Obiorah Fields - June 2018

Some of the most meaningful changes in history have come about because of the courage of those who were willing to stand up in the face of injustice. These three whistleblowers could not sit by while the public was being lied to. HOW FAR WOULD YOU GO TO STAND UP FOR WHAT’S RIGHT? Corruption ran rampant in the NYPD back in the ‘60s and ‘70s. Frank Serpico found himself in the unfortunate position of being one of the few honest officers on the force at the time. After gathering evidence of his fellow officers’ deep-seated perversion of the law, Serpico went to his superiors with his findings. As red tape began to slow the internal investigation, Serpico started to become anxious that his life was in jeopardy. He leaked the story to The New York Times, and it led to a much-needed overhaul of the department. It didn’t come without a cost, however. Serpico was shot in the face on the job, and his fellow officers refused to help on the scene. He survived and went on to retire in the Swiss mountains shortly after. When you think of scandals, Watergate probably comes to mind. But Watergate would’ve never come to light had W. Mark Felt — aka “Deep Throat” — not pulled back the curtain on the Nixon administration. In his role as the associate director of the FBI at the time, Felt had inside information about illegal activity that permeated the White House. When he leaked that information, it forever changed how the American public viewed the presidency. W. MARK FELT With technology changing the world at such a rapid pace, the law is sometimes your only moral compass. Snowden was a CIA officer who did a lot of contract work for the NSA. After working on multiple jobs that involved surveillance, it was clear to Snowden that American agencies had turned a blind eye to the fundamental human right of privacy. He copied information that detailed how surveillance programs had been manipulated to spy on the American public without their consent. Snowden was exiled to Russia, where he lives currently as an enemy of the state. One of the biggest reasons potential whistleblowers don’t come forward is the fear of repercussions. Reach out to us today and we’ll explain how we go about protecting individuals who have something to say. MOST FAMOUS WHISTLEBLOWERS IN HISTORY FRANK SERPICO EDWARD SNOWDEN

Meditation has often been touted by New Age gurus as a way to find inner peace and stillness. But what if meditating could reduce the effects of aging on your brain? According to research, taking a few minutes out of your day to meditate may improve cognitive function. As meditation’s popularity has spread, so have studies of the practice. The results of 100 studies examining the cognitive effects of meditation all show evidence of improvements in psychological and cognitive functions. Some of the results are intuitive, such as how meditation helps us deal with stress. But other results are incontrovertible, such as scans showing that meditation causes structural changes in the brain. For people facing age-related changes like memory loss, the results of these tests are especially relevant. The studies point to evidence that meditation can strengthen certain areas of the brain — the prefrontal cortex, the hippocampus, and the amygdala — that weaken as we age. THE PREFRONTAL CORTEX Your prefrontal cortex thins with age, which is associated with decreased cognitive function in your later years. However, meditation may reduce this age-related thinning. Dr. Sara Lazar, a neuroscientist specializing in the effects of yoga and meditation on cognitive and behavioral function, reports that long-time meditators don’t show a decline in the thickness of the prefrontal cortex. THE HIPPOCAMPUS Your hippocampus helps you process and form new memories, and it’s very sensitive to stress. In fact, research shows that your hippocampus will shrink in response to stressful situations and chronic stress. The remedy? Meditation. Dr. Lazar’s study showed a positive correlation between meditation and a higher concentration of gray matter in the left hippocampus. THE AMYGDALA Often called the fear center of the brain, the amygdala is triggered by stressful situations. But unlike the hippocampus, which shrinks in response to stress, the amygdala has been shown to become denser. In one study, people who attended mindfulness meditation classes showed a smaller stress response in brain scans compared to those who did not attend the classes. Meditation may help to decrease the density of the amygdala and therefore increase your ability to handle stress. Of course, in addition to these benefits, there’s a good chance that five minutes of meditation each day will simply make you feel better. People who meditate report an increase in overall well-being. Why not give it a try? IMPROVE COGNITIVE FUNCTION IN MINUTES HOW MEDITATION HELPS YOU MAINTAIN BRAIN HEALTH

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