandfather.

My Home

Yes, this is my story now put afore ye-

In the light lilting strain called a roun’€™

Of my home on the highland in the dear little island

That slopes to the fast flowing Bann.

With sunlight all rosy, the house is so cozy

And comforts on every han’

I’€™m sure if ye all come, we’€™ll make ye quite welcome

Every colleen and wan of the clan

An’€™ so if ye listen, not one of us is missing

I’€™ll tell ye how matters now stan’€™

Father ill or else scheming, rain regretting vain dreaming

Mother house-keeps as only she can.

Then Eddie’€™s in Kerry and Mary in Bury

An’€™ Jack still in Derry with Dan.

While Jimmie and Harry in Yankeeland tarry

An Frank’s in the bank at Strabane

Young Eileen and Bridie both useful and tidy

Are learning at school the pian’€™

Oh and such hard, hard studies

Lord help them poor bodies

They’€™re doing as well as they can

Then there’s Dick the Canary

Ren the terrier so airy

Oh so cross and contrary €œ”wee man”

This then is the photo, you’€™ll know it when you go to

My home on the Banks of the Bann

Ah! River fast flowing Oh! Life fleetily going

To join an eternity span

May God guard the brothers and sisters and others

Who have known the dear home by the Bann

I’d forgotten completely the new porch so stately

With it’s glass roof and pillar so grand

And it’€™s gold (brass) door handle

Rome could ne’er hold a candle

To it’€™s new Michelangelo plan

But its portals wide open and still I am hopin’€™

To see ye back every wan

-In the dear home and have, we call it Ardavon

On the slopes of the pastoral Bann

James McLaughlin                   January 1909

Ardavon, Coleraine

Londonderry, Ireland

Pot O’ Gold

It was a cool day, late in September.

I traveled down the forested path leading to town

It was dimly lit,

Because the winter cold had not yet frosted the leaves

The foliage blocked the luminance of the sun,

Yet protected me from the autumn drizzle

As I drew near the edge of the forest,

The sun began to creep through the opening.

I entered into the meadow.

As I left the dark woods

I was greeted by the largest, most perfect,

Semi-circle of color, I had ever seen

My thoughts began to wander to you.

The feeling that I had when I saw,

It’€™s perfection, it’€™s beauty, it’€™s color

Was second only, to the bliss that came over me,

The first time I heard you say,

“€œI Love You Jim”

I began to dream of giving you the World.

Thought about what a wonderful life we could have,

If only I could find the riches that lay at the end of that rainbow.

I began to walk

At the end of the meadow,

Over the hill and through the valley,

I never lost sight of that beautiful arch.

I passed deer and squirrels,

Rabbits and birds.

All the treasure that nature bares,

surrounded me

I began to notice, that as I moved closer,

My destination moved further away.

My determination caused me to loose sight,

Of my original purpose for the journey

My  want of those fortunes clouded my reality

Finally, the journey came to an end.

The sun was beginning to set,

The rainbow began to fade.

As I came to a fallen tree,

I sat down,


My Dreams of bringing you that gold,

Had faded with the rainbow.

The riches were gone.

Slowly, I came back to reality,

My thoughts once again returned to you

A smile came over my face,

I thought about,

The color of you hair,

The beauty in your eyes,

The sound of your voice,

The smell of your skin,

And, the perfection in your personality

I was searching for something,

I already had.

With you by my side,

I have the riches of three kings,

All the diamonds of South Africa,

And all of the finest silk from the orient.

I am the richest man in the World.

By having you as my Best Friend,

I have all the World and It’€™s gold

                                                                     James Henry Neal

Isolating Tweets or Posts

Have you ever wanted to direct a person to the URL of a specific tweet or post, but didn’€™t know where to find it?  The article this week will provide a brief, but extremely useful maneuver that can be used on both Twitter and Facebook. This action saves a lot of time for both you and the person you are directing.

To find the URL of a Tweet, you simply locate the Timestamp of the tweet. (Circled in Red)

When you click on that Time stamp, it will load the Tweet, by itself, onto the original tweeters background.  From this point, the URL that appears on the page is the address to the tweet.  Copy, paste and share away!


Facebook is very similar. Again, find the time stamp of the post. (Circled in Red)


This isolates the post onto another page.  The URL on this page is the web address for that post.

This works really well if you want to share something specific and you want to limit the distractions your content viewer is coming in contact with.

If you are new to Social Media and would like to receive tips and tricks, I invite you to follow my blog, for regular posts about the topic.  As always, feel free to leave any comments or questions in the comment section below.

To your online success,

Jim Neal

Twitter Favorite, What is it Good For? Absolutely…

Hold on there, you thought I was going to say absolutely nothing, didn’€™t you? I have found that the Twitter favorite button gets a lot of people confused, especially people just starting in social media. People get the lazy-man’€™s stamp of approval; the “€œlike”€ on Facebook, but when it comes to Twitter, the favorite seems to freak people out.

When I decided, earlier this week to write about the Twitter Fav, I thought back to when I was young. (Come on Jim, where are you going with this) Growing up, my mother cared for clients in our home that had learning disabilities of varying degrees.  They lived with my mom, dad, four siblings and I. They were part of our family.  One gentleman that lived with us was named Whitey.  He would have been in his 40’€™s at the time, but had the mind of an 8-10 year old.  He loved country music.  In the summers, my mother would allow Whitey to walk with me down to the local service station, where old man Warner sold penny candy.  Whitey loved to go and he always brought his radio, tuned to the country station of course.  Besides the candy, the most memorable part of those walks for me, was every, single time a new song would come on that old silver and black radio, Whitey’€™s face would light up and he would say to me, “Merle Haggard, my favorite,” or “Johnny Cash, my favorite,” or “€Patsy Cline, my favorite.”  It didn’€™t matter, whatever song came on, it was Whitey’s favorite.  This leads me to my first, practical use of the Twitter favorite button.


Just showing your approval, it’€™s as simple as that.  Some people use it similar to the €œ”like” button on Facebook. I like it, or I agree with what you are saying, without replying. There are some more ways to use it, but this is the most straight-forward.

The next way, that you can use it is to catalog tweets that you want to revisit.  When you favorite a tweet, it not only notifies the sender of the tweet, but also adds that tweet to a favorites list that can be found on your Me page.  Sometimes, you only have a few minutes to look at Twitter, you find a tweet with an interesting article, or a compelling tweet that needs replying to, but do not have the time.  Just hit the favorite button, and come back to it later.

Another use is to get the attention of the poster.  This offers interaction on a tweet that is a little more discrete. Unlike a retweet, your followers will not see the interaction unless they actually go into your favorites list.  The only people that are notified is the tweet poster and anyone that is mentioned in the Favorited tweet. This tactic is starting to fall in popularity though, mostly because it is a tactic that is associated with bots and other spam accounts. It is assumed that most people will follow an account that acknowledges what they are tweeting. These bot and spam accounts use this as a way to gain followers, without mass following and drawing attention to themselves.

If you are trying to target a specific audience, the favorite can be used in reverse.  If you see a tweet that corresponds with your interests, some Twitter users will expand the tweet, see who Favorited it, and begin to follow those accounts. This makes sense on paper, because the person has similar interests to yours.  If you chose to do this, remember that the bot and spam accounts are frequenting the favorites, and you may be adding some nefarious characters instead of people who really share your interests.


There are many uses for the button and each user has to come up with there own strategy for using it. I have heard about a football player that favorites trash-talk from his critics. He said that it is more powerful than lowering himself with a reply. There are no written rules for it’€™s use, so don’t be afraid to use it. I often get the question, about the impact the button has on social scoring sites like Klout. They want to know if it helps the Tweet poster, the person who Favorites, both or neither.  I have done some research into this and have yet to come up with a definitive answer, only other peoples’€™ guesses. My personal thoughts are that it is an action on social media, so it can’€™t hurt the scores.

As always, if you have questions please leave them below in the comment section.

To your online success,

Jim Neal