GMail: Invalid server certificate (The certificate cannot be used for this purpose).

For a couple of days now every now and then I cannot load messages from GMail accounts. Other people report that other things also may not work. The most intriguing thing here is that the issue occurs from time to time for a while (in my case the longest time span has been several minutes) and then everything works fine again. Below You’ll find logs from my e-mail client (The Bat! Pro 9.0.12 32-bit) – note that invalid server certificate results in TLS handshake failure, while in normal circumstances it should run smoothly:

2020-04-08, 15:03:08: IMAP - Connecting to IMAP server imap.gmail.com on port 993

2020-04-08, 15:03:08: IMAP - Initiating TLS handshake

2020-04-08, 15:03:08: IMAP - Certificate S/N: 5638B010931D05380800000000320BE2, algorithm: ECC (256 bits), issued from 3/3/2020 9:58:11 AM to 5/26/2020 9:58:11 AM, for 1 host(s): imap.gmail.com.

2020-04-08, 15:03:08: IMAP - Owner: "US", "California", "Mountain View", "Google LLC", "imap.gmail.com". 2020-04-08, 15:03:08: IMAP - Issuer: "US", "Google Trust Services", "GTS CA 1O1". Valid from 6/15/2017 12:00:42 AM to 12/15/2021 12:00:42 AM.

2020-04-08, 15:03:08: IMAP - Root: "GlobalSign Root CA - R2", "GlobalSign", "GlobalSign". Valid from 12/15/2006 8:00:00 AM to 12/15/2021 8:00:00 AM.

!2020-04-08, 15:03:08: IMAP - TLS handshake failure. Invalid server certificate (The certificate cannot be used for this purpose).

And here how the same operation should look like in case everything is all right:

2020-04-08, 15:09:17: IMAP - Connecting to IMAP server imap.gmail.com on port 993

2020-04-08, 15:09:17: IMAP - Initiating TLS handshake

2020-04-08, 15:09:17: IMAP - Certificate S/N: 96768414983DDE9C0800000000320A68, algorithm: RSA (2048 bits), issued from 3/3/2020 9:44:07 AM to 5/26/2020 9:44:07 AM, for 1 host(s): imap.gmail.com.

2020-04-08, 15:09:17: IMAP - Owner: "US", "California", "Mountain View", "Google LLC", "imap.gmail.com". 2020-04-08, 15:09:17: IMAP - Issuer: "US", "Google Trust Services", "GTS CA 1O1". Valid from 6/15/2017 12:00:42 AM to 12/15/2021 12:00:42 AM.

2020-04-08, 15:09:17: IMAP - Root: "GlobalSign Root CA - R2", "GlobalSign", "GlobalSign". Valid from 12/15/2006 8:00:00 AM to 12/15/2021 8:00:00 AM.

2020-04-08, 15:09:17: IMAP - TLS handshake complete

2020-04-08, 15:09:17: IMAP - Connected to IMAP server (imap.gmail.com)

2020-04-08, 15:09:17: IMAP - Gimap ready for requests from 5.173.193.223 w2mb6020654ltq

2020-04-08, 15:09:18: IMAP - Authenticating (user: "......@gmail.com", method: "XOAUTH2")...

2020-04-08, 15:09:19: IMAP - IMAP server authentication OK, server says "......@gmail.com authenticated (Success)"

It wasn’t obvious for me whether the issue is strictly The Bat!-related or more of an universal nature, affecting various mail clients. The Bat! technical support addresses this case in a following way:

“Google has started using new types of certificates on their mail servers which are not yet supported by The Bat! We are now working on implementing the new algorithms and we will soon release a new version of The Bat! which will be able to use new Gmail certificates.” ( » )

In case of The Bat! the issue seems to be resolved with the 9.1.10 release of the app.

Hand by Hand into the Reality Shifts.

“(…) thanks to witnessing so many reality shifts on such an ongoing, regular basis, it is just about impossible for me to view the world we live in as consisting of one material, objective reality.
I now view reality as magical in the miraculous sense, in which sentient beings such as ourselves are engaged in conversation with the Cosmos at the deepest levels and core of our existence.
As we choose to become more of what we most treasure and value, we can witness how we can be of greater and higher service than we’ve ever before imagined.” (Cynthia Sue Larson)

Cynthia Sue Larson with her book.

We are living during interesting times where quantum mechanics becomes more and more in vogue – which I still find surprising, given that not so long ago it had been still more of a hermetic matter reserved for theoretical physicists and with no seemingly recognized application into everyday life, let alone humans’ spiritual growth (!).

But things have changed. Nowadays quantum matter more and more often catches even the mainstream media headlines. Quantum teleportation, quantum accumulator, quantum computers, quantum supremacy… more and more quantum buzzwords (or ideas to apply in everyday life) make the whole thing pretty close to an ordinary part of our reality, finally liberated from the fetters of science-fiction (although it’s not so certain will we find quantum a signifiant improvement – or our own salvation).

“(….) tomorrow’s technology (such as quantum computers) will be counting on what was considered to be quantum weirdness just yesterday.” (Cynthia Sue Larson)

The book I’m going to address, has to do with this matter seen from yet another, surprising angle of… consciousness. This contemporary physics’ pet peeve definitely doesn’t let itself to remain ignored, among other things surprisingly emerging from the XXI century ‘Christmas gifts’ for humanity 🙂 . Who would expect such a turn in science, which brings the spiritual to the foreground of our attention, maybe once and for all, finally?


One day while listening to Howard Hughes’s The Unexplained podcast I found myself especially surprised. The guest was about to speak on so-called reality shifts (which initially I found a modern version of the Law of Attraction). She described many examples of something which resembles influencing reality solely with Your will and intention; she mentioned that she’s still retaining memories from the time before this lifetime (in-between lives). It seems no surprise that she is an author of several books on the matter, which sole titles may be associated with spiritually/esoterically-driven self-help genre. But the real surprise has come when You learn that she has also a tangible scientific background (e.g., a degree in Physics from UC Berkeley).

Cynthia: – I’ve got the blessing of some of my physics professors for a lot of what I am doing and for the books that I’ve written.
Howard: – You said that You had the support and the approval of Your colleagues in science, many of them.
Cynthia: – That’s correct (…) in some cases they may not fully appreciate every aspect of what I’m talking about because remind You quite a bit of what I cover is rather cutting edge.
(The Unexplained)

This was definitely something I didn’t expect. I think there is still a strong need for mainstream-associated people to come out with a message which previously had been spread mostly by the ones who were outside of the academia, therefore not being influenced and confined by it. Fortunately it seems that there is an increasing number of such people (like Howard Hughes I’ve mentioned, who himself origins from the very mainstream background, or a neurosurgeon Eben Alexander with his out-of-the-body experience). This time, however, is even more interesting due to a range of the matter involved.

A contemporary Secret would be… quantum.

The first time I learned that so-called Law of Attraction may have its reflection within the quantum mechanics, it was definitely surprising. I hadn’t expected quanta speaking esoterically 😉 . I didn’t expect that such an almost metaphysical concept may emerge out of physics itself, however spooky 😉 . It definitely impressed me back in the days of early 2000’s (the documentaries What the Bleep Do We Know!? and The Secret had been published in 2004 and 2006). Almost two decades later, however, I’ve discovered Howard’s guest mentioned above: Cynthia Sue Larson. Apart from the surprise regarding her scientific background, there is yet another one: she had written a solid piece of work on the matter years before What the Bleep… (!). And, if You take a closer look on her website, You will find out that there is a whole universe over the subject, gathered throughout years of experience: a content-rich blog with the archive reaching 2011, a monthly RealityShifters e-zin published since 1999 (!), a podcast (since 2015), and a handful of other books of hers. All of that may give You a solid feeling that this is definitely serious, in-depth knowledge, which has been out there from decades (!). For me this is a new discovery, yet I am still feeling a little bit strange with the awareness how long ago, say, the Reality Shifts book has been published.

What was my motivation to read this book?

Although I’ve been already familiar with the Howard’s interview with Cynthia, I still was curious of her approach on reality shifts performed intentionally. “If she had written a whole book on this,” I thought, “odds are well that this is a more in-depth piece of knowledge – instead of potentially irritating generalizations”. Now I am extremely happy to say that I’ve read the book, or, to be more precise, I listened to it – thanks to courtesy of the author herself I was able to reach the book both in a text and audio form, which significantly enriched the reading experience, due to Cynthia’s unique timbre and voice manner, the same which can be heard during the Howard’s podcast (before I began to read I was wondering if indeed the same characteristics will be present in its audio form). What is so special about the voice? I find it tangibly pleasant, fresh (if not refreshing) and friendly. It became even more obvious in case of the book where, thanks to this voice, You may feel like the author is Your close friend who cares about You and wants to share her life wisdom with You, for You Yourself to take advantage of it. Although Cynthia participates in a common desire to better the whole world, You may definitely feel like the book would be a (voice) letter from someone who cares on You personally, and wants to do as much as possible for You to get the message to the highest possible degree, in the easy-to-comprehend way. This was one of the things which impressed me most: that trait of a close friend or even a parent who is telling all of this valuable message lovingly and sincerely to their own child (although it’s far from being childish or too simplified – it’s amazing how well the author had managed to reconcile a comprehensive approach with a bunch of serious topics many might find complicated otherwise; no scientific gobbledygook involved). In this regard I could almost put Reality Shifts among books like Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland or The Wonderful Wizard of Oz – but this time I’m happy to say that a fairytale is coming true.

Let’s go back to the late 90’ies…

It was a sunny spring day she usually met with her friends on a weekend brunch – the right day to finally unveil the secret. Of course she knew that it could be to-no-avail action due to most people do not believe such things exist, while it seems to be necessary to be open-minded and allowing the possibility for such a phenomena to happen, but… she needed to finally tell someone else about what’s going on. At this point she had recognized enough amount of cases to ensure that it’s not a sole imagination – she just couldn’t treat them as a fiction anymore, while they remain provokingly confronting before her very eyes, for so long. There are simply too many of them and she felt an urgent need to talk about it. Jan and Cliff seem to fit this need perfectly, as they themselves were participating in one of those things (not being even aware of that, though).

Intentionally or not, as soon as they left the restaurant near the Berkeley Marina, they directed toward the pier, one of the ‘magical’ routes on which one of ‘those things’ usually happen. As usual, she had a quick look on the ten foot tall concrete sculpture of a sundial, gracefully laying in a central location. She knew that her friends won’t see it, perhaps this is yet another topic to address. “Why there is no trace of this every time we’re here together?,” she could have thought once again. But then one friend asked: “Do either of you recall ever seeing that statue here before?”. It seems that this is the first time when both her friends finally have seen the sculpture, which till today remained invisible to them. What a coincidence, or the Universe has just supported her will to share the knowledge? Perhaps on a much broader scale than with those two.


“The idea of writing books with an intention to make a positive difference in the world is something near and dear to my heart as a writer (…).” (Cynthia Sue Larson)

I asked Cynthia in what exact forms she would see this positive difference come true.

“My fondest dreams would be that people could widen their peripheral imaginal vision to encompass greater range of possibilities than most people currently believe to be true. When we recognize that we are living in a participatory universe, such as physicist John Archibald Wheeler described, then we can realize that our every choice and decision establishes the basis by which we make observations, which in turn change the world.
Wheeler coined the terms and phrases: black hole, wormhole, quantum foam, and ‘it from bit’, yet his participatory anthropic principle was considered rather too controversial at the time it was proposed. We now see evidence in reality shifts, quantum jumps and the Mandela Effect that conscious observers are required to cause the collapse of the quantum wave function resulting in particular physical reality, not just bits and pieces bouncing into each other. I most dearly wish that people would understand that we have the capability, by focusing and aligning all levels of our observational consciousness, to experience living in an optimal world. Such focus and alignment requires individual focus of concentration and meditative practice, as well as inner growth – so learning how to do this thus becomes more of an individual spiritual practice than a simple formula or recipe that all people can easily follow.”

What is all about?

What I find interesting is that the book resembles neither a classic self-help literature, nor a strictly scientific work. One might rather call it “a friendly introduction to the reality shifts concept”. I’ve already mentioned its characteristic a-letter-from-Your-Close-Friend tone, which You can pick up both from a sole text and the author’s voice. As if You might received such a letter, it consists not only the main subject rendered within the title, but a variety of life wisdom gathered around it “by the way”. I really love this particular trait and diversity.

But before I’ll tell You a little bit more about it, let’s go back to the core matter of reality shifts.

For years I’ve been a keen fan of “the attraction approach”, in which one attracts things and opportunities, based on their thoughts and, even more importantly, emotions. Over the time, however, I’ve changed the way I perceive the whole thing. This was due to two reasons. First of all, I felt more and more (on the Inner Voice basis) that the attraction approach is not precise enough as a means of explaining the process or the relation between a conscious being and their reality. Second, I felt an underlying discomfort of the attracting as such: the very term ‘attracting’ seems to imply incorporating some force toward the current form of reality which already exists in front of Your eyes and, as such, has been already defined. So in other words, if You’re up to attracting something – You’re beginning a kind of a rope pulling.

Therefore attracting had been replaced within my mind with something You might call ‘travelling through realities’. In this concept You have an infinite amount of realities – and Yourself, who are constantly travelling through them by tuning in, so to speak, via the same thoughts-emotions-mentality set.

Note, however, that in this concept one neither modifies their current reality in any way nor creates another one. I am happy to find a similar approach within the book:

“Parallel universes help explain reality shifts, which appear as a leap in consciousness from one universe to another (…).” (Cynthia Sue Larson)

Does it mean, however, that the Author Herself shares this ‘travelling’ interpretation of what lies behind the scenes of reality shifting? I asked Cynthia how does she perceive the reality shift concept – as one which has more to do with:

  1. Modifying a reality which already exists, by so-called ‘attracting’ (in this scenario one never leaves their reality – they just shapes it).
  2. Creating realities (a new reality is brought to life on the basis of one’s intention; in this scenario one leaves their current reality every time they wants to change it).
  3. Attracting realities. There is an endless amount of realities, one attracts a reality corresponding to their vibration (like ‘tuning in’). This scenario might be called ‘travelling through realities’.

“The short answer would be ‘traveling through realities’, with a sense of oneself being independent from any particular physical reality, but rather identifying with what might be considered to be a spiritual or energetic or pure consciousness conceptualization of self.
Whichever way we view the concept of mind-matter interaction, the crux of the issue must ever and always depend upon the seemingly implicitly understood idea of self. This assumption that we know who we are is seemingly obvious, and most people would likely not consider it worthy of contemplation, yet nothing could be further from the truth. In order to truly grasp what is happening when reality shifts or when we initiate some kind of quantum jump, it is absolutely necessary to first comprehend what level of self we are operating with. Because there exist levels of self within the concept of realizing that one is pure energy-pure spirit-pure consciousness.”

Note that the travelling approach is significantly wider in implications because it doesn’t change only the way You define ‘reality’ – it changes the definition of ‘You’ as well. If You take a closer look on this approach You’ll realize that first and foremost it has to do with “a leap in consciousness”, not the physical person of You. You are not travelling through sole multiple realities, You are also travelling through multiple You’s (!). Or in other words, ‘a reality’ consists not only of everything which is around You, but also includes You as a physical human being (i.a., Your body) – so while “visiting” various realities You are constantly ‘visit’ also various corresponding versions of You.

As a result Reality Shifts acts not only as a guide on how to improve Your life – but it also significantly broadens Your consciousness, and it does so behind the scenes 🙂 . To put it differently: thanks to this book You may literally change the way not only how You’ve perceived the reality around You – but also the way how You’ve perceived who You are. Now it becomes much easier to comprehend consciousness as a primary essential definition of Yourself.

Life wisdom.

I’ve already mentioned that Reality Shifts goes beyond its core matter encompassed within the title. It was a nice surprise, though, thanks to which it may be much easier to digest the book’s main message.

Let’s take a closer look on this “side-note wisdom”. It consists both of general truths on life and a handful of interesting digressions. All of those make up a diversified set of topics, which nicely remind me of other personal and spiritual growth authors I highly value (such as Dale Carnegie, Joseph Murphy, Bruce Moen, Neale Donald Walsch, You name it). The quotes below are examples of snippets which definitely rang a bell for me while reading:

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“(…) only when we openly approach others as equals and friends can we be heard ourselves.” (Cynthia Sue Larson)

To this day it amazes me how much of a difference such a switch within one’s perspective can make. It resembles to me a great and timeless wisdom of Dale Carnegie’s How To Win Friends And Influence People, for example. Another case of a similar wisdom puts an even stronger emphasis on the matter, and was shared by someone for whom it was the most important advice they received in their life. It goes:

“In any conversation, the most important thing is to validate the other person’s side of things first.”

Another side-wisdom of the book:

“We may or may not be able to control what others do, but we can always control how we respond to what is going on around us.” (Cynthia Sue Larson)

In short, I find it a useful reminder that it doesn’t pay off to take the burden of dependency on how other people think. Moreover, if You allow Yourself even a partial such a dependency, most likely it may give You a lot of stress and other painful experiences. For those who are used to live like that, however, it may be a refreshing realization that it doesn’t have to be that way, and in fact, that it doesn’t seem to be reasonable at all. One can find a great relief within themselves, being able to recognize where the true area of positive influence lays.

This is such a piece of advice which I’d love to see parents handing to their children. Surprisingly enough, decades passed by and I still need to remind this truth to myself every now and then (!).

“Usually, the most powerful thing to change our beliefs is the shock of actual experience (…).” (Cynthia Sue Larson)

Thanks to Bruce Moen’s books I am already familiar with this core truth about the evolution of one’s beliefs which sometimes may require an experience strong enough to shake one’s current status quo and, finally, change it. To this day I vividly remember how intense and impactful the process had been in Bruce’s case. He referred to it as an ‘identity crisis’ or a ‘Belief System Crash’ and described it in-details in one of his books, The Afterlife Knowledge Guidebook:

“That experience greatly conflicted with beliefs I held (…). I (…) was forced to accept that experience as real.” (Bruce Moen)

“What had always stopped me before was that I never fully believed it was possible or real.” (Bruce Moen, Voyages Beyond Doubt)

If You don’t know Bruce, he had written several books on exploring ‘the Afterlife’ (the spiritual plan). Like the Reality Shifts author, he also stumbled upon an experience which left him no place to refuse to accept a totally new understanding of reality. (btw, there is yet another parallel to Bruce: one of my favorite anecdotes from Reality Shifts, the one about unicorns and lavender 🙂 – a very similar story You can find in the Bruce’s Voyages into the Unknown, in which it also has played a significant role as an ultimate trigger, so to speak).

“When you understand and believe that everything can talk with you and hear you, you’ll be amazed at how true this is.” (Cynthia Sue Larson)

Reality shift concept is not only about changing realities – it’s about “listening to them”.

When I think about it, it becomes more and more like a journey into the rabbit hole. Now phrases like “lucid living” or “living in a dream” gain more sense. It is so due to that the more You explore reality shift concept, the more You learn a new way of perceiving the world around You, both material and non-material one (circumstances). In the reality shift concept reality as such gains a new dimension, new meaning: it becomes organically responsive to Your thoughts, feelings and beliefs. This resembles a mirror which reflects You Yourself, Your Inner World – but instead of a picture displayed on a sheet of glass You perceive the whole world around You, which can communicate with You through many of its aspects, both material and non-material ones. For some of us this is a God talking with us constantly, while others call it ‘the Universe’. Whatever the labelling, it changes the way we are used to perceive reality as such: from the solid objective concept we are subjected to, to the very personal matter, dedicated to each individual. This is why “living in a dream” makes more sense: because with this new comprehension there is no more 100% objective reality existing outside of us ourselves with a life of its own (!). Now it rather resembles a dream which looks a bit more authentic than ordinary dreams at night – but, still, a dream.

“The sense of living a waking dream comes from an awakened sense of constantly engaging in ongoing communication with ‘the outside world,’ such that whatever thoughts and feelings we might have are aligned with concurrent and unfolding ‘outside events’. Much as one might learn to awaken with dreams and thus experience lucid dreaming, we can also awaken within daily life and experience lucid living, where we can see evidence of our thoughts and feelings having causal effect in the physical world.” (Cynthia Sue Larson)

Other insights.

Meditation tamed.

Back in the days I perceived meditation as another knowledge to gain, a completely new and supposedly mysterious territory to explore. But over the time I realized that a characteristic state of mind involved in the practice had not been quite new to me – that I’ve been already pretty well accustomed to it, performing it spontaneously and without a second thought, not labelling the state as ‘meditation’, though.

The key realization here was that we all probably attain a meditative state naturally and frequently, whether we are aware of it or not. And now, in case You’d like to learn how to meditate, once You realize that You’ve already (kind of) meditated, many times, may facilitate Your “first steps” in this matter (not being the “first” per se).

How come one could meditate without even being aware of that?

“Everyone naturally meditates when gazing off at the horizon for several minutes, playing a computer game, or washing dishes. There are many ways to meditate, and they all help us experience a simultaneously relaxed and alert state.” (Cynthia Sue Larson)

“Meditation is not as hard as you might think. Any time you enjoy the space between your thoughts, such as when gazing out off into the distance at leaves rustling in the breeze, or clouds floating by in the sky, you are in a meditative state of mind.” (Cynthia Sue Larson)

I’m happy that Cynthia pointed this out, thanks to which I believe meditation becomes much more available for everyone considering learning it. There is also, however, another important role of meditation as such: in the context of reality shifts You may find it a very favorable state for You to switch realities (!):

“Reality shifts occur when we are in a dreamy state of energized awareness in which we are clear about what we prefer.” (Cynthia Sue Larson)

I asked Cynthia on more details regarding this concept:

“The ‘dreamy state’ is analogous to the very slow theta brain wave state, which can feel very dream like. This state of mind is associated with being in a deep state of reverie, with access to a great deal more information than usual, without much conscious effort. This dreamy state of mind is conducive to generation of new creative ideas, accelerated learning, and deep relaxation. While experienced meditators can easily drop into a theta state of mind, non-meditators typically experience this state of consciousness just before falling asleep, or in the moments when awakening before one is fully alert and consciously awake. Anyone can learn to enter into a theta state of mind through practicing deep breathing, and relaxation.”

A surprising application of reality shift: healing.

It seems that most often what we’d like to achieve through the Law of Attraction, the Power of Subconscious Mind, Reality Shifts or yet another similar concept – is to improve our life, circumstances, etc. Have Your ever considered, however, that it can be harnessed also regarding our own health – or health of the ones close to us? In her book, Cynthia decided to address this particular area of reality shift application in a little bit more in-depth manner. What I find especially interesting is that now You can look at this from a fresh new angle, in which “healing” may not necessarily be taken literally. While You can still practice some well-described and predictable methods of remote empathizing with the patient, and then sending them healing energy – the overall message of the book may inspire You to see the whole process in a rather different way: not as a healing, but rather as a shifting reality to the one in which the one You care about is much better now.


Once You know how diversified (and, therefore, even more interesting) the book is, let’s talk about

General impressions.

I’ve already described a friendly manner which characterizes the book – thanks to which a reader may feel like receiving a long letter from their close friend. It feels like Your Friend does their best to convey everything worth handing down to You, all the important stuff, like all the key wisdom they might want to give You at one of the key points of Your life.

This trait is reinforced by examples of the author’s own life, put alongside each chapter. Therefore You’ll find many anecdotes which nicely illustrate matters described in the book – thanks to which it’s much easier to grasp uncanny concepts the work consists of, let alone the message itself becomes much more convincing. On top of that, You can do Your own research through content-rich author’s website, e-zin, podcast and blog, which altogether make the thing even more genuine. I’m not sure if the book is the essence of the matter covered there – or just a tip of an iceberg 😉 .

Another thing is the way the book is constructed – You’ll find that each chapter consists of three parts: first, the introduction or description of the particular topic, second, life examples mentioned just a moment ago, and third, exercises recommended by the author for You to gain some practice or acquaintance with the matter. The whole construction becomes predictable during the reading, which You may find another facilitating factor to get Your feet on the ladder.

Any confusion?

There are two things which I find confusing. First is the application of quantum mechanics into experiments of a macro-scale nature. Second is using quantum mechanics as almost an universal way to explain a whole range of paranormal phenomena (such as clairvoyance, precognitions, bilocation). On one hand it seems logical to me that from the microscopic realm of the quanta a macroscopic reality can emerge (in a form of an observer-dependent “slide” out of the whole deck of endless possibilities – so-called superposition of states). On the other hand, however, I wouldn’t be so eager to see quantum mechanics as the source of precognition phenomena, for example. There are several things of a quantum-like nature, You might say – for instance, a unique bond between twins, potentially explained by the quantum entanglement. But remember what seems to be the main factor behind the scenes, determining which reality in fact will emerge out of endless possibilities: consciousness. Quanta, in this regard, are not the primary force behind the scenes of reality – they are just tools, a vehicle to carry a consciousness’s will. But then I get the impression that several of quantum characteristics are taken out of the box and considered as independent phenomena of life of their own (like quantum entanglement mentioned above, considered as the origin of non-local bond between twins). I think that to some degree macroscopic world indeed can be explained down to the microscopic quantum, but it seems to me that one should be especially careful to eagerly attribute yet another thing or phenomenon to quantum mechanics. Being too eager in that, we would lost our soul, so to speak – the conscious factor which should be always considered the original, primary force behind all the consecutive layers of reality. Ask Yourself, what drives the reality: quanta (sole mechanics) or consciousness (soul)? If we take the mechanical approach, a soul seems to be unnecessary to explain the reality – because sole particles could do, however small and however ephemeral, but still, particles.

In other words, I lean toward the approach in which, once we’ve recognized a key role of consciousness regarding all the quantum around it, we should always remember that no action will be taken without it (or to put it yet another way: that without conscious observer nothing can emerge out of superposition of states).

So, still, it seems that material-spiritual dilemma is not over yet.

Cherries on the top.

At this point, as a curiosity I’d like to give “an honorable mention” to the pieces of the book I especially love and am enthralled by. I won’t describe them in details for You to have a pleasant surprise 🙂 .

My #1 here are two anecdotes: one on sand crabs and the other about unicorns… *.* When I’ve read the one about crabs, it was much much fun when I saw the scene described in my mind’s eyes 🙂 . It must have been amazing!!! 😀 Incredible 🙂 .

The latter anecdote reminds me Bruce Moen’s similar experiences, one of which also had played a key role on his path – here is how Bruce had described it:

“Good old, solid engineering logic led to the conclusion that there must have been some subtle, unrecognized influence upon each decision that led me to the book. As an engineer, who considered belief in such influence as a mark of borderline insanity, I was intrigued by the whole experience.” (Bruce Moen, The Afterlife Knowledge Guidebook)

“I couldn’t help wondering, what were the odds I would accidentally grab this wrong book? Furthermore, what were the odds I would open this wrong book ‘at random’ and read the answer to a question I shouted in a dream two weeks before? I decided odds had nothing to do with it.” (Bruce Moen, Voyages into the Unknown)

Alongside the unicorn story told by Cynthia, I consider those cases great examples how the universe can communicate with us.

Furthermore, if You’re interested to read Cynthia’s blog, You can find more fantastic anecdotes of those type, like this one, for example:

“For many years I greeted our dog each morning by saying, ‘How are you?’ and ‘I love you!’ since we first adopted him from the animal shelter. One day, just a couple of years after we adopted him, he began saying these same things back each day to me. We both enjoy these conversations!” (Cynthia Sue Larson)

Another thing I especially like is the concept of releasing wishes – like a bird or butterfly – which I find very poetic and, therefore, inspiring – it successfully encourages me to practice this way and, even more importantly, it makes the whole thing much more comfortable, taking away the whole potential “burden of uncertainty or hope”. In other words, one can feel much better just to release their desires and let the Universe to manage all the puzzles needed to make it happen (not to confuse with resigning from all the actions You could take).

Last but not least, another interesting concept of blessing our appliances:

“It’s best to bless our appliances—they do such a good job for us everyday!” (Cynthia Sue Larson)

It was an especially nice surprise to find this in the book, while my Sweetheart has been practicing this for a long time now, and successfully inspired me to participate in this approach, which I myself also consider a definitely good habit. Moreover, it always gives good feelings to have that attitude – blessing appliances, being grateful and appreciative toward them. I’m happy that Cynthia included this concept.


All of the things mentioned above I find wonderful “cherries on the top”, making the whole reading not only highly valuable and interesting, but also vividly pleasant.

Now, whether the reality shifts concept is completely new to You or not, the book brings an extra-, important value: more authenticity. There are many self-help books out there, which present their message in a spiritual manner, requiring a reader to “translate” their wisdom into everyday life. Reality Shifts is different in this respect, because it definitely sounds closer to the reality around us, maybe thanks to that it redefines the reality itself, therefore canceling the gap. Emerged in a new form, You may look at the reality as never before, therefore You become able to use it – as never before, switching from a passive observer to “the proactive chooser mode”, so to speak. Besides, it’s easier to acknowledge the message of the book, knowing that it is grounded in the modern science, which definitely gains a quantum acceleration 🙂 .

Notepad++: Moving Up the Efficiency Ladder.

Quick survey on what’s coming:

  1. Phase I: basic feature of remembering all the currently opened files.
  2. Phase II: harnessing sessions.
  3. Phase III: switching to workspace(s).

Notepad++ is one of the most intensively used app which I harness in my everyday work. I am used to work with many files, relating to various projects or – more generally – purposes. One of the most important advantages of this app I find its multiple ways toward efficiency. Over the time I discovered a couple of ways which may significantly improve Your workflow – interestingly, I’ve discovered those ways in a hierarchical manner, i.e., one neat idea after yet another one, even better, and yet another one, maybe my sweet spot, finally 🙂 . All those ways are neatly illustrating how well-thought and helpful this app is – which I definitely find worth-sharing, so I’ve decided to give You a short introduction to each of Notepad++’s ways of improving workflow efficiency. Hope You’ll enjoy it 🙂 .

Notepad++ with workspace and Markdown view panels.

Phase I: basic feature of remembering all the currently opened files.

It all began with the very basic feature (maybe even turned on by default, I don’t remember) of the app, which fascinated me from the very beginning: the ability to remember all the files which I’ve currently opened within the app’s window. This is the same idea which is probably present within Your web-browser: every time You open its window, it may restore all the websites which have been previously opened (each site is presented as “a tab”). Similarly, You can find Notepad++ approaching files You work with: it can remember all of those and restore them once You open the app’s window, say, another day. Each of those files will be represented as a single tab, which, btw, may be arranged together either horizontally or vertically (the latter fantastically resembles a real, physical notebook).

This basic feature saves much time, because You don’t need to re-open each and every file by hand. Everything is neatly remembered and restored – surprisingly, even those files which You haven’t saved yet (the app can remember both unsaved changes within already existing files and files which have never been saved yet! – therefore I find this app the best choice for the scatterbrained 🙂 ).

The point is, if You work with more than one single project involving a bunch of files, things may become complicated over the time. First of all, tabs are good thing – but only to the point in which there are not so many of them. When You reach the point at which there are many tabs involved, it becomes harder to quickly navigate through all the opened files to find the one You need at the moment – let alone working simultaneously on more than one project. Moreover, the amount of tabs is not the only obstacle – it may be enough to have one single file with a significantly longer name, which, therefore, will take much more place of the space reserved for displaying tabs. As a result, instead of displaying, say, a couple of files – in such a case it may display only two or three.

There is also another drawback: there is no easy way to organize the files in Your desired order. So often it’s easier just to let it go and “organize by its own”, which may result in multiple-project-related files being mixed up.

And, finally, there is yet another drawback, perhaps the most serious one: in case of the app’s crash (although it may be pretty rare occurrence) it is possible that the app will temporarily lose its memory of the currently opened files, so You need to re-open them all, and maybe in the desired order as You please.

Phase II: harnessing sessions.

Here it comes the first efficiency-oriented Notepad++ feature: sessions (and yet another similarity with some web-browsers out there). In a nutshell, it allows You to save a set of currently opened files (tabs) and quickly re-open the whole set by double-clicking its session file.

Tip: sessions can be opened by double-clicking their files and associating their extension with the Notepad++. To do so:
1. Go to Settings › Preferences… › MISC. and fill the Session file ext. field with the extension You’d ascribe for session files.
2. In Notepad++ create and save a single session file (File › Save Session…).
3. Under Windows find the file and right-click it, then choose Open with… and find Notepad++ on the list (use the Browse… button if You don’t see it there). Confirm by OK.

It sounds much better than the basic tab-remembering – because this time You can create separate, independent sets of files, serving various purposes, and open each of those sets only when it’s needed – therefore no more project-mixing. Moreover, sessions remember not only the incorporated files, but also their order – so yet another thing saving much time.

I’ve been working with sessions for a pretty long while and found that, although they may indeed be of a much help, they also lack some important points in convenience.

First of all, in case of any changes within Your current session’s file structure there is no easy way to quickly save its new state. Therefore, whenever You remove or add a file into a session – You need to save it by choosing File › Save Session… from the menu, and then navigate through all the files on Your computer to find the session file and overwrite it with the update. However understandable this may be, it’s still may disrupt Your focused attention while working.

Another weakness of the sessions concept is that they still allow the clutter, especially regarding sessions made out of many files. You can better this situation to a degree by harnessing Doc Switcher (Settings › Preferences… › General › Document List Panel › Show) – the thing which could help also in the previous case of a basic tab-remembering. It displays a vertical list of all the currently opened files on the side, with the ability to double-click a file to open it (so You don’t need to search for the file throughout the tab bar anymore).

You can change the Doc Switcher position within the Notepad++ window simply by clicking and dragging its title bar (with its name, “Doc Switcher”), say, to dock it on the right or to the top – instead of the left side. Moreover, double-click the title bar will make it a floating window, double-click it again will make it docked again.

But what if You prefer to work with more than one project simultaneously? The way to partly improve this situation is to make each session be automatically loaded into a separate Notepad++ window – which You can achieve by choosing Settings › Preferences… › Multi-Instance › Open session in a new instance of Notepad++.

Phase III: switching to workspace(s).

Fortunately, there is also an alternative way of organizing files within Notepad++, and it is called workspaces. It seems to resolve all the sessions’ lacks.

A workspace is an alternative approach to a session concept. As in a session case, here also You can save whole sets of chosen files to be available at Your further command (here they are called “projects” instead of “sessions”). The difference is that once You’ve opened a session, all its files end up being loaded into the Notepad++ window – while once You’ve opened a workspace, all its files end up being listed within a dedicated side-panel (resembling the Doc Switcher You already know of). Notice that this time it’s not a simple vertical list of files – but it’s arranged in a drop-down tree manner. One tree represents a single project and as You probably guess, You can add more projects to the list. Once You are done, You can save the whole thing as a workspace (right click onWorkspace and choose Save as…). Later on, in case of any changes within the workspace file structure, You do can easily and quickly save the changes by Workspace › Save.

So as a result here You are another benefits of a workspace concept:

  1. You can easily focus on the project You’re currently working on simply by folding all the rest projects, leaving only the current one unfolded.
  2. You can easily find the file You’re looking for, even among multiple projects, because You can see them all at one glimpse – with their files well-organized into separate drop-down trees.

Moreover, as a cherry on the top, You can easily rearrange the files’ order on the sidebar by selecting a particular file, holding theCtrl key and using up or down arrow. And then, simply save the changes by Workspace › Save 🙂 .

You may find workspaces having an edge over the sessions in that they can significantly decrease the clutter of many opened files – because having all of Your project’s files displayed on the side You don’t need to always open them all – You are able to open just those files which You need right now, having all the rest available at hand.

As a curiosity, You can even have multiple workspaces (e.g., View › Project › Project Panel 2, and so on) – each having its own side panel (!) 🙂 .

Make a To-Do List Your Creativity-Hub.

I’ve never been a fan of a to-do list concept, because in my case it simply didn’t work, being disheartening rather than motivating. Everything changed when I discovered Microsoft To Do – I’ve found it so refreshing and surprisingly handy, that pretty soon it became my favorite app. But most importantly it inspired me to change the way I perceive the concept: I don’t think “to-do” anymore. And this is the key which has significantly improved my life.

Interestingly, it still surprises me with another and another brilliant idea of harnessing it into my everyday life (it is surprising how many things You can manage via a simple ‘to-do list’ concept).

Today I rely on the app so much that I could call it “my Creativity-Hub” or “Activity Center”. It definitely has turned out to be much more than a bunch of to-do lists gathered together in a form of a digital notebook – it became “my magical pocket” where I can find everything which I mostly need at the moment, the crossroad where all the key themes of my everyday life nicely meet one another.

I’d like to present You with this idea of harnessing a simple to-do list concept in a way which You also may find surprisingly helpful, making several things much easier, fluent and seamless. Let’s take a little survey throughout all of this fantastic topic 🙂 .

All the crucial things in one place.

When it comes to a to-do list concept, the first thought which may come to mind is its simple, straightforward purpose: list all the tasks You’d like to manage. If You, however, take a closer look to the very core of the idea of well-organized multiple lists, You may realize that, for example, in the digital age an average to-do list app makes the whole thing seamless and convenient – which You might find inviting to find yet another topic deserving its own dedicated list, serving some particular matter and, therefore, getting another thing out of Your mind (without a need to constantly remember it).

Taking advantage of the cloud.

Another thing is that there are apps which may be synced through the cloud, which enables You to easily access them “on the go”, throughout Your day, regardless of where You are, or what device You’re using at the moment. This alone may inspire You to treat Your to-do list also as a note-taking app: why bother with two separate apps, while You can easily jot things down within a dedicated list, taking advantage of its neat organization (everything put in its place, nice as nine pence 🙂 ).

There is also another aspect to the cloud feature, which You may find useful: cooperation. Some to-do list apps allow You to co-create particular lists, which significantly widen the usability of such an app. For example, Your partner may prepare a ‘Honey-Do’ shopping list and add some forgotten items to it even if You’ve already left. Another example: You can use shared lists to delegate tasks to other people (e.g., Your children). Sky’s the limit.

Make it Your Idea-Hub.

If You’d ask me on life-changing habits, one of these I could point out the habit of instantaneous writing down anything worth being remembered. Ordinary things to do are just the beginning – You might find even more crucial a similar approach toward Your ideas. It could be fantastic if:

  1. There would be not a single idea which become lost due to forgetting about it.
  2. There would be no need to constantly ensure that You remember some especially interesting thing.
  3. You could take a look on all Your ideas when You need it – all nicely gathered in one place (and maybe also topic-arranged). Wonderful to pick and choose what You’d like to work on at the moment 🙂 .

As examples of such lists within a to-do list app: I have lists dedicated to articles/blog posts ideas, podcast episodes ideas, and even a list of exciting things I could do once I’ve moved house 🙂 .

Make it Your note-taking app.

When it comes to more note-taking purposes, here You are what useful ways of harnessing a to-do list I’ve discovered so far:

Food ingredients and whole meals preparation time.

When it comes to food ingredients (those which require cooking, frying or just soaking) I never stick with recommended preparation time, Instead, I use trial-and-error to find the sweet spot which suits me most. Once I find such one, I write it down and let it fly out of my mind – because the next time I need this knowledge, I just take a look on my Culinary Timing List and know exactly what is the sweet spot I need in my kitchen today 🙂 .
In case of whole meals preparation timing it serves a more “logistic” purpose: it helps me to properly estimate the time span needed to prepare some particular food, which sometimes plays a crucial role as a key factor to decide what could be the best choice for today (or tonight) to cook.

Groceries.

This is another thing worth remembering while cooking management: what exactly is still present within culinary supplies, and in what quantities. I find it highly helpful to have all such information easily available, i.e., without a need to check the fridge, basement, cupboards, what have you, to ensure or remind myself what is the current state. So I write down each ingredient, alongside with the information of its quantity and – often – its best-before date. It helps much both with the planning what meal to prepare and with the upcoming shopping list as well 🙂 .

Worth-remembering quotes.

I find fantastic to fish out valuable quotes from various sources (books, articles, etc.) and keeping them always close to me, with the habit of giving them my attention on a daily basis. This way they actively provide me with their wisdom – which I find of a great value in everyday life, especially in the long run.

It’s not a rare occurrence when some particularly interesting or nicely-put-in-words thought draws my attention while reading e-book or browsing the Web (e.g., via so-called RSS reader) on a smartphone. Whatever the way, in a similar situation You may find a good idea to have a dedicated place at hand for You to preserve those worth-keeping quotes. To do so under Android it may be enough to simply select the desired text and use its inbuilt “share” feature to save the selected text as a quote within the proper list on Your to-do app.

If You are often take notes on Your smartphone and maybe even similarly often need those notes while working elsewhere – a to-do list app with the cloud sync feature may be of a great help, providing You with a seamless workflow between a smartphone and, say, a PC). Possibilities of harnessing this advantage are limitless. For example, while reading an e-book or listening to an audiobook I can take notes which later help me to write the book’s review. The concept works well regarding any purpose in which note-taking is involved.

Make it Your Dream Diary (and/or other ‘logs’).

Besides all of the ideas listed above, I discovered also a little bit more “hermetic” purposes in which a to-do list app also can make a significant difference, especially given its portable, very-easy-to-reach character. One such an example is a dream diary. The habit consists of taking notes on your dreams as soon as You find Yourself awake and able to recall them. To do so, however, a smartphone with a to-do app is of an invaluable help because it makes the easiest way to write anything down with a minimum effort (I have my smartphone close to me while sleeping, so it’s very easy to grab it with no hassle, therefore I can take the notes immediately on time, given I have enough willpower to do it 😉 ).

A to-do list app seems to be a great choice when it comes to log various things. Besides Your dreams You can track, for example, what new have You learned each and every day (which may give You a pretty neat sense of satisfaction if indeed You usually learn something new so often, but had never tracked this progress before).

Embrace creativity.

The most exciting motivation to write this post is to inspire You to discover some other creative ways of harnessing such a flexible concept of a to-do list app. Before that, however, it’s good to know what exactly You can do with Your particular app of choice – because this knowledge alone may be inspiring. For example, with Microsoft To Do which I prefer, You can:

Create “lists within lists” via so-called steps which each list may consist of.

This way I can, for example, have a list called “Timing”, in which I gather a few sublists, like “Culinary (ingredients)”, “Culinary (meals)”, “Charging” (how long doest it take to fully charge various devices), “Post” (how long I’ve waited for various letters or parcels), etc.

Attach much more text to an item via the “Add note” field.

It definitely makes a difference whenever I need to write down more than a single phrase or a sentence (e.g., in case of a dream diary, a bunch of recipes, etc.).

Quickly sift through by labels.

You can label both lists’ items, steps and notes – just precede Your label with a hash (#) and it should be highlighted. Once You tap on such a label, the app will show You all the things labeled by it. One example of applying it is reading-related tasks: whenever I want to save something to read later, I still use the main “Tasks” list instead of some dedicated one – I just include a #read label within an item’s name (e.g., “#read this article (link here)”). Then, whenever I have the time to read – I simply tap on any #read label and see all the choices I have.

Attach files to an item (unfortunately this option requires an active Internet connection).

I personally haven’t been using this yet, but I suppose it could be helpful – sky’s the limit.

Other ideas.

Although nowadays I’ve already been using the app for multiple purposes described above – I’m pretty sure that there are still new ideas just waiting to be discovered. One of the freshest example in my case is related to… YouTube. There is some stuff out there which You might find worth keeping, especially given that there is no guaranty that any particular video will be available on YouTube forever. In such a case the only reasonable solution is to download videos on Your Own. To do so, You can give a try for YouTube Premium, which has in-built feature of downloading stuff – but it is a paid service. There are multiple ways to achieve that free of charge – one such an example is jDownloader (both for Windows and GNU/Linux) which (i.a.) allows You to download YouTube videos. If You download videos frequently, however, this app may be not so much of a good choice because the process of adding and setting videos to download is far from being convenient. Instead, it’s pretty time-consuming, even if You learn how to automate part of it. As a comparison, there is an Android app called NewPipe which is a great example of what does it mean to design a seamless way. With this app You can download a YouTube video even right after a tap on its address (here a dedicated to-do list comes in) – just confirm the desired quality of a video and it will start downloading right off the bat. I find this enough of a difference to use my phone instead of a PC whenever I find on YouTube something worth-to-grab 🙂 . Oh, and one more thing: NewPipe allows You not only to save a YouTube video as a video file, but also as an audio file (there are great many podcasts on YouTube, regarding which You don’t really need to watch anything – just sole listening).

A to-do list app of my choice.

Having said all of that You could go and research Google Play, F-Droid or other app store to find a to-do app which could suit You – or You can read a little bit further and learn about my own pick, and especially why I’ve chosen it.

The app of my choice here is Microsoft To Do which I’ve already mentioned. It’s free, works under Android, iOS and Windows – on top of which You can access its lists simply through a website. There are several reasons why I’ve stuck to this particular app, here You are the most important:

  1. Convenience – in my opinion the app is very well thought, You can easily manage even many lists, being able to quickly find what You want (there are several ways supporting this – e.g., widgets displaying particular lists directly on Your desktop, or even tags (labels) which can incredibly increase navigation through multiple lists). Furthermore, You can create sublists (via “steps”), add more in-depth notes. You don’t need to open the app when You want to add a new item – just use a desktop widget or a button placed within Your Android pull-down top bar. Those are just a few examples of the app’s many features in a similar, making-life-easier mold.
  2. Aesthetics – the app looks great, includes dark theme; elegant animations (e.g., while swiping an item left or right) make using it a really pleasant experience.
  3. Cloud synchronization – as I’ve mentioned before, everything is synchronized throughout all Your devices, which greatly widen the number of places and situations in which You are able to access the information You’ve gathered within the app. For example, there are cases when I find much easier to manage things within the app, using its web interface.
  4. Lists sharing – You can co-create chosen lists with other people (e.g., family or team members) which adds a whole new dimension to the concept (again, sky’s the limit).

What’s on My Mind: January 2020.

First of all, finally I began to work on the second edition of my e-book on meditation (previously known as Meditation Guide). It was long since the idea of reaching other meditators crossed my mind (those gathered around the Meditation Assistant app in particular), to gain Their Own experience and perspective on the matter. Regardless of that, however, I had been so deeply involved within many other things so that I’ve never got the ball rolling with the book. Fortunately, in the recent times I discovered LibreOffice, which excited me much, due to 1) my passion for exploring new – especially Free/Libre – software, and 2) I almost instantaneously realized that it could be the great opportunity both to finally become able to design a well-done .epub (mobile) form of the book and re-design & revise it, given that some years have passed since the last time I’ve done that.

As a result the latest several days I spent working on the book within LibreOffice Writer (a word processing app, like Microsoft Word or Apple Write – with that difference that it’s free and carries ethics values of the Free Software Thought as such, which please me greatly and make my everyday use of it a pretty pleasant and satisfactory experience).

My book within LibreOffice Writer.

The other day I reached the point at which the book does not need any further touches (at least to my awareness at the moment) and is ready for a new content to come. In the meantime new ideas of extending this new input emerged, so stay tuned 🙂 .

The other thread I am excitingly engaged with currently, are the books on reality shift concept, by Cynthia Sue Larson. Amazingly, Cynthia brought in those quantum-based ideas years before both Rhonda Byrne’s The Secret and What the Bleep Do We Know? Decades of experience, a great volume of Her blog archive, the books I’ve mentioned, the Living the Quantum Dream podcast (conducted by Cynthia), and so, so much more – I am deeply excited both by the opportunity to explore the books and by exploring the whole matter even further by talking with Cynthia Herself. Let me maintain this an upcoming surprise, however 🙂 .

Besides all of that I am happily and with a great curiosity exploring Mary Rodwell, Jannecke from Wisdom From North, a couple interviews with Giorgio A. Tsoukalos, and Whitley Strieber’s show. Mary is especially interesting not only due to the matter She covers, but also to the high, high degree of synchronicity with the knowledge shared by Dolores Cannon earlier on. In this context I find Mary a Dolores’s successor.

I first learned about Mary via Howard Hughes’s The Unexplained podcast, the same one out of which I first learned about Cynthia, too. Meanwhile, one of YouTube interviews with Mary has been conducted by Jannecke, who tangibly drew my attention, therefore I’ve soon discovered Her Wisdom From North channel, with yet another exciting interviews (i.a. with Dolores’s daughter, Julia). So much to explore!

When it comes to Giorgio, since the Ancient Aliens series has been ended (at least so far), I’ve missed Him – so I decided to grab a couple of the longest interviews to refresh on His enthusiastic approach and broad knowledge. Whitley Strieber, on the other hand, I’ve stumbled upon interviews with Him both via Cynthia’s and Howard’s podcasts. What He has said in those interviews inspired me to take a closer look on His website. Although I don’t like the marketing approach present there (even a couple of free episodes are limited!), I am still curious what He and His guests have to say.

There are many more exciting things currently present around me, thanks to which I definitely have a wide choice, without being spoiled for it in the same time 😉 . My English idiom collection to widen vocabulary has reached over 1300 items. My favorite Android app Handy News Reader (‘Your Dream Magazine’ made out of Your favorite, always-up-to-date content) reached an insanely great level of excitement, given how feature-rich and flexible this is of an app. Similar with ideas ‘in store’, like another book of mine, which I’m thinking about, or… sky’s the limit 🙂

My First Reality Shift Experience.

The day before yesterday I began to read Cynthia Sue Larson’s Reality Shifts. It nicely reminds me of What the Bleep Do We Know!?, from which I first learned about the significance of Your Own frame of mind (which may be compared to so-called software drivers which are crucial for a computer to be able to operate on the hardware, to understand it, and even just to recognize its existence). I also learned about other exciting thins like the “double slit” experiment, or “surfing” through multiple reality versions simply by your own mindset, mentality, emotions, paying attention. The theme linking our own thought, feelings and attention with so-called reality around us had been close to me already, and maintained so years later, through Rhonda Byrne’s The Secret and my own initiative inspired by and related to it. Now, however, I came to a pretty nice surprise: I’ve discovered Cynthia Sue Larson 🙂 .

Did it via Howard Hughes’s The Unexplained podcast. I was amazed to realize that She has been focused on the matter long before The Secret, and even before What the Bleep Do We Know!?. Her Reality Shifts has been first published in 1999! I feel excited to discover such a work!

In courtesy of Cynthia I am honored to review the book. One of many interesting things within it are the points which Cynthia brings forth, about the nature of reality shifts:

“(…) they do not occur upon demand (…) but they definitely do occur when they are allowed to happen.”

“Allowing it to happen” touches one’s frame of mind mentioned before: what concepts it consists of. It’s important to know that first it may be (or should I say, it is) required to include such a concept within our own mindset. This may be the only way, or at least, it may be pretty helpful for You to become capable of noticing the reality shift phenomenon.

I remember how striking I’ve found the Haiti story mentioned in the What the Bleep Do We Know!? movie – I think it’s worth to take this into serious consideration, regarding our own frame of mind and the reality shift as a concept to place within it, to ensure that it nicely fits there as yet another completely natural thing.

Once we allow reality shifts to be an integral part of our world-view, the next step may be this:

“We may note that the more attention we pay to the idea that reality shifts, the more we see our reality shift.”

So here we are the key significance of paying attention. Although I am well-accustomed to the idea of traversing realities (some of us called it “the law of attraction”), I feel intrigued by the reality shifts being much more noticeable, tangible, so to speak. An interesting thing is that soon after I became to read Cynthia’s book, I experience perhaps my first reality shift.

It was today in the morning, just after the alarm clock has rung. I turned it off and realized that it hasn’t triggered Google Assistant’s morning review (so-called routine), as it is supposed to do. So I’ve done some checking and was up to set the alarm a minute ahead, for 12:07 (it was 12:06). I wanted to do this but I’ve noticed the clock on my Android desktop switching from 12:06 to 12:07 – so I couldn’t manage this fast enough. Quickly turned back to the alarm clock and set it to 12:08, which could take no longer than a few seconds. Then, the very next thing I’ve seen was my desktop clock switching digits again, from 12:07 to 12:08. Those two actions took place one right after another: such ordinary things like setting up an alarm clock I use to perform pretty quickly, quickly enough to gain the impression that the clock switched twice almost without a pause (both times I’ve instantaneously looked at my desktop and seen the clock’s switching digits). It was amazing and resembled a déjà vu scene from Matrix, the movie.

It did give me a sense of encouragement to begin my own reality shifts experience – I was happy to share this with my Sweetheart. Although it was a little thing, I was pretty impressed by that at the time of its occurrence. Maybe it has been deliberately placed within my day for me not to miss it? My first baby step forward 🙂 .

How to Set Seamless Paragraph Spacing.

When it comes to books or other publications’ detailed design, empty lines as a means of making paragraphs visually-distinguished may cause You a lot of trouble, especially in the long run. The most frustrating example may be causing the content not to begin exactly with the very top of a next page (which looks pretty bad, especially when it comes to chapter titles or sub-headers). Harnessing master and sub-documents concept helps with chapter titles, but there is still much to be fixed.

This was the reason I’ve decided to research the topic a little bit and fortunately I’ve found the solution which seems to be a good one. When I first learned about it, it was pretty surprising and unexpected. What it implies is the total change of the way how You approach paragraphs’ breaks: instead of inserting empty lines, You stick with paragraph spacing defined within a paragraph style. That simple, although may sound pretty much surprising.

Then, having done that, You are ready to disable the one key “magical” option within Writer, which results in omitting all the paragraph spacing when it comes to the beginning of a page. Since this option refers only to in-style-defined spacing, You cannot use it to teach ordinary empty lines a good behavior 😉 .

Let’s take a look on the details:

How to set seamless paragraph spacing:

  1. Remove blank lines.
    In case You’d like to improve an already existing work, You need to carefully remove all the empty lines first.
  2. Refine paragraph style.
    Modify the style You use for paragraphs. If You haven’t been using such a custom style, I highly recommend to define and apply one. Then, on the style panel (F11), right-click on Your style’s name and choose Modify… › Indents & Spacing (tab) › Below paragraph, and set the value for example as “20.00 mm”.
  3. Confirm by clicking “Apply”, and “OK”.
  4. Now the “magic feature” 🙂 : go to the settings (Alt + F12) › LibreOffice Writer › Compatibility and uncheck the option Ad paragraph and table spacing at tops of pages.
  5. Confirm once more by “Apply” and “OK”.

Switched to LibreOffice.

At some point years ago I discovered StarOffice (an alternative to the Microsoft Office). I gave it a short try, don’t remember how long I played with it. I’m almost sure, however, that I remember its particularly impressing feature: a desktop-like start screen. Once You’ve opened the app, it presented You with a large (maybe full-screen) area, which resembled a desktop rather, than a regular window. What I mean by that is the StarOffice’s start screen looked similar to a Windows desktop itself – it had, for example, its own Start Button. It was surprising and I liked it – it brought some freshness into the matter of working with an ordinary office suite.

I don’t remember why I’ve switched back to the Microsoft Office, but now – many years after that – I am at a similar point, at which once more I decide to change my preference. But this time StarOffice does not exist anymore – being replaced by its successor: LibreOffice (and OpenOffice in between).

For me this is a significant part of my adventure with free software (is it called FLOSS today?). Before that I had exciting experiences with GNU/Linux (various distros), which is yet another subject to which I’ve recently returned.

Now, years after, my first impressions on both – GNU/Linux and LibreOffice – are positive. Watching several GNU/Linux reviews I’ve had the impression that average (i.e. non-technical) users are much more taken into consideration nowadays, as the OS target user base. I have the impression that not only more average users choose GNU/Linux, but also that its developers take the approach in which non-technical users’ perspective matters.

Back to LibreOffice, however, I feel good and comfortable using ethical software. It again brings some freshness, and even still has its own dedicated start window – a fantastic concept thanks to which You can see at one glimpse all Your recent documents, texts, spreadsheets, presentations, etc. I find it a much better idea than sole Windows 7 “jump lists” (link?).

This is a couple of reasons why I’ve decided to switch to the LibreOffice:

  • it is free software, therefore ethical,
  • it is developed in a model I find optimal: by community of its enthusiasts, driven often by the very idea – not by the money,
  • since it is free of charge, it’s much more available: You can always have “the newest and greatest” version, which is not so easy in case of proprietary office suits,
  • it allows You to customize its look&feel to a satisfactory (i.e. high) degree;

Customization alone is key in my case, due both to my love for aesthetics, and need to use dark-theme. I couldn’t do much to darken the Microsoft Word 2010: it hadn’t had a genuine dark mode, but a sole metallic-looking skin (which hadn’t even been really dark). Moreover, I couldn’t set its windows’ background to black (or anything dark), let alone to set the paper color – which wasn’t so easy to achieve.

Using LibreOFfice’s Word counterpart, Writer – You could be very surprised. It’s very easy to set Your Own colors not only to the paper (pages), but also all the background surrounding it, and many, many more elements (even such details like hyperlinks, lines signifying page header and footer, etc.). I am enchanted by how easily You can adjust LibreOffice’s many aspects to Your Own liking. For example, speaking of colors, You have all the LibreOffice’s apps colors gathered in one place for You to set – so You don’t need to do it separately per each app. Moreover, You can even create Your Own complete themes, if You’d like to.

LibreOffice - Application Colors

Under Windows 7 those themes are stored within the registrymodifications.xcu file (C:\Users\YourUserName\AppData\Roaming\LibreOffice\4\user).

Similarly You can set the language: no more flicking and thoroughly searching through app’s settings – all the language-related aspects are, again, present in one place.

LibreOffice - Language Settings

And then, in the same mold You will find font-related settings within Writer.

LibreOffice Writer - Basic Fonts

As far as professional software is concerned, the ability to set things up easily and quickly is crucial.

Keeping all of this in mind I’ve realized that this is yet another subject worth to cover on this blog: whenever I find particular knowledge tangibly useful both for myself and probably also for You, I’ll publish a related how-to or a more in-depth article on the matter. Similarly like in case of Git, which has fascinated me and inspired to write several posts, uncovering my “non-technical approach” to it (so to speak).

So in case You are considering to give the LibreOffice a try – or maybe You’ve recently joined its users community – either way there is a chance You’ll find something interesting here, under the LibreOffice tag. 🙂

I’m not gonna write complex and elaborate manuals – instead, I’m going to focus on anything which I find crucial in my everyday work. Usually these are smaller and more particular-task-oriented bits and pieces of knowledge – indeed, I find over the years, that to master something You don’t necessarily need to learn so much stuff. Instead of such a labor it often turns out that You may only need to master a couple of more-or-less simple topics, which will be just fine to achieve Your goals, on a satisfactory level.

This realization alone may be life-changing 🙂 – I still remember how little did it take to gain a certainty that some particular app could meet (at least most of) my needs:

  1. Point out the essence of Your work, i.e. to what key actions it may be boiled down.
  2. Check out if how to perform those actions within a new app.

For example, the only thing I needed to obtain such certainty in case of Macromedia Flash (Macromedia’s at the time) was to find out if I could figure out how to design an animated baner (because it involves the same key characteristics like in case of a genuine Flash-driven, interactive website). In case of Photoshop I needed to check how easily could I learn how to master various ways of applying transparency as well as layer blending.

Page Headers Based on Custom Heading.

If You prefer to use Your Own styles within Writer, it’s always nice to have them connected with all the rest Writer’s ‘magic’, like automatically generated Table of Contents or page headers. The latter are especially interesting because they may reflect to which content section (such as a chapter) a currently displayed/read page belongs. However many pages a chapter consists of, and wherever it starts and ends – all its pages may be automatically “signed” within the page header section. Furthermore, all of that can be based on Your Own custom styles 🙂 .

To set all of this up:

  1. Choose from the Writer’s menu: Tools › Chapter Numbering… › Numbering (tab) › Paragraph style › Heading 1 › Choose Your Custom Header Style Here.

If You’ve performed this first step earlier on (regarding a custom-header-based Table of Contents, for example), You don’t need to do it again.

  1. Confirm by OK.
  2. Click within the top area of a page – till a page header delimiter shows up (a horizontal line with a small rectangle with a ‘+’ and ‘Header (Default Style)’ on the right).
  3. Click the rectangle – the header area should become a little bit larger and the cursor should be already placed within it.
  4. Choose from the Writer’s menu: Insert › Field › More Fields… (or simply use Ctrl + F2).
  5. From the Document tab select Chapter as type and then Chapter name as a format.
  6. Confirm by the Insert button on the bottom, and then click the Close button. Now click wherever within the page area to leave the header section. The current header’s name should be displayed on top of a page.

Table of Contents Based on Custom Headers.

When it comes to work on a more complex document, I like to use my own styles, mostly because it highly elevates the document’s readability – especially if You choose “Applied Styles” within the styles side panel (F11; this way the only things You’ll see on the panel are the styles used with this very document on which You’re working right now – moreover, as those styles are of Your Own making, each and every of them will be named in the best recognizable way for You to instantaneously know ‘what is what’).

Custom-header-based Table of Contents.

If You would like to have an automatically generated Table of Contents, You need to point out what particular kind of headers should be used as its basis. You can incorporate headers of multiple levels, tailored to Your Own needs. In my current work, for example, I use three levels of headers (without counting the title of the whole document) – I suppose, however, that most of the time two levels of header hierarchy should be completely fine for me personally.

An example of Writer’s ToC.

To set up custom headers as a base for Your Table of Contents is pretty easy – here You are how I do it, using Notebookbar (Writer menu, View › User Interface › Tabbed):

  1. Choose from the Writer’s menu: Tools › Chapter Numbering… › Numbering (tab) › Paragraph style › Heading 1 › Choose Your Custom Header Style Here.
  2. Confirm by OK.
  3. Go to References (tab) › Table of Contents.
  4. Once You set everything up, confirm by OK – Your Table of Contents should now be based on the headers You’ve pointed out earlier on.
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