Healthy Mind for Longevity

It is important to develop a sense of purpose and future-oriented goals to help you along your life journey as you continue to age. To meet the challenges of aging, you need a healthy mind for your longevity living.

How to Help Your Mind Help You

If, unfortunately, you have been diagnosed with an autoimmune disease or cancer, you may need help. More specifically, you need to help your mind help you.

First and foremost, healing from any disease or disorder begins with the mind, and not the body.

How can your mind help you? How can you help your mind help you? And how can your mind help your prognosis, healing, and rejuvenation?

First of all, admit that any disease or disorder you may now have does not result from a single causal factor. At this point in time, do not strive to find out what might have caused it. Instead, use your mind to eliminate all potential disease-contributing factors.

Mental awareness

To enhance your mind power, you must develop and sharpen your mental awareness.

What is mental awareness?

Other than manifesting its intentions, the mind also expresses its power as mental awareness, which is acute attention of the mind and the body. Most of us do not really pay much attention to the body—except when we are experiencing physical pain—let alone pay much attention to the mind. But mental awareness is important to longevity living because the mind and the body are interconnected. Mental awareness is essentially body consciousness or mental attention to the physical conditions and the needs of the body in relation to how the mind thinks. Mental awareness holds the key to both physical and mental wellness of an individual.

The brain and the body are interconnected. The body is created to support the mind. Your thoughts affect your body sensations. For example, if you are kissing someone you love, it is more than a physical sensation: your mind becomes elated, and your soul rejoices as well.

Accordingly, sharpen your mind power to enhance your awareness of your body first. If you feel that your body, mind, and soul are not connected, most probably you lack body awareness by your mind in the first place. Indeed, many people are not really paying conscious attention to their bodies at all times. To illustrate, how often we look at something without seeing it at all because our minds are somewhere else. When the mind is not paying its full attention, the body becomes incapacitated; when the body becomes fully conscious, the mental capacity becomes sharpened. It is just that simple.

Body awareness is simply paying full attention to what your body is doing at that present moment. In other words, be conscious of what your body is doing when you are eating, walking, or doing just about anything. Unfortunately, at most times, our minds are distracted by past thoughts and projections of those thoughts into the future; rarely, do we focus our minds on the present moment. If you are more aware of your body, you will learn to breathe better (that is, breathing with your diaphragm with longer exhalation than inhalation), to have a better posture, and to slow down.

Mental awareness brings about a healthy mind, which plays a pivotal role in longevity living. 

Stephen Lau

Copyright© by Stephen Lau

 

 

Money and Longevity

Does money bring longevity? Can money make one live longer?

Before answering those questions, let’s look at what contributes to longevity. To live longer, you need holistic wellness of the body, the mind, and the soul. In other words, you need to feel good about your overall being. If that be the case, then comes the next question:  what makes you feel good about yourself? Is it abundant wealth, good health, or a satisfying love relationship? Be that as it may, they are only the byproducts of happiness; they do not make you happy.

Money cannot make you live longer. The only thing that money could probably do is to enable you to have access to more expensive medical treatments when you fall sick. Other than that, money plays a little role in your living longer.

Many lottery winners attest to their experiences of temporary ecstatic happiness, and nearly all winners confess that winning has ultimately made them miserable and unhappy for various reasons. Maybe once the initial stimulus of sudden wealth and the drastic changes of lifestyle have worn off, they ultimately return to their original baseline level of happiness or unhappiness. Or, maybe, according to some experts, having too much pleasure, what is known as “eustress” can cause, ironically enough, stress, just as lacking in pleasure may be stressful to the many have-nots.

Longevity requires a healthy mind that controls the body that lives in the physical world. Inter-connection between the body and the mind may lead to a healthy soul that oversees the mind and the body. Total alignment of the body, the mind, and the soul holds the key to longevity.

To learn how to realign your body, mind, and soul, click here.

longevity-resources

To live long is a desire of many. Longevity is more than just about genes. It is also about attitudes towards life and living. Empower yourself with knowledge in the art of living well in order to live better, younger, and longer.

Stephen Lau 

Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Letting Go of Attachments

We all have our individual attachments, such as emotional attachments and material attachments, to the physical world we are living in. Attachments are synonymous with control.

Every day we face many life problems. Where do our problems come from? They come from the human mind, which creates our own individual problems. Instead of solving our own problems, which are often insoluble, we sometimes even strive to solve the problems of others around us, deluding ourselves into believing that solving the problems of others will somehow solve those of our own. This is control. We try to control others, instead of letting go of our control.

Control is basic human instinct. Out of fear of the unknown, our ancestors living as early as in the Stone Age strove to control their environment in order to survive, and thus developing the fight-or-flight human instinct. But if we could let go of our control, we would be able to live a life of peace and harmony. Remember, control—just like power, money, possessions—define who we are, or satisfies our ego-self. We want to “control” how people think of us by driving a certain car, or living in a certain neighborhood. All our attachments are the substances with which we form our ego-self.

Letting go of our attachments—such as control, power, careers, money, and relationships, among others–to the physical world we are living in is not easy. Letting has to do with human wisdom. The human mind has great potentials. To empower and fully utilize its potentials, human wisdom is a prerequisite. We need human wisdom to overcome our reluctance to let go.

Therefore, have the human wisdom to understand that nothing is permanent, and that nothing lasts. More importantly, we must let go before we can receive. Finally, God is in control, no matter how reluctant we are to let go of our attachments.

“The only things we can keep are the things we freely give to God. What we try to keep for ourselves is just what we are sure to lose.” C.S. Lewis

Get the wisdom of let go of all material attachments in the physical world.

Stephen Lau

 
Believing in Yourself with No Expectations

Believing in yourself is important in life and living. You have to believe that you can do certain things; after all,  life is about “doing” and feeling of in control” that leads to feeling good about yourself.

According to Dr. Ronald Nathan, coauthor of The Doctors’ Guide to Instant Stress Relief, the essence of control is your “feeling of in control.” That is to say, you confidently believe that there is a purpose in your life, no matter what. With that mindset, you will begin to see things in different perspective: even temporary setbacks will no longer interfere with your long-range visions now that you feel you are in control. To cultivate that “feeling of in control,” you must learn how to act confident in your attitude and body language in whatever you do. Dr. Nathan believes that 80 percent of communication involves body language, while verbal only accounts for only 20 percent.

To enhance your confidence of “feeling in control,” cultivate awareness of self and others. Learn to live in the present to develop that awareness. Unfortunately, many of us don’t live in the present but in the future with “expectations” that often fail us, creating fear of failure, and hence the daily stress to do more that makes life careen out of control.

In addition to awareness, learn to take little bites in your life to facilitate living in the present; that is, don’t bite off more than you can chew. Doing one thing at a time, instead of multi-tasking, not only decreases pressure but also increases adaptability as well as productivity. Don’t create the vicious circle of accomplishing one goal after another.

Set your goals but with no expectations.

Setting goals and having expectations are not the same. According to the ancient wisdom of Tao, (Tao is The Way, which is the profound wisdom of Lao Tzu, an ancient Chinese) expectations often become the stumbling blocks to accomplishing your goals. Why?  The explanation, according to Lao Tzu, is that .the greater the expectations, the more efforts you will exert, and the more stressed you become—ironically enough that may lead to failure in achieving your goals. What Lao Tzu would recommend is “doing what needs to be done” but no more and no less, and with “no expectation”.

There was the story of a drawing competition in which candidates were asked to draw a snake. One candidate finished his drawing well ahead of others. Thinking that he would get extra credit, he added a few beautiful legs to the snake he had drawn. As a result, he became disqualified in the competition. The moral of the story is that enough is enough, and more than enough may not be good.

Believing in yourself—with “no over-doing” and “no expectation”—holds the key to setting your goals and accomplishing some of them despite some drawbacks to build up your self-confidence, which is necessary for
success in doing anything in your life.

Believing in yourself is letting go of all pre-conditioned thinking about yourself, that is, with an empty mind.

Stephen Lau

Copyright© by Stephen Lau

 

Natural Health Exercises

Exercise for the elderly is especially important. Do not stop exercising just because you think you are getting older; instead, exercise more as you grow older.

 Exercise is an ageless activity that should be continued throughout one’s lifespan.

Exercise detoxifies the body, and body detox holds the key to holistic health and wellness. Exercise not only stimulates blood circulation and the movement of lymphatic fluids, but also promotes the reduction of fat reserves, thereby instrumental in facilitating the removal of toxins stored in the body. Low-impact aerobic exercise, such as jumping rope or a bouncer, significantly improves the body’s circulation to benefit detoxification.

Exercise helps weight loss. For those who have accumulated extra pounds over the decades, exercise is especially important for weight loss and weight control. Weight loss does not happen unless you burn more calories than you consume. There is no shortcut when it comes to weight loss. Eating less may not help you lose weight over the long haul. For one thing, a low-calorie diet may not satisfy your hunger for food; ironically enough, it may even put you on binge eating later on, and thus causing weight gain instead of weight loss. For another, changing a diet too drastically may adversely affect the body metabolism, leading to yo-yo weight loss and weight gain. Therefore, the best way to lose weight is through exercise, which burns calories. It is no exception for the elderly.

As you become more advanced in age, you will continue to lose muscle mass. The good news is that exercise may induce building muscle mass. Mass muscle mass not only maintains your body shape, but also helps you lose weight. The more muscles you have, the more calories you will burn, even while you sleep. To keep body shape, you must exercise your body.

The bottom line: Exercise incessantly throughout your lifetime; it is never too late to start exercising. Remember, exercise for the elderly is as important as exercise for the young.

The Oriental exercises for natural health

If you think you have neither the endurance nor the strength to exercise, then go for qi gongtai chi, or yoga; these Oriental exercises focus on gentle natural movements accompanied by optimum breathing to benefit both the body and the mind.

Qi Gong is a set of self-healing exercises designed to balance your qi (internal life energy), bringing you back into harmony with Nature. These exercises incorporate your posturemovementbreathingmeditation and visualization to move oxygen and nutrients from your blood to organs and tissues. Distress and anxiety are dispelled during meditation; positive thinking with great confidence is affirmed; and concentration is emphasized. Through qi gong, you gain control of your body and mind, thereby instrumental in stimulating the circulation of your blood and qi for optimum health.

Yoga is another Oriental exercise that has been practiced for thousands of years, based on ancient theories, observations, and principles about the connection between the mind and the body. The intrinsic benefits of yoga have been proven by modern medicine. Yoga not only provides you with the most practical approach to attaining a high level of physical fitness, but also stabilizes your emotions and elevates your mental attitudes. In other words, Yoga unites your mind, your body, and your spirit. Essentially, it is a holistic approach to your well-being. Through awareness of your body’s posture, alignment, and patterns of movement, Yoga is therapeutic in that it helps your body find true harmony, thereby healing the body and the mind.

Tai Chi is all about movements to circulate your body invisible energy called qi. Smooth circulation of qi energy ensures a healthy body. Stagnant and blocked qi energy causes all sorts of chronic disease. Tai Chi is an ancient exercise that has been practiced for thousands of years as an effective alternative healing for the body and the mind. By strengthening the immune system, Tai Chi can improve your chronic disease slowly but steadily. More importantly, it can relieve your stress and calm your nerves.

Flexibility stretch exercise

Stretch exercise aims at improving your flexibility in order to extend the range of movement of your joints so that you can perform everyday activities with minimum effort and maximum effect. Flexibility is a great asset to your overall health and fitness, especially if you are a senior: 

  • Stretch exercise relieves muscular stress and mental tension, both of which result in toxicity that may cause lethargy. 
  • Flexibility reduces the risk of lower back pain. Flexibility stretching enhances the quality of the protective lubricant for optimum joint movement, the decline of which is the major cause of arthritic conditions. Also, increased lumbar and pelvic movements reduce the risk of lower back pain.
  • Flexibility training encourages postural balance and awareness, which are important to overall well-being.
  • Improved joint strength reduces the degeneration of joint structures in the body, which may lead to adverse arthritic conditions.
  • With improved physical performance, there will be less tissue resistance, which decreases the chance of injury during movements.
  • Flexibility exercises, through stretching, improve neuromuscular coordination, that is, the reduction of time taken for messages to go from the brain to the muscles.
There are two types of flexibility stretching: “static” flexibility stretching involves stretching a muscle for a certain length of time; and “dynamic” flexibility stretching focuses on slow or fast movements into stretched positions. The former is especially ideal for health flexibility for muscles and joints; while the latter, using multiple muscles and joints combined with neuromuscular coordination, is suitable for building coordination and strength.

If you wish to live longer with a better quality of life, you must continue to exercise. When you were young, you might have been very athletic and sportive. However, as you continue to age, you may have become less active physically: instead of participating in sports, you may have become only a spectator. Your sedentary lifestyle only reinforces your lethargy and sluggishness in everyday life. Even if you are busily engaged in running errands for your family, you are exercising only certain muscle groups of your body. You must exercise your entire body.  Go for Oriental exercises or flexibility stretching exercise. or both. Exercise for the elderly is a must!

Stephen Lau

Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Wisdom of Calorie Reduction

Luigi Cornaro, a Venetian nobleman, was one of the most celebrated centenarians, who lived from 1464 to 1566 AD.

In his youth, Luigi had abused his health, resulting in an extremely weak health, accompanied by many physical ailments. At the age of thirty-five, he was given up by his physicians to die. Luigi’s physicians prescribed him a calorie-restriction diet of only twelve ounces a day of solid foods of bread, a vegetable soup with tomato, an egg yolk, and a little meat, divided into two meals, and fourteen ounces pure grape juice, also divided into two servings.

He lived on that minimal diet of calorie restriction from age thirty-five until eighty-five, when his relatives urged him to eat a little more.  Luigi reluctantly agreed to increase his food intake from twelve to fourteen ounces. Immediately, he became seriously ill with high fever. Eventually, Luigi had the longevity wisdom to revert to his former anti-aging living with a diet of calorie restriction. As a result, he lived in a state of unbroken health and happiness until the age of one hundred and two.

When he decided to embark on that course of anti-aging temperate lifestyle with calorie restriction, he did so with great enthusiasm and determination:

“. . . I entered upon my new course so heartily that I never afterward swerved from it, nor ever committed the slightest excess in any direction. . .”

Life had become a real joy for Luigi, and his later years of life were by far the best, enjoying complete freedom from pain, ailments and diseases because he simply ate only as much food as he needed to survive and no more—a calorie-restriction diet.

Maybe you need not eat as little as Luigi did. But it is important to be mindful of what you eat. There is much wisdom in eating: knowing what to eat, knowing that food addiction or binge eating is an emotional and mental problem of not letting go.

The Wisdom of Letting Go

We are living in a toxic world with many attachments in the form of careers, relationships. and material things that become components of our ego or self-identity. These attachments are no more than our security blankets or distractions in life from what we don’t want to face.  If you go shopping simply because you’d feel better by doing so, or you’d like to down a glass or two of wine to make you feel more satisfied, most probably you have attachments difficult to let go of.

The wisdom of letting go shows you how to use the ancient Tao wisdom from China to overcome life challenges with the mind. It may not be too easy, but with the spiritual wisdom of the Bible, nothing is impossible.

Stephen Lau

Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Take Care of Your Nine Openings

The Nine Openings

According to ancient Chinese medicine, the human body has nine openings: the body, like a house, has seven windows, a front door, and a back door. The seven windows are the five sensing openings: two eyes, two ears, two nostrils, and the mouth; the front door is the genital, and the back door is the anus. These openings are the thresholds through which the body interacts with the outside world, and through which energy, information, and matter from the outside world are assimilated by the body.

The back door

The colon is the most important opening to manage in the physical body. Like the body’s sewage system, it is responsible for the absence or presence of all the toxins in the body. It affects the brain and the nervous system (mental health), the heart, the lungs, and the whole body system.

Internal cleansing is the key to a healthy colon. It is detoxification, involving dislodging body toxins and waste products from within and between cells and joints, and transporting these wastes from the body for disease prevention and treatment, for joint and muscle flexibility, weight loss and weight management, softening blood vessels and reducing blood pressure, as well as clean and clear skin.

Fasting is voluntary abstinence from foods and drinks, except water, for an extended period. Fasting is internal cleansing and rejuvenation—one of the most efficient ways to detoxify the body of toxins. Fasting is to recovery, as sleep is to recuperation.

Detoxify and cleanse the colon through fasting and internal cleansing. Never overwork and overuse the colon; in other words, eat less, or eat only when hungry.

The front door

The front door includes the urinary system (the kidneys, the uterus, the bladder, and the urethra), as well as the genital system (penis, vagina, ovaries, and testes). The urinary system maintains the levels of water, pH, hormones, and minerals of the body, while the genital system is responsible for sexual and reproduction activities.

Manage the opening of the front door—both the urinary system and the genital system—with the balance and coordination of all body organs associated with digestion, absorption, and elimination of the digestive system.

All in all, take good care of all the nine openings to slow down your health decline as you continue to age. Your digestive system is the most important body because it affects nearly all the major organs of your body, including your heart, your brain, your kidneys, and your liver.

Stephen Lau

Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Your Mind Is Also Your Body

Your mind is related to your body because your mind is also your body. Understanding this intimate relationship between your mind and your body may help you live better in this material world. What your mind desires directly affects your body; your mind is also your body.

Your body lives in the physical world, and thus it plays a pivotal role in your overall being, including your mind and your soul. Science has already attested to the close connection between the body and the mind: the body affects the mind as much as the mind affects the body.

Human emotions, in particular, affect the physical body. In Woody Allen‘s movie Annie Hall, Diane Keaton would like to know why he wasn’t angry. “I don’t get angry,” he humorously replied, “I grow a tumor instead.” Indeed, toxic emotions can lead to a toxic body. We all have toxic thoughts in our minds, such as anger, anxiety, despair, disappointment, envy, regret, and among others, that may negatively affect mind as well as the body.

Unfortunately, many of us are too busy even to notice our breaths, let alone being aware of our thoughts—of how they affect our minds. Without this awareness, we don’t know who we are, what we want, and what we are doing. We are forever living in the past or in the future, except in the now. As a result, we don’t see the miracle of life around us. We have eyes that don’t see, and ears that don’t listen; we see only what we want to see, and hear only what we desire to hear. Accordingly, most of us live as if nothing is a miracle, and this perception becomes our reality. In addition, our perverted perception is further distorted by the toxic environment we are living in. We have become the farmer in Aesop’s fable who, out of greed, killed the goose that laid the golden eggs, thinking that it wasn’t a miracle, and thus turning a once-miracle into a no-miracle.

A

As If Everything Is A Miracle

This 125-page book is about how to live your life as if everything is a miracle, instead of as if nothing is a miracle. To do just that, you need wisdom to “rethink” your mind, which may not be telling you the whole truth about your thoughts and life experiences; you need wisdom to “renew” your body, which lives in a toxic physical environment; you need spiritual wisdom to “reconnect” your soul, which is the essence of your spirituality. Most importantly, you need wisdom to “realign” your whole being because the body, the mind, and the soul are all interconnected and interdependent on one another for your well-being to live your life as if everything is a miracle. Your mind is the roadmap and your soul is the compass; without them, your body is going nowhere, and you will live your life as if nothing is a miracle.

Stephen Lau

Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Tao Wisdom for Longevity Living

Relaxation is anti-aging and holds the key to longevity living. Advancement of medical science has extended human longevity, but modern living has, ironically enough, shortened lifespan. That is to say, humans could have an even much longer lifespan if it were not for the compulsive living in contemporary world. Yes, many of us are living in a pressure cooker that demands most of our time. We wish we had more than 24 hours, but we don’t. As a result, we become time-stressed.

Many of us are living in the past or in the future, except in the present. Depression is one of the rampant disorders in contemporary society. People with this mental disorder are often held hostage to their unhappy past, or worries of their future. Depressed people do not live in the present. Those who are time-stressed, do not live in the present, because their minds are forever preoccupied with what will happen in the future. If you talk on the phone while driving, you are one of those time-stressed individuals.

If you are stressed by the past or the future, you are not living in the present. Only those who living in the present live a longer and happier life. To do just that, you need Tao wisdom.

Tao wisdom is based on “Tao Te Ching,” which is an ancient classic from China. The book was written thousands of years ago by Lao Tzu, a sage with all white hair (a sign of wisdom). According to the legend, the great philosopher was forced to put down his profound wisdom in writing before he was permitted to leave China for Tibet. Reluctantly, Lao Tzu concisely and succinctly expressed his unique wisdom in eighty-one short chapters with only five thousand words all told. As a testament to the significance and timelessness of his eternal wisdom, “Tao Te Ching” has been translated into many languages; as a matter of fact, this ancient classic has become one of the most translated works of world literature.

What has made Lao Tzu’s “Tao Te Ching” so popular?

First and foremost, the language is extremely simple and easy to read. His ideas are intriguing and thought-provoking, and capable of many different intrepretations. His wisdom is not only timeless but also universally applicable.

Despite the simplicity and conciseness of the language, many people find it difficult to understand Tao wisdom expressed in the short text; especially, it seems to have so many different interpretations of the text. Actually, understanding Taoism is not that difficult; all it requires is an empty mind. In other words, we must first empty our minds of any pre-conceived thinking before we can fully and truly intuit its profound wisdom. Just be prepared to expect the unexpected.

Here is a summary of Tao wisdom in living.

“Tao” means “the way” to wisdom — or “the way” to achieving just about anything in life. As opposed to conventional wisdom, the wisdom of Tao is exclusive and subjective. In other words, “the way” is unique to each individual-something like “one man’s meat is another man’s poison.” That is to say, each individual has to discover or look within the self to find out what “the way” may look like, unlike conventional wisdom that provides a blueprint for many, if not for everybody. For this reason, wisdom cannot be acquired through knowledge, which is merely an accumulation of know-how from experts, let alone be taught or guided. Wisdom has to be intuited, assimilated, and internalized by an individual based on that individual’s unique life experience.

The key to intuiting the wisdom presented by Lao Tzu is abandoning or letting go the ego-self.

Unlike conventional wisdom, which puts much emphasis on “self,” such as “self-esteem” and “self-confidence,” Tao suggests quite the opposite: the “non-attachment to self” because the “self” goes hand in hand with the “ego”-together, they create the “identity” of an individual. Once the “identify” is created, there comes the need to “preserve” or “protect” that “identity” due to the presence of the “ego” Thus, a host of other problems will subsequently follow.

Therefore, the first and the most important requirement is to have “no ego-self”-which is, however, most difficult to attain, because we are taught to be proud of who and what we are.

With “no ego-self,” you then have “no expectation” in life. To illustrate, if you have created an ego-self, such as “I am a doctor” or “I am a mother,” then subconsciously you have to, or you are “expected” to, live up to that image or the ego-self that you have unconsciously created in your mind’s eye.

With “no ego-self,” you will not be too concerned with material things that often qualify or attach to the “identify” you have created for yourself. In other words, you will become “non judgmental”-which is essentially not having to choose what you want and to reject what you do not want, or rather desiring what you think will enhance the ego-self, and avoiding what you think may damage your identity or image of the ego-self.

If you have “no expectation,” you need not exert extra effort to meet your expectations. With less effort, you have more time to yourself, and so you can live in the present moment, which is the essence of Tao wisdom in living. In contemporary wisdom, we are expected to do more in order to get more of what we want; in the wisdom of Lao Tzu, you do “less” for more-it is all about the spontaneity of things; you make nature work things for you, instead of working against the forces of nature, which is “non-doing.”
To conclude, Tao wisdom in living is to have no ego-self so that you can live in the present. With no ego-self, there is no expectation; with no expectation, you become non-judgmental, which is accepting and embracing the desirable as well as the undesirable in life; with non-judgmental, you appreciate non-doing; with non-doing, you can live in the present and in harmony with nature. So, Tao recommends no ego-self to live a no-stress life with no worry, no expectation, no judgment, and non-doing. This is the summary of Tao wisdom in living.

The Complete Tao Te Ching

Stephen Lau

Copyright© by Stephen Lau

My New Book Publication
I have just published my book on Amazon:
Words are neither effective nor ineffective; they just
impart different meanings to the sentences in which they are used. It is the writer’s effective use of words and phrases that makes sentences effective or ineffective.
The English language is made up of nearly a million words and phrases. A writer, especially one whose English is not his or her first language, may face two major problems in writing: not knowing “enough” words; and not knowing how to choose the “right” words. 
Writing is made up of words. Effective writing requires having a good stock of vocabulary, as well as selecting the most suitable words and phrases to express the  intended ideas.

There are many English words and phrases that are frequently confused and misused by ESL learners. This book provides hundreds of those words and phrases with examples to show how they should be used correctly,
such as: advance and advancement; acceptance and acceptation;
accountable to and accountable for; acquirement and acquisition,
etc. 

Stephen Lau
 

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