The Housewife’s Favourite Game

Playing blackjack online is becoming the favourite pastime of housewives everywhere. Why is blackjack becoming so extremely popular? Well, gambling online allows housewives to play their favourite game right from the comfort of their own homes without the need to travel or endure the chaotic scene that brick and mortar casinos possess. Plus, there is no need to get all dressed up to engage in online gambling and there are no worries that a man might hassle you when all you want to do is enjoy the game. If you are more interested in gambling than you are in the dating scene, then gambling online might be just the kind of pastime for you. It’s also fantastic fun!

Cara Thurston, a housewife fond of online gaming entertainment, explains why she loves online gambling : “When I gamble online I have the freedom to do what I want to do and I don’t have other players judging me because I am a woman. When I play online blackjack, my identity remains anonymous for the most part and I can just enjoy the game.”

Gambling online provides housewives like Cara the opportunity to spend their leisure time the way they want to–relaxing and enjoying a challenging game of blackjack or any of the other games offered at online casinos.

When gambling online you will find that you can either play the game of your choice for free or you can play for real money and prizes. Of course, where you choose to gamble online will determine whether or not cash and prizes are offered. There are many websites offering free gambling but if you want to get in on real money action you will need to visit one or more online casinos to begin playing for real money.

Typically, when gambling online for real money, you will find that you will be required to become a registered member at the online casino of your choosing. However, what is particularly nice about becoming a member at an online casino is that you will be offered signup bonuses for becoming a member. Signup bonuses are a percentage of the initial deposit you place in an account when you first signup at an online casino to begin gambling for money. Such a bonus can be used to place wagers on blackjack, poker, roulette and more.

Many online casinos offer you, as a new member, the opportunity to play several blackjack variants. Blackjack variants include Vegas Strip Blackjack, Atlantic City Blackjack, Multi-Hand Atlantic City Blackjack, European Blackjack, Spanish Blackjack, Triple 7’s Blackjack, Bonus Blackjack, as well as others. Yet, blackjack is not the only game available and you will find fun at the slots, the roulette wheel and all the poker tables you can dream of when you gamble online.

You may be required to download special software to your computer so that you can get in on the gaming action. Typically the software applications that allow individuals to play games are easy to install and are free to you when you create an account. This software gives you the sense that you are really at the casino–that is, without all the hubbub and noise around you that you will typically find in a brick and mortar casino. If you are a housewife and you choose to gamble online you don’t have to worry about the typical problems associated with travel and travel costs. You can enjoy a simulated casino setting in a safe environment.

Are there any risks associated with gambling online? In fact, there are risks associated with any kind of gambling, whether it is online or off. The biggest risk that you face while gambling is losing a lot of money. Gambling is just that–a risk, it is important when you are gambling that you take care not to become over eager–don’t be willing to place just one more bet to get the big bucks. Anyone gambling should set a budget and stick to it. Once the money is gone it is gone and placing one more bet is only going to get you even deeper in the hole than the hand before. When you are gambling you can truly benefit when you know the right time to fold.

Gambling can become an addiction. Some people enjoy the high of winning and their mood will mirror that high, just as their mood will mirror the low they feel when they lose. In essence, when gambling becomes an obsession for you or when you begin to really rely on winning to feel good, a significant problem has begun and you will need to seek help for your gambling problem before it gets out of control. There is counselling available for anyone that has gambling problems and if you suspect that your gambling is an addiction, you should refrain from playing the game and seek out assistance for your problem immediately, before it becomes an all consuming and destructive issue. Make gambling fun and you will really enjoy the experience.

Spider Solitaire Addiction

Addiction: Merriam-Webster defines it as “Compulsive need for and use of a habit-forming substance (as heroin, nicotine, or alcohol) characterized by tolerance and by well-defined physiological symptoms upon withdrawal; broadly: persistent compulsive use of a substance known by the user to be harmful”.

That’s right. People are addicted to cigarettes, drugs and alcohol. That’s why there are so many ways offered to wean yourself from these additions. People are addicted to other things too such as food (chocolate ranks up high in food addictions), and gambling. There are all these programs available to help people get weaned from these addictions — alcoholics anonymous, overeaters anonymous, gamblers anonymous…

A newer addiction is the addiction to the computer. People can spend hours surfing the web, or playing the latest computer games.

But the biggest addiction seems to be to Spider Solitaire. It’s so readily available. It comes for free with every Window’s installation. It takes just a few minutes to learn. You start with just one suite. Quickly move up to two suites. And then begins the challenge… Four Suites! That’s when the addiction comes. The game allows you to backtrack as many moves as you want — even all the way to the beginning of the game. You can spend hours just retrying the same game but when that game ends, whether win or lose, you’ll quickly press “new game” and start all over.

I have done a little research onto how the game has affected people’s lives. Answers I have received:

  • I stayed up all night playing
  • I didn’t take the dog for his walk (what a mess!)ï’· Supper burned (lucky for the smoke alarm)
  • Forgot to pick up my kids from school
  • Spent a full day at work just playing
  • Missed a full day of work
  • _______________________ Write in your own — no one’s immune.

The Solution

Everybody’s gone through it. There are no simple solutions. No special gum. No patches. No clinics. No support groups (who could pull themselves away from Spider to get to a group meeting). There’s only one solution. Delete the game from your computer. The one at work too. Do a good search to make sure you’ve deleted any instance of it. Then just pick up a new computer addiction (try Facebook). No other computer addiction is as bad as Spider Solitaire.

Recovery From Addiction Through Basic Mindfulness

Introduction

Currently, there is no clear consensus among health professionals in precisely defining addiction. Historically, it has been defined narrowly only in relation to psychoactive substances, such as alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs.

Increasingly in recent years, however, many dysfunctional behavioral patterns that are not specifically substance-based are viewed by many professionals also as “addictions.” Some common examples are addictions to: gambling, food, sex, pornography, computers, video games, watching TV, dieting, internet use, work, exercise, shopping, cutting/burning oneself, etc.

A common unifying theme with the victims of all of these disorders is how powerfully and repetitively they are internally driven to engage in the particular activity that defines their addiction.

There is, moreover, growing evidence from neuroscience research that the neurophysiology of ALL addictive disorders, whether substance-based or behavioral, is very similar in many ways. Endorphins (or endogenous morphine), for example, as well as key transmitter substances such as dopamine, epinephrine, and serotonin are common mediating factors in all of these disorders.

The prevalence of these addictions in the modern world is staggeringly high. In the U.S. alone 15.1 million people are addicted to alcohol, 4 million to drugs, and over 20% of the population is still addicted to tobacco.

Although there is no reliable way to estimate the total prevalence of all the behavioral addictions, there is abundant evidence that they are extremely common. As a matter of fact, there are probably very few people alive today who are not subject to some form of addictive behavior.

In this regard, answering the following question with complete honesty will help you determine if you may be one of them: Do I ever feel driven to engage in any form of behavior that I personally regard as self-defeating or harmful and about which I later feel guilt, shame, embarrassment and/or remorse to some degree?

A New Way to Understand Addictions

The following formulation, although grossly oversimplified in many ways, is intended to help provide an initial rough framework for understanding how Basic Mindfulness offers a highly effective way to deconstruct the brain/mind formations that underlie all addictive behaviors.

Like all other creatures on this planet, humans universally tend to seek pleasure and to avoid or escape from pain. Although these two extremely strong genetic instincts have been and continue to be essential to survival, they are also the extremely fertile common ground in which all addictive behaviors become strongly rooted and sustained.

The basic habit patterns that comprise the core of these addictions start developing out of these intrinsic propensities in a very natural and lawful way even before we are born and continue to proliferate from that point onward.

The twin principles that govern their natural initial development can be stated quite simply, although they progressively evolve into highly complex and subtle brain/mind processes that are much more challenging to understand.

Principle #1: Whenever we do anything that is followed by an increase in subjective pleasure or satisfaction, the probability that we will do it again increases to some degree. In general, the probability of recurrence of such a behavior is proportional to the degree of pleasure/satisfaction experienced.

Each subsequent repetition of this particular sequence further increases the probability of its future recurrence or its “habit strength.” As it continues to develop, it will tend to become increasingly streamlined or “automatic,” requiring progressively less conscious awareness and/or intentionality for its occurrence. An automatic habit pattern that has developed primarily in this way will be referred to here as a pleasure-seeking reaction.

Principle #2: Whenever we do anything that is followed by a decrease in subjective physical/emotional pain, discomfort or dissatisfaction, the probability that we will do it again also increases slightly. Again, this increment in the probability of recurrence is generally proportional to the degree of reduction in subjective pain/dissatisfaction that is experienced.

Each subsequent repetition of this sequence similarly increases the probability of its future recurrence or its “habit strength.” As this happens, it will also become progressively more automatic as described above. This type of automatic habit pattern will be referred to here as a terminating reaction.

As used above, the words, “do anything,” refer to external behaviors as well as to their internal representations -i.e., the emotional feelings, mental imagery and/or self-talk to which they give rise. Typically, these internal representations are strongly linked to the external behavioral reactions from which they are derived and thus become a key part of the overall reactive pattern. Very commonly, they also play an important part in activating the external behavioral part of the reaction.

For example, thinking about/imaging a piece of chocolate cake in the refrigerator will tend to activate the corresponding pleasure-seeking reaction of actually eating it. Similarly, if you have a headache, your terminating reaction of taking an aspirin is highly likely to be preceded by thinking, for example, “I need an aspirin,” and/or an image of taking one and getting relief.

As nearly everyone knows from much personal experience, reliving a pleasure-seeking reaction in imagery tends to activate–at least to some degree-subtle feelings of pleasure; conversely, reliving a terminating reaction in imagery similarly tends to activate subtle feelings of getting relief from pain/discomfort. The same is true of anticipatory imagery and/or engaging in internal self-talk about future occurrences of pleasure or pain.

For example, someone experiencing a lot of stress at work may repeatedly imagine what she is going to do when the weekend comes and/or think repetitiously, “I can hardly wait to….” Both of these internal processes can be understood as subtle, garden-variety internal terminating reactions. It’s very important to understand that they also commonly occur very automatically, without any conscious awareness.

Within this framework, then, an addictive behavior can be defined as any pleasure-seeking reaction, terminating reaction, or a combination of both that is significantly harmful to oneself and/or others and that has become sufficiently strong and automatic that it effectively overrides-at least on some occasions– one’s intentionally conscious efforts to suppress or control it.

By this definition, all addictions cause pain-physical and/or emotional; and since pain tends to activate automatic terminating reactions, this sets up a self-perpetuating process or “vicious circle.”

Consider, for example, an alcoholic who chronically worries about how to pay his bills and who has had a highly stressful week at work. Predictably, this triggers a strong terminating reaction of stopping for “happy hour” at his favorite bar, where he ends up getting drunk, spending a large part of his paycheck, and staying until the bar closes.

His wife, expecting him to come home to participate in a special birthday celebration for one of their children, becomes very emotionally upset, as do all of the children. They are traumatized further by the loud argument that ensues between their parents after he finally gets home.

When he wakes up the next morning, he has a terrible hangover and is filled with intense guilt, shame, and self-loathing about what he has done. His baseline level of emotional pain, which he temporarily terminated through ingesting a large amount of alcohol, has now increased tremendously-far above its original high base level.

Given this level of pain, it is extremely likely that the same terminating reaction will be quickly reactivated, setting off another addictive round in this tragically vicious circle.

How Basic Mindfulness Fosters Recovery from Addiction

Mindfulness meditation was originally discovered in India over 25 centuries ago by a young prince named Siddhartha Gautama, who later became known as the Buddha. He made this discovery after five years of intensively searching for an effective way to end suffering. He subsequently spent 40 years teaching this method to his many followers. Since then it has been practiced ardently by hundreds of millions of people-mainly in Asian countries.

Since it was successfully introduced into Western countries a few short decades ago, it has quickly merged into the cultural mainstream-especially in areas such as psychology, medicine, education, and generalized personal development. At this point, it has also become a very hot topic in Neuroscience research.

A Definition of Basic Mindfulness

Basic Mindfulness, as I will refer to it here, consists of three powerful interrelated mental skills:

1) Concentration power;

2) sensory clarity; and

3) equanimity.

With adequate guidance and through disciplined practice, this skill set can be developed to a very high degree by nearly anyone. Once acquired, it can be applied effectively to every area of one’s life.

In particular, it is a means second to none for enhancing conscious awareness and thus become liberated from a wide array of highly automatic and unskillful habit patterns-which, very importantly, includes all addictions. Likewise, it provides a way to enjoy all of life’s pleasures much more fully, while also offering a very powerful means of coping with all forms of physical and mental pain.

Here are brief definitions of the three sub-skills of Basic Mindfulness:

Concentration power is defined simply as the ability to attend selectively and consistently to whatever you consider as relevant at any given time.

Sensory clarity consists in being consciously aware of, and perceiving clearly, all of the endlessly changing external and internal sensory events to which we are subject continuously.

Very importantly, this includes the subtle internal mental states mentioned previously that are incorporated into pleasure-seeking and terminating reactions. These transient states typically occur very automatically and with little or no conscious awareness.

Without mindfulness training, an average person will not perceive them clearly for what they are, but rather will typically experience them as a powerful and highly compelling urge to behave addictively in order to get relief. As a result, then, they commonly give rise to highly automatic and unskillful behavioral reactions.

These internal states fall into three basic categories:

1) Emotional feelings in the body;

2) mental imagery; and

3) verbal thinking

Equanimity entails letting go of negative judgments about what you are experiencing and consciously replacing them with an attitude of loving acceptance and gentle matter-of-factness. Effectively, then, it allows our internal mental processes to flow without resistance or interference.

Very importantly, equanimity does NOT in any way imply apathy. Actually, in fact, it is the opposite of apathy in that it frees up internal energy to respond more fully and consciously to external situations.

It is also the opposite of suppression in that it entails radical permission to feel. With regard to expressing feelings externally, however, it empowers one to choose skillfully what is most appropriate to her/his particular life situation.

How Basic Mindfulness Helps in Recovery from Addictions

In keeping with the introductory nature of this article, the following brief description is intended to convey only an initial understanding of the formal practice of Basic Mindfulness and how it can help in recovery from addictions. What it highlights, however, will hopefully help readers recognize some of its unique potential in this regard. (Much more comprehensive information about this approach is provided through my blog, mentioned below.)

The formal practice of Basic Mindfulness is most commonly carried out with eyes gently closed while seated in an upright, but relaxed, posture.

The duration of a typical mindfulness practice session ranges from 10 to 45 minutes. After a few weeks of basic training, more extended periods of practice can accelerate one’s progress greatly. This is commonly carried out in “retreat” settings that are specifically set up to support this type of more intense practice for periods ranging from a few consecutive hours up to several days, or even weeks.

The initial phase of practice emphasizes concentration power, which is of key importance in subsequently developing both sensory clarity and equanimity.

Concentration power then functions much like an internal microscope, allowing one to become clearly and continuously aware of all external and internal sensory events-very importantly, including emotional feeling, mental images, and verbal self-talk.

As an aid to this continuous, detailed observation, the meditator formally “notes” these sensory states with a simple sub-vocal label (e.g., “feel,” “image,” “talk,” etc.). In doing so, s/he also “embraces” all of them lovingly and equally with deep equanimity-that is, with complete acceptance and non-reactivity.

This state of equanimity arises very naturally as a result of applying concentration and includes, very importantly, deep body-mind relaxation. As such, it is intrinsically comforting and satisfying and, for people who are addicted, it often gives rise to the dramatic insight that what they have been compulsively seeking through external addictive objects is actually abundantly available from within.

Through this highly focused and non-reactive observational process, internal states that were previously experienced as being vaguely global, static and overpowering are clearly re-perceived as nothing other than an impersonal and impermanent flow of subtle mental events. Shinzen Young, who is a master teacher of Basic Mindfulness, sometimes refers to this highly empowering process of fine-grained perception as a “divide and conquer” strategy.

In the traditional practice of mindfulness, this simple process of systematically bringing clear, highly discriminating awareness and equanimity to internal sensory states that have been previously out of awareness has been found to be powerfully “purifying.” That is, it gradually-or sometimes quite suddenly and dramatically-reduces or eliminates completely the potential of these internal states to activate automatic unskillful reactions.

This application of Basic Mindfulness, then, provides a powerful means of recovery from all forms of addiction. Interestingly in this regard, it effectively utilizes pure awareness as a “higher power” instead of relying on ego-based “will power,” which has repeatedly proven to be highly ineffective in achieving lasting recovery.

Noah Levine, author of the book, Dharma Punx, is an outstanding exemplar of someone who has made a highly impressive recovery from severe drug addiction through the intensive practice of mindfulness. For more in-depth information and guidance in applying mindfulness to recovery from addiction, please visit my blog, “Wise Ways to Happiness.”

Article 81 Guardianships in New York

Introduction to Article 81

Guardianship[1] is the court proceeding by which one person (the guardian) is appointed to make decisions for another person (the ward) regarding personal, medical, and/or financial matters. In New York, the governing law is Article 81 of the New York Mental Hygiene Law (MHL), entitled “Proceedings for the Appointment of a Guardian for Personal Needs or Property Management”, which went into effect April 1, 1993. It provides a mechanism[2] for the court to assist a person to meet his or her personal and/or financial needs, while at the same time limiting such assistance to the least intrusive means necessary.

The standard for appointment of a guardian under the statute focuses on the decision-making capacity and functional limitations of the person for whom the guardian is sought — not any particular mental or physical medical condition. MHL § 81.02. In fact, New York courts have extended the scope of Article 81 beyond mental conditions such as dementia, mental illness, or mental impairment, to include other forms of impairment, such as blindness and other physical infirmity, drug or alcohol problems, and even gambling addiction.

Common scenarios where a guardianship can help

The following are situations where New York courts have appointed a guardian:

1. Where people seek to make decisions for their aging parent;

2. Where parents seek to make financial and personal decisions for their adult special needs or disabled child;

3. Where a guardian is needed to make decisions for someone who is unable to make responsible decisions because of cognitive impairment;

4. Where emergency medical decisions must be made for an incapacitated patient who does not have advance directives in place;

5. Where an elder is being unlawfully detained by a nursing home or other institution against his or her will, or is being abused or exploited, and emergency powers need to be given to a temporary guardian to act right away.

In one interesting example, a woman had recently won a great deal of money in the lottery and found that she could not help giving her money away to anyone who had a hard-luck story. For instance, she was talking to a friend that said she could really use a new car, so the woman bought her a new car. Although she could not resist this tendency, still the woman realized she needed help controlling the money she had just won.

This story highlights the difference between someone who is an Alleged Incapacitated Person (AIP), as opposed to a Person in Need of Guardian (PING). A person who is in a coma or otherwise allegedly incapacitated would be considered an AIP. Here, the woman who won the lottery was considered a PING — that is, a person who is not incapacitated per se, but who nonetheless needs a guardian. She could actually self-petition to ask the court for the appointment of a property guardian (i.e., someone to make financial decisions only, and not personal or medical decisions) narrowly tailored to control her access to and use of the lottery proceeds.

The “Nuts-and-Bolts” of a Typical Proceeding

A guardianship proceeding begins with the filing of a petition which contains the required pertinent information about the proposed ward (i.e., the person for whom the guardian is sought), his or her assets and income, the proposed ward’s family members and others who are entitled to notice of the proceeding, whether there is a Will and other advance directives, and other information about the circumstances. MHL §81.08.

The specific powers sought are set forth in considerable detail. In the event that this is an emergency, or some other circumstances warrant having immediate intervention, an Order to Show Cause asking for the appointment of a temporary guardian with particular immediate powers would be included. MHL §81.23.

A good example of this would be where an immediate decision has to be made as to whether or not surgery or some other urgent medical procedure should be performed on a comatose patient where no health care proxy is in place. This would be particularly true where the family members disagree on how to proceed. The guardianship court would appoint a temporary or special guardian who would investigate, talk to the doctors, and report to the court with a recommendation.

While it would appear to the layperson that the test for an Article 81 guardianship would require a medical diagnosis, actually the test is a functional one: The court must determine (1) if the person has functional limitations, and (2) whether he or she can understand the nature and consequences of those limitations, and (3) whether it is likely that the person will suffer harm if a guardian is not appointed. In other words, the observation of erratic or questionable behavior is more to the point in these proceedings than a medical diagnosis.

The court will often appoint a Court Evaluator to act as the “eyes and ears of the court” — to investigate the circumstances, interview people, and report to the court. MHL §81.09.

The matter proceeds to a hearing at which testimony is taken. MHL §81.11. These proceedings can also be contested, with family members disagreeing as to who should be the guardian and what steps should actually be taken. The person for whom the guardianship is brought can even object to the appointment of a guardian, and can be represented by an attorney (court-appointed or of their own choosing). MHL §81.10.

Seeking The Least Restrictive Means

In enacting Article 81 of the Mental Hygiene Law, the intent of the legislature was to create a means of protecting individuals using the least restrictive means possible. In addition, the law gives the court the authority to tailor a guardianship to the ward’s needs. Article 81 requires the court to consider alternatives to the appointment of a guardian, such as visiting nurses, home health aides, adult day care, and trusts, and allows the court to fashion remedies that may or may not include appointment of a guardian. See, e.g. MHL §81.01.

Conclusion

Article 81 is a versatile remedy that can provide useful or even life-saving solutions to a wide variety of situations. Because it is a complex proceeding with serious implications, and it requires a court hearing, it is imperative for anyone considering a guardianship to consult with an experienced elder law attorney knowledgeable in this area of the law.

_________________

[1] In some states, the proceeding is called conservatorship.

[2] In addition to Article 81 of the Mental Hygiene Law, which has arguably the broadest application and flexibility in such matters, other mechanisms exist. The main example is Article 17-A of the Surrogates Court Procedure Act. Originally designed for mentally retarded individuals who were newly discharged from mental institutions and needed a safety net, the law was later amended to include developmentally disabled individuals, and specifically those with cerebral palsy, autism, epilepsy, traumatic head injury and other neurological disorders. The disability must have originated before the age of 22 (except that no such age of origination applies to traumatic head injury). By contrast with Article 81, Article 17-A expressly requires that the mental retardation or developmental disability must be medically certified. Also, in the more extreme cases where a person may be a danger of harm to himself or others, a proceeding exists under Article 9 of the Mental Hygiene Law for involuntary commitment of the individual.

Casino Gambling and The Tao

It may seem strange to equate casino gambling with Taoist philosophy, but it may be because gambling is so much a part of and widely accepted in Chinese culture.

The very first recorded history of playing cards date back to 9th century China which makes sense being that they were the inventors of writing paper. The first book written with reference to playing cards dates to the Tang Dynasty (618-907) called Yezi Gexi. By the 11th century playing cards could be found throughout Asia featuring many of the 108 heroes of Lan Shun found in the Chinese classic the “Water Margin.”

In the 16th century playing cards had made their way to France and it is there that they began using the suits of picture cards that we are familiar with today based on figures of French nobility.

Taoist philosophy is said to be nearly 6,000 years old and came to prominence with the teachings of The Yellow Emperor, Huang Ti, the first emperor of China. With many of their scientific discoveries such as mathematics and astronomy, there was also a deep connection to astrology, symbology (a science of symbols and their effects), numerology and many forms of mysticism.

In the 7th Pillar of Taoism, “The Tao of Mastery,” The symbol for water is K’AN and states, “to be successful and fortunate, risk must be taken.” Luck to the ancient Taoists was a form of control and timing.

Clearly in all gambling, timing is an important factor. Regardless of the type of gambling, all of it’s forms tend to run in cycles, both winning and losing ones. It is the skill which one navigates through these cycles that the player conveys their level of control over the outcome.

The first serious studies of gambling in the 20th century were done by economists who expressed their confusion that gambling is a losing proposition and in effect, irrational behavior. In 1945 William Vickery, a noted economist, concluded that gambling should be measured not in expected gains but by the money a gambler doesn’t have that appears to be more valuable to them than what he does have.

The typical view is that gambling is self-destructive, undermines the work ethic and removes money that could be put to better uses in the economy. The notion that most people tend to gamble beyond their means remains unproven and was disputed in research conducted in 1966 in the “Economics of Gambling” published in London, England. In this study it was found to be an affective outlet for frustration, a relief from loneliness and a leveler of inequality among the economic classes.

Many psychologists view gambling as a normal form of recreation and destructive only to the addicted. They stated that the solution lies in treating the gambler, not in the condemnation of gambling as a whole.

The casino patron is courted with opulent surroundings, swimming pools, shops, shows, night life and “comped” amenities. The attraction is undeniable as an escape from tedious and purposeless occupations. Being confronted with the myth of success, when faced with insurmountable economic and social obstacles, makes the whole casino experience much easier to understand.

My own opinion is that people who gamble solely for the thrills and excitement, with no care of the economic results, would do better to find a more fulfilling and less expensive hobby. Gambling is an isolated activity. It will not take the place of a meaningful relationship nor will it counteract feelings of alienation or loneliness. These are not reasons to gamble.

Using any type of gambling to fill a void in ones personal life, something which it cannot do, is the type of gambling that can lead to devastating consequences.

If you’ve ever been in a casino, there is one thing you’ve probably noticed more than anything else… that one thing is seeing people lose money. This happens because the amateur gambler enters into this competition without a basic knowledge of the odds of the games, a playing strategy or even a thought to proper money management. It’s a careless way to handle ones money and does little to change the inevitable outcome.

Casinos love this type of gambler and spend a fortune attracting their business. With the odds squarely in their favor, the casino operators know that even though there are highly effective methods of playing that can shift those odds to the player, very few of them will invest the time or effort to use them.

Common sense tells us that if everyone that gambles in casinos lost, they would cease to exist. In order to attract losers you must have winners and it is just as easy to win at many casino games as it is to lose.

I do not write for the weekend gamblers who are looking desperately to have a good time at any cost. Winning is not even in their vocabulary. They consider the possibility of winning to be remote as if being left completely to chance.

It is the individual who is determined to win at any cost that I feel are most like myself. It is to these individuals that I offer the following. There does exist many ways to achieve your goal. Resolve that you will learn everything you have to in order to win consistently when risking your hard earned money gambling in casinos. To me, nothing else makes sense.

In the words of the ancient Taoist, Lao Tse

“Fortune favors the prepared.”

Online Sports Betting – Everything You Need to Know

Online Sports Betting has been gaining popularity these last few years. The advancements in technology and the internet have contributed greatly in the development and improvement of sports betting. From the classic on the spot betting and televised betting, people of the right ages will also be able to enjoy sports betting through the internet. It is as simple as having your own computer or renting one, just make it a point to be sure that the computer has internet connection and in seconds you are on your way into enjoying the sports that you wish to place your bets on.

Sports betting online can feature different kinds and varieties of sports. From the famous horse racing, to tennis matches, football matches, baseball matches, motor racing, basketball and even cricket matches, you name it these online sports betting websites are sure to have it. Thousands of people in the United States as well as in Europe and some parts of Asia have already begun to get hooked with this kind of sports betting. Day by day there are hundreds of sports enthusiasts willing to test their luck while betting on their favorite sport through these numerous Online Sports Betting websites available as of today.

Truly this kind of sports betting can be a lot of fun. You can surely enjoy betting via these online betting websites by trying your luck but there are several things to consider before getting addicted into this kind of betting. First, make it a point to keep in mind that you cannot bet what you cannot afford. In fact, do not bet even a dollar if you do not have it. The one and only period that can be said to be safe in betting money in this kind of sports betting is when you can afford to lose it. Otherwise, you will be sacrificing money intended for other useful purposes such as food and clothing. Sports betting are full of fun and enjoyment, but getting addicted to it is gambling addiction that is a very serious problem that needs to be addressed as soon as possible.

Second, remember that you will be losing in this kind of betting. Since betting is a form of gambling, you should keep in mind that there are winners and there are losers. The ratio of winners against losers is about 1:10, so expect that you will be losing a lot, especially during your first try. If you win in your first try then you are extremely lucky as the other persons that betted with you lost there money. Try to learn through the first couple of losses that you experience as having experience will be a lot of help to you in knowing how to play against the odds.

Third, make sure that you know the sport that you are betting on. A basic knowledge will suffice, but a thorough knowledge will be a big help to you in making the right bets. You should know the basics as well as the advanced rules regarding your favorite sport that you wish to bet upon in order for you to assess on who or what to bet against other betting fanatics. By having this basic knowledge you will be on your way into making good and fruitful bets in no time at all.

Bookie Gambler Bonus Buster Critical Overview

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The 12 Steps To Recovery From Sex Addiction

Recovering from a sex addiction requires adhering to a 12 step program. Such programs have become synonymous with people’s efforts to change their lives and behaviors, and have been applied to everything including over-eating, sex, compulsive gambling, and drug addiction.

The original 12 step program was published by Alcoholics Anonymous in the late 1930s to treat addiction to alcohol. Since then, it has been adapted and directed towards other forms of addiction and compulsive behaviors and has been recognized by the American Psychological Foundation. Small details within each 12 step program change depending on what’s being treated, but all follow the same template. While there is debate on what defines addiction, many agree that the brain becomes dependent on chemicals either imbibed (alcohol) or produced naturally through a behavior, such as sex or gambling.

The 12 Steps:

Step one is the sex addict admitting they have no power over their sex addiction and that their lives have gotten out of control. This step essentially defines a sex addiction, a situation where a person no longer can control their sexual behavior despite it causing them problems. This may sound facetious, but if a sex addict could control their behavior, they would not be an addict. Admitting powerlessness also opens the door to getting outside help. A person with a broken leg does not try to mend it on their own, they call a doctor because they do not have the skills to heal themselves. It is no different with a sex addiction.

Step two is acknowledging there is a “higher power” that can help the addict with their addiction. This and the next step may be two of the least understood, as “higher power” generally refers to God. While many going through the 12 step program turn to the Christian faith, anything can serve as the higher power. A person can look to the sun, a favorite object, anything they can mentally equate with a power above themselves. Some neurologists have said the human brain is hardwired towards religion, and because of this it can be used as a powerful tool in influencing behavior.

A higher power plays the role of a neutral yet supportive third part in the sex addict’s life. It is not the addicts themselves, nor is it their therapist, nor is it a loved one the addict may have wronged or someone who will judge them.

The third step is giving themselves over to that higher power, as they understand it. Many sex addicts begin reading the Bible and attending religious services of their faith. Others will take up a different spiritual text as their understand of their higher power. The book or the faith or belief is not important here, what is important is that the reliance on self get turned over to a reliance on a higher power. Most religions have set guidelines on sexual conduct, as well as other aspects of life, and make for a ready made code of conduct a person can adhere to, at least until their lives are under their control once more.

Step four is where the sex addict gets to the “nitty gritty” of their problem and comes to see what it looks like from the outside by completing a “moral inventory” of themselves. This inventory documents their life and how and when their sexual habits, failings, and other common behaviors began in an effort to see the big picture and have an accurate understanding of what it is. Typically, a deadline is put on this step, as many addicts tend to get hung up on it, either because they find it difficult to examine themselves this way, or feel the need to be too thorough.

The fifth step involves taking that inventory and showing it to someone else, either a spouse, sponsor, clergy or trusted confidant, or even another sex addict further along in their treatment. This is done for a number of reasons. If a sex addict can share this, it means they are comfortable with it to a degree and will be able to open up further because seeing the behavior inventory may not be enough to let the sex addict truly see their problem or recognize patterns in their behavior. When it comes to the familiar, an addict sees what they intend rather than what really is. It’s the same as when an athlete needs a coach to check their stance or swing or attitude for their sport. So the sex addict needs another pair of eyes on their moral inventory to catch things and gain feedback from a different perspective.

Steps six and seven of the original Alcoholics Anonymous version are asking the higher power or God to remove the addict’s defects and to forgive them. Other, more secular minded versions describe these steps as similar transition periods. The sex addict goes from identifying the problem to recognizing that they, themselves, are now past that stage and can now expend energy enacting change. The addict is taught to see that the mistakes have been made cannot be unmade, and wishing to change the past is a waste of energy. While it’s not a “clear slate,” it is a shift of focus onto the present, which can be affected by the sex addict.

Step eight, while at first may seem like a look back, is actually for the addict to compile a list of people their sex addiction has harmed. This may be family they’ve neglected, spouses cheated on, and in extreme cases, victims of their sexual abuse. This step is sometimes broken down into smaller segments, identifying the types of relationships harmed by the sex addiction. In the case of deceased loved ones or people the addict cannot have contact with, this step serves as an emotional release by further letting the addict see the extent of the damage their behavior has caused.

The ninth step is an extension of the eighth, and involves making amends with the people identified in that step, when possible. It could be something as simple as a verbal apology, and may not be something that can be accomplished in a moment, a day, or even months. This step is distinctive to the individuals involved, and not completely possible in all cases.

Step 10 is continuing the list from step five, and admitting when a mistake has been made. This can expand beyond sexual behavior and include any kind of non-desirable actions or emotions. Negative feelings are what led the sex addict to compulsively seek the numbing behavior to start with. And being able to identify those trouble spots and handle them in a way that doesn’t feed a new addiction cycle is key. Sex addiction often comes with other forms of addiction, or can spin off into those other forms if the root cause is not being monitored.

Prayer and meditation are Step 11 in the program. Many call prayer and meditation one and the same, but whichever route the sex addict chooses, they should set aside time each day for quiet reflection. A daily pause is used as an anchor to keep the complexities of the addict’s outside world from becoming overwhelming. This step lets the sex addict remind themselves of their progress and the tools they have to fight their compulsions.

The final step is working with other sex addicts, or passing on some of the knowledge the addict has gained. The selfless side of this is ensures a pool of experienced teachers well versed in the subject matter who can perpetuate the program. The benefit to the addict doing the teaching is the same as to teacher; the one imparting the wisdom in turn learns more about what they’ve come to know. Having to articulate to another person what one has learned makes a person think about benefits in ways they hadn’t before, and leads to greater understanding.

Those are the basic 12 steps found in addiction recovery programs. Many are closely related, but together they show a progression. It should be noted this programs not a “do these 12 things and you’re cured” prescription, but at the higher levels are a lifelong set of behaviors. They may play a less active role in the recovering sex addict’s life as time goes on, but the inventory, meditation, and teaching tend to be in the background for a long time.