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Pieces of the Female Puzzle

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Pieces of the Female Puzzle

What are true natural hormones?
Hay House
Sep 03, 2010 at 10:00 AM

There seems to be a lot of confusion around the definition of natural versus bioidentical” versus synthetic hormones. One thing to remember when making this distinction is that bioidentical refers to the shape of the molecule itself rather than the source of the hormone. By this, I mean that hormones can be marketed as natural or plant-based, yet not come near to being bioidentical to native human female hormones or performing as such in the body. Examples of this are the numerous proprietary HRT options being marketed as plant-based and natural, as well as purely yam-based creams.

Our bodies are literally swimming in hormones that act somewhat analogous to keys in a lock, or pieces to a puzzle. Though this analogy presents a less than complete picture, it can be helpful toward a basic understanding of their action. The puzzle to which I refer makes up the big picture of who we are as human beings and how we operate. When we take in hormonal replacement therapy that doesn’t fit the original design that our cells have evolved to recognize, the end result simply may not feel or act quite right. Hence all those side effects, ranging from annoying and uncomfortable to downright dangerous.

Many pharmaceutical companies are capitalizing on women’s quest for natural hormone replacement therapy by marketing proprietary hormone products that are plant-based. Yes, many of these hormonal molecules may have been derived from plant sources, but no, the molecules themselves do not always match those found in human females. Moreover, they are often not effectively converted or used in the body and sometimes have actions that are more deleterious than the symptoms they purport to quell or stave off.

Our hormones are comprised of a solid steroid base (yes—cholesterol!), decorated with arms, legs, and tails pinned on here and there. These attachments are what turn hormones into specialized molecules, allowing them to plug in to receptor molecules throughout the body, turning on and off much of the cellular behavior that makes us tick.

Pretty slick! Bioidentical hormones are those whose biochemical structure exactly duplicates those found naturally in the human body—that is, the ones whose structure has evolved for millenia. Why mess with a good thing?

True Natural Hormones

The molecules naturally produced in the human female body for which we most often seek replacement include the following: a) the three basic types of estrogen: estrone (E1), estradiol (E2), and estriol (E3); b) progesterone; c) testosterone and d) DHEA, an adrenal precursor to testosterone. These truly natural hormones are available by prescription (or, in the case of progesterone and DHEA, over-the-counter in low doses), and can also be readily titrated to a woman’s individual needs. Though many health care practitioners are still not trained in prescribing them, the opportunity is there for them to learn, and health care providers are becoming increasingly aware of their patients’ preferences.

Bear in mind that most of the mainstream studies have been performed on conventional HRT. In addition, pharmaceutical companies cannot take out a patent on what the majority of human women make effortlessly on a daily basis and, therefore, cannot generate large sums of money by packaging and selling them. This may explain why women are commonly offered prescriptions for nonbioidentical forms of HRT, while their efforts to obtain a prescription for bioidentical HRT can be met with varying degrees of skepticism. On the other hand, unique delivery systems for HRT are patentable, and for this reason options for HRT delivered via transdermal skin patches abound, some of which are bioidentical. Examples include many of the estrogen patches, including Vivelle, Estraderm, and Climara.

Most women know that Premarin, Prempro, and Provera are not bioidentical. My colleague Dr. Joel Hargrove says, Premarin is a natural hormone—if your native food is hay! (It’s made from conjugated mare urine.) Provera was developed as a substitute for bioidentical progesterone (the kind found in the human female body) because you cannot patent a naturally-occurring hormone! Prempro is a combination of Premarin and Provera.

If you are in doubt as to whether a particular product offered to you by prescription is natural, check the label—if it lists anything other than the above ingredients, including esterified estrogens, progestins, or progestogens, the product is essentially not bioidentical. You can also go to your library and look the product up in the most up-to-date Physician’s Desk Reference, or try plugging it into your favorite search engine on the Internet—many proprietary products even have their own site.

Many people have written to me to express their confusion about the use of progesterone creams, particularly regarding the efficacy of yam-based or other plant-based creams.

Unlike soy and flax, for example, which contain plant-based estrogens (phytoestrogens) that are adaptogenic and converted into utilizable forms in the body, wild yam (Dioscorea barbasco) cannot be converted into progesterone in the body.

The conversion can occur in a laboratory setting, however, and therefore, wild yam is sometimes used to synthesize the progesterone found in progesterone creams. The cream may technically be yam-based, but its active ingredient is not the wild yam itself but the USP progesterone that has been added. For this reason, while the body may absorb wild yam extract through the skin, which may then confer mild effects on menopausal symptoms, results of research on oral and topical applications of wild yam extract have not detected a significant change in progesterone levels in the blood.

If you want the beneficial effects of bioidentical progesterone, make sure the ingredients on the label include United States Pharmacopoeia (U.S.P.) progesterone. U.S.P. progesterone is available in over-the-counter 2% creams as well as by prescription. Choices for prescription-based bioidentical progesterone include Crinone Vaginal Gel in 4% or 8% concentration, or in an oral micronized form such as Prometrium capsules.

I receive letters almost daily from women who have taken the initiative to offer their health care providers information on the natural approach to HRT, some with great success and others meeting with failure. In any case, it’s your body, and therefore it’s worth a try.

Here are the salient points to know and to share with your practitioner:

  • Our native human hormones can be synthesized in laboratories to exactly duplicate those found in our bodies.
  • Bioidentical HRT has been prescribed by doctors for many years and is readily available through formulary pharmacies.
  • Bioidentical HRT is easily titrated to suit women’s individual needs, is readily absorbed and utilized, and is safe and effective.
  • Bioidentical hormones are the ones we want to use as replacement therapy, if and when we decide they are necessary.

Many physicians and formulary pharmacists work in partnership with their patients to provide individualized hormone-replacement solutions. You can customize your hormone therapy by doing this. The result will be a unique blend perfect for your body. However, keep in mind, that many great bioidentical choices are available at your local drugs store, are available by prescription, and are even covered by many insurance plans. As you learn more, you’ll realize that you can just as easily use bioidentical hormones as synthetic. Why not give your body the best!

This information is not intended to treat, diagnose, cure, or prevent any disease. All material in this article is provided for educational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you have regarding a medical condition, and before undertaking any diet, exercise, or other health program.

|6|perimenopause,menopause,formulary pharmacy,progesterone,estrogen,hormone therapy,hormone replacement,bioidentical hormones,christiane northrup|_none|1|dr_christiane_northrup Food! Glorious Food!|Healing the root of disease.|2010-09-04 17:00:00|public://imports/1562.jpg|0|public://imports/1562.jpg|

Today, modern medical doctors are gradually finding their way back to what Hippocrates proclaimed 2,500 years ago: “Let thy foods be thy medicine and thy medicine thy food.” They increasingly offer what they think are sound nutritional ideas in magazine articles or postings on Websites. But what are these mainstream practitioners recommending?

Eat beets, they say, because beets are a good source of folate and betaine, two nutrients that help lower blood levels of homocysteine, a compound that can damage arteries and increase your risk of heart disease. Or drink pomegranate juice because taken over a year it can reduce blood pressure. Or eat tomatoes because they contain lycopene, which fights cancer.

Yet these recommendations and many others are general comments. Beets and pomegranate juice—and carrot juice, another popular health drink—also have high levels of glucose (sugar), which, if you have hypoglycemia or low blood sugar, would only further stress your pancreas and adrenal glands and heighten your fatigue.

And those poor people who are trying to get the protective benefits of lycopene from tomatoes, tomato sauce, or ketchup would have to eat a couple hundred tomatoes per week! Even if they have the time and wherewithal to eat so many tomatoes, that amount would be far too acidic for most people, especially for those with gastric conditions or Type B blood.

The heart of my belief and practice, as I’ve said—although it can never be said too often—is that every individual is a unique creation composed of two different sets of genetic traits that come together only once in this universe, and never again. I believe there are no human stereotypes, no carbon copies, no perfect replications—similarities, yes, relatedness, definitely; but even members of the same family have vast differences among them. And subsequently, no two people can eat the same two foods.

Early in my career, my studies in blood pathology led me to explore the possibility of a link between an individual’s blood quality and the body’s characteristics, including the person’s dietary needs. Further, my observation about blood types and sub–blood groups and the importance of eating wisely, with the knowledge of which foods give strength to the individual body (and not according to the iron rule of your taste buds) has healed the infirm; but perhaps just as significant, it has also prevented chronic illness in many.

The same way in which a medical doctor writes prescriptions for drugs to fight symptoms, I write menus, recommending (as needed) particular fruits, vegetables, animal proteins, and grains specific to an individual’s blood type, sub–blood type, and the current physical condition of his or her body. The same way in which most people take a drug to relieve them of a symptom, my patients use food to strengthen and balance their bodies and help protect them from losing their natural vitality; and in the case of a disease, heal the root cause of the problem. So yes, I might recommend beets, pomegranate, or carrot juice; or okra, brown rice, or any number of foods, but it’s according to the patient’s individual needs.

|6|james dadamo,healthy eating,medicine,homeopathy,dieting,cancer,natural remedies,beets,carrot juice|_none|1|james_l_dadamo Gotta See Muhammad Ali|Some things are too important to miss.|2010-09-05 17:00:00|public://imports/1629.jpg|0|public://imports/1629.jpg|

My father brought me to Harvard for my first year of college. When we flew to Boston, it was my first plane trip. When we drove to Cambridge, it was my first look at the oldest university in the country. I had seen it only in books. The college dated back to 1636, and some of the buildings looked it. The place was imposing.

My father said, “Far as Harvard goes, the competition will be rough, but you’ll do fine. God gave you a good mind. We don’t care if you make all A’s. Three C’s and a D will keep you here. Know this, son—you’re loved and respected by the people who know you best, the people who raised you. Just remember that I’m more concerned with the kind of person you are than the kind of grades you get.”

After a few days at the Holiday Inn on Massachusetts Avenue, Dad said that it was time for him to go. We hugged, and he was gone.

Alone. For the first time. Me on one coast, my family on the other. More excited than scared, I hit the books like a madman.

Then Harvard said, “We know you’re a terrific cross-country runner. We want you to go out for the team.”

I said, “I didn’t come here to run. I came here to read. Came here to learn. I’m through with running.”

Scholarship said, “We’re paying part of your college costs, but you have to work.”

I said, “I’m used to working. Work don’t scare me none.”

Work meant cleaning the toilets two hours a day freshman year—we called it dorm crew—and delivering mail at Mather House in later years. No problem. I loved campus. Loved the library. Had never seen anything like it. The stacks went up to the ceiling and I was ready to climb on up to the very top.

On campus, there were some marvelous students—such as Sylvester Monroe and Karl Strom—who gave me a sense of family and home. In my dorm room, I hung two pictures on the wall: Malcolm X and Albert Einstein.

“How come those two?” asked my roommate James Brown—not the singer but the extraordinary brother who would become an outstanding national sportscaster. Beautiful brother.

“Well,” I said, “Einstein’s probably the baddest scientist of the past hundred years and Malcolm inspires me.”

“Aren’t you more of a Martin man?” asked James.

“I am, but one doesn’t cancel out the other. I’m loving them both, just the way both of them loved us.”

“Talking about a lovin’ brother,” said James, “Muhammad Ali is talking on campus tomorrow.”

“What?” I didn’t know.

“You been too busy cleaning those toilets.”

“What time is he talking?”

“Noon,” said James.

“That’s toilet-cleaning time.”

“Well, I know Valerie’s going,” said James, referring to a girl I was crazy about. “Once the Champ gets a look at Valerie, you will be out of the picture.”

“That’s another reason for me to go,” I said. “I got to protect Valerie.”
James laughed and left.

I couldn’t sleep that night. I had to see the Champ. I viewed Ali as the athletic equivalent of Dr. King. He had big love for his people. He had big courage. He thought beyond narrow nationalism and conventional views of patriotism. Mainly, he represented his own view of integrity. He did what he had to do. He spoke the unvarnished truth. When he said that no North Vietnamese had ever called him a nigger, that made sense. When he said he had nothing against the North Vietnamese people, that made even more sense. He had reached the pinnacle of celebrity in the paradigm of American sports, and then turned that paradigm on its head. He converted to Islam out of conviction. Even devout Christians like my dad loved Ali for his guts and honesty, not to mention his skill. I had to see this brother in person. Like Richard Pryor, and Dizzy Gillespie, he was a free black man of the highest order.

That meant lying. So I lied. I told my supervisor that I’d do my noontime toilet-cleaning. Except that I didn’t. I took the bucket and mop and hid it in my room while I went down to see Ali. The man was magnificent. His mind was razor-sharp and you best believe his razzle-dazzle poetry brought down the house.

Back at the dorm, my supervisor spotted me.

“Been looking around,” he said, “and it seems like you didn’t do what you said you would.”

I hemmed and hawed.

“Ali?” he asked.

“Ali,” I answered.

“I understand.”

Under my breath, I said, “Thank you, Jesus.”

|23|dizzy gillespie,richard pryor,malcolm x,albert einstein,harvard,muhammad ali,cornel west|_none|1|cornel_west Back to the Brink|Revisting a special place for answers.|2010-09-01 17:00:00|public://imports/1572.jpg|0|public://imports/1572.jpg|

“Have a good trip,” the woman from behind the counter said.

“Thanks . . . I’ll try.”

As I opened the car door, I remembered the conversation I’d had with Neale days earlier when I began the journey back to the cliff. He was the only friend I felt comfortable talking to about the obsession since he had been with me from the very beginning, and his wisdom had already served me well in many ways. Since I was beginning the journey from my new home in Portland, I had to stop in Ashland and call to make sure he was home.

“There’s obviously a reason for the vision,” he said as we sat in his kitchen. “Something like that doesn’t keep showing up unless there’s something we need to learn, or there’s something connected to it.”

“But what could I possibly have to learn from that?” I asked him. “We almost died, which would have made a tragic situation infinitely worse. Maybe I feel guilty for deciding to take that highway in the first place. I should have known better and should have decided to stay on the interstate. To think that I put us at so much risk . . .”

“That’s possible, but I have the feeling that there’s something more. What does that spot represent to you?”

“I guess it represents how easily things can happen, and how quickly we can go from just driving down the road to something that changes us forever.”

“Which is what happened to Linda,” he continued. “She had no idea something like that was going to happen to her, even ten minutes before it did. She was probably in her apartment cleaning up or getting her clothes ready for work the next day. Life can be that uncertain, and you experienced that when you almost went over the cliff.”

“That’s all true,” I said, “but I also have the feeling that there’s something more. It’s like the place is calling me, as if I need to go back for something.”

“Why would you need to go back there?”

“I have no idea, but I feel like Richard Dreyfus’s character in Close Encounters. He became obsessed with the mountain because he was being called to go there. Maybe I’m being called back to the same mountain pass where we almost died. What if something’s supposed to happen there?”

“What could possibly need to happen?”

“I don’t know, Neale, but I can’t get it out of my mind.”

“Then follow it and see where it leads,” he said. “I think you should do whatever you think is going to give you some kind of closure. This may sound harsher than it’s intended to sound, but three and a half years have passed since Linda was killed. Don’t you think she would want you to move on?”

“I just have this feeling that I won’t be able to do that until I go back. Something’s waiting for me, either at the cliff or . . . I don’t even know . . . I just know I need to see it again, then maybe it will all be over.”

The time passed quickly as I drove, and I was almost surprised when I began entering into the most treacherous area, not far from the spot I had every confidence of finding. The steep-sided, sharp-crested ridges spotted with juniper trees are among of the most rugged in the area. Deep V-shaped valleys shot off from the cliffs far below, and I began to see just how easy it would be to plummet to the bottom. Most stretches of the road have no guardrails, meaning that a single mishap would be disastrous. It was one thing to sense this in the midst of a dark, blinding snowstorm, but seeing it in the light of day was something much more terrifying. Elevations ranged anywhere from 4,000 feet to the high point of Parrot Peak at 8,400. It was stunning and dangerous, and I sensed that I was moving straight into the heart of a dark mystery.

|5|linda twyman,oregon,neale donald walsh,mountains,intuition,mystery,vision,james twyman|_none|1|james_f_twyman Do You Snack, Graze or Super-Size?|Track your eating style.|2010-09-06 17:00:00|public://imports/1575.jpg|0|public://imports/1575.jpg|

If you laid out on a picnic table everything you ate in a given day, you might find the display surprising. Did you really consume that half bag of potato chips, that mound of lasagna, that whole pile of cookies?

Eating, like breathing, is an act that most of us aren’t conscious of as we rush through our days. We grow hungry—or frustrated or lonely—and we find something that fills us up or makes us feel temporarily better. It’s often a blur of grabbing a bite, grazing off our child’s plate in between deadlines, gobbling a meal on the run. Yet the amount, quality, and quantity of our food intake often elude us.

This week, we’d like you to begin focusing on what you’re eating—simply becoming aware of what would be arranged on that picnic table at the end of each day. We’re not going to ask you to alter what you’re consuming, or to worry about it—just begin to be conscious of it.

Spark members are often surprised by how much they’ve been eating once they track their food. And they’re often confused by portion size. It’s easy to fudge the truth when you’re not paying attention. That Cobb salad drenched with oily dressing and fried chicken is mentally filed as a “vegetable” and transformed into a healthy lunch. In memory, four pieces of pizza metamorphose magically into one. Grazing directly from the refrigerator or off the stovetop doesn’t even count.

Once members begin tracking their food, they’re often shocked to learn that they’re eating the equivalent of 4,000 calories a day, or that some of their favorite foods are actually calorie culprits. Others experience a sort of “perception gap” where they honestly believe they are drinking enough water or eating enough protein, only to learn after tracking that they really aren’t. Once you start logging your food intake, you’ll see how awareness is in itself a huge step that will change the way you look at what you put into your body each day.

It’s easy to guesstimate what you’re eating until you actually see it written down in black and white. Then you come face to face with the facts—that what you may have perceived as a single serving of mashed potatoes was actually a triple-serving mound, or that the burger you thought was modest was actually a super-sized protein portion, enough for several days. And that all those bites out of the refrigerator, stolen snacks, and midnight nibbling you barely noticed could add up to enough calories for several meals.

Ask yourself the following questions to help discover how, why, and when you eat:

  • How many calories are you eating? Is it generally the same each day? If not, why?
  • Are your meals well balanced, with adequate fruits and vegetables?
  • Do you load most of your calories in one meal?
  • Are you aware of portion sizes? In this era of exploding super-sized meals, it’s easy to underestimate that large milkshake or that 16-ounce steak.
  • Do you have a tendency to eat convenience foods and snacks?
  • Do you drink water with your meals, or high-calorie sodas and fruit drinks?
  • Do you count condiments? How often do you bathe healthy choices with fatty additions—a salad with blue-cheese dressing, a turkey sandwich with high-fat mayonnaise, air-popped popcorn with melted butter?
  • Do you eat breakfast?
  • Are you a solitary eater, apt to binge when you’re alone?
  • Are you a social eater, liable to lose control when you’re at a party or out with friends?
  • Do you favor buffets or all-you-can-eat restaurants where the food just keeps on coming?
  • Are you a drive-thru fast-food cruiser?
  • Do you tend to overeat when you’re drinking alcohol?
  • Do you tend to eat heavy dinners but skimp on breakfast and lunch?
  • Do you graze all day without even realizing it?
  • Does the routine of a workday keep you in line, while the freedom of the weekend weakens your willpower?
  • Is food a comfort when you’re sad or lonely?
  • Do you tend to eat when you’re angry or disappointed?
  • Does being overworked or under stress make you eat more?

Don’t beat yourself up about your results. Keeping track of typical days of food choices simply provides you with a better handle on what you need to work on—problem times, situations, or circumstances that make it difficult to eat healthfully.

|6|chris sparkguy downie,sparkpeople,diet,nutrition,food choices,emotional eating|_none|1|chris_sparkguy_downie Don’t Worry, Be Happy|Using humor lovingly and wisely.|2010-09-06 17:00:00|public://imports/1579.jpg|0|public://imports/1579.jpg|

I love to laugh! Who doesn’t? The subconscious mind, however, has no sense of humor. If you make a joke about yourself or put yourself down and just think—Oh, it doesn’t mean anything, I’m only kidding myself—the subconscious mind accepts it as true and creates this thought accordingly. So we have to learn to use our humor lovingly and wisely. 

There’s so much humor in life that it’s not necessary to denigrate another person or group with put-downs. Even in humor we’re working to help make the world a more loving and safer place to live.

Because words have power, I pay attention to them and carefully select them. I know my thoughts and my words shape my life, like a potter shapes clay into a bowl, a vase, a dinner plate, or a teapot. I am the words I think and speak. So why not create space inside myself for loving, optimistic, and cheerful patterns to constantly germinate, take root, and grow?  Laughter is good.

Look at all the wonderful people out there spreading the joy. I admire people like Loretta LaRoche who sees something humorous in everyday experiences. She just released the tradepaper version of her wonderful book Lighten Up! —which is filled with her signature wisdom and wit. Check it out!

The latest affirmation that I say to people is: “Don’t Worry, Be Happy!” Singer/songwriter Bobby McFerrin had the right idea when he wrote that song many years ago. No matter what life gives you, you can turn it around.

You are the light of the world. Follow your inner star to sparkle and shine in your own unique way. You have a beautiful soul, and an outer body and a personality. But your soul is the center. Your soul is the part of you that’s eternal. Your soul can’t be hurt or destroyed. It can only be enriched by whatever your life experiences are. I believe that laughing, singing, and dancing are natural, normal spontaneous expressions. So, don’t worry, be happy, and dance your way through life.

Here are a few more affirmations to help you lighten up:

  • I am a joyful breeze entering a room.
  • Whenever I pass a mirror, I smile with joy at the beautiful being I see.
  • Harmony and joy surround me today. My day is full of miracles.
  • Today I groove in the “vastness of it all.”
|23|louise hay,loretta laroche,sense of humor,laughter,subconcious mind,bobby mcferrin,dont worry be happy|_none|1|louise_l_hay Hooray for the Workforce!|Respect all who serve you.|2010-09-07 17:00:00|public://imports/1576.jpg|0|public://imports/1576.jpg|

We’re all in this game of life (and labor) together. And on a soul level, we’re all made of the same essence: Divine spirit. No matter what role people play on the outside, everyone is the same on the inside—as such, everyone is deserving of the same respect, appreciation, and consideration we ourselves desire to be afforded.

Some people tend to define themselves and others by the roles they play, rather than connecting to people in a genuine way. Six-sensory, intuitive people, on the other hand, bypass appearances and always interact with people in a genuine, respectful, authentic way, or “soul to soul” as I say.

Connecting to people on this deeper level is a powerful tool in business and in life. There’s probably little we crave more from others than wanting to be accurately seen and appreciated for who we are and treated in a respectful, caring way.

This desire to be recognized beyond appearances, financial means, and social status is so powerful that we go out of our way for those who afford us such recognition and hold long-standing grudges against those who don’t.

A Gallup poll that asked two million people what they valued most in a job found the top answer to be “feeling cared about and respected by” their boss and co-workers.

Hence, the number one key to success is recognizing and dealing with people in a genuine soul-to-soul way, treating them with the courtesy and respect they deserve.

The forces of business may be dictated, above all, by what people value at any given moment, but feeling valued never goes out of style, and those who appreciate us never fall out of favor. Furthermore, most of us are pretty savvy when it comes to picking up on the true intentions of energy being broadcast toward us. We can tell the difference between someone showing genuine interest in us and someone using superficial schmooze to get something from us. Genuine appreciation draws us forward, gains our trust, and opens our hearts and eventually our wallets.

Here Are 6 Ways to Respect Others:

  1. Greet those you meet with a warm, friendly smile.
  2. Look people directly in the eye when you speak to them.
  3. Be patient and interested when dealing with others, not rushed and irritated.
  4. Remember people’s names and use them.
  5. Say thank you and mean it when you’re helped, or when someone gives you their business.
  6. Listen to others without interrupting.

As obvious as this seems, I believe that many people don’t fully appreciate the profound importance of treating people, no matter who they are or how they appear, with the consideration and respect they deserve. Energetically speaking, no matter what you see on the surface, every human being is a Divine soul entitled to courtesy and appreciation.

The sooner you realize it, the better your business will run. Anyone who refuses to shift into this awareness is remaining in the Dark Ages.
Take a good look at your attitude toward others: Are you respectful and considerate; or are you impatient, condescending, and rude? Do you treat all people with the same courtesy, or do you operate on a sliding scale in the manners department?

Being disrespectful is business suicide; being insincere is no better. People are perceptive and will feel your true intention, even if they don’t articulate it. And if your intention isn’t benevolent, they’ll put up their defenses and withhold their creativity. All of this costs you money and opportunity.

If you’re an employer, you set the tone for your entire business, so have enough confidence and courtesy to be respectful of your employees at all times. Don’t let your insecurities drive you to knock down those who support you. If you want them to do a good job, treat them as important . . . which, of course, they are.

If you’re an employee, treat your peers and customers with respect. Disrespecting them is like shooting yourself in the foot. Be kind and genuinely interested in your colleagues this week, taking the time to verbally appreciate them.

As you celebrate all those in the workforce today, write down at least three things you appreciate about your co-workers, employees, and clients that you haven’t expressed. Remember, we’re all in this together.

|23|sonia choquette,workforce,respect,employees,productivity,business,boss|_none|1|sonia_choquette Be Happy, Healthy, and Free!|Let your body show you how to heal.|2010-09-08 17:00:00|public://imports/1577.jpg|0|public://imports/1577.jpg|

We live in an amazing universe made up of vibrating energy that is forever changing and expanding. Nothing remains the same; the only constant is change. Anything within the universe that tries to resist this change will create stress and friction. On a human level we know that when stress and friction exist between two individuals, there is likely to be conflict and dis-ease. Likewise, when stress and friction exist between us and the universal energies, internal conflict and dis-ease are inevitable.

We were designed to stand on the leading edge of reality, to dare to dream new and wonderful dreams and to hold within us the power to make those dreams reality. Our thoughts and dreams are vibrations that we continually send out into the universe and these vibrations will either resonate or be out of phase with the unfolding energies of the universe. Because the universe is forever expanding, any thought or dream that is expansive will naturally resonate in harmony with all that is. Similarly, any thought that is contractive will be out of phase and cause friction and stress. Simply put, if you want to be happy, healthy and free, all you need to do is think and dream only about things that make you feel good.

Our emotions are the language we use to communicate with the universe and the universe always mirrors back to us whatever we express. If we think predominantly negative and fearful thoughts, the reality that is mirrored back to us is one of stress and fear. If we think predominantly positive, happy thoughts, our reality becomes one of peace, joy and beauty. What you experience in the world is always a reflection of how you feel. So if you are suffering in any way from dis-ease, whether it is a general dissatisfaction with life or a life-threatening illness, the guide on your path back to balance is your emotions. If you seek thoughts, feelings and experiences that consistently make you feel better, you will find a quality of life beyond your dreams.

The key lies in consistency. There are many things in life that give the illusion of making us feel better, such as a bar of chocolate or a drug, but if you really want to feel better you must look within. If you can understand how layers of toxicity have, over time, taken you further away from who you really are, you will have understood the fundamental root of all dis-ease. The human body never ceases to thrill me with its wonderful integrity and design. It is a vehicle that was perfectly designed to transport us in this physical reality on a magical adventure of pure expansion. It was built to self-repair and to always be able to return, given the right circumstances, to a place of balance and harmony.

The body has many windows into its innermost workings for those able to see through them. The eyes are often referred to as ‘the windows to the soul’, but to an iridologist they are also a window into the innermost workings of every part of the body. A traditional Chinese acupuncturist will use windows provided through the pulse, tongue and face to see where there is an interruption in the free flow of energy around the body. All traditional medicine men and women throughout the world know about these windows and indeed so does every human being on this planet, even if they are not aware of it. If you go into partnership with your body and begin to work with it rather than against it, you will be rewarded with access to these windows. Your body wants to show you how to bring it back into balance and harmony and your intuition and feelings are the key. You do not need to become an expert in medicine, ancient or modern, to become whole. You only need to become an expert in who you really are.

Every one of us knows on some level that we were born to be happy, but that happiness can only be realized when we dance in harmony with creation. Peace is the experience of balance and harmony and comes to us only when we all vibrate together. We know that when we are in a peaceful, loving state, it is absolutely amazing. There is a harmony of vibration, the resonances completely matching. This is the energy created between mother and baby after the moment of birth. The mother looks lovingly at her own creation and sees pure love mirrored back to her. One of the most thrilling experiences we can have is to be witness to the birth of new life, for it reminds us of the wonder and beauty of who we really are. We were each born to be the deliberate creators of our own reality and to make that reality one of fun, laughter, joy and beauty. We are expansive beings and co-creators of an expanding universe. How we feel is our simple but powerful guide to what we are calling into our reality. When we are vibrating in harmony with the universe, we feel at one and this allows for expansion. When we are pushing against the universe, life becomes difficult and challenging. The time has come to stop struggling and striving for happiness and to just allow ourselves to flow easily into it.

|6|barbara wren,cells,happiness,vibration,energy,harmony,emotions,stress,balance,affirmations|_none|1|barbara_wren Hidden Traditions|Uncover the great meaning of life.|2010-09-09 17:00:00|public://imports/1578.jpg|0|public://imports/1578.jpg|

Two of the oldest Indian meditations are centered on the sounds “ahhh” and “ohhhm.” The “ahhh” meditation is done in the morning, and is meant to bring about the things you want to manifest in the physical world. The “ohhhm” is said in the evening, to balance the energies within you and between you and the universe. When you put these two sounds together, interestingly, you have the same sound pattern found in the Hebrew word shalom (shahhhlohhhm”), which means “peace,” “hello,” “good-bye,” and so much more. This is a perfect example of the mysteries that lie behind even the simplest things such as words and letters.

The Hebrew word kabala comes from the root kabel, meaning “to receive.” Kabala is a body of mystical writings based on a book called the Zohar (also known as “The Book of Enlightenment”), which is an interpretation of the books known together as the Oral Torah.

The written Torah, also called the Five Books of Moses, the Old Testament, or simply Torah, is the original text of the Jewish faith. The Oral Torah interprets the Torah and applies it to daily life, while the Zohar focuses on why a person should choose to live his or her life in this way. And the “why,” it turns out, is incredibly simple: because living your life as a fully awakened and spiritual being is the most powerful thing you can ever achieve. It is also the most difficult thing to do, because it entails letting go of our outer constructs and focusing on the internal aspects of yourself.

Kabala strives to bring us to a pre-biblical consciousness, a realm of timeless values that existed prior to organized religion. This state of being is one of simple Godliness: It is the moment before you say a prayer, when you close your eyes and just feel the power of forces beyond comprehension, rather than the words of the prayer or the way in which they’re said.

To function on a mystical, kabalistic level, you have to be willing to let things in and to accept forces beyond and above your control. To receive, in this case, is also to let go: to let go of your preconceived notion, your ego and your fear. By allowing ourselves to receive and embrace the knowledge and the awareness of kabalistic thinking, we will soon be able to tap into the energy that connects all things and brings great meaning to our lives.

For generations, Kabala was held back from the general public. There were dozens of reasons why people were discouraged from studying the Zohar: for example, it was said that these works were so powerful that they should only be read by married men over the age of 40 because they’d gained the necessary knowledge and maturity. In other words, the mystical powers contained in the Zohar were thought to be too overwhelming to be used by the general populace. Scholars who understood the power of these texts feared what might happen should they fall into the hands of evildoers.

More likely, these restrictions and warnings were simply meant to cover up the fact that Zohar was an incredibly complex text written in ancient Aramaic, which few people could decode well enough to teach. By the time it was translated—and communications had reached a stage advanced enough that scholars were able to interpret the text into comprehensible explanations, making the book accessible to the public—many generations had elapsed. Today we have access to the texts, as well as to dozens of books that help us understand them and apply them to our lives.

Within the Zohar, there’s a prediction that in the Age of Aquarius, everyone will know the secrets of the Kabala because they’ll be essential principles of life. Scientific knowledge and advancement was necessary in order to bring about the Age of Aquarius, where all people recognize the laws of nature. That time is now. Our amazing access to information, through resources like the Internet and our generally global world, make this the time when accessing this long-hidden information is possible.

It took the catastrophic events of the last century—including the Holocaust, terrible wars, September 11th, and the recent Gulf Wars—for people to want to explore the deeper ends of their spiritual traditions, to find solace for the confusing and cruel world. Now that we’re here, we have an opportunity to learn about the principles of the Kabala and to access a world that’s been hidden for us for so long.

|5|deepak chopra,kabala,hebrew,shalom,torah,moses,old testament,zohar,bible|_none|1|deepak_chopra_md Is There Dancing in Heaven?|My encounter with eternity.|2010-09-09 17:00:00|public://imports/1580.jpg|0|public://imports/1580.jpg|

She ran forward to prevent me from collapsing on the floor.

“Are you okay?” she asked as she reached out and took hold of my arm. “You turned white and should probably sit down. Come over here with me.”

She led me to an area where four or five hay bales rested against the wall, then guided me by the arm till I was sitting down. I placed my head between my legs to let the blood return to my brain and to shelter myself from the strange hallucination. My eyes were closed so I couldn’t see my surroundings, but the fact remained that a woman who looked and sounded exactly like Linda was sitting next to me. And yet, it wasn’t the woman I knew in middle age who had died when she was forty-three. The woman who sat next to me was in her early twenties, the same age Linda was when we met. Her hair was long and straight and she wore an outfit that I remembered well, a Laura Ashley dress that resembled a hipper version of something from Little House on the Prairie. I finally gained the courage to sit upright, then opened my eyes to look at her again. Her smile was bright, and her eyes possessed a brilliance that seemed otherworldly.

“My name is Linda,” she said as she reached out her hand. I didn’t know if I should offer mine in return or not, but finally did when I realized she wasn’t going to pull away. “I saw you walking toward me, then you had this terrible pain in your face and I thought you were going to pass out.”

“You said your name is Linda?” I asked without looking at her.

“Yes, that’s what I said.”

“Linda what? What’s your last name?”

It was as if the question puzzled her. She looked toward the far wall of the barn as if she was thinking, then turned back to me and said: “I honestly don’t know. It feels like I do, or that I should, but for the life of me I don’t know what it is. I guess it isn’t important.”

“Do you know who I am?” I asked, finally getting up enough courage to look directly into her eyes. “You have to recognize me . . . do you know my name?”

She looked into my eyes and at my face. “Well, you do look very familiar, but I can’t say I know who you are. Am I supposed to?”
It was as if something broke inside me and I wasn’t able to hold myself together any longer. There was no question that this was the young woman I’d met in 1984, married, and raised a daughter with. She was also the woman who had been brutally murdered three and a half years earlier. That was the thing that disturbed me the most, the fact
that the woman I had been grieving for was now sitting in front of me as if nothing had ever changed.

“Yes, you are supposed to,” I said as I stood up from the hay bale. “It’s me . . . your husband, or ex-husband, or whatever. Why don’t you recognize me? And where the hell are we where this kind of thing feels so natural and normal?”

“I can guarantee we’re not in hell,” she said with a smile. “I wish I could help you more, but I honestly don’t remember. All I know is that I came to this wonderful dance and you’re here with me. You’re a little confused, but you seem like a nice person so I want to help you. Can you tell me what I should do now?”

Her words were so innocent, like a child wanting to please a loved one or a lover opening her heart to a person she tenderly cares for. I decided to relax as best I could, and sat back down, then took a deep breath.
“I don’t know what’s happening here,” I said, “but this is the most incredible and bizarre thing I’ve ever experienced, or even heard of.”

|5|james twyman,linda twyman,afterlife,heaven,eternity,death,eternal life|_none|1|james_f_twyman Let There Be Natural Light|Why choose solar panels over the sun?|2010-09-10 17:00:00|public://imports/1595.jpg|0|public://imports/1595.jpg|

I recently gave a presentation on going green to the city manager and some officials of a neighboring community, and when I walked into the meeting room, it was challenging to hold back a smile. The space was quite large, with tall ceilings and row after row of fluorescent lights that were all illuminated. The delicious irony was that the room had two floor-to-ceiling walls of glass with beautiful views to the outside and large wooden-plantation shutters that were tightly closed, sealing off any daylight. Only tiny slivers of sun streamed through the gaps and spaces around each louver.

This was a group of caring citizens who really wanted to go green, but they were unaware that simple choices (like letting natural sunlight in during the day) would go much further in lowering their environmental impact than what they really wanted, which was bragging rights for installing solar panels on city hall. Needless to say, I didn’t tell them what they wanted to hear, the shutters stayed closed, and they’ll probably get solar panels.

Each day the sun provides enough nonpolluting light to illuminate the entire planet without any help from electricity or fossil fuels. By simply allowing the natural light to come in, we can dramatically improve our carbon footprint, our electric bills, and the quality of light in a room. And there are many ways to diffuse and bounce the light so that glare isn’t an issue.

We’ll still need electric lighting when the sun goes down, and that’s when the most efficient lighting will pay off. Changing from standard incandescent lights to energy-efficient bulbs is the simplest, most effective way to start getting in shape, electrically speaking. More than 50 percent of the electricity used in the U.S. is for lighting. Replacing one 75-watt incandescent bulb with a 15-watt CFL (compact fluorescent light) will save 60 watts of power while providing the same amount of light.

Traditional incandescent bulbs turn about 90 percent of the electricity they use into heat and only 5 to 10 percent into light. (Just try to grab and change a bulb that’s been on for a while.) Fluorescents, compact fluorescents, and newer LEDs (light-emitting diodes), however, create very little heat, which means your lighting won’t be adding unwanted heat inside your home or office. The interior of your building will stay cooler in the summer, and you’ll be saving additional energy and money by not needing to run an air conditioner or swamp cooler as often. So conserve energy, save money, pollute less, and reduce your use of mechanical cooling in the summer—a quadruple win! It doesn’t get much better than that.

The governments of Canada and Australia recently announced plans to phase out the sale of incandescent bulbs by 2012, and other “ban the bulb” efforts are taking place around the world. According to a recent report by the Washington, D.C.–based Earth Policy Institute: “A worldwide shift to CFLs would permit the closing of more than 270 coal-fired power plants. Switching to CFLs in the US alone could save the energy output of 80 power plants.”1


|23|save energy,electricity,pollution,energy-saving light bulbs,solar energy,solar panels,fluorescent lighting,going green,green living,green,chris prelitz|_none|1|chris_prelitz God’s Greatest Acts|Looking beyond the pain.|2010-09-18 17:00:00||0||

If you read the fine print on contracts, no one is liable for “acts of God.” Acts of God are defined as disasters beyond human control, like storms, floods, lightning, and protracted visits from uninvited relatives. I find it fascinating that in such contracts, God takes the rap for everything that goes wrong and receives no credit for the things that go right.

God is responsible for far more cool stuff than disasters. Consider this morning’s stunning sunrise; the stately trees outside your window and the birds that sing in their branches; your beloved’s embrace; your child’s finger painting on your refrigerator door; and your dog greeting you with such joy upon your arrival home that you are tempted to go out and come home again. Acts of God are pretty much everywhere, if you just look.

God is not the source of our troubles, but the source of our happiness. People have created far more pain, loss, suffering, and disaster than God ever has. We undermine ourselves with psychic self-flagellation and hurt each other with unkindness. Not because we mean to. We just forgot that God wants us to be happy.

Sure, some stuff goes wrong. Disasters happen, some dreams go up in smoke, and everyone experiences some pain. But a lot more stuff goes right. In fact, most things go right most of the time. Maybe it is time to listen less to the news and more to our hearts. In spite of the scary prognostications that abound, immense well-being is present if we are open to recognizing and receiving it. Even if we have denied it, at any moment we can change our minds. Perhaps mercy and forgiveness are, after all, God’s greatest acts.

Life is an act of God. Wherever anyone lives or loves, God is acting. That act deserves not to be relegated to fine print, but splashed across the masthead of our lives in bold headlines.

Do you blame God for your troubles?

How would you be seeing God differently if you viewed the Divine as only love?

I find immense good wherever I look. My God is a God of love.

|23|love,mercy,forgiveness,pain,disaster,acts of god,alan cohen,healing|_none|1|alan_cohen Live a Miraculous Life|God will replace the darkness with light.|2010-09-12 17:00:00|public://imports/1599.jpg|0|public://imports/1599.jpg|

Every morning when you wake up, your mind is more open to receive new impressions than at any other time. If you go directly to the news as the world defines it—to a newspaper, to radio or television that reports on the anguish and the despair of the world—and particularly if you add caffeine, don’t be mystified if you are depressed by noon. Turn to meditation or inspirational reading or whatever spiritual source material puts your mind and heart on track—on track with God’s will and on track with the deepest love, for the two are the same.

The level of thought is the level of cause. The level of your life experience manifested in the world is the level of effect. Therefore in order to change your life, you must change the nature of your thinking. Often the problem, however, is that this can be much easier said than done. And that is why spirituality supersedes traditional psychology. Sometimes it is difficult to change our thoughts. Sometimes our mental habits were formed very, very early in childhood and they represent the teaching and training of a fear-based world. And that is why we go to God. He renews your life by renewing your mind. But He cannot take from you what you will not release to Him. Take time to release to God all energies within you, all thoughts and feelings, all character defects, all wounds within you, which you know limit your life, block your growth, and keep from you the radiance and joy, which is your natural inheritance as a child of God.

As it is said in A Course in Miracles, it is not enough to bring the light to the darkness; we must bring the darkness to the light. If you go to the doctor with a broken hand, it’s not good enough to show the doctor your knee. Rather, we give to God, we place on the altar all that is wounded, all that is dark, all that is neurotic, and all that is painful in order that the spirit of God might lift up all that is low to that which is high, make all that is weak now strong, make all that is poor now rich and all that is bound by fear released into the arms of love. God Himself would replace all darkness with light. Make yourself available for the experience—and miracles will follow.

Here is a Morning Meditation for you to try:

We see in the middle of our mind a little ball of golden light. We watch this light as it begins to grow larger and larger. Until now, it covers the entire inner vision of our mind. You see for yourself in this light a beautiful temple. You see a garden that surrounds the temple and a body of water that flows through the garden. You see that the inside of the temple is lit by this same beautiful golden light. And here you are, for you have been born to this day in the spirit and grace of God. We surrender who we are. We surrender this day. May only God’s will prevail. You open your heart to all living things.

Thank you, God, for this day. Thank you for this new chance, this new opportunity for life. We call to mind everything that will happen on this day. Call to mind all the people in your life. For the relationships that are good and peaceful and abundant. Give thanks in your heart and commit within to participate even more fully, even more compassionately, to be even a greater space of love for these people with whom you share the fruits and goodness of your life. We place all these relationships in the hands of God.

Now gently call to mind the people with whom you are not in good relationship, the people or situations that annoy you, the burdens, the questions, the problems that you carry. Do not push them away. Do not allow yourself to become distracted. Rather call to mind all the burdens on your heart and gently, tenderly deliver them into the hands of God. In the mind of God lies a perfect day. You surrender now who you were yesterday. And ask that the spirit of God enter into you and lift you up to the better angel of your being.

May the spirit of God come upon you and smooth out all your rough edges. May the spirit of God come upon you and remove every burden you carry.

A path lies before you of perfect grace. It exists. Take the hand now of your Divine guide, be it an angel, be it Jesus, be it the presence of an amorphous light, allow your guiding light to walk across the bridge from your old self lost in fear and limitation and ego and pain, released now to the possibility of unlimited grace and radiance through the power and presence of God.

Dear God,

Give meaning to my life, health to my body and graciousness to my heart on this day and every day, may Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven, for me and for all humankind. Amen.

|1|marianne williamson,spirituality,meditation,a course in miracles,divine love,god,surrender,positive thinking,relationships,daily meditations|_none|1|marianne_williamson Where Is Your Corner of Happiness? |Understanding the Law of Attraction.|2010-09-13 17:00:00|public://imports/1597.jpg|0|public://imports/1597.jpg|

Most people believe, or want to believe, that everything in the Universe responds to their words in the same way that other people around them can sometimes be trained to behave. When you tell someone, “Yes, come to me,” you expect them to come. When you say, “No, go away from me,” you expect them to go. But you live in an attraction-based Universe (an inclusion-based Universe), which simply means there is no such thing as no.

When you give your attention to something wanted and you say, “Yes, come to me,” you include it in your vibration, and the Law of Attraction begins the process of bringing it. But when you look at something unwanted and you say “No, I do not want you—go away!” the Universe brings that, also.

Your attention to it, and therefore your vibrational alignment with it, is what is causing the response—not your words.

And so, as you say, “Perfect health, I seek you… I want you—I bask in the idea of perfect health,” you are attracting health. But as you say, “Sickness, I do not want you,” you are attracting sickness. As you say, “No, no, no,” it is coming closer, closer, closer, because the more you struggle against something that you do not want, the more engulfed in it you become.

People often believe that once they find their perfect mate, or achieve their perfect body weight, or accumulate enough money, then, once and for all, they will also find the happiness that they seek… but nowhere is there a little corner of something where only positive aspects exist. The perfect balance of the Universe says that positive and negative (wanted and unwanted) exists in all particles of the Universe. When you, as the creator, the chooser, the definer, the decider, look for the positive aspect, that becomes what you live—in all aspects of your life. You do not have to wait around for that perfect thing to show itself to you so that you can then have a positive response to it. Instead, you positively train your thoughts and vibrations, and then you become the attractor of it, or the creator of it.

We would encourage you to begin each day with the statement:

Today—no matter where I go, no matter what I am doing, and no matter who I am doing it with—it is my dominant intent to look for what I am wanting to see.

Remember, when you awaken in the morning, you are reborn. While you have slumbered, all attraction has stopped. That sequestering away for a few hours of sleep—where your Consciousness is no longer attracting—gives you a refreshing new beginning. And so, unless you wake up in the morning and begin regurgitating what troubled you the day before, it will not trouble you in your new day, in your new birth, in your new beginning.

|23|happiness,vibration,law of attraction,universe,abraham,esther and jerry hicks|_none|1|esther_and_jerry_hicks 5 Key Reasons Why You Feel Tired |Learn The Natural Rhythms of Your Body|2014-01-25 17:00:00|public://imports/3687.jpg|0|public://imports/3687.jpg|

To remain balanced, open and healthy, we each need to be able to dance with the rhythms of nature. The energies of nature ebb and flow during the day, month, season and year. When we dance with these energies our bodies cleanse and re-nourish on a daily basis. We can also take advantage of times of high energy to cleanse at a deeper level.

So let us remind ourselves how a healthy and hydrated body cleanses. When we talk about detoxifying, what we are talking about is the first cycle, the day/night cycle. When you understand what is happening in your body, you can make changes so that you won't feel so tired during the day.

Here are 5 Reasons Why You Feel Tired 

1. Acidic Cells - During the daytime, when sodium and calcium enter the cell and push out potassium and magnesium, you have a change in the conditions within the cell. As the day progresses, the cell becomes more acidic, more toxic. The build-up of sodium and calcium and the diminution of potassium and magnesium are what lead to tiredness and the need to sleep. It is said that every hour we sleep before midnight is worth two hours of sleep after midnight, and in terms of our ability to effectively cleanse, this is correct.

2. Lack of Sleep - At the end of the day, when we have a build-up of toxicity in our cells, it is important to get enough sleep to cleanse. During that time, the sodium and calcium, under the attractive influence of the moon, move back out of the cell, and the potassium and magnesium move back in. As the sodium and calcium leave the cell, they bring with them toxicity. Once out of the cells, the toxins enter the lymphatic system. They move through it until they reach the blood. With each heartbeat, the lymph will drop into the blood. So the toxins move from the cell into the lymph and then into the blood. The blood flows around the body to the liver, which is the great filter. The liver extracts the toxicity from the blood, discharges it into the bile, and the bile flows via the common bile duct into the gall bladder. From here it travels into the duodenum, goes through the small intestines into the colon and finally out of the body.

3. Taking Short Breaths - Toxins are also expelled through the skin and lungs. Every time we exhale, we not only release carbon dioxide but also toxins. However, the movement from cell to lymph, lymph to blood, blood to liver, liver to bile and out is our primary route of detoxification. This route of elimination must be free flowing for us to remain healthy, and we need to detoxify on a daily basis. We can help this process by taking long, rejuvenating breaths in and out.

4. Poor Functioning Electrolytes  - If the night-time cleanse is complete and all of the sodium, calcium and toxicity leave the cell, the charge around the cell membrane will be correct by the end of the night. When this happens, the person wakes up feeling refreshed, energized and ready for the day ahead. It is very common, however, for people to wake up tired in the morning even after a long night’s sleep. This is because the cellular exchange of electrolytes is not fully functioning; therefore, the person is not fully cleansing.

5. The Phase of the Moon-  In the day/night cycle we see that the moon has a strong influence on sodium, but it also has further subtle influences on us. If you think of the zodiac as a means of marking the passage of time, the position of the moon in the zodiac changes roughly every two to three days. Each zodiac sign influences a different part of our body.

During the waxing phase of the moon it is much easier for the cell to draw things into itself. During the waning phase of the moon it is much easier for the cell to release. This means that nurturing takes place more on the waxing moon and detoxifying more on the waning moon.

We can all feel the ebb and flow of the energies of the day/night cycle. Morning feels different from afternoon and afternoon feels different from evening. Our bodies dance with this ebb and flow, with the natural energies of the environment focusing on different parts of our bodies for a two-hour period each day. In my book, Cellular Awakening, I explain how you can feel better, have more energy,  and truly realize your potential by matching your microcosm cells with the macrocosm  universal energies.


|6|day-night cycle,moon,detoxifying,cleansing,cell membrane,cell,barbara wren|_none|1|barbara_wren Running on Circuits of Peace|Let a quiet mind heal you.|2010-09-14 17:00:00||0||

My personal interest in yoga and meditation began in the late 1960s. A grad student at Harvard Medical School, I was scared silly by the competition and began studying late into sleep-deprived nights. Migraine headaches, stomach pain, an immune disorder, chronic bronchitis, borderline high blood pressure, and anxiety qualified me as a bona fide wreck. In fact, some of my friends took to calling me “Psychosomatic Sally.” Fortunately, one day in physiology lab, my partner “Jerry” taught me how to run my right-brain circuits of peace.

Looking up from a lobster claw that he was dissecting, Jerry commented that I had a very powerful mind. I was just beginning to bask in the praise when he added that my magnificent mind was also the hidden source of all my stress-related ills. Well, that’s an intriguing idea, I thought, as I put down my scalpel to listen.

He said something like: “You create such vivid mental images that you mistake the movies of your mind for reality. Since your body can’t tell the difference between what’s actually happening and what you’re imagining, it responds to your frightening fantasies as if they were real. You need to learn how to calm your mind and come back down to earth.”

Jerry, as fortune would have it, had studied karate since he was a kid. All of the martial arts, he explained, are like meditation exercises that quiet your thinking mind and let your instinctual body wisdom take over. Then you can move organically and gracefully, picking up the slightest cues from your opponent on a nonverbal level.

Jerry was also a student of yoga, which he assured me, trained the same kind of mental skills as karate. So I signed up for a yoga course. It was difficult at first, both because the postures (asanas) were new and because I thought success was becoming the perfect pretzel. It took several months to realize that the elderly woman next to me who could barely touch her knees, let alone her toes, was a great yogi. She knew that success is a matter of awareness, of paying exquisite attention to the feelings in your body and the movement of your breath—relaxing gently and mindfully into each pose. You can be a great yogi even if you’re in a wheelchair.

I gradually learned how to relax and feel the underlying aliveness of the body. Once you feel that energy, you can understand what Dr. Bolte Taylor was describing about her stroke experience. When you access that field of energy that’s within everything, no wonder you become aware of your opponents’ energy in martial arts and “know” how they’re going to move. In daily life, you become cognizant of people’s moods—whether your boss is lying or telling the truth, whether a neighborhood is safe or dangerous, and other such right-brain skills known as intuition.

One day at the end of a yoga class, after I’d begun to feel some of these subtle shifts in attention and energy, I experienced an enlightening moment while I was in savasana (the corpse pose). I was filled with a deep, inexplicably wonderful sense of peace and thought, Wow—this must be what people mean when they say relaxation. This realization was an epiphany.

Relaxation tends to be a throwaway word used for kicking back. Take a bubble bath, get a massage, or go out to dinner and a movie. While kicking back does help to relax the muscles and mind, deep relaxation is a right-brain state of expanded awareness—a mindful immersion in the pleasures of the moment. Past and future become irrelevant since you’re as firmly and flexibly anchored in the present as a sailboat rocking gently on its mooring. There’s nothing to resist and nothing to desire. You’re completely content and at home in yourself.

|23|joan borysenko,yoga,martial arts,peace,right brain,meditation|_none|1|joan_z_borysenko_phd Tears from Heaven|Will you recognize your deceased loved ones?|2010-09-15 17:00:00|public://imports/1600.jpg|0|public://imports/1600.jpg|

In his song “Tears in Heaven,” Eric Clapton wonders whether his young son, who had tragically died in an accident, would know his name if they met in heaven.

His is a universal and ageless question. How will we recognize our loved ones? Will we know them, and will they know us, if and when we meet again, whether in heaven or on earth, once more in physical bodies?

Many of my patients just seem to know. When experiencing their past lives, they look into a soul companion’s eyes, and they know. Whether in heaven or on earth, they sense a vibration or energy, and it is the same as their loved one’s. They glimpse the deeper personality, and there is an inner knowing—a knowing from the heart. A connection is made.

Because it is the heart’s eyes that often see first, words alone cannot convey the confidence of soul recognition. There is no wavering or confusion. Even though the body may be very different from the current one, the soul is the same. The soul is recognized, and the recognition is complete and beyond any doubt.

Sometimes soul recognition may originate in the mind and may occur even before the heart sees. This type of recognition happens most often with babies or young children. They exhibit some physical mannerism or unique behavior, they utter a word or phrase and a beloved parent or grandparent is instantly recognized. They may have an identical scar or birthmark as your loved one or perhaps just hold your hand or look at you in that same special way. You know.

In heaven, there are no birthmarks. Would Eric Clapton’s son help him there, the song asks. Would he hold Eric’s hand? Would he help him stand?

In heaven, where physical bodies are not needed, soul recognition may occur through an inner knowing, a sense of a loved one’s special energy, light or vibration. You feel them, in your heart. There is a deep and intuitive wisdom there, and you recognize them completely and immediately. They may even help you by assuming the body they had during their last incarnation with you. You see them as they appeared to you on earth, often younger and healthier.

Clapton concludes that he will find peace beyond heaven’s door.

Whether beyond the door to heaven, the door to remembering past lifetimes together, or the door leading to future lifetimes with your loved ones, you will never be alone. They will know your name. They will hold your hand. They will bring peace and healing to your heart.

Over and over, my patients, while deeply hypnotized, tell me that death is not an accident. When babies and young children die, we are given the opportunity to learn important lessons. They are teachers to us, teaching us about values, priorities, and most of all, about love.

Often the most important lessons arise from the most difficult times.

|5|past lives,heaven,reincarnation,death,soulmates,eric clapton,brian weiss|_none|1|brian_l_weiss_md You Are the Message|Are you delivering love and truth?|2010-09-16 17:00:00|public://imports/1601.jpg|0|public://imports/1601.jpg|

When you see a rose, open and beautiful, its very presence makes you feel wonderful. You don’t need to tell yourself how wonderful that rose is; you can see all the beauty and romance of that rose. You smell the rose, and the rose never says a word. You understand the message, but not with words. If you go to a forest, you see birds talking to birds, and trees talking to trees with another kind of symbology. You see the inner communication of everything around you, and it’s amazing. There are messengers everywhere in this world, but have you ever thought about it?

Have you ever noticed that since you arrived in this world, you are always delivering a message? Even before you were born, when your mother became aware that she was pregnant, your message was there. Your parents could hardly wait for your arrival, for the moment of your birth. They knew that a miracle was happening, and as soon as you were born, you delivered the message right away with no words. They felt your presence. It was the birth of an angel, and the message was you.

You were the message, and you still are the message, but you’ve been distorted by the reflection of the other messengers. It’s not the messengers’ fault, it’s not your fault, and in fact it’s nobody’s fault. The distortion is perfect because only perfection exists, but then you grow up, you become aware, and you can choose to deliver a different message. You can become a better reflection of life by changing the language you speak. You can change the way you deliver a message, the way you communicate with yourself and with other people.

Now a simple question for you. I want you to understand the question, but don’t allow that voice in your head to answer the question. Just allow these words to go directly into your heart, where you can feel the meaning and intent behind the words. This is the question: What kind of messenger are you?

If you tell me what kind of dream you’re creating for yourself, I will tell you what kind of messenger you are. How do you treat yourself? Are you kind to yourself? Do you even like yourself? Do you respect yourself? Do you respect other people? How do you feel about yourself? Are you proud of yourself? Are you happy with yourself? Is there any drama or injustice in your dream? Does your dream have a judge and a victim? Is it a dream of predators, a dream of violence? If so, your dream is distorting your message. The judge, the victim, and all those voices in your head are distorting everything.

Right now, you’re delivering a message to yourself and to everyone around you. You’re always delivering a message, and you’re always receiving a message from one mind to another mind. What is the message that you are delivering in this world? Is the message impeccable? Just observe the messages that you deliver. Are the words that you’re speaking coming from the truth, or are they coming from the voice of knowledge, the tyrant, the big judge? Who’s delivering the message? Is it the real you?

What really matters is to be what you really are—to be authentic, to enjoy life, to be love. And not the symbol of love that humans have distorted, but real love—the feeling you can’t put into words, the love that is the result of being what you really are.

Always remember, you are the force that’s creating everything in existence. You are the force that opens a flower and moves the clouds, and the earth, and the stars, and the galaxies. Whatever your message, love yourself anyway, because of what you are, because you respect what you are.

Once you have awareness, you cannot claim innocence anymore. You know exactly what you’re doing, and whatever you’re doing is still perfect, but now it’s your decision; it’s your choice. Now the question becomes: What kind of message do you choose to deliver? Is it truth or is it lies? Is it love or is it fear? My choice is to deliver a message of truth and love. What is yours?

|23|life purpose,spirituality,self-esteem,don jose ruiz,don miguel ruiz|_none|1|don_jose_ruiz Why Improvise?|Be your best self now!|2010-09-16 17:00:00|public://imports/1594.jpg|0|public://imports/1594.jpg|

Meditation is a practice that makes it possible to cultivate and develop certain basic positive human qualities in the same way as other forms of training make it possible to play a musical instrument or acquire any other skill.

Among several Asian words that translate as “meditation” in English are bhavana from Sanskrit, which means “to cultivate,” and its Tibetan equivalent, gom, meaning “to become familiar with.” Meditation helps us to familiarize ourselves with a clear and accurate way of seeing things and to cultivate wholesome qualities that remain dormant within us unless we make an effort to draw them out.

So let us begin by asking ourselves, “What do I really want out of life? Am I content to just keep improvising from day to day? Am I going to ignore the vague sense of discontent that I always feel deep down when, at the same time, I am longing for well-being and fulfillment?”

We have become accustomed to thinking that our shortcomings are inevitable and that we have to put up with the setbacks they have brought us throughout our lives. We take the dysfunctional aspects of ourselves for granted, not realizing that it is possible to break out of the vicious cycle of exhausting behavior patterns.

From a Buddhist point of view, every being has the potential for enlightenment just as surely, say the traditional texts, as every sesame seed contains oil. Despite this, to use another traditional comparison, we wander about in confusion like a beggar who is simultaneously both rich and poor because he does not know that he has a treasure buried under the floor of his hut. The goal of the Buddhist path is to come into possession of this overlooked wealth of ours, which can imbue our lives with the most profound meaning.

Developing our own positive inner qualities is the best way to help others. At the beginning, our personal experience is our only reference point. Our personal, self-centered experience, which tells us that we don't want to suffer, can become the basis for a much larger point of view that includes all beings. We are all dependent on each other and we all aspire to happiness. It would be absurd (if not impossible) to feel happy while countless other beings all around us are miserable. Seeking happiness for oneself alone is doomed to failure, since self-centeredness is a major source of our discontent. Even if we display all the outward signs of happiness, we cannot be truly happy if we fail to take an interest in the happiness of others. Altruistic love and compassion are the foundations of genuine happiness.

Altruistic love—also called loving-kindness— is the wish that others be happy and that they find the true causes of happiness. Compassion is defined as the desire to put an end to the suffering of others and the causes of that suffering. These are not merely noble sentiments; they are feelings that are fundamentally in tune with reality. All beings want to avoid suffering just as much as we do. Moreover, since we are all interdependent, our own happiness and unhappiness are intimately bound up with the happiness and unhappiness of others. Cultivating love and compassion is a win-win situation. Personal experience shows that they are the most positive of all mental states and create a deep sense of fulfillment and wholesomeness. Research in neuroscience also indicates that among all kinds of meditations, those focusing on unconditional love and compassion give rise to the strongest activation of brain areas related to positive affects. In addition, the behavior these forms of meditation give rise to is intended to benefit others.

If the deeds we perform for the sake of others are to have the intended benefit, they must also be guided by wisdom—the wisdom that we can acquire through analysis and meditation and that gives us a more correct understanding of reality. The ultimate reason for meditating is to transform ourselves in order to be better able to transform the world. To put it another way, we transform ourselves so that we can become better human beings and serve others in a wiser and more effective way. Meditation thus gives our life the noblest possible meaning.

|1|matthieu ricard,meditation,buddhism,happiness,altruism,loving-kindness,well-being,fulfillment,buddhist meditation|_none|1|matthieu_ricard Is Your Spirit Guide Holding a Pen?|Divine messages through automatic writing.|2010-09-17 17:00:00|public://imports/1602.jpg|0|public://imports/1602.jpg|

Most people in the world are not aware that we all have spirit guides that are constantly a part of our lives. They provide you hope when you feel defeat, courage when you feel fear, direction when you feel lost and inspiration when you are down. Your spirit guides are a part of God’s team of workers, they are a part of Oneness.

I remember vividly the first time years ago when I tried to receive information from my guides. I sat at a desk in my bedroom one night with paper in hand. After trying for many minutes to create the right state of mind, I went to bed convinced I had failed to make contact. But when I awoke the following morning, I was taken back to find many profound words written on that sheet of paper—in my handwriting—that Spirit had shared with me.

The rain cannot distinguish need. It falls both in the ocean as well as in the valley. God’s love is like sunshine, but there are many who choose to remain in the shade.

Thus began a list of profound messages sent to me from Spirit for many years to come. I would find them in drawers and filing cabinet folders without any recollection of having written them—even though they were in my handwriting. I was told by Spirit I did not have to go into a trance meditation to receive their words. They taught me how to place my conscious mind aside and allow my “soul mind” to receive these messages while in an awakened state:

To believe in yourself, you must have the courage that exceeds the need for the consideration of courage. It must be a natural part of your life that avoids any decision-making based on whether you have the courage to do that which you must. This must be a belief beyond personal questioning, beyond personal doubt, to a point where it can no longer be considered a matter of courage, but rather a way of life.

I share with you many of these profound spiritual messages in my book, Time for Truth, but I also give you guidance as to how you, too, may open a channel to those in the spirit world who love you beyond words and are committed to your well being.

I am not clairvoyant for I cannot see into the spiritual world. Nor am I clairaudient, being able to hear the spiritual world. But I have found that my spirit guides have given me the gift of claircognizance. In addition to allowing me to channel their words onto paper through my soul mind, they now give me messages that become like memories which I can then retrieve.

But what I am capable of experiencing as I explain here, is also something that you have the same God-given ability to experience. You, too, can learn how to open up that channel.

I leave you with this message that Spirit has given me for you:

The kingdom of heaven lies within you. And God is within you also, residing within your own soul. You are part of one great spiritual family, for every one of you is a child of God. You must understand and try to develop a feeling of unity with Oneness, and know that indeed we are all one, and are manifestations of God. 

|5|clairvoyance,spirit world,automatic writing,claircognizance,channeling,spirit guide,nick bunick,spirit guides|_none|1|nick_bunick 10 Powerful Affirmations For Letting Go|Live in the present moment.|2013-11-29 17:00:00|public://imports/3611.jpg|0|public://imports/3611.jpg|

Each day, we can ask for and accept the healing energy of God and the Universe. Open your hearts and let that energy flow to you, through you, and on to others. When you live in the here-and-now, you can allow life to happen instead of trying to force outcomes. When you relinquish regrets over the past and fears about the future, you can truly make the most of each present day.

Here are 10 affirmations to help you let go and let life happen now!

1. Accepting Change:

Today I will be open to the process of change. I will trust my Higher Power and believe that the place where I’ll be dropped off is better than the place where I was picked up. I know that change is necessary to take me wherever I need to go.

2. Loving Myself Unconditionally:

Today I will work at loving myself unconditionally. God, please help me let go of self-loathing and other unproductive behaviors. Today, God, I want to hold myself in high self-esteem. I know I can do so with Your help.

3. Releasing Fear:

Today I will ask God to help me let go of my need to be afraid. I welcome peace, trust, acceptance, and safety into my life. I will make a point of listening to my healthy, rational fears, and will relinquish all the others.

4. Taking Risks:

Today I will ask God to help me begin to take healthy risks. I will ask for assistance in letting go of my fear of failure . . . and success. I will ask for help in fully living my life so that I can start experiencing all the wonderful parts of my journey.

5. Taking Time for Meditation and Prayer:

Today I will take a moment for meditation and prayer. I know that I’m a creation of God, and He loves me. God, through meditation and prayer, I have faith that I will hear You when You talk to me, and You will listen when I talk to You.

6. Apologizing:

Today I will try to be clear and healthy in my apologies, taking responsibility for my own actions and nobody else’s. I will seek God’s help in figuring out what I truly need to apologize for, and I will do so without reservation.

7. Focusing on Peace:

Today I will focus on a peaceful pace, rather than a harried one. I will keep moving forward gently, not frantically. I will let go of my need to be anxious and upset and will replace these feelings with calmness and harmony.

8. Allowing Things to Happen:

Today I will let things happen without worrying about the significance of each event. I will trust that this will bring about my growth faster than running around with a microscope. I will have faith that my lessons will reveal themselves in their own time.

9. Practicing Gratitude:

Today I will practice gratitude. I will get in the habit of saying thank you, even for the “problems” in my life, because these challenges are valuable lessons I can learn from. Gratitude is the key that turns problems into blessings, and the unexpected into gifts.

10. Trusting God:

Today I will ask my Higher Power to send me His best, and I will trust that all that is good will come to me. I will remember that sometimes we don’t get what we want because God has something infinitely better in store for us.

|1|affirmations,prayer,meditation,fear,self-esteem,risks,divine love,higher power,god,healing energy,melody beattie|_none|1|melody_beattie Are You Programmed for Belly Fat?|Avoid the triggers to overeat.|2010-09-19 17:00:00|public://imports/1604.jpg|0|public://imports/1604.jpg|

One side effect of eating too much sugar is that you’re programmed to overeat and gain belly fat. Why? While sugar drives up insulin production, it fails to trigger another hormone in your body that helps control appetite: leptin. Without enough leptin, your “signaling center” breaks down, and you quickly end up with a traffic jam of food in your body ready to get stored as fat. Where this fat gets deposited depends on your genetics, but most of us start storing it in our midsection. Research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition confirmed that foods sweetened with fructose, sucrose, glucose, and high-fructose corn syrup all have the same effect on leptin—they fail to produce it. Another study done at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), discovered the same about lactose (milk sugar).

What happens when you don’t have leptin? Research at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York showed that when leptin was produced, it directly contributed to a decrease in abdominal fat. Without the right amounts of leptin, your body is programmed to store fat in your abdominal region. The most revealing studies were published in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism and the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, which showed that the proper levels of leptin decreased abdominal fat by 32 percent and an extraordinary 62 percent, respectively. This means that making sure your diet contains foods that will regularly stimulate leptin production is essential to belly fat loss. This is why it’s important to eat foods that trigger leptin—such as proteins, fats, and complex carbs—so you’re not set up to overeat.

|6|jorge cruise,belly fat,belly fat cure,weight loss,low carb diet,leptin,sugar|_none|1|jorge_cruise Endless To-Do List?|Train your beautiful mind to rest.|2010-09-20 17:00:00|public://imports/1626.jpg|0|public://imports/1626.jpg|

Take an honest look at yourself. Where are you in your life? What have your priorities been up till now and what do you intend doing with the time you have left?

We are a mixture of light and shadow, of good qualities and defects. Are we really the best we can be? Must we remain as we are now? If not, what can we do to improve ourselves? These are questions worth asking, particularly if we have come to the conclusion that change is both desirable and possible.

In our modern world, we are consumed from morning till night with endless activity. We do not have much time or energy left over to consider the basic causes of our happiness or suffering. We imagine, more or less consciously, that if we undertake more activities we will have more intense experiences and therefore our sense of dissatisfaction will fade away. But the truth is that many of us continue to feel let down and frustrated by our contemporary lifestyle.

The aim of meditation is to transform the mind. It does not have to be associated with any particular religion. Every one of us has a mind and every one of us can work on it.

Very few people would say that there is nothing worth improving about the way they live and experience the world. However, some people regard their own particular weaknesses and conflicting emotions as something rich that contributes to the fullness of their lives. They believe this particular alchemy in their character is what makes them unique and think they should learn to accept themselves the way they are. They do not realize that this attitude can lead to a life of chronic discontent. Nor do they realize that they could help themselves with just a little reflection and effort.

Imagine that someone suggested you spend an entire day tormented by jealousy. Would you want to do that? I doubt it. If, on the other hand, someone suggested you spend that same day with your heart filled with love for all beings, you would probably be quite willing to do so. I’m sure you would find that infinitely preferable to a whole day of jealousy.

As things stand now, no matter what our preferences might be, our mind is often filled with troubles. We spend a great deal of time consumed by painful thoughts, plagued by anxiety or anger, licking the wounds we receive from other people’s harsh words. When we experience these kinds of difficult moments, we wish we could manage our emotions; we wish we could master our mind to the point where we could be free of these disturbing emotions certain emotions both disturb the mind and obscure it. It would be such a relief. However, since we don’t know how to achieve this kind of control, we take the point of view that, after all, this way of living is “normal” or “natural,” and that it is “human nature.” Everything that is found in nature is “natural,” but that does not necessarily make everything desirable. Illness, for example, comes to everybody, but does this prevent us from consulting a doctor?

We don’t want to suffer. Nobody wakes up in the morning and thinks, “Oh, if I could only suffer all day today and, if possible, every day for the rest of my life!” Whatever we are occupied with—an important task, routine work, walking in the woods, pursuing a relationship, drinking a cup of tea—we always hope we will get some benefit or satisfaction out of it, either for ourselves or others. If we thought nothing would come of our activities but suffering, we wouldn’t do anything at all and we would fall into despair.

Sometimes we do have moments of inner peace, of altruistic love, of deep-felt confidence; but for the most part, these are only fleeting experiences that quickly give way to other, less pleasant ones. What if we could train the mind to cultivate these wholesome moments? No doubt it would radically change our lives for the better. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to become better human beings and lead lives in which we experience inner fulfillment, while also relieving the suffering of others and contributing to their well-being?

Some people think life would be dull without inner conflict, but we are all familiar with the suffering that accompanies anger, greed, or jealousy, and we all appreciate the good feelings that go along with kindness, contentment, and the pleasure of seeing other people happy. The sense of harmony that is connected with loving others has an inherent goodness in it that speaks for itself. The same is true of generosity, patience, emotional balance, and many other positive traits. If we could learn to cultivate altruistic love and inner calm, and if at the same time the self-centered approach of the ego and the frustration that arises from it could be reduced, then our lives certainly would not lose any of their richness—quite the opposite.

|23|matthieu ricard,meditation,thought,love,suffering,priorities,values,altruism,meditation|_none|1|matthieu_ricard An Apostle Steps Forward|Spirit speaks in excerpt from Time for Truth|2010-09-20 17:00:00|public://imports/1623.jpg|0|public://imports/1623.jpg|

Incredible spiritual events occurred in the life of author Nick Bunick that convinced him and hundreds of thousands of others that he had lived 2,000 years ago as the Apostle Paul. “Even if Paul and I don’t share the same body, we share the same spirit, soul, and beliefs . . . and the same commitment: that it’s time for a new beginning—a time for truth. I live with a duality, and I don’t distinguish Paul’s thoughts or feelings from my own. I express myself through my conscious mind. Paul expresses himself through my soul mind. But we are connected and inseparable, as you are with your own higher self.”

The following is a conversation between Nick and “J.” As Nick explains in his book, “J” is a man who is a reincarnated “facet” of Jesus (which the author refers to as Jeshua).

I dialed the overseas number.

J answered, and I introduced myself. He responded with a kind laugh and said, “Nick, you have the same exact voice you had 2,000 years ago.” His own voice was gentle but firm, with the ever-so-slight trace of an accent I couldn’t identify. The next words he said caught me totally by surprise: “Two thousand years ago I lost my temper, and it cost me my life. I can’t let that happen again.”

He then asked me to let him talk for a while, and proceeded to tell me how saddened he was over the conditions existing in the world today. He said that 2,000 years ago we’d given people our messages, but they had gotten lost. This time we should present them again and teach people how to live by them. However, he told me that our first priority was humanity. He said, “Parents cannot think of their relationship with God when they have hungry children they can’t feed or lack clean water for them to drink. Taking care of those in need who are suffering and struggling in the world is our first responsibility, and then we will be able to care for their souls.”

J and I discussed a number of things that afternoon, including how his death came about. It’s important that you process the following account carefully, for it’s so different from what has been taught for the last 1,600 years.

He told me that the morning after the night he was arrested, he was taken before Pontius Pilate, who was the Roman governor of Judea appointed by Caesar. There were three additional elderly Jewish men in his chamber. They were members of the Sanhedrin, a group of 70 men who were the overseers of the Jewish religion in the Holy Land. Contrary to the Gospels, there had been no trial of Jeshua the night before by this Jewish council. Pilate had summoned three members as witnesses.

Pilate then turned on Jeshua, verbally attacking him, accusing him of preaching that there was someone in the Holy Land more powerful than the emperor. Jeshua responded by trying to explain to Pontius Pilate that he wasn’t talking about a mortal but someone outside of this realm, his God. Pilate became very angry at him, repeating his accusations.

Jeshua, in turn, also got angry and asked Pilate why he couldn’t understand what Jeshua was saying—that it was not a person, but God he had been referring to in his talks. But the only gods Pontius Pilate could relate to were the wooden and plaster idols that the Romans prayed to, and they certainly weren’t considered superior to the emperor.

The two began shouting at one another. Pilate turned to the three elderly Jewish men and said, “See how he is talking to me?” He then turned back to Jeshua and demanded that he acknowledge that he was wrong and that no one was greater than the emperor.

Jeshua basically told Pilate that he couldn’t believe how ignorant the man was not to understand that he wasn’t talking about another human being. They again began to yell at one another.

Pilate shouted, “Enough!” He turned to his guards and told them to take Jeshua out of his chamber and have him replace one of the three prisoners who were to be crucified that morning.

J told me that the three elderly Jewish men said they wanted nothing to do with this. They went over to a basin and began to pour water over their hands, which is an old Jewish custom signifying they didn’t want any part of what was going on. It’s interesting to note that in the scriptures, it’s claimed that Pilate was the one who washed his hands, implying he didn’t want to be responsible for Jeshua’s death, but that there was an angry mob of Jews outside demanding he have Jeshua killed.

One of the last things J told me before we said good-bye was that when he finished his mission on Earth, another “facet” of him would take his place while he went on to other realms.

|5|christianity,pontius pilate,reincarnation,st. paul,the apostle paul,jesus,nick bunick|_none|1|nick_bunick Normal Birth, Safe Birth|Trust the natural process of your body.|2010-09-21 17:00:00|public://imports/1628.jpg|0|public://imports/1628.jpg|

The times have truly changed. According to the 2009 Shriver Report: A Woman’s Nation, women now make up half the work force for the first time in written history! This means that our voices and skills are impacting all areas of society more than ever before. The Shriver Report also found that for both men and women, health is their number one priority! Since women make the vast majority of healthcare decisions in their families—and have the buying power to do it—we women are in a very powerful position to influence the future of healthcare in America. Nowhere is this more critical than in the area of pregnancy and birth.

As an obstetrician/gynecologist, I have spent the last 30 years educating women about the wisdom of their bodies, including their innate ability to birth normally. Yet our so-called healthcare system, which is a direct reflection of the beliefs of our culture, sees the female body and its processes (like labor) as an accident waiting to happen. Media images of birth as an emergency play right into this. The truth is that labor and birth need not be the emergencies we think they are. And the medicalization of birth actually does more harm than good.

Progress Set Us Back

I was a resident back in the late 1970’s when electronic fetal monitoring (EFM) was first introduced and lauded as a panacea that would prevent cerebral palsy and birth injuries. Thirty years later, data indicates that the only thing EFM has done reliably is increase the rate of Cesarean section (C-section) births. George Macones, M.D., who headed up the development of the latest fetal monitoring guidelines for the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, summarized it quite nicely: “Since 1980, the use of EFM has grown dramatically, from being used on 45 percent of pregnant women in labor to 85 percent in 2002. Although EFM (electronic fetal monitoring) is the most common obstetric procedure today, unfortunately it hasn’t reduced perinatal mortality or the risk of cerebral palsy. In fact, the rate of cerebral palsy has essentially remained the same since World War II, despite fetal monitoring and all of our advancements in treatments and interventions.”1

Monitoring also reliably draws the attention away from the laboring woman herself, who needs the support, and transfers it to the monitor screen—as if she and the monitor screen were two separate entities.

Dangerous Interventions Soar

Given our love affair with technology and the mind/body split that is part of health in the United States and birth in particular, it’s little wonder that our C-section rate is now a whopping 33 percent.2

This is particularly troubling given that the World Health Organization says that an optimal rate is 5–10 percent, and that recent research shows that anything over 15 percent does more harm than good.3

The rate of births by C-section keeps going up every year, and over the past decade, it’s increased by more than 50 percent. Way back in 1965, for example, the rate was only 4.5 percent!4

At least in part, these sky-high rates may be linked to doctors’ fears of being sued. In 2003, more than three quarters of all American obstetricians were sued at least once, with a median award of $2.3 million for medical negligence in childbirth. As a result, many doctors are more likely to opt for performing a C-section at the first sign of a complication.5

Then there’s the issue of labor inductions. In 2006, more than 22 percent of all pregnant women in the UNITED STATES had induced labors, a rate that has more than doubled in the last 20 years.6

Similarly, women have been brainwashed into believing that because a C-section can be planned it’s therefore preferable to a normal birth—which, again, society sees as messy and inconvenient.

Labor proceeds on its own schedule. The exquisite timing that is a result of the delicate interaction between a baby and her mother needs to be respected. Our culture’s collective trust in C-sections and labor inductions that increase the risk of surgical birth is mind-boggling! The Shriver Report points out that women still seek permission from authority figures far more often than men do. We still don’t trust ourselves. No wonder we so willingly turn over our bodies during birth.

Risky labor inductions for “convenience” and all the complications associated with them—increased risk of prematurity, C-section, bladder and bowel injury, and maternal death—are now on the rise all over the country. It troubles me that more women don’t realize that a Cesarean section is major surgery. And it carries with it a risk of maternal death that is five to seven times greater than a normal birth.7

More Maternal Death Than Reported

Unfortunately, the American public in general (physicians included) has a false sense of security about the safety of C-sections because the statistics on maternal death in the UNITED STATES are misleading. It’s well known that the maternal death rate in any given population is a very good indicator of the overall health status of that population, as is infant mortality. Unlike most other developed countries, pregnancy-related death statistics for the United States include only women who die within a six-week period after a pregnancy ends. Other developed countries include deaths that occur up to one year afterward.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the number of maternal deaths in the United States is probably up to three times as high as the number reported in our national statistics because not all maternal deaths are classified as pregnancy-related on the death certificate.8

According to midwife Ina May Gaskin, who launched the Safe Motherhood Quilt to bring this issue to public attention, the maternal death rate has actually doubled in the UNITED STATES in the last 25 years. It was 7.5 per 100,000 live births in 1982. In 1999, that rate had risen to 13.2 deaths per 100,000 births. By 2005, it was up to 15.1 per 100,000 live births! In some New York City hospitals, it’s higher still. Moreover, Hispanic and Black women continue to have much higher maternal death rates—perhaps four times as high or higher.

Gaskin wrote, “When I first became curious about the maternal death rate in the UNITED STATES, I wondered why it was so difficult to unearth in the medical library. This was in the early 1990’s. I noticed a sharp contrast between how maternal deaths are counted here in the United States and the United Kingdom’s system of Confidential Enquiries, where four countries cooperate to achieve 100 percent ascertainment of maternal deaths that are directly related to pregnancy and birth. (They claim 97 percent accuracy.) According to the CDC, the actual number may be 1.6 to 3 times the figure that is published annually. I find this shocking, especially since we know that the maternal death rate has been rising in recent years—something that isn’t happening in other countries “9 Currently, according to the World Health Organization and several United Nations agencies, the United States ranks behind no fewer than forty other nations in preventing maternal deaths (based upon an official but unreliable number).10

Normal Birth, Safe Birth

Studies have repeatedly shown that in healthy mothers with no risk factors, home birth is as safe as hospital birth. Increasingly, savvy women who trust their ability to birth normally are opting to avoid the hospital altogether (or at least have the foresight to hire a midwife or doula). And who can blame them? One study in the Netherlands looked at almost 530,000 low-risk planned births and found that with the proper services in place (such as a well-trained midwife and good transportation), home births are just as safe as hospital births.11 In fact, home birth may even be safer.

Ina May Gaskin reports that at The Farm Midwifery Center, the C-section rate is only 1.4 percent—a safety rate unparalleled by hospitals. And her experience is clearly not solitary. (Learn more about Ina May Gaskin at A landmark study published in the British Medical Journal in 2005 found that natural birth at home, under the care of certified practicing midwives, is safe for low-risk mothers and their babies. This study, which tracked more than five thousand mothers in the United States and Canada, also reported that home births with low-risk mothers resulted in much lower rates of medical interventions when compared to the intervention rates for low-risk mothers giving birth in hospitals. For example, the episiotomy rate was 2.1 percent for the home-birth group, compared with 33 percent for hospital births, and labor was induced in only 9.6 percent of home births, compared to 21 percent of hospital births. The rate of electronic fetal monitoring, C-sections, forceps or vacuum delivery, and epidurals were also much lower with home births.12

A Woman’s Birthright

The Pulitzer Prize winning journalists Sheryl WuDunn and Nicolas D. Kristof, authors of Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide (2009), point out that focusing on the needs of women and girls is the number one issue of this century. I couldn’t agree more. One of those needs is fostering a woman’s trust in the processes of her body instead of making them into surgical emergencies that aren’t medically indicated.

When it comes to pregnancy and birth, we as a culture and as individuals need to wake up and claim our right to literally birth right!  

This information is not intended to treat, diagnose, cure, or prevent any disease. All material in this article is provided for educational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you have regarding a medical condition, and before undertaking any diet, exercise, or other health program.


  1. American College of Gynecologists and Obstetricians, “Practice Bulletin No. 106: Intrapartum Fetal Heart Rate Monitoring: Nomenclature, Interpretation, and General Management Principles,” Obstetrics & Gynecology, vol. 114, no. 1 (July 2009), pp. 192-202.
  2. B.E. Hamilton, J. A. Martin, and S. J. Ventura, “Births: Preliminary Data for 2007,” National Vital Statistics Report, vol. 57, no. 12 (March 18, 2009), p.3.
  3. F. Althabe and J.F. Belizan, “Caesarean Section: The Paradox,” The Lancet, vol. 368 (2006), pp.1472-3.
  4. S. M. Taffel, P. J. Placek, and T. Liss, “Trends in the United States Cesarean Section Rate and Reasons for the 1980-85 Rise,” American Journal of Public Health, vol. 77, no. 8 (1987), pp. 955-9.
  5. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) 57th Annual Clinical Meeting: Papers on Current Clinical and Basic Investigation. Presented May 5, 2009.
  6. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, “Practice Bulletin No. 107: Induction of Labor,” Obstetrics and Gynecology, vol. 114 (2009), pp. 386-397.
  7. M. H. Hall, “Commentary: Confidential Enquiry into Maternal Death,” British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, vol. 97, no. 8 (Aug. 1990), pp. 752–53; N. Schuitemaker et al., “Maternal Mortality After Cesarean Section in the Netherlands,” Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica, vol. 76, no. 4 (1997), pp. 332–34.
  8. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “State-Specific Maternal Mortality Among Black and White Women—United States, 1987–1996,” Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, vol. 48, no. 23 (June 18, 1999).
  9. A. de Jonge, et al., “Perinatal Mortality and Morbidity in a Nationwide Cohort of 529,688 Low-Risk Planned Home and Hospital Births,” BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, vol. 116 (August 2009), pp. 1177-84.
  10. Gaskin, I., Northrup, C. Safe Motherhood Quilt, (August 2009).
  11. Hill, K., et. al. “Estimates of maternal mortality worldwide between 1990 and 2005: an assessment of available data,” The Lancet, (August 13, 2007) 370, 1311-1319.
  12. K. C. Johnson and B. A. Daviss, “Outcomes of Planned Home Births with Certified Professional Midwives: Large Prospective Study in North America,” British Medical Journal, vol. 330, no. 7505 (June 18, 2005), p. 1416.
|6|cesarean birth,womens health,healthcare,pregnancy,c-section,shriver report,christiane northrup|_none|1|dr_christiane_northrup Under the Stars|A scholar in Central Park.|2010-09-22 17:00:00||0||

There were certain dangers involved in sleeping in Central Park in 1979. Crime was still on the rise. But there were certain spots, between the thick grove of trees and lush expansive lawns, where I could spread out my blanket, rest my weary head, look up at the heavens and, regardless of the crazy circumstances that brought me here, enjoy some peace of mind.

The summer weather was mild and the night breeze cool. The air was clear. The moon was full, the sky flooded with stars. My mind was flooded with thoughts.

How in the name of reason had I wound up here?

When I got my Reno divorce from Hilda, the judge saw I was making $503 a month and told me to give her $383. That meant I had $117 to work with or, to break it down further, $29.25 a week.

In my head, I kept hearing Johnnie Taylor singin’ ’bout, “It’s cheaper to keep her.”

Brother, I got the blues.

When we split up, even before Hilda went to Atlanta, I gave her the apartment we were renting. That meant I had no place of my own. When I started looking for a place, the security and first month’s rent were more than I could handle. Rather than hit on friends for a loan, I figured it might do me good to relax in the great outdoors until I could plan my next move.

When it came to money planning, I didn’t do well. I didn’t want to fight with my ex-wife who was the prime caretaker of our beloved son. I didn’t want to fight with anyone. At the same time, by giving her practically everything and keeping little for myself, I set a pattern that would last for . . . well, maybe forever.

On those two nights, out there on the grass of Central Park, cuddled up in my sleeping bag, there were times when I had to laugh. Here I was, graduate of Harvard and Princeton, student of philosophy, lover of literature, professor-on-the-rise, and broke as the Ten Commandments. Now ain’t that something. Maybe it was then when the bluesman shuffle started playing inside my brain. Maybe it was then when I heard the rhythm, the rhyme of the song, the stars overhead spelling out the story: Your baby’s gone. Your money’s funny. You ain’t got no home. Nobody loves you but your mama and—as B.B. King says—“she could be jivin’, too.”

But, oh, never never my loving and loyal mama, B.B.! She is my rock forever!

There’s humor in those statements. There’s pain. That’s the comic tragedy of the blues. You tease the situation for what it’s worth. You comfort yourself with a joke or two. You close your eyes and hope no one mugs you during the night. You wake up and move on—teaching at Union, putting a few bucks together to rent a little place uptown. See what happens next.

|1|cornel west,divorce,homelessness,education,financial planning,blues music|_none|1|cornel_west Two Words That Heal|But can you say them out loud?|2013-05-17 17:00:00|public://imports/1617.jpg|0|public://imports/1617.jpg|

Have you watched a young child playing? Or can you remember what was going on inside your head as a child? I’ve done both. I do the first regularly because I have young children. And the second because when I really relax I remember what it was like to be a child.

If I lie down and look up into a blue sky and listen to the sound of a distant airplane, it invariably brings up a memory from my childhood. Why? Because as we grow up we stop being fascinated by ordinary things. So when I do occasionally take pleasure simply in what’s around me, it reminds me of the last time I did that: when I was a child. This is what children do. They live in the miracle of existence. Everything is new and fascinating. They can enjoy the wrapping as much as the present . . . a leaky faucet as much as a beautiful lake . . . the smell of rain falling on dry concrete as much as the smell of baking bread.

There are no rules about what’s good or bad, what’s better than something else, or what’s worth it. There’s little discernment: there are just things coming in . . . and most of them are fascinating.

As we grow up we learn how to discern, discriminate and filter out. And we tend to filter out the ordinary things in favor of the extraordinary and the unusual. In fact, much of the time we’re so lost in thoughts of the past or worries about the future that we don’t have much time for any kind of appreciation. But when we do ‘appreciate,’ it tends to be of the things that adults think are worth appreciating: tasty things, beautiful things, interesting things and expensive things.

At some point the feeling of wooden boards under our feet, the sound of a toilet flushing in a room upstairs, the feeling of wind against your face . . . these all disappear off the list of things that we should appreciate. Instead we spend lots of money to go on vacation, or go to the movies or go out for a meal in order to flex our appreciation muscles.

When we say F**k It to anything, then the meanings start to crumble. As the things that matter lose their meaning, then suddenly the world opens up again. Without the discrimination and discernment we learned as we were growing up, every single thing has the potential to be appreciated. Everything is beautiful.

If this happens all of a sudden it can be mind-blowing (almost literally). And this is what happens to a lot of people who have apparently ‘awakened.’ When you start seeing the beauty in absurd things, you know you are starting to lose your mind. Or at least the mind that has learned to see meaning in only a limited range of things.

See each moment as having infinite potential for beauty. We tend to drag all our judgments, conditioning and boundaries from the past into the present. And it squashes that moment into something very limited. If you leave some of those judgments behind and just see things as a young child might see them, you start to get a beautiful feeling. It’s a feeling of relief but mixed with some kind of longing, too. The longing rises up from a very deep part of you that remembers what it was like to see things like this all the time.

When we say F**k It we turn the clock back. We unlearn meaning and smash the things that we have come to think mattered.

We regress to a more natural state where things don’t mean much but they’re all just so extraordinarily beautiful.

|23|healing,stress,childhood,letting go,f word,john parkin|_none|1|john_parkin Love Is the Lesson|Honoring a father’s legacy.|2010-09-23 17:00:00|public://imports/1633.jpg|0|public://imports/1633.jpg|

I hear the cry of John Coltrane. I hear the heartbreaking moan of Billie Holiday and the anguished scream of James Brown. I feel the pain in Marvin Gaye’s soul when he cries, “Father, Father.” I am fortified by the faith of Dorothy Love Coates when she sings, “That’s Enough.” I see the tear in the voice of James Cleveland when he pleads, “Lord, Help Me to Hold Out.”

I needed help to hold out. I needed help to get through. I had been asked to give the eulogy at my father’s funeral, and I didn’t see how I could manage it. I was too torn up inside, too overwhelmed with grief and loss, too devastated, too down.

Only a few months before his passing, Dad and my sister Cynthia had come to hear me deliver a public lecture in Oakland. I cherished the moment when I proudly introduced them to the audience, pointing out how essential family had been to every aspect of my formation.

Then in late April, Mom had called to say that Dad wasn’t feeling well and had agreed to see a doctor. That’s when we knew it was serious. Dad’s attitude about illness was simply to tough it out. I had daily reports about the tests they were giving him. His pain continued but the doctors were unable to say what was wrong. He went in for a battery of new studies at one hospital where, again, no specific disease was identified. That’s when he went to Kaiser. Cliff was there. Cliff was witness to what happened.

“On Tuesday, May 25, we took Dad to Kaiser,” Cliff remembered, “where they put him to sleep for a long probing procedure. When they brought him back to the room, he was still asleep. I was by his side when the doctor came in to say that Dad had pancreatic cancer, a fatal form of the disease. I stayed with him till midnight. Before I left, I prayed, ‘Dear God, don’t let this good man suffer.’ The next morning at five o’clock, the hospital called to say that Dad had passed. I couldn’t believe it. Mom couldn’t believe it. We rushed over there and ran into his room. Mom, usually the most composed of women, pounded on Dad’s chest, crying, ‘You’re still alive. I know you’re alive.’ He wasn’t. The doctor said he had died of a pulmonary embolism.

My father’s death changed everything. It had me looking at the world through a whole different center. It made me acutely aware of an obvious fact that had never been an active part of my emotional reality: the things we prize most highly and the people we love most deeply can be lost in an instant. My presumption—which is to say, the presumption of a child—was that Dad would always be there. I’d call him like I’d always called him. It could be a Monday morning or Saturday night.

“Dad,” I’d say, “just checking in. Just calling to say how much I miss you and Mom.”

Then that voice would come on the line, the voice I’d heard my entire life, the voice of comfort and reassurance, the voice of calmness and unquestioned integrity. My dad’s voice would say, “Son, we miss you too. Mom and I were just talking about how proud you make us. We were just saying how much we love you.”

“I love you too, Dad.”

And that would be it. A conversation no longer than a minute, but a conversation strong enough to get me through another few days, until the next conversation, and the one after that. In my little-boy way, I never doubted that these conversations would go on forever. Dad would outlive me. Dad would outlive everyone. Dad would defy death because . . . well, Dad was Dad.

Mr. Cool.

Mr. I’m-There-for-My-Kids.

Mr. Lean-on-Me.

But now Dad was gone, and I didn’t see how I could express the terrible grief and pain assaulting me. I didn’t know what to say.

Somehow, though, I got up before the assembled group of friends and family at church and managed to speak my heart.

“This is when we find out what we are about on the deepest level. We have no choice but to live with this loss, to absorb this terrible blow and see if the wound it inflicts upon our soul can move us to love with even greater purpose and energy.” I spoke about the despair I felt at never being able to see, hear, or embrace my father again. And then I said, “Because he was strong, I know he wants us to carry on with strength. He believed in strength, not manly, macho strength, but strength of the spirit that resists shutting down in the face of disaster. In the aftermath of Dad’s passing, I could easily shut down. I could give in to the melancholia that wants to envelop me. I could be paralyzed. I could break.

But Dad’s spirit was—and is and forever will be—an active spirit, one that says, love wherever you walk. Spread love whenever you talk.”

|1|legacy,family,father,death,memorial,cornel west|_none|1|cornel_west You’re Right About That|Four words help you let go.|2010-09-25 17:00:00|public://imports/1648.jpg|0|public://imports/1648.jpg|

Perhaps the greatest lessons of my life have revolved around the slogan of the recovery moment: “Let go and let God”—a notion that involves relinquishing ego’s attachment to, or fear of, something. The single most pronounced attachment for most of us during the morning of our lives is the attachment to being right! There’s nothing ego loves more than to be right, which makes it an important and satisfying attachment to practice letting go of.

I seriously doubt that there’s anyone reading this who hasn’t engaged in arguing about trivial matters that turned into disagreements, which had a net effect of following a road of self-righteous anger. And all of it probably seemed to be for no reason other than the need, the desire, to be right! Eventually we may look back with wistful amusement, realizing now that our fear of actually being wrong was so strong then that another person’s opinion could energize this unwanted feeling. Ego’s strategy was to be right no matter what, a highly successful maneuver that effectively distracted us from genuine purpose. Letting go of an attachment to being right is a fairly simple exercise.

The choice to let go and let God, in a quest to eliminate our attachment to being right, is simplified with these few words: You’re right about that. But keep in mind that kindness and sincerity are necessary here, as opposed to sarcasm or insincerity. Those four words will gradually open the entry point to a road that leads through letting go and letting God, to experiencing more significance in life.

Another way to easily practice breaking ego’s attachments is to clear out the garage, cupboards, and closets. Let go of material possessions, and practice not being attached to them. If they haven’t been used in the past 12 months, they belong elsewhere. We can train ourselves to be one of “those” that Joel Goldsmith describes in his book A Parenthesis in Eternity: Living the Mystical Life:

Then there are those who reach a stage in which they realize the futility of this constant striving and struggling for the things that perish, things which after they are obtained prove to be shadows. It is at this stage that some persons turn from this seeking for things in the outer realm to a seeking for them from God.

Most stress results from hanging on to beliefs that keep us striving for more, because ego stubbornly refuses to believe we don’t need something. When we make the shift, the influence of our ego fades. We replace attachment with contentment. Chasing and striving—and then becoming attached to what we chased after—is a source of anxiety that invigorates Ambition, but it won’t satisfy the need for Meaning at our soul level. Everything that we pursue ultimately distances us from our original nature. All of our attachments are destined to perish. They are all shadows, as Goldsmith points out.

|1|meaning,god,ego,inner peace,letting go,attachment,wayne w. dyer|_none|1|dr_wayne_w_dyer The World We Can’t See|Cultivating trust to open new dimensions.|2010-09-26 17:00:00|public://imports/1627.jpg|0|public://imports/1627.jpg|

We live between two worlds: the visible world of everyday life, where we need to eat, sleep, work, count calories, and brush our teeth, and another world that we cannot see but can learn to perceive in other ways. Most people think of the first one as the “real” world and the second as the mysterious “other side.” Some people see it the other way around—the invisible world is the real one, and everyday life is the escape. And then there are those who don’t believe the “other” world exists at all.

As an intuitive healer, psychic medium, and Reiki master, I work closely with the world we can’t see. I believe that we not only exist in this physical dimension, called earth, but simultaneously interact in many other spiritual dimensions of reality. And I know that we are always connected to and receiving information from these other dimensions, whether we’re consciously aware of it or not. For example, I receive information from sources I call “the guides” to understand what is happening in my clients’ lives and create the meditations and other tools I use in my healing. I can also gain insight into a past lifetime that illuminates what’s going on in this one. But it’s important for you to know that if this does not fit with your worldview, you can still use the tools in my newest work, The Little Book of Big Promises. You don’t have to take the information you get from other dimensions literally; you can think of it as a good story that may shed a new light on your life.

When I decided to write this book, I struggled for a long time, wondering what it was supposed to look like, whether or not I was qualified to write it, and who was going to help me. Finally, in a moment of frustration, I said, “I give up!” I stopped obsessing about the specifics—the actual writing, the particular people involved—and focused instead on thinking about what kind of book I wanted it to be, the impact I wanted it to have for people, and the kinds of people who might assist me in accomplishing it. Then I simply let go. I figured that if the Creator wanted it to happen, it would happen. I literally put the first draft of the manuscript on a shelf and forgot about it.

Weeks later, I was in the middle of a session when I suddenly felt compelled to ask my client what she did for a living. We had been working together for years, but for some reason I couldn’t recall her profession. She nonchalantly announced that she was a literary agent. Then she said, “Why, do you have a book?”

I was stunned. It had happened so quickly, and it was so easy! My client had all the criteria I had asked for when I thought about the kinds of helpers I needed. She represented me, of course, and ultimately connected me with my dream publisher, Hay House, the publisher of this book.

Writing this book and getting it into your hands was an important promise for me to fulfill, but I couldn’t do it by pushing. I could only do it by letting go and trusting—trusting that my intuition was right, that I would get the help I needed, and that things would unfold as they should. Much of what you learn in this book will involve this very same kind of trust.

We throw the word trust around easily, but think for a moment how valuable trust is. If we could bottle it, we’d make millions overnight. If you knew unequivocally that you could trust your boyfriend forever and ever, you’d say yes and marry him. If you knew you could trust your boss, you’d give her your ideas, knowing that she wouldn’t steal them from you and take the glory. If you knew you could trust your safety, you’d go out for that midnight run and enjoy the fresh air and moonlight knowing that no harm would come to you. But trust doesn’t come in a bottle; we have to cultivate it for ourselves.

I want to cultivate a certain type of trust, not one that is bestowed upon you because you’ve earned it, and not one that involves blind faith, but one based on discernment: a sense or knowing that you have intuitively felt and followed by being open, aware, and patient. By implementing certain tools in your life and watching the process unfold, you will get your answer—not because I told you, or because the “guys upstairs” I work with told you, but because it feels right and true for you. This is your opportunity to find that trust within yourself. Once you do, doors open, the earth moves, and you discover the promises of your destiny.

|5|peggy rometo,intuition,psychic,psychic medium,reiki,other side,spiritual dimensions|_none|1|peggy_rometo Does Your Money Need Therapy?|How to be at peace with your finances.|2010-09-24 17:00:00|public://imports/1634.jpg|0|public://imports/1634.jpg|

Money is one of your greatest teachers. It shows you your deepest desires and where your stuck points are as it lies exactly between your inner and outer worlds. We need money to exist in this physical world yet the ability to “make it” and what we choose to do with it comes from within.

Are you at peace with your financial situation? Try some of the following tips to help nurture your relationship with money:

8 Ways to Prosperity

  1. Forgive yourself and others for any financial trespasses.
    If you are gripped by the past or still upset by financial indiscretions, you are not allowing yourself to move forward. A great deal of this is about boundaries. Have you consciously decided what kinds of financial behaviors you are willing to accept from yourself and others? How far you are willing to go for someone and how far you are willing to let someone go for you, financially-speaking? The harder it is to create a boundary, the more important it is to create it.
  2. Take Extreme Physical Care of Yourself. 
    Eat Healthier: If you're not well cared for, your ability to prosper suffers. Are you getting enough exercise, sleep and healthy foods? How about making a conscious effort to eat foods that are not only yummy but have what I consider medicinal effects? These can include include flax, chia and hemp seeds, leafy greens and certain grains like Quinoa.
    Sneak in More Fitness: As much as I want to, I just don't have the time to get to the gym or yoga studio on a consistent basis. I needed to come up with something that suits my lifestyle. Enter Sneaky Fitness, a great program for busy people. No matter where I am, I can always manage to sneak in 10-30 minutes of simple aerobic and core strengthening exercises that elevate my heartrate and lengthen my body.
    Get More Sleep: Do you know the brain scientist, Jill Bolte Taylor? In her book A Stroke of Insight, she  not only lived to share the process of her stroke and her recovery, but also to tell us  that living in the right brain or Nirvana (as she puts it) is only moments away for all of us. Jill credits sleep as one of the most important reasons her body was able to recover from her stroke. When I don't feel my best, it impacts my moods and energy levels, which in turn impacts my ability to maintain the standard I need to sustain wealthy thoughts and actions. We've got to respect the wisdom of our body—it never lies.
  3. Remember that Money Has No Power (only the power you give it).
    The source of your supply comes from within. You are your re-Source. Until this very basic principle is learned and accepted, life will give you plenty of opportunities to master this. The greater your sense of consciousness, the bigger the receptacle into which money will flow toward and from you.
  4. Research Your Future.
    Put real numbers to everything you want in your life, even if the money hasn't shown up yet. Get your “dream life” out of your thinking mind. Stir your pots. For example, if you dream about buying real estate find out just what your dream house costs. Consult with real estate agencies; find out what kind of mortgage you would get, how much down payment you need, what it would cost to run it and so on.
    The more specific and directed you are toward growing and maintaining your wealth, the faster you will receive it. By doing this, you show yourself that you are serious. Money loves clarity.
  5. Keep a Spending Diary.
    (I know, I know. You've heard this a lot—but have you tried it?) A few days after you track everything you buy, go through the list of items you bought and ask:
    Does this have the same value today that I thought it would when I purchased it?
    What mood was I in when I bought this?
    Have I used this yet?

    This exercise has helped a lot of my clients learn about some of their financial triggers and how to be proactive, instead of reactive.
  6. Track your Time, Energy and Money.
    Many sabotaging behaviors that prevent us from prospering come from the lack of knowing how we spend our time and energy. Try tracking all your activities from the moment you wake up to the moment your head hits the pillow. Then ask yourself these questions about every activity: How much time did this take? How much energy did it require of me and what was the quality of energy I received in the doing of it?  How much did it cost or did I make? On a scale from 1-5, was it worth the Time, Energy and Money spent and/or made? 
    Being foggy about how you use your time and energy is a huge culprit that preys on your thriving wealthy self. I've noticed how successful entrepreneurs whom I admire respect their time; they show up on time, they deliver on time, they stick to the agreed amount of time.
  7. Know that Every Situation Is Temporary.
    Whether you have more than or less than enough money to cover your needs and desires right now, your financial situation is temporary. Money, like your breath, needs to flow in and out.
  8. Keep in Touch with Your Money.
    Show up for your money. Borrowing a line from Tom Cruise’s Jerry McGuire, Help it help you. Visit with it consistently. Financial Expert Galia Gaichon recommends that we set aside 15 minutes per week—that's all! I have incorporated that into my lifestyle now and find it ends up saving me time in addition to staying close to my financial pulse.
|23|helen kim,money,finance,sleep,fitness,self-care,economy,shopping,budgeting|_none|1|helen_kim Looking for Answers?|Let the archangels guide you.|2010-09-27 17:00:00|public://imports/1635.jpg|0|public://imports/1635.jpg|

The archangels are very real, powerful, nondenominational angels who oversee the guardian angels. Think of them as the guardian angels’ managers. Archangels are messengers from the Creator to the created, who help us with every area of our lives. They protect us and guide us, bringing about peace on earth, one person at a time. Because they’re so powerful, archangels also motivate us to take action.

The archangels have no time or space restrictions, so they can simultaneously be with everyone who calls upon them. Archangels can have unique, personalized experiences and exchanges with all of us.

Each religious and spiritual path has its own doctrine concerning the archangels. My Archangel Oracle Card deck is based upon 15 archangels from Jewish, Cabalistic, Christian, Catholic, and Islamic ancient spiritual practices, texts, and beliefs. The cards feature their commonly used name, although some archangels are known by other names in varying paths.

Anyone can call upon an archangel. You needn’t say a formal invocation, have special education or religious training, or live a “perfect” life to elicit their attention. Just thinking an archangel’s name is enough to call one to your side. By using these oracle cards, you’ll get to know the archangels and develop a closer relationship with them, and you’ll learn the particular functions that each archangel fulfills. And when you hold the cards, you’ll automatically invoke their presence in your life.

The archangels are happy to help you with everyday life concerns. Since they’re unlimited beings, you needn’t worry that you’re pulling an archangel away from more pressing issues. The archangels work in concert with your guardian angels to effect healings, guidance and miracles.

There are many ways to conduct an archangel reading using my Archangel Oracle Cards. You can’t make a mistake. Even a beginner can conduct wonderful and accurate readings. I’ve also infused these oracle cards with intentions and blessings to support the accuracy and healing effects of your readings.

Every card you draw is significant. You may not understand a particular card’s relevance until time has passed, so keep an open mind and pay attention to your intuition, thoughts, and feelings while conducting readings. Trust those impressions, and say them aloud when you’re conducting a reading for another person. 

|1|oracle cards,card readings,messenger,archangels,angel,doreen virtue|_none|1|doreen_virtue Problem Dissolved!|Rewrite your agreement with reality.|2010-09-27 17:00:00|public://imports/1625.jpg|0|public://imports/1625.jpg|

One of the most intriguing passages in A Course in Miracles suggests that you don’t have a problem: you only think you do. The opening lines of the Torah, as well as Genesis in the Bible, state, “God created Heaven and Earth,” and later, “And all that God created was good.” If you interpret those words literally, it’s quite clear that problems are impossible. If God created everything and all that God created was good, bad does not exist. “But,” you say, “disease, disharmony, despair, and so on all appear to exist and run rampant in our world.”

When we feel separated from our sacred center, it’s easy to believe so strongly in the separation that we explain any unpleasantness as a problem. In the world of Spirit, or God, problems simply don’t exist and aren’t real. When your spiritual connection is weak, you move away from the world of Spirit, and problems come from your belief in separation. Your mind creates the illusion of separateness, and your body, influenced by your ego thoughts, takes on diseases. Our societies are the creation of our collective thoughts. They take on the same separation-sickness, and then we have what we call social problems. All of the so-called problems, however, represent a spiritual deficit that can be remedied with spiritual solutions. Think of it this way: if you change your mind, you will solve your problems.

Can you accept the idea that it’s your belief in your separation from God that creates the attitude that you label a problem? Can you explore this idea that what you’re calling problems are all simply illusions, or mistakes of your intellect? If God is everywhere, there is no place that God is not; therefore you have God with you at all times. You may believe otherwise. It is this belief system that creates your so-called problems. If you can bring truth to the presence of these illusions, they will dissolve—just as you know that three plus three equals six is true, and that three plus three equals ten is untrue. By bringing truth to the presence of this arithmetic error, it simply dissolves.

So too will all of your beliefs that create “problems” in your mind dissolve when you bring the higher energy of truth to them. St. Francis of Assisi, in his famous prayer, beseeches us to change our mind to this thought: “Where there is hatred let me sow love.” Light always dissolves darkness. Love always nullifies hate. Spirit always cancels problems. Problems exist as beliefs of your ego mind, which is unable to conceptualize an awareness of your spiritual mind, just as dark has no concept of light.

By actually rewriting your agreement with reality, you can change your mind and send away any perceived problem. Change your attitude toward yourself, and resolve to believe in your connectedness to the higher energy of God, even in the direst of circumstances. Turn anything that seems problematic over to your higher self, trusting that the “problem” is not what is seems to be. Rewrite your agreement about who you are and what you’re capable of achieving.

Your new agreement with reality in which you’ve blended your physical self and your personality with your spiritual God-connected self will begin to radiate a higher energy of love and light. Wherever you go, others will experience the glow of your God consciousness, and disharmony and disorder and all manner of problems simply will not flourish in your presence. Become “an instrument of Thy peace,” as St. Francis desires in the first line of his famous prayer. Move up the ladder of human awareness from the lowest to the highest. Become a mystical being by simply changing your mind from one that created and experienced problems, to one that resolves them.

|23|wayne w. dyer,god,spirit,reality,thought,belief,problems|_none|1|dr_wayne_w_dyer Are You a Mover and a Shaker?|Reach for what you want—and get it!|2010-09-28 17:00:00|public://imports/1654.jpg|0|public://imports/1654.jpg|

Last spring, I posted a video on You Tube as part of a contest sponsored by Hay House. This publishing house founded by Louise Hay offers a workshop called Movers & Shakers for people who want to build a multimedia platform to bring their message to the world. The workshop features best-selling author and coach Cheryl Richardson and Hay House CEO Reid Tracy discussing what it really takes to create your message, get it out to the world, and do it with integrity and grace.

One of the most important lessons I learned at the workshop: This journey to being a mover and a shaker takes patience. That’s important for me because I’m prone to push, push, push myself and then get discouraged when I don’t get the outcomes I desire. Cheryl didn’t sugarcoat her journey to becoming an award-winning, coach, speaker, and radio host. She told stories of her frustrations and fears, as well as her triumphs. This balanced approach helped me to put my own experiences into a more positive light. I also made some fantastic new friends as a result of the workshop, and that alone was worth the price of admission.

Let me get to the big story: I am thrilled to have been selected as one of two Movers & Shakers from the March 2010 Movers & Shakers workshop in San Francisco. The other winner is the amazing vocal coach, David Coury. As a winner, David will host a live online event and my prize: I’ll be hosting a radio show with Hay House Radio in the Fall.

Being selected to host this radio show is truly a dream come true. As a kid, I used to imagine that when I grew up, I could be like Lucy in PEANUTS, and have my own “The Doctor Is In” sign. I envisioned people coming to me with their problems—everyday issues rather than massive depression and overwhelming anxiety—the ones we all experience.

Well, I get to do that for you now! I welcome you to call into the Work from Within show (Thursday mornings at 8 am Pacific, 11 am Eastern) to discuss your problems about work, like finding your next career move, dealing with a frustrating co-worker, or turning a dream into a reality. I invite you to call the toll-free number (866) 254-1579 during the show so I can support you in helping you to create calm, clarity, and confidence in your career.

My favorite times as a coach are when people come to me with thorny career issues, and I help them break through their own barriers. It’s gratifying to watch them embrace positive next steps in high-speed yet heartfelt fashion. That doesn’t always mean a “quick fix,” but it does mean rapid relief and the intention to lead with heart, and let the mind serve the heart, rather than the other way around. So, all in all, I’m very much looking forward to hosting the radio show and taking your calls about crafting your career in a way that maximizes your ROLE—your Return On Life Energy.

I would love for my wonderful experience with Hay House’s Movers and Shakers to prompt YOU to take positive action to maximize your ROLE. So let me ask you a question: What is it that you’ve been wanting to do for a long time, but haven’t started on? Something that you dream about, that really lights you up? Instead of trying to figure out the path to getting there, I want to suggest something daring:  Let your head go! Yep, stop spinning in your mind about the “right” thing to do. Quit trying to plan step #38.

Instead, listen to your heart. Ask your heart, “What’s one small, small step that I could take toward my dream?” Give yourself a dose of love, and then listen with compassion to what your heart tells you. Perhaps it’s signing up for a class. Maybe you’ll want to call a friend for support. Possibly it’s writing your dream in a journal and seeing what new information emerges. These are just a few suggestions.

You’ve got your own wisdom within you. So, “work from within,” and listen inside yourself for your own next step, the next place to dip a toe in the water, to take a leap of faith, to run after what you desire, to reach for what you want.

As I see it, dreams are your spirit’s way of communicating what you truly desire. Don’t discount them. Ever! Nurture and feed them, which means shining the light of loving care on yourself. This is part of the journey of being a Mover & Shaker.

Here’s to your dreams!

|23|hay house radio,peanuts,dreams,reid tracy,cheryl richardson,workshop,platform,movers and shakers,susan bernstein,strength meditation|_none|1|susan_bernstein Be a Healing Voice|Overcoming your addictions.|2010-09-29 17:00:00|public://imports/1659.jpg|0|public://imports/1659.jpg|

Drugs and alcohol are not the only things a person can be addicted to. Gambling, shopping, food, and even relationships can be the focus of an addiction. Often we look for validation from these other sources because we do not feel love or approval for our own selves. Sometimes we blame another person or a situation for making us the way we are. But nothing in the past is as powerful as what we choose to do in the present moment. When you truly desire change, you can make it happen for yourself. Of course, you don’t have to do it all alone. Help can come from friends, family, mental-health professionals, and support groups.

I hope you feel inspired and moved by the strength of Abigail, a self-esteem life coach from Kentucky, in the following story:

Yes, I Can Heal My Life!

On December 25, 2003, my mom gave me a copy of You Can Heal Your Life. Inside, she’d written: “I hope you enjoy Louise Hay’s approach to health. She is one of my favorites!” At the time, I was an active alcoholic who was also addicted to drugs; suffering with weight and sexuality because I’d been raped; and numb to the reality that my body was about to be cut open only to be sewn shut, as society preferred it to be, with plastic surgery.

Being a victim when convenient had become comfortable. Playing the role of polished public leader while secretly feeling isolated and lonely had become normal in my life. I needed Louise’s words, but I could not hear or feel at this point in my life, nor did I like to read. Thankfully “the list” in You Can Heal Your Life briefly touched on common diseases. Since it was so simple to navigate and held powerful keys for improving one’s immediate mental state, I was sold. Almost.

After reading the book, I made lists about loving my body, believing I was whole, talking to myself in the mirror, blah, blah, blah. I slid back into old patterns, never practicing my affirmations for more than a day. I was Jekyll and Hyde, a depressed leader with beauty and self-doubt. Life remained painfully comfortable.

One day I woke up in jail with my face and knees covered in bruises and crusty blood, thanks to my attempt to beat up police officers while inebriated the night before. I was arrested up against a car, which took my memory back to how I’d been raped several years earlier. I don’t recall the physical details, but the emotions are vivid. I knew I was cruel when the officers stripped me of my diamonds and pearls, when they placed me in an all-white “crazy person” room, and when I woke up and realized it was real. The person I was now looking at in this hazy mirror was not the one I’d intended to become.

When I got home, I picked up You Can Heal Your Life again. I kept repeating the phrase, “Me? I can heal my life?” I was so scared, but for the first time, I believed that, yes, I could. God needed me to be a voice for others, and this meant I would no longer use Band-Aids; I was going to physically, mentally, spiritually, and emotionally heal. I accepted the new thought patterns in the book and trusted in a fraction of Louise’s words.

For years, I’d given advice to other people, but stepping into responsibility for my own self was in a new league. By being true to her purpose, Louise helped me live on purpose. Louise’s affirmations (along with Wayne Dyer’s intentions) gave me a new beginning.

Since 2005, I’ve traveled to learn, but I’ve stayed put to teach. Today, I am sober, spiritual, successful, and courageous. I am a life coach to high-school and college women; with Louise’s affirmations, my experiences, and the power of the Universe, we improve lives.

|23|louise l. hay,addiction,alcohol,alcoholics anonymous,mental health,sexuality,life coach,wayne w. dyer,healing courses|_none|1|louise_l_hay Seeing Is Believing |Witnessing the many faces of Spirit. |2010-09-30 17:00:00||0||

“Am I really seeing what I think I am seeing?” I turned and whispered to one of my fellow students and teachers in the packed lecture hall. It was eerily quiet, and I could feel the intensity of the atmosphere as everyone sat on the edge of their seats staring at the medium. I was lucky enough to be part of a private gathering to see a Transfiguration Medium demonstrate his extraordinary ability. What with all the reading I’d done on psychic phenomena and mediumship, I couldn’t wait to hopefully see this specialized type of mediumship for real. During my intensive two-year stay in England, where I studied every aspect of mediumship, I was privileged to witness many strange yet wondrous demonstrations of the extraordinary power of Spirit. Of course, I’d heard about this type of mediumship, but never thought I would get to attend an actual demonstration, since this form of mediumship is very rare and takes years of dedication and patience to develop on the part of the medium.

A gasp rippled through the audience as the faces of the dead started to overlay the face of the medium onstage. If I hadn’t witnessed this with my own eyes, I might not have believed it! It was an extraordinary experience.

Before I finish this story, let me explain a bit more what this is all about. Transfiguration is a rare form of mediumship that allows those in spirit to materialize and communicate through the medium. To put it in the simplest way, it’s when the face of the person who has passed on will appear over the face of the medium. I know you’re most likely saying to yourself right now, What?! Let me explain further.

A Transfiguration Medium has the ability to communicate like other mediums with those in the Spirit World, but something different also happens. Anyone who has seen me work knows that I talk about raising my energy (which, as I mentioned, I often refer to as “the quickening”), which is all part of blending my vibrations with those of Spirit to forge the connection.

Transfiguration Mediums also start out in the same way. First, they enter a trancelike state or an altered state of consciousness. Then, when the time is right, a veil of ectoplasm slowly appears in front of their face, and it’s this veil that gets molded into the exact features of the spirit who’s trying to communicate. When I witnessed this for the first time, I must admit that I did say to myself, John, keep an open mind here, and experience the whole thing before you react or decide on what you feel you’ve seen.

Ectoplasm is a translucent substance that oozes from the medium’s body during the trance state. Spirits are able to manipulate and use the substance to push their own faces through the veil just like a mask. It’s not remotely gory or anything like that, and once spirits have communicated, the ectoplasm returns back into the medium’s body. The substance is very light sensitive, and that’s why many Transfiguration Mediums will often hold séances in darkened rooms.

In the UK, transfiguration was very popular during the late 19th century and the early part of the 20th century, when interest in Spiritualism was at an all-time high as a result of the horrific aftermath and human loss resulting from World War I. Thousands of people became interested in the whole concept and the reality of the afterlife. Grieving families tried to come to terms with the loss, often spanning generations, as fathers, husbands, and sons were lost during the war. So many people with heavy broken hearts wanted to know if there really was an afterlife and if their loved ones were safe.

I found it immensely poignant when I read how people who’d lost loved ones in the First World War would attend transfiguration séances, in the hopes that they would get the opportunity to see their loved ones’ faces just one more time. I know from doing this work that all too often when someone dies tragically, such as in the case of war, the family members who are left to grieve have a harder time coming to terms with their loss, as they rarely got the opportunity to say good-bye.

Nevertheless, I do want to reiterate that this form of mediumship is quite rare. It takes absolute dedication and desire as well as patience to sit in a development circle for years to develop this special ability. Therefore, you can imagine that when I was offered the opportunity to witness this myself, I jumped at the opportunity.

|5|john holland,medium,psychic,transfiguration,spirit|_none|1|john_holland Are You Hoarding Antacids?|How to stop your stomach distress.|2010-10-01 17:00:00|public://imports/1638.jpg|0|public://imports/1638.jpg|

As we age, we lose digestive capacity. After the age of 40, hydrochloric-acid production wanes, and we’re unable to break down proteins efficiently . . . enter Tums.

I remember when my siblings and I were cleaning out our mother’s cupboards after she died, and we discovered bottle after bottle of antacids. Some people hoard gold; our mother hoarded Tums.

Most individuals think that the need for antacids is due to the production of too much stomach acid, while the reverse is true. Antacids neutralize one of the body’s most important secretions—hydrochloric acid—that, along with the enzyme pepsin, is necessary for protein digestion. Acid blockers make the stomach more alkaline and less acidic than it needs to be; in other words, antacids could actually be blocking the body’s ability to digest food, vitamins, and minerals. Gas and bloating are sure signs of low stomach acid, and there’s nothing more socially unacceptable than a good case of “bum gas.” If you’re living with someone who’s constantly got the “toots,” I suggest betaine hydrochloride, which is available at health-food stores.

This supplement helps neutralize stomach acid, breaks down proteins efficiently, balances PH levels, and stops gas and bloating—a welcome relief to all family members.

You’ll also notice a huge difference in your gut when you stop drinking coffee and consuming dairy products, which are probably the main stomach-distress culprits.

Over and over again, I find that when people listen to their bodies and put aside offending foods, almost all of their gastrointestinal problems disappear.

If your stomach is delicate, I find that lightly steamed vegetables may be better tolerated than raw. I’m a big fan of soups and stews because they’re so nurturing. You can get an almost instantaneous correction from stomach problems with good old chicken or turkey soup (made without the wheat noodles)—a pot of it on the stove provides a ready source of fuel that will keep everyone happy. Make enough to share with your neighbor or friend who needs some extra TLC.

|6|caroline sutherland,digestion,stomach acid,antacids,bloating|_none|1|caroline_sutherland Would You Fire Your Boss?|If you said yes, you’re not alone!|2010-10-02 17:00:00|public://imports/1637.jpg|0|public://imports/1637.jpg|

Would you fire your boss? Many employees would if they could. Results from a Gallup Management Journal survey reveal that 24 percent of employees would fire their boss if given the chance.

Gallup studied the responses to determine if the level of the employees’ engagement was a factor in whether employees would fire their boss. Not surprisingly 51% of those in the “disengaged” category wanted to see their immediate supervisor or manager gone. These are the same people who said that their boss did not care about them.

The truth is, it’s a lot easier to be nice to the employees who like you than it is to those who do not. Here are some simple things that supervisors and managers can do today to show disengaged coworkers that they really do value them as a person — not just an employee.

3 Acts of Kindness That Show You Care

  1. Take the high road. OK, so one of your disengaged employees looks daggers at you whenever you meet. Your first inclination is to return the fire. Don’t go there.
  2. Try to see them as a suffering human being. The fact is, we are all in the same boat. Every human being on Earth has the same needs and desires. We all have a basic need for others to care about us and value us for our unique combination of talents and abilities.
  3. Make an extra effort to be understanding. For example, the next time they request a small thing such as leaving early to attend their child’s class play, try to accommodate them. Sure, they may not “deserve” it, but if it’s in your power to do it — make it so.

Showing kindness to people who are probably not going to reciprocate (at least at first) will require you to make a conscious effort not to react the way you used to. To be successful, you will need to be fully present and mindful during each conversation.

The easiest, most effective technique you can use to maintain emotional control in challenging situations is to utilize what I call the acronym SODA — an ancient four-step process for remaining calm and focused — no matter what happens.

How to apply SODA with a prickly employee

Let’s say one of your disengaged employees comes to you with a problem. Here is how how you’d use the SODA idea step by step.

Step 1. Stop. Pause for a nanosecond to allow yourself to remain calm and composed. This places you in the present moment, allowing you to see things clearly.

Step 2. Observe what is. Your self-talk might be: “Well, what is really going on here is that she is obviously suffering. She is probably suffering in other aspects of her life that I have no way of seeing. I need to be compassionate.”

Step 3. Decide to behave differently than before by responding only after you calmly listen to fully understand her situation.

Step 4. Act. Respond to her in a manner that shows you respect her and genuinely care about her and her plight.

I guarantee that if you can remember to use SODA when you talk with an unhappy employee, you will end up feeling a lot better about yourself. They will feel better, too. Who knows? Eventually your disengaged folks may think you aren’t so bad after all!

|23|barbara burke,employment,job stress,management,leadership,gallup poll,acts of kindness|_none|1|barbara_burke Are Your Kids Eating Right?|How to pack a healthy lunchbox.|2010-10-03 17:00:00|public://imports/1636.jpg|0|public://imports/1636.jpg|

Creating a healthy lunchbox day in and day out is a daunting task. Using this five-point template can help to ensure that you are getting the nutrition right while appealing to your children’s tastes.

  1. Carbohydrates for energy: Homemade pasta, brown rice, couscous and bulgar wheat salads are good carbohydrate options for packed lunches and can be made with or without salt. You can also include wholemeal tortilla wraps and mini wholemeal pitas.
  2. Protein for growing bodies: Chicken, turkey and lean beef that you have roasted at home can be added to pasta and rice salads. This will help you control the salt when making sandwiches, wraps, and pitas. Salmon and tuna canned in olive oil are also ideal. Great vegetarian options include chickpeas or red kidney beans added to pasta salads as well as servings of hummus or a pureed down, bean-packed winter soup.
  3. Dairy for strong bones: Try adding a matchbox-sized chunk of cheddar or Edam cheese or yogurt to your child’s lunchbox. Remember that even plain yogurts have 7g of sugar per 100g which comes from the milk sugar lactose. So you’ll need to subtract these figures from the quantity of total sugars on the nutrition labeling to get a fair idea of the added sugar content. Try packing plain yogurt and sending along fresh fruits like chopped grapes to be added by your children. Sesame seeds are also very rich in calcium and can be incorporated into salads and mixed into sandwich fillings.
  4. Fruit and vegetables: You can include obvious ones such as cherry tomatoes, cucumber sticks, and grapes that count toward your child’s daily requirement. Others may include adding sweet corn to tuna as a sandwich filling, adding salad in a pita or wrap, and adding vegetables in winter soups.
  5. Drinks: Include water, diluted orange juice or occasionally a small fruit smoothie. One 250ml smoothie or a 200ml carton of fruit juice counts toward your child’s daily requirement of “five a day.”
|6|amanda ursell,children,healthy eating,carbohydrates,protein,vegetables,school lunch|_none|1|amanda_ursell Overwhelmed and Unhappy? |Let the archangels help you!|2010-10-04 17:00:00|public://imports/1645.jpg|0|public://imports/1645.jpg|

Since archangels are so close to Earth and humankind, it’s natural for us to connect with them. In fact, the Bible is filled with accounts of people interacting with Michael and Gabriel. The archangels still interact with us in conjunction with God’s will of peace.

We don’t pray to archangels, nor do we worship them. All glory goes to God. We work with archangels simply because they are God’s intended gift to us all, and part of the divine plan for peace.

So why don’t we simply direct all questions and requests to God? Because the archangels are extensions of God who are easier to hear and feel during times of great stress. Their vibrations are very condensed, and they’re palpable and practically tangible. Just as looking at a sunset or a rainbow reminds us of God’s love, so do the archangels.

You don’t need to be saintly or a perfectly behaved person to elicit the archangels’ help. They look past human mistakes and see the inner goodness within us all. They want to bring peace to Earth by helping us all be peaceful. So their mission includes helping the unpeaceful people of the world.

As holograms of God’s omnipresence, the archangels are unlimited beings. Remember the promise that Jesus made: “I am with you always”? Well, the archangels—like Jesus—are able to be with each person who calls upon them.

The key is that the archangels will never violate your free will by intervening without permission, even if to do so would make us happier. They must wait until you give permission in some way: a prayer, a cry for help, a wish, a visualization, an affirmation, or a thought. The archangels don’t care how you ask for their help, but only that you do.

You also needn’t worry about asking for the archangels’ help incorrectly. You don’t have to be specially trained or use fancy invocations to garner their attention. Any sincere call for aid is enough, as all they require is your permission.

Affirmative and supplicant prayers work. In the former, it’s a positive here-and-now statement or visualization, such as “Thank you, Archangel Michael, for protecting me”; and in the latter, it’s an appeal, like “Please protect, Archangel Michael.” Both yield the same results.

This is also the answer when asking, “Should I call upon God directly? Should I ask God to send the appropriate angels? Or should I call the angels directly?” These questions imply that there’s a separation between God and the angels, and there is not.

|1|visualization,angelic realm,peace,divine help,stress,god,archangels,doreen virtue|_none|1|doreen_virtue Did You Lose Something?|Archangel Chamuel will find it!|2010-10-04 17:00:00|public://imports/1649.jpg|0|public://imports/1649.jpg|

I receive the most letters from people who have had powerful angel experiences with Archangel Michael, who saves or protects them; with Archangel Raphael, who heals them; and with Archangel Chamuel, who helps them find something.

Archangel Chamuel fulfills a role similar to Saint Anthony in Catholicism, who also helps reunite us with missing items. Both are amazingly swift at bringing back beloved heirloom items, like wedding rings. 

If you’re worried about bothering this angel with requests to find your car keys or eyeglasses, let me reassure you: Chamuel is happy to help! He’s charged with a mighty mission of fulfilling universal peace, and part of this plan involves reducing human stress. So if you’re stressed about losing something, rest assured that Chamuel wants to assist. To him, it’s easy to locate your missing item, since he can see the location of everything.

Chamuel can help you find your life’s purpose; a better job or home; your right relationship; and anything, esoteric or tangible, that you request, as long as it’s in alignment with your Higher Self’s path. He knows God’s will for you, so ask for help and Chamuel will sort the rest out.

Here are some examples of the mysterious ways in which Chamuel has helped people to locate what they’re seeking:

When Amanda Peart got a new handbag, she threw her old one in the garbage. Unfortunately, a couple of days later after she emptied her new purse completely, she realized that her iPod had been in the old bag, which had by now gone to the dump.

Very upset, Amanda asked Archangel Chamuel to help. The next day in the supermarket, she opened her new purse and was shocked to find her iPod. She says, “I know for absolute certain that the iPod hadn’t been there previously because I had literally tipped everything out of my bag onto the floor in my desperation and annoyance that I’d lost it.”

Amanda’s story is typical of the Chamuel stories that I receive, in that the lost article reappears mysteriously. I do believe that the angels bring the item back to us once we’ve asked Chamuel to locate it.

You can also call upon Chamuel on behalf of another person, as Nicholas Davis discovered. Nicholas’s roommate owned very expensive sunglasses that he treasured because it had taken him a long time to find the right pair. Then one day he lost them! Nicholas and his roommate searched the entire house, but they were gone.

Then Nicholas recalled that Archangel Chamuel helps retrieve lost items, so with full faith he asked for the sunglasses to be returned to his friend.

The next day, Nicholas got up to get ready for work. He’d forgotten about the incident until he saw his roommate happily wearing his shades. Nicholas remarked, “I thought you lost those. Where’d you find them?”

His pal replied, “It’s a miracle! My sunglasses were on the dining table when I got up this morning; and please don’t ask me how or why they got there, because I can’t give you an answer to any of your questions. They were just there!”

But Nicholas knew in his heart that Archangel Chamuel performed the miracle and does perform them every single day.

When you ask Chamuel to help find something, pay close attention to the thoughts, ideas, visions, and feelings you receive. That’s because Chamuel is letting you know where to find the object through these means. He may tell you to look in a place that seems illogical because you’ve already looked there several times. But check anyway, because the angels may have brought it to that location.

Chamuel can help you find anything, as long as you’re willing to listen and follow his guidance, as a man named Michael Muth discovered. When Michael needed his English-German dictionary, he automatically went to the place where he always kept the book—but it wasn’t there. So Michael searched the entire room, but still no dictionary. He then looked in the living room, in the kitchen, on the balcony, and in the bathroom.

Then Michael remembered that Archangel Chamuel helps us locate missing objects, so he decided to ask him for help. Within a few minutes, he got the answer as a “knowingness” that the dictionary was in his bedroom. And sure enough, it was!

Like a satellite, Chamuel can see everything upon Earth. So, he’s a wonderful companion to call upon if you feel lost or afraid. Chamuel will guide you safely to your destination, as Timothy’s story illustrates.

Whether you’re seeking your soul mate, a better job, or the location of your car keys, Chamuel can use his celestial vision to help.

“Dear Archangel Chamuel, thank you for guiding me to find what I’m looking for, which includes [give specific details about your search].

|1|lost items,st. anthony,spirituality,heavenly messages,angels,archangel chamuel,archangel raphael,archangel michael,heaven,divine intervention,archangels,doreen virtue|_none|1|doreen_virtue What’s Best for Your Breasts?|Thermograms vs. mammograms|2010-10-05 17:00:00|public://imports/1646.jpg|0|public://imports/1646.jpg|

Today, many women with a family history of breast cancer are opting for genetic testing to determine whether they carry the abnormal breast cancer genes one (BRCA1) or two (BRC2). When the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes are healthy, the body is more likely to hinder breast cancer cell growth. When these same women test positive for the (mutated) breast cancer gene, many are opting for a preventative bilateral mastectomy (the removal of two, usually healthy, breasts). This is happening more and more, even though only five to ten percent of all new breast cancers occur in women who carry the gene!1

Women wrongly conclude that if they carry these mutated genes, they are destined to develop cancer. Dr. Colin Begg, Chair of the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, and fellow researchers determined after studying 2000 women from different countries that breast cancer risk varies widely among women with mutated BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes. Other factors contribute to a women’s risk, including family history, diet, and lifestyle choices.2 This means that testing positive doesn’t mean you will get breast cancer—and testing negative doesn’t mean you are protected from developing breast cancer!

When women test positive, many are anxious and wonder what to do. According to the National Cancer Institute, risk increases significantly when a woman has unhealthy BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes and more than one close family member (a mother, sister, or daughter) with unhealthy genes. The risk of developing breast cancer when you have both factors is 60 percent or higher.3

If you fall into this category, your doctor will most likely recommend vigilant breast cancer screening, including mammography and breast exams (and possibly MRIs or sonograms) every six to twelve months. Conventional medicine believes in more radical treatments, too. These treatments include:

  • Preventative mastectomy. (An option that isn’t 100 percent failproof.)
  • Preventative chemotherapy. (Usually in the form of tamoxifen.)
  • Taking estrogen-inhibiting drugs for the rest of your life. (This, presumably, thwarts tumor growth).

I’m saddened by these recommendations. I don’t believe that a woman should think of her breasts as lumps of tissue that are destined to kill her. And I wouldn’t want any woman to think these are her only three options for staying healthy. These will only create more problems and likely diminish her quality of life. I also don’t recommend frequent mammograms because excessive doses of radiation have been shown to increase your risk of cancer.4

Thermography versus Mammography

Instead, I recommend getting a regular thermogram at a thermography center. A thermogram is an infrared image of the breasts that shows cellular activity and inflammation as heat. In a way, it’s like a PET scan. For a PET scan, you drink a solution with glucose, which cancer cells quickly absorb. When the X-rays are taken, these glucose-laden cancerous cells are easily identified.

With thermography, a thermal imaging camera captures the amount of heat on the body’s surface. It’s then translated to a digital image seen immediately on a computer. Because it uses different colors to represent different amounts of heat—each color is different by half a degree—the resulting image looks a lot like a topographical map. Thermography is a non-invasive test—there’s no flattening of the breasts and the thermographer does not need to touch your breast to take the images. (For more about the difference between Mammography and Thermography, read “A Tale of Two Exams.”)

A thermologist, the medical doctor who reads and interprets the thermogram, expects to see symmetrical heat patterns. Even subtle differences from one side to the other are easily identified, and this can indicate cancerous or precancerous tissue or other anomalies. Some are explainable and don’t require additional testing. Women who have abnormal thermograms are at a higher risk for developing cancer. Studies have shown it to be an even more reliable indicator than one’s family history.5

Women are choosing pre-emptive mastectomies because they believe that they’ve been warned and now need to act drastically to avoid something even more extreme. With a thermogram, you will likely know sooner if there are breast anomalies, so you can make lifestyle and other changes to improve your health. Similarly, if you get regular thermograms and you do develop breast cancer it will likely be found early.6

The reason is a thermogram often picks up anomalies better than a mammogram. For example, thermography is very good at finding problems in young dense breasts as well as women with large breasts. This makes thermography, as compared to mammography, appropriate for a woman who is high risk and wants to begin breast cancer screening early. Something particularly good to know is that thermography doesn’t pick up questionable masses in women with fibrocystic disease nearly as often as mammography does.7

My Recommendations

In addition to the treatments discussed above, conventional doctors often recommend lifestyle changes, like avoiding medications with hormones, such as birth control and hormone replacement; keeping your weight down and eating a low-fat diet; exercising vigorously; and avoiding alcohol. I recommend a diet low in sugar and other refined carbohydrates along with lots of fruits, vegetables, and flax seed. I also suggest daily supplementation with a high-quality multi-vitamin/mineral, lots of healthy omega-3 fats, and maintaining optimal levels of vitamin D. Because the breasts and lymph play a role in the body’s detoxification process, taking steps that promotes healthy, efficient detoxification can promote breast health. This is one reason I recommend regular breast and lymph massage. (See The Wisdom of Menopause.)

I want women to know that a sane approach is not only available, it’s also effective—even if you have the breast cancer gene. It’s also entirely possible to improve your thermography results over time by supplementing, exercising, and following a lifestyle that doesn’t promote cellular inflammation. I encourage women everywhere to look into thermography and to take a sane approach that promotes breast health proactively.

This information is not intended to treat, diagnose, cure, or prevent any disease. All material in this article is provided for educational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you have regarding a medical condition, and before undertaking any diet, exercise, or other health program.


  1. National Cancer Institute. Genetics of breast and ovarian cancer (PDQ)., 2008.
  2. Begg, C.B., Haile, R.W., Borg, A., et al. 2008 Variation of breast cancer risk among BRCA 1/2 carriers. JAMA. 299(2):194-201.
  3. U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. Genetic risk assessment and BRCA mutation testing for breast and ovarian cancer susceptibility. Retrieved April 20, 2009, from:
  4. Semelka, R., 2007. Imaging X-rays cause cancer: a call to action for caregivers and patients, Medscape, Feb. 13, 2006, reviewed and renewed Feb. 16, 2007.
  5. Gros, C., Gautherie, M., 1980.  Breast thermography and cancer risk prediction, Cancer 45:51-56. Louis, K., Walter, J., Gautherie, M., 1982. Long-term assessment of breast cancer risk by thermal imaging, Biomedical Thermology, Alan R. Liss, Inc. pp. 279-301.
  6. Parisky, Y.R., 2003. Efficacy of computerized infrared imaging analysis to evaluate mammographically suspicious lesions, AJR Am J Roentgenol, 180(1):263-9. Therefore, many women will only need a lumpectomy, not radiation and chemotherapy, and certainly not a mastectomy.
  7. Arora, N., et. al, 2008. Effectiveness of a noninvasive digital infrared thermal imaging system in the detection of breast cancer, Am J Surg, Oct;196(4):523-6.
|6|breast cancer gene,breast health,breast,mammography,thermography,christiane northrup|_none|1|dr_christiane_northrup Are You Living Big or Playing Small?|Liberate your potential!|2010-10-06 17:00:00|public://imports/1670.jpg|0|public://imports/1670.jpg|

Many people dream of changing their lives, but remain stuck in their status quo. They may tell themselves their goals are unrealistic, or tolerate dissatisfying situations because they feel undeserving of anything better. Each of us is born with tremendous potential, but it becomes buried beneath self-defeating beliefs and behaviors rooted in childhood, that we keep perpetuating in our adult lives.

Living boldly means living a life in which your innate potential is liberated, and you’re free to realize your greatest dreams. Instead of being trapped in a life full of excuses and frustration, you’re actively creating a life that you love.

If you have dreams you want to achieve but feel unable to pursue, begin to break your gridlock by becoming aware of the self-defeating patterns that keep you stuck. Whatever you’re currently doing, identify and start doing the opposite action to override the old pattern, liberate your potential, and empower yourself to pursue your goals. Below are three questions you can ask yourself to help you jump-start positive change in your life:

How am I treating myself?

Perhaps you dream of completing a graduate degree. If you’re physically exhausted, in a depleting job, or not taking good care of yourself, it’s going to diminish the energy you need to research the right school, get your application done, and complete your graduate studies. Think about how you’re treating your body and what you need to do differently to generate the energy needed to create the life you want. This means making healthy choices about what you eat and drink—and what you’re not going to eat and drink—as well as healthy choices about exercise and sleep.

What kinds of messages am I sending to myself?

Maybe your goal is to have the confidence to exhibit your paintings in the local art gallery, but you tell yourself you’re not good enough. You’re defeating your purpose by sending a message to yourself that erodes your self-esteem. Or maybe you dream of starting your own business, but you think: “I will fail.” If you’re sending yourself negative messages, you’ll be too paralyzed by fear to get your business off the ground. Send yourself positive messages like: “You are AMAZING, TALENTED, and MAGNIFICENT!” Over time, you’ll strengthen your self-esteem and build the confidence you need to actively pursue your goal.

What kinds of relationships am I creating in my life?

Your life vision might involve a fun, inspiring, and fulfilling personal life, but you continually participate in relationships that make you feel bad. Maybe your friends are judgmental; maybe they don’t show up on time or always cancel plans at the last minute. Make a conscious decision to address issues as they arise or, if they are repetitive, not to stay in those kinds of relationships. By choosing not to participate in unhealthy relationships, you’ll not only change the quality of your friendships, but you’ll also free up the energy consumed by conflict to create and live the life you want to have.

|23|lauren mackler,dreams,getting stuck,status quo,self-esteem,personal best,relationships,empowerment|_none|1|lauren_mackler Backpack or Bedpan?|Health is always a choice.|2010-10-07 17:00:00|public://imports/1650.jpg|0|public://imports/1650.jpg|

I believe that we almost always have a choice between health and chronic illness. We can choose to be healthy and be out backpacking, or we can choose to be sick, possibly living out our days in an institution using a bedpan, our independence lost as a result of chronic illness.

Keep in mind that chronic illness does not just “show up” one day to cause problems. Some diseases take decades to develop, and many of them develop silently, often with few or no symptoms. Understanding this, and knowing that you do have a choice of taking action—or not—to safeguard your health, is the first step in preventing many chronic diseases from gaining a foothold. It’s much better to live your life in a way that will prevent disease, rather than learning that you have developed an illness after it’s too late to reverse the accumulated damage.

To do this, we need to become more focused on both our wellness and disease prevention—to look a little deeper than we have in the past, asking questions that will change our lives by enhancing our health and wellness.

Diabetes, insulin resistance, glucose intolerance, and heart disease can be well established without giving any major warning signs. Sometimes the first knowledge of such a condition arrives with a full-blown heart attack or stroke.

Being overweight or obese is one of the most obvious signs that one or more of these diseases is present (although even thin people can be over-fat). Keep in mind—being overweight is not only about your body image. Being overweight is a symptom of a serious underlying problem, not the problem itself. Many of us think we know what to do to be healthy, yet cannot seem to accomplish this goal. Why? Have you ever wondered why you have not been able to stay with a low-fat diet along with a rigorous exercise program? It could be that your body does not have the genetic makeup to be able to tolerate a very low-fat, or a low carbohydrate, or even a high-protein diet.

Remember, we have choices where our health is concerned, and we need to connect our lifestyle with its direct health outcomes. Some of these choices depend on our own individual genetic makeup. Personally, when I reach 75, I want to be outside backpacking, hiking, biking, or skiing with my children and grandchildren, not spending my days institutionalized, needing help getting to the bathroom.

Historically, health recommendations focus on what is right for the general public (such as: “Eat a low fat diet”), not for the individual. You do not want your health to be evaluated on the “average scale,” because what you will end up with is the “average” heart attack.

You will likely cause a chronic illness for yourself if you consistently create the wrong body chemistry through the wrong diet and wrong exercise regimen for whichever of the six different Apo E genotypes you happen to be. That’s why general diet recommendations such as “Eat a low-fat diet” or “Eat a low-carbohydrate diet” are not right for everyone.

For some Apo E genotypes, a low-fat diet can actually create heart disease. So, a logical solution is to learn about the Apo E gene and how it matches your diet and lifestyle.

With our new understanding of the human genome and the arrival of DNA testing, it is possible to recognize interactions between what we eat and how our genes function, and how these interactions may contribute to disease. Diet can change how different genes will express themselves and how they will adapt to different environments.

We now have the technological capability to look at our genetic type in order to determine the likelihood of our developing a chronic disease. If we know our genotype, we can make fundamental decisions for preventing the development of a particular chronic disease. While we don’t yet understand the purpose of all of the genetic information in our bodies, we know enough to apply how certain gene traits interact with particular dietary regimens. This will improve our health today, rather than waiting decades until a disease announces itself with a health crisis.

|6|dieting,genotype,dna,weight loss,genetic makeup,chronic disease,pamela mcdonald|_none|1|pamela_mcdonald Let Your Children Grow|Spiritual souls with many lessons.|2010-10-08 17:00:00|public://imports/1651.jpg|0|public://imports/1651.jpg|

Children are blessings from the Universe. They are not their parents’ possessions. They’re individual bright spirits—old spiritual souls coming to have another human experience. They’ve chosen their parents for the lessons and challenges that they’ll be given. They’re here to teach us many things if we’re open to learning from them.

Children are challenging, for they have different ways of looking at Life. Yet parents frequently insist on teaching them old, outdated ideas that their children instinctively know aren’t right for them.

It’s the parents’ duty to provide a safe, nurturing space for this soul to develop its current personality to the fullest. If we could only realize that each child who comes to this planet is a healer and could do wondrous things to advance humanity when they’re encouraged. When we try to force a child into a mold that was passed down from our grandparents, then we do him or her a disservice, and we do society a disservice.

Applaud your children’s uniqueness. Allow them to express themselves in their own style, even if you think it’s just a fad. Don’t make them wrong or tear them down. Goodness knows, I’ve gone through many, many fads in my lifetime, and so will you and your children!

We don’t have to be perfect parents. If we’re loving, our children will have an excellent chance of growing up to be the kind of people we would like to have as friends. They’ll be individuals who are self-fulfilled and successful. Self-fulfillment brings inner peace. The best thing we can do for our children is to learn to love ourselves, for children always learn by example. We’ll have a better life, and they’ll have a better life, too.

Here are affirmations for both parents and children that you can practice together:

  • I love new things.
  • I am teachable. Life is an education. I am a student. I am doing the best I can and Every day it gets easier.
  • The child in me knows how to love and sing and dance and heal. I honor and cherish myself.
  • I see the best in everyone.
  • I now contribute to a united, loving and peaceful family life.
  • To get more love, I merely need to love myself more.
  • I allow myself to think big dreams.
  • I am a unique individual with my own path to follow.
|1|louise l. hay,children,parenting,affirmations,education|_none|1|louise_l_hay It’s Just a Piece of Paper|How do you feel about your money?|2010-10-09 17:00:00|public://imports/1655.jpg|0|public://imports/1655.jpg|

Reach into your purse or pocket and pull out some paper money—dollars, pounds, euros, krona, yen, whatever you've got to hand. Now try the following test:

Wave the money rapidly back and forth, like a fan. Look at the money and tell yourself “it's just a piece of paper.”

Next, think of something you want that the money in your hand could help you get—lunch, a new CD, clothes, world peace, whatever appeals to you. Continue to look at the money as you think about what it is that you want.

Now, imagine that the money you hold in your hand is all that’s between you and being absolutely broke.

Finally, wave the money back and forth rapidly, telling yourself once again that “it's just a piece of paper.”

What is it that gives money its emotional power? One answer is that we do. And one way we do it is by giving those pieces of metal or paper, or even numbers on a piece of paper, MEANING.

Sometimes we do this literally, as in “this paycheck equals my phone bill” or “this $10 bill equals lunch,” so if we lose the $10 bill, in our minds, we’ve just lost our lunch. Often, the meaning is even more metaphoric. “Money is freedom of choice” or “money is love made visible” or even “money is the root of all evil.”

By heightening our awareness of our beliefs about money, we can begin to make sense of many of our emotions and behaviors when dealing with it, and by changing them, we can transform the emotional impact of money in our lives. After all, would you rather work half your life for freedom of choice or for the root of all evil?

Today's Experiment:

  1. Take a few minutes to complete the following sentences in as many different ways as you can. Aim for at least six completions per “sentence starter.”
    Money is....
    Money is like...
    Making money is...
    Making money is like...
    Spending money is...
    Spending money is like...
  2. Go back through your list and make a note of any beliefs or metaphors that impact you emotionally, either positively or negatively.
  3. For each “impact statement,” have fun exploring the implications of acting as if that belief or metaphor was 100% true. If you like, you can use these questions to get you started:
    If someone really believed this was true, how would they probably act?
    What would be important to them?
    What kind of decisions would they make?
    How emotional an issue would money be for them?
    What kinds of emotions would they tend to attach to money?
    Example: “Money is a tool”
    If money is a tool, the ideal would be to keep it handy and use it often. Your skill in using it would make a tremendous difference. When you wanted something, you would look through your toolbox, only pulling out money when it seemed the best tool for the job. (You might use a screwdriver more than any other tool in your box, but it’s a lousy way to bang in a nail, i.e., money can’t buy you love.) Caring for your tools is important, and it’s a poor workman who blames his tools. Most people won’t lend out their tools, and almost any tool can be replaced.
  4. Finally, choose an empowering money belief or metaphor to play with today. Leave yourself notes and reminders to act as if the belief you've chosen is 100% true, and allow your unconscious mind to adjust your experience accordingly.
|23|independence,freedom,happiness,prosperity,money,michael neill|_none|1|michael_neill 5 Reasons to Love Your Teen Daughter|. . . Even when she drives you crazy! |2010-10-10 17:00:00|public://imports/1656.jpg|0|public://imports/1656.jpg|

Many of us look back on our teen years with reluctance and embarrassment while anticipating every moment of our daughter’s adolescence with dread. The idea that a teen girl is a social pariah and a powder keg of emotions is what drives this negative forecasting. As a nurse-midwife who has cared for teen girls for over 20 years and the mother of a teen daughter, I say it’s time to take a more positive approach to adolescent girls and their hallmark behaviors—for their sakes and ours!

Without question, the tumult and ever-changing emotional landscape of a teen girl can be hard to keep up with. But as mothers to these chameleon-like creatures, whose ability to change shape and shade is nothing less than shocking, I say let’s look at the bright side. Sharing your living space with someone whose skill set includes a flare for the dramatic, the ability to ferret-out hypocrisy in a millisecond, and spontaneity that borders on hyperactivity has its pluses. These pluses may sometimes be elusive, but if you look at the situation more closely, it can help you regain some resilience and put some perspective on the alien creature you’re forced to introduce as, “My daughter.”

Here are five reasons why loving your teen girl with abandon and no strings attached will be good for both of you:

  1. Teenage girls go full-throttle when it comes to their passions: When a teen girl becomes passionate about an idea or activity, she won’t think twice about giving it her all. You have to love it when she starts baking cupcakes at midnight for a fund-raising bake sale the next day. When was the last time you were so generous with your time? Or, even felt so interested in anything? My own daughter’s efforts on behalf of the causes she feels most committed to are inspiring. 
  2. Teen girls can be hilarious: When you catch them at the right time and are willing to suspend your own sense of propriety for a bit, you’ll be given the privilege of seeing the world from an entirely different point of view—one not weighed down by the pressures of adult life. I recently watched a popular comedy with my teen daughter and her adult brother; and the laughter that ensued, across generations, was priceless. Many of us lose the ability to experience the “church giggles” as we move into adulthood, but if you hang out with your teen girl when she’s in a funny mood, you’ll probably laugh more than you ever imagined you could.
  3. Teen girls are fearless fashionistas: Girls have a fashion sense all their own—personally and collectively—and although you wouldn’t wear some of their outfits (nor would I ever recommend copying them in any way), you have to give them a lot of credit for their fearlessness when it comes to fashion. It can inspire you in its own way to try something you’ve had your eye on but have been too shy to put on. As is evidenced by their boldness, the world won’t come to a screeching halt if you do.
  4. Teenage girls surrender when they don’t feel well: The truth is, adult women often plow through their days with fevers, crippling menstrual cramps, or the flu. It’s hard for any of us to take a sick day, even when our bodies are begging us to. Somehow, adult women feel that being sick will leave an eternal black mark on their reputations. This is not the mind-set of a teenage girl. For many of them, the Red Tent stays up for monthly use, a migraine sends them to bed, and the flu has them flat on the couch in front of the television with a box of tissues. And, they expect someone to take care of them! This is enviable, and we should follow their example.
  5. Teen girls’ affects match their emotions: Teen girls have little trouble holding back when they’re angry, joyful, or lustful. When was the last time you were this transparent? We should all be so present in our emotional lives. And, while we may need to help them contain and deliver their feelings with more grace for improved acceptance from their listening audience, there’s no mistaking what’s on their minds and in their hearts. By the time many of us reach adulthood, this authenticity has been socialized right out of us.

Loving an adolescent girl can be like “making nice” with a hyena who’s eyeing you as a meal. But, the fact is when she hugs back and really means it, it’s the sweetest feeling you’ll ever have and all your efforts will feel worthwhile.

|23|evelyn resh,teenagers,self-reliance,survival,motherhood,daughters|_none|1|evelyn_resh What Would You Love to Create?|Four feelings to help you focus.|2010-10-11 17:00:00|public://imports/1691.jpg|0|public://imports/1691.jpg|

It’s essential to concentrate upon the things that you’d love to be, do, and have in life. When I was filmed for my part in The Secret (a film devoted to the “how” of manifesting one’s dreams), I emphasized that your innermost dominant thought becomes your outermost tangible reality. In other words, you’ll move your life in the direction of what is most on your mind.

Since you’re always thinking about something, it is wise to consciously focus your thoughts upon how you can live according to your highest values. Fill your mind with what is most important to you, and tap into the inspiring thoughts and ideas that you would love to bring into reality. Note that whenever you think about activities that are associated with your lower values (unless you’re planning ways to delegate them or linking them to your highest values), they can become frustrating boulders that seem to momentarily block your path.

When your goals are aligned with your highest values, and what you’d love to achieve absolutely reflects your authentic self, then you’ll automatically think about those goals. When you’re grateful for your challenges, for yourself, and for those around you—and you’re appreciative for the way it is—you have the power to create and shape your life. To put it simply, you bring about what you think and “thank” about.

When you think about fulfilling your highest values, you’ll be inspired. And when you feel inspired, you increase your ability to create or uncover opportunities that will help you achieve your goals. With this powerful outlook, you not only impact every aspect of your life, but you also affect the rest of the world.

There are four primary feelings that assist you in living your dream. They emerge when you tune in to your inner wisdom and maintain harmony with your highest values. They are as follows:

  1. Gratitude. Gratitude is the gateway to the heart that allows your authentic self to radiate outward to those around you. It is a genuine appreciation of yourself, other people, and the world. When you feel grateful for what you have, you’ll receive more of what you love and the power to transform your life.
  2. Unconditional Love. Unconditional love is having an open heart and no desire to change yourself or others. You feel content about your life and the Universe as it is. It is a poised, present, powerful, and patient state of heart and soul.
  3. Inspiration. Inspiration is an expression of living according to your highest values. When you’re focused on fulfilling what is important to you, it’s nearly impossible not to live a purposeful and meaningful life. People naturally desire to be in your company when you are inspired and love what you do.
  4. Enthusiasm. Everyone loves to be served by and in the company of people who are enthusiastic about what they do. Enthusiasm is a magnetic feeling that will give you incredible influence in your social circles, workplace, family environment, and other areas of life.

When you embrace these feelings, your body and mind will be in harmony, and you’ll increase your ability to attract and/or create your desired outcome. Every cell in your body will experience an accompanying state of certainty, presence, inspiration, and gratitude. Remember, you feel that “you can” when you’re aligned with your highest values, and believe “you can’t” when you are not. Doubt comes about when you’re pursuing something that is low on your values list.

Your self-confidence correlates to how you’re feeling, and of course, how you feel impacts what you focus on and ultimately manifest. Your self-image decides your destiny! Concentrate on these four powerful feelings throughout the day, and nothing can stop you from achieving your dreams.

|23|goals,gratitude,values,dreams,manifesting,the secret,john f. demartini|_none|1|john_f_demartini Stepping Up|A dancer who finally gets to say thanks.|2010-10-11 17:00:00|public://imports/1657.jpg|0|public://imports/1657.jpg|

Marla Bingham, a former dancer with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, is my Pilates instructor in San Diego. During one of our classes, I told her my story about taking a yearlong journey to thank the special people in my life. It clearly resonated with her. She decided to go to New York and visit some people she hadn’t seen in ages. She particularly wanted to pay a visit to Denise, a friend from the dance world, to tell her how she’d impacted her life.

Marla reminded Denise that she’d been the one who’d recommended that she audition for Ailey II, a newly forming dance troupe that was an extension of the original Alvin Ailey company. “I didn’t really know the company at the time and just took your advice, Denise,” she said. “I got in! Wow, what a chance! That was the beginning of one of the most important life-changing experiences of my dance career.”

Marla acknowledged that Denise’s suggestion was likely just a passing comment, but one that came at the right moment, when she was ready for the next step in her career. And it goes to demonstrate that we don’t always appreciate the impact we’re having on others or where it can take them.

Years later, the two women had another encounter in a workshop, and Denise encouraged Marla to choreograph her work in a way that reflected her Native American heritage. “It was you who allowed me to explore and find my identity in an area where I’m now one of the most prominent Native American choreographers, combining traditional tribal dance with ballet and modern,” Marla told Denise.

After Marla’s New York trip, the two women spoke on the phone. Marla took the opportunity to further let Denise know how much she was respected and valued, not only by her, but by others whom Marla had met over the years.

There was often so much silence on the other end of the phone that Marla thought she’d been disconnected at times. “I didn't realize how special this would be for Denise,” she told me. “It started to make me feel so emotional to hear that silence, which meant that she was listening very attentively to my story. It was a great feeling, I must say. To express what someone has meant to you is a profound and powerful feeling.”

Months later, Marla learned just how much her expression of gratitude had meant to Denise, who’d been suffering from a serious medical issue for some time. Denise said that her old friend’s words had been a constant and powerful reminder that she was still capable of doing important work, and it sustained and inspired her during these difficult times.

Marla became emotional telling me this story. She’d clearly experienced the power of expressing profound gratitude, as well as the impact it can have on the recipient. Marla clearly “stepped up” many times during her distinguished dance career, but I doubt that she ever felt more appreciated and valued than when she “stepped up” for Denise and told her what she had meant to her in her life.

|23|walter green,gratitude,alvin ailey,dancing,appreciation|_none|1|walter_green Can You Recognize a Miracle? |Be open to the right words at the right time.|2013-06-07 17:00:00|public://imports/1658.jpg|0|public://imports/1658.jpg|

Sometimes just when we need the power of miracles to change our beliefs, they materialize in the places we’d least expect. They can come to us as a drastic alteration in our physical reality or as a simple synchronicity in our lives. Sometimes they’re big and can’t be missed—the vision of Our Lady of the Rosary that appeared to 50,000 people on a hillside near Fátima, Portugal, in 1917, for example. Other times they’re so subtle that if we aren’t aware, we may miss them altogether. They can come from the lips of a stranger we suddenly and mysteriously encounter at just the right instant. If we listen carefully, we’ll always hear the right words, at the right time, to dazzle us into a realization of something that we may have failed to notice only moments before.

On a cold January afternoon in 1989, I was hiking up the trail that leads to the top of Egypt’s Mt. Horeb (the mountain of Moses). I’d spent the day at St. Catherine’s Monastery and wanted to get to the peak by sunset to see the valley below. As I was winding up the narrow path, I’d occasionally see other hikers who were coming down from a day on the mountain. While they would generally pass with simply a nod or a greeting in another language, there was one man that day who did neither.

I saw him coming from the last switchback on the trail that led to the backside of the mountain. As he got closer, I could see that he was dressed differently from the other hikers I’d seen. Rather than the high-tech fabrics and styles that had been the norm, this man was wearing traditional Egyptian clothing. He wore a tattered, rust-colored galabia and obviously old and thick-soled sandals that were covered in dust. What made his appearance so odd, though, was that the man didn’t even appear to be Egyptian! He was a small-framed Asian man, had very little hair, and was wearing round, wire-rimmed glasses.

As we neared one another, I was the first to speak. “Hello,” I said, stopping on the trail for a moment to catch my breath. Not a sound came from the man as he walked closer. I thought that maybe he hadn’t heard me or the wind had carried my voice away from him in another direction. Suddenly he stopped directly in front of me on the high side of the trail, looked up from the ground, and spoke a single sentence to me in English: “Sometimes you don’t know what you have lost until you’ve lost it.” As I took in what I had just heard, he simply stepped around me and continued his descent down the trail.

That moment in my life was a small miracle. The reason is less about what the man said and more about the timing and the context. The year was 1989, and the Cold War was drawing to a close. What the man on the trail couldn’t have known is that it was during my Egyptian pilgrimage, and specifically during my hike to the top of Moses’s mountain, that I’d set the time aside to make decisions that would affect my career in the defense industry, my friends, my family, and, ultimately, my life.

I had to ask myself what the chances were of an Asian man dressed in an Egyptian galabia coming down from the top of this historic mountain just when I was walking up, stopping before me, and offering his wisdom, seemingly from out of nowhere. My answer to my own question was easy: The odds were slim to none! In an encounter that lasted less than two minutes on a mountain halfway around the world from my home, a total stranger had brought clarity, and the hint of a warning, regarding the huge changes that I would make within a matter of days. In my way of thinking, that’s a miracle.

I suspect that we all experience small miracles in our lives every day. Sometimes we have the wisdom and the courage to recognize them for what they are. In the moments when we don’t, that’s okay as well. It seems that our miracles have a way of coming back to us again and again. And each time they do, they become a little less subtle, until we can’t possibly miss the message that they bring to our lives!

The key is that they’re everywhere and occur every day for different reasons, in response to the different needs that we may have in the moment. Our job may be less about questioning the extraordinary things that happen in our daily lives and more about accepting the gifts they bring.

|1|fatima,egypt,mt. horeb,wisdom,insight,miracles,gregg braden|_none|1|gregg_braden Don’t Take It Personally!|Discover the story of You.|2010-10-13 17:00:00|public://imports/1663.jpg|0|public://imports/1663.jpg|

Let’s use the power of our imagination to create a dream together, knowing that it’s a dream. Imagine that you are in a gigantic mall where there are hundreds of movie theaters. You look around to see what’s playing, and you notice a movie that has your name. Amazing! You go inside the theater, and it’s empty except for one person. Very quietly, trying not to interrupt, you sit behind that person, who doesn’t even notice you; all that person’s attention is on the movie.

You look at the screen, and what a big surprise! You recognize every character in the movie—your mother, your father, your brothers and sisters, your beloved, your children, your friends. Then you see the main character of the movie, and it’s you! You are the star of the movie and it’s the story of you. And that person in front of you, well, it’s also you, watching yourself act in the movie. Of course, the main character is just the way you believe you are, and so are all the secondary characters because you know the story of you. After a while, you feel a little overwhelmed by everything you just witnessed, and you decide to go to another theater.

In this theater, there is also just one person watching a movie, and she doesn’t even notice when you sit beside her. You start watching the movie, and you recognize all the characters, but now you’re a secondary character. This is the story of your mother’s life, and she is the one who is watching the movie with all her attention. Then you realize that your mother is not the same person who was in your movie. The way she projects herself is completely different in her movie. It’s the way your mother wants everyone to perceive her. You know that it’s not authentic. She’s just acting. But then you begin to realize that it’s the way she perceives herself, and it’s kind of a shock.

Then you notice that the character who has your face is not the same person who was in your movie. You say to yourself, “Ah, this isn’t me,” but now you can see how your mother perceives you, what she believes about you, and it’s far from what you believe about yourself. Then you see the other characters—your father, your siblings—the way your mother perceives them, and it’s not at all the way you perceive them.

You go to the next theater, and it’s the story of your beloved. Now you can see the way your beloved perceives you, and the character is completely different from the one who was in your movie and the one who was in your mother’s movie.

After seeing a few more theaters of other people in your life, you decide to return to the first theater to see your own movie once again. You look at yourself acting in your movie, but you no longer believe anything you’re watching; you no longer believe your own story because you can see that it’s just a story. Now you know that all the acting you did your whole life was really for nothing because nobody perceives you the way you want to be perceived. You can see that all the drama that happens in your movie isn’t really noticed by anybody around you. They have all their attention on their story, and that is the only reality they live in.

In that moment, everything changes for you. Nothing is the same anymore, because now you see what’s really happening. People live in their own world, in their own movie, in their own story. They invest all their faith in that story, and that story is truth for them, but it’s a relative truth, because it’s not truth for you. Now you can see that all their opinions about you really concern the character who lives in their movie, not in yours. The one who they are judging in your name is a character they create. Whatever people think of you is really about the image they have of you, and that image isn’t you.

At this point, it’s clear that the people you love the most don’t really know you, and you don’t know them either. The only thing you know about them is what you believe about them. You only know the image you created for them, and that image has nothing to do with the real people.

Now the meaning of the second agreement is profoundly clear: Don’t take anything personally. This agreement gives you immunity in the interaction you have with the secondary characters in your story. You don’t have to concern yourself with other people’s points of view. Once you can see that nothing others say or do is about you, it doesn’t matter who gossips about you, who blames you, who rejects you, who disagrees with your point of view.

Don’t take it personally is a beautiful tool of interaction with your own kind, human to human. And it’s a big ticket to personal freedom because you no longer have to rule your life according to other people’s opinions. This really frees you! You can do whatever you want to do, knowing that whatever you do has nothing to do with anyone but you. The only person who needs to be concerned about the story of you is you.

|23|personal freedom,gossip,relationships,self-care,individualism,authenticity,don jose ruiz,don miguel ruiz|_none|1|don_jose_ruiz The Climb to Success|Know your base and summit.|2010-10-14 17:00:00|public://imports/1664.jpg|0|public://imports/1664.jpg|

Colorado has 53 fourteeners.

What’s a fourteener? you might ask.

It’s a rocky mountain that has an elevation over 14,000 feet. These are big, beautiful mountains that reach far into Colorado’s crystal-clear blue skies.

Each summer, beginning when I was seven years old, my Dad would get the whole family together, including my brother, sister and Mom, and we’d all pile into our little Volkswagen, then make the hour-long drive from Golden, a small town at the base of the foothills where I grew up, to the rugged Continental Divide. This mountain range is home to many of the towering fourteeners. It was there that my family spent a great deal of time when I was growing up. In fact, climbing these mountains is my most vivid childhood memory. By the time I was age 12, we had ascended most all of them. Each was a lot of work, up to a 12-mile trek, which could take a full 8 hours.

Looking back today, I realize my Dad knew exactly what he was doing. He was helping me learn, by direct experience, essential skills for a successful and fulfilling life. For example, I learned that before taking on any challenging endeavor, it’s vitally important to know both your base (point A) and summit (point B). Once you’ve clearly defined those points, then and only then is it possible to choose the right path for getting there.

I also learned to never climb alone. It’s not safe and the risk of failing to make it to your destination is too high. It is also essential to properly plan and prepare for the climb before you begin. And, once you get started, you have to take it one step at a time and stay focused on the moment you’re in.

Another lesson I learned is that there is a high probability that you’ll experience adversity, even setbacks, during the climb. For example, the weather changes fast in that part of the country. It can be clear and sunny skies when you begin, but by the time you reach halfway, the sun can disappear behind rolling dark clouds with high-voltage lightning and booming thunder which echoes through the mountains. And then, of course, pouring rain, even snow in early June or late August is not uncommon. It does little good to hold on to the fear that this might invoke. So I learned to feel the fear fast, let it run, and let it go. I also learned to stay close to my climbing groups, especially in times of adversity. Any time I’d slip and fall, I’d simply reach out my hand and someone in the group would be there to help lift me back up.

Beyond that, what can I say? It just takes a lot of good old-fashioned hard work to get to the top. There were times when I didn’t think I would ever get to the summit; it just seemed too far to go, and my body was doing a remarkably good job of convincing my mind that I had reached my limit. But halfway up the mountain is never a good time to quit. It was then I learned to dig deeper and tap into my heart and soul to find the energy to continue on. Every time I did, I discovered more of my true inner strength.

Standing there on top of the highest mountains in the Rockies, knowing the amount of work, energy and determination it took to get there, made it all worthwhile. From the summit, the view is always incredible and inspiring.

Through these experiences, I began to learn that setting and achieving challenging goals is a remarkably powerful way to discover your strengths, work on your weaknesses, and build self-esteem.

Today, I’m still climbing mountains. My aspiration of helping to transform the nation from worst to first in terms of health and well-being within my lifetime, and perhaps even within 10 years, is Mount Everest to me. In a way, it’s a ridiculously challenging goal, and one many people say is impossible. But in my mind and to my understanding and belief, it is possible. I feel it and know it. And yet I realize the only way to get there is one step at a time. As I see it, each and every individual health transformation is a step in the right direction and a necessary one to get where we want and need to go.

|23|bill phillips,mount everest,transformation,success,personal best,dieting,healthy eating,exercise|_none|1|bill_phillips Five Magic Words|Tell the world how you want to feel.|2010-10-14 17:00:00|public://imports/1665.jpg|0|public://imports/1665.jpg|

It is my intention to: live a stress-free, tranquil life.

Fulfilling this intention to live a stress-free and tranquil life is a way of manifesting your grandest destiny. It seems to me that what our Source had in mind when we were intended here is for us to have happy and joyous experiences of life on Earth.

When you’re in a state of joy and happiness, you’ve returned to the pure, creative, blissful, nonjudgmental joy that intention truly is. Your natural state—the state from which you were created—is that feeling of well-being. How do we return to, and access, this natural state?

You were created from a Source that is peaceful and joyful. When you’re in that state of exuberant joy, you’re at peace with everything. This is what intended you here and what you’re determined to match up with in your thoughts, feelings, and actions. In a state of joy, you feel fulfilled and inspired in all facets of your life. In short, gaining freedom from anxiety and stress is a pathway to rejoicing with the field of intention. The moments of your life, which you spend being happy and joyful and allowing yourself to be fully alive and on purpose, are the times when you’re aligned with the all-creating universal mind of intention.

To fulfill the intention to be joyful, to live a stress-free and tranquil life, you must become aware of the need to activate thought responses that match your intention. These new responses will become habitual, and replace your old habit of responding in stress-producing ways. When you examine stress-producing events, you always have a choice: Do I stay with thoughts that produce stress within me, or do I work to activate thoughts that make stress impossible? Here’s an easy tool that will help you replace the habit of choosing anxiety and stress.

Five magic words: I want to feel good!

Your emotions are a guidance system informing you of whether or not you’re creating resistance to your intentions. Feeling bad lets you know that you’re not connected to the power of intention. Your intention here is to be tranquil and stress free. When you feel good, you’re connected to your intentions, regardless of what goes on around you or what others expect you to feel. If there’s a war going on, you still have the option to feel good. If the economy goes further into the toilet, you have the option to feel good. In the event of any catastrophe, you can still feel good. Feeling good isn’t an indication that you’re callous, indifferent, or cruel—it’s a choice you make. Say it out loud: I want to feel good! Then convert it to: I intend to feel good. Feel the stress, and then send it love and respect. You must be to your feelings as your Source is to you.

Many events will transpire in which your conditioned response is to feel bad. Be aware of these outer incidents, and say the five magic words: I want to feel good. In that precise moment, ask yourself if feeling bad is going to make the situation any better. You’ll discover that the only thing that feeling bad accomplishes in response to outer situations is to plummet you into anxiety, despair, depression, and of course, stress. Instead, ask yourself in that moment what thought you can have that will make you feel good.

When you discover that it’s responding with kindness and love to the bad feeling (which is quite different from wallowing in it), you’ll begin experiencing a shift in your emotional state. Now you’re in vibrational harmony with your Source, since the power of intention knows only peace, kindness, and love.

This newly activated thought, which allows you to feel good, may only last a few moments, and you might go back to your previous way of processing unpleasant events. Also treat that old way of processing with respect, love, and understanding, but remember that it’s your ego-self trying to protect you from its perception of danger. Any stress signal is a way of alerting you to say the five magic words I want to feel good. Stress wants your attention! By saying the five magic words and extending love to your bad feelings, you’ll have begun the process of fulfilling your stated intention of being tranquil and stress free. Now you can practice activating these thoughts in the toughest of moments, and before long, you’ll be living the message offered to all of us in the book of Job: “You will decide on a matter and it will be established for you, and light will shine on your ways”[Job 22:28]. The word light in this biblical reference means that you’ll have the assistance of the divine mind of intention once you decide on a matter that is consistent with that light.

I assure you that your decision to feel good is a way of connecting to Spirit. It isn’t an indifferent response to events. By feeling good, you become an instrument of peace, and it’s through this channel that you eradicate problems.

|1|current events,happiness,joy,stress,source,intention,wayne w. dyer|_none|1|dr_wayne_w_dyer Can Someone Really Hijack Your Dreams?|New movie Inception is not far from the truth!|2010-10-15 17:00:00|public://imports/1666.jpg|0|public://imports/1666.jpg|

What if you had the ability to harness the power of your mind? Regardless of life circumstances, you could activate your mind with positive intention to influence a different reality. In Leonardo DiCaprio's latest movie Inception, this concept is weaved together into a spellbinding sci-fi thriller where individuals encode ideas and thought patterns by hijacking someone else’s dreams. As much as this has been dramatized for the sake of Hollywood, it's not far from the truth.

In fact, my latest book, Awakening to the Secret Code of Your Mind will teach you how to harness the power of your mind to shift perceived negative realities into ones that have meaning, purpose, and Divine value. Not only that, it will impact your body's capacity to be the self-healing organism that you're designed to be.

In my book, Awakening to the Secret Code of Your Mind, you’ll learn that the nature of the mind is being split into two distinct categories. Through awareness and conscious observation you're able to begin the evolutionary journey of awakening your spirit. Let's first begin by defining the conscious and subconscious mind.

The Conscious MindThe mind that perceives and is aware of its surroundings. The conscious mind makes up 2 to 10 percent of your reality and it's the only mind that has a choice. This represents both the creative and logical aspects of your behavior and empowers you through free will, regardless of circumstances to find adjacent possibilities when navigating life's adventurous journey.

The Subconscious MindThe mind that reacts as a means of survival based upon protection, adaptation, and learning. The subconscious mind makes up 90 to 98 percent of your reality and is specifically in charge of all of your body's biological functions. Heart rate, respiration, inflammation, immunity, cellular regeneration, hormone balance, digestion, and so on is regulated through subconscious control. If that wasn't enough, the subconscious mind also affects your perception as it's the storehouse of all of your emotions, memories, and beliefs. Therefore, it impacts the way you think, feel, speak, and act influencing the health of your relationships. The subconscious mind is the mind that dreams. There is no choice in the subconscious mind – it merely re-acts – does the same act again and again and again until you have the consciousness to process short term memory into long term memory.

Similar to the movie Inception, I teach a specific process called The 1-2-3 PLAN of The LifeLine Technique in Awakening the Secret Code of the Mind. This will help you to recognize when the subconscious mind is impacting your daily reality. Through this process you'll learn how every symptom, stress, and disease has an emotional pattern of reaction stemming from the subconscious mind. You can verify this by asking yourself a specific and practical question. Given the opportunity, Would I ever choose to create my life with any level of symptoms, stress, or disease. The answer is always a discerning No! However, if you wouldn't choose to create your life with symptoms, stress, or disease and you're continuing to experience them, then where do they come from? You guessed it. What isn't a conscious action of choice are subconscious reactions of protection and learning.

This simple 3 step approach can transform the reactive patterns of your body and life into a life of powerful and meaningful action. Behavioral patterns such as addictions, obsessive compulsive thought patterns, or self-defeating self-talk can all be transformed using The 1-2-3 PLAN. You can also transform the impact of both acute and chronic physical stress such as physical pain, digestive challenges, headaches, allergies, and immune challenges. Because both your biology and behavior are linked through the subconscious mind, you're able to influence your health and wellness on all levels. It's like having a master key to the mother board of the mind/body continuum.

About three weeks ago I was out on my balcony shaving my head and I went to move the cover of our grill not knowing that there was an active bee hive with it. I was stung 5 times and my body immediately began to swell. After I finished screaming, I began to run The LifeLine Technique on myself. Within an hour the pain and swelling had completely gone down. This is just one of thousands of testimonials. I'm grateful to have such an applicable and practical tool to navigate my way through life's unpredictable journey.

Thomas Edison, the developer of the light bulb, stated, Doctors of the future will give no medicine, but will interest his or her patients in the care of the human frame, in proper diet, and the cause and prevention of disease. Be prepared as the future is now. Just as in the movie Inception you now have the ability to harness and guide the power of your mind to create an entirely new reality.

|5|lifeline technique,chronic pain,dreams,inception,leonardo dicaprio,darren r. weissman|_none|1|dr_darren_r_weissman You Learned It, Now Practice It!|How to apply what you already know.|2010-10-16 17:00:00|public://imports/1667.jpg|0|public://imports/1667.jpg|

I can claim to know a great deal about personal development. Just from reading books in this field, I've easily consumed more than 100 million words of other people's content. However, most of that knowledge is useless to me. I've surely forgotten the majority of it, and the parts that I do remember are resting in the back of my brain somewhere, largely unused on a day-to-day basis.

Similarly, I can claim to have many friends and contacts in this field. But most of those connections are useless to me when it comes to my daily reality.

And lastly, I can claim to have done a lot of work on myself. But for the most part, that work involved a lot of trial and error to figure out what works and what doesn't, so the results were more educational than tangible.

What actually generates tangible results is when I regularly and consistently apply what I believe will make a difference in my life. Only when I take action do I see real world results that I can measure.

Here are some things that I know make a positive difference for me:

  • Get up at 5am, 7 days a week.
  • Exercise first thing in the morning while listening to audio books.
  • Do high value tasks at the start of each workday, and delay routine items till the afternoon.
  • Eat at least 90% raw vegan foods.
  • Maintain a clean and uncluttered workspace.
  • At the end of a workday, write a to-do list for the next day.
  • Visualize my goals/intentions at least once a day.
  • Read during the last hour before bed.

Take note that knowing about these practices does not generate results. Nor does writing or talking about them. Nor does thinking about someday doing them.

What generates results is actually, physically doing them—consistently.

That sounds obvious of course, and yet this is a place where people fail again and again.

If you keep reading about personal growth, listening to audio programs, going to workshops and so on, but you don't apply what you already believe will make a difference for you, then you're just spinning your wheels. At best you're getting some entertainment value from the material you're absorbing, but otherwise you're wasting your time.

The whole point of absorbing new information on personal growth is for you to apply what you learn so that you can achieve better results than you're getting now. Better results may mean being able to earn more money with less time and effort, to increase your body's physical fitness, or to enter into a new relationship.

Sometimes better results are very simple. Having a clean home is a better result. Feeling more relaxed is a better result. Getting a date is a better result.

If you're learning a great deal, but you aren't seeing tangible improvements in your results year after year, you're doing it wrong. You might as well be playing video games instead of studying personal growth.

More information won't help you if you aren't doing a good job of applying what you already know.

This morning I got up at 5am. By 5:10am I was in the car on the way to the gym. At 5:20 I started my workout. I did 60 minutes on the elliptical machine, burning 750 calories. Then I walked around the track for a mile, which burned another 100 calories. During all of that time, I listened to an audio book on time management. I drove home from the gym feeling refreshed and motivated.

When I got home, I showered, shaved, got dressed, and made a fruit smoothie for breakfast: 4 bananas, 2 cups spinach, 2 cups blackberries, maca, ice. I talked briefly with Rachelle and took the smoothie to my desk, starting my workday at around 7:30am. Immediately I began working on this newsletter, wanting to finish it and send it off by 9:30am, when I have to leave to meet a friend.

Now this is all well and good, but what are the actual results? First, I burned off 850 calories at the gym. If I keep up this routine, I'll get leaner. That's tangible and measurable. I can see the difference in the mirror and on the scale. Also, I can feel the difference from the metabolic boost and the endorphin release. I feel happy, I have lots of energy, and I'm motivated to work. Compare that with the results I'd get from sleeping in late, eating a crappy breakfast, and getting off to a sluggish start.

Another result is that I was able to create and send out this newsletter this morning. That's also tangible and measurable. Every time I send out a newsletter, it generates extra income. It drives more traffic to my website, and some of that traffic funnels into income sources. Other people benefit too. I'm sure some people will sign up for one of my workshops after receiving this newsletter, and that's an experience that will probably send their lives in a positive new direction. But those kinds of effects are just predictions at this point. The tangible difference is that you're reading this right now. If I didn't take action, you wouldn't be seeing this at all.

What about listening to the audio book at the gym? That hasn't generated any tangible results today, but if I gain one good idea and apply it, it could pay off. But listening to such material does help me feel more motivated, and when I'm more motivated, I usually get more work done. So this practice can help, but the benefits are usually indirect. The nice thing is that it didn't take me any more time to listen to an audio book while exercising.

Now if I continue with these types of habits and actions for many more weeks and months, I'll be able to see the benefits quite clearly. My body will continue to get leaner. I'll earn more money and see my bank balance go up faster. I'll write more blog posts. The gains aren't just wishful thinking—they can be measured.

For the most part, the practices that work really well are simple. You can read many books on fancy techniques and systems, but they'll do you no good if you can't apply them consistently.

So let's drop the fancy stuff for now. Let's get back to basics. What practices do you truly believe will make a difference for you in terms of results that you can see?

What would happen if you started getting up at the same time every morning, 7 days a week?

What would happen if you did a vigorous workout first thing every morning?

What would happen if you kept your desk clean and uncluttered for 30 days straight?

What would happen if you consciously procrastinated on email and web surfing until the final hour of each workday?

Now think about where you'd be if you applied your own best practices consistently for several years . . . .

Would you have a healthier body? Would you earn more money?

Would you enjoy better relationships? All of these and more?

Perhaps it's time to switch from learning mode to application mode. Surely you've learned plenty that you aren't consistently applying. Disengage from the Internet for a while, and put at least one of these best practices into action, starting today. Don't kid yourself that you'll do it tomorrow. Right now is the only time there is.

|23|weight loss,self-esteem,self-care,personal development,steve pavlina|_none|1|steve_pavlina Have We Met in a Past Life?|One couple’s reunion through regression.|2013-05-26 17:00:00|public://imports/1668.jpg|0|public://imports/1668.jpg|

A reunion with a soulmate after a long and involuntary separation can be an experience worth waiting for—even if the wait is one of centuries.

On a vacation in the Southwest, my former patient, Ariel, a biologist, met Anthony. Both were emotionally mature individuals who had been married before, and they quickly fell in love and become engaged. Back in Miami, Ariel suggested that Anthony have a regression session with me just to see if he could have the experience and to “see what came up.” Both were curious to find out whether Ariel would appear in any way in Anthony’s regression.

Anthony turned out to be a superb regression subject. Almost instantly, he returned to a very vivid North African lifetime around the time of Hannibal, more than 2,000 years ago. In this lifetime, Anthony had been a member of a very advanced civilization. His particular tribe members were gold smelters who had the ability to use liquid fire as a weapon by spreading it on the surface of rivers. Anthony was a young man in his mid-20’s in the midst of fighting a 40-day war with a neighboring tribe that vastly outnumbered the defenders.

Anthony’s tribe had actually trained some of the members of the enemy tribe in the art of warfare, and one of the former trainees was leading the assault. One hundred thousand of the enemy tribe carrying swords and hatchets were crossing a large river on ropes and Anthony and his people spread liquid fire on their own river, hoping it would reach the attackers before they reached the shore.

To protect their women and children, the defending tribe put most of them on large boats with violet sails in the middle of the huge lake. Among this group was Anthony’s young and beloved fiancée, who was perhaps 17 or 18 years old. However, the liquid fire suddenly burned out of control, and the boats caught fire. Most of the tribe’s women and children perished in this tragic accident, including Anthony’s fiancée, who was his great passion.

This tragedy broke the morale of the warriors and they were soon defeated. Anthony was one of the few who escaped the slaughter. Eventually, he escaped to a secret passageway that led to where the tribe’s treasures were stored.

There Anthony had found the one other living person, his king. The king commanded Anthony to kill him, and Anthony, a loyal soldier, complied against his will. After the king’s death, Anthony was all alone in the dark temple, where he used his time to write the history of his people on gold leaf and to seal the writings in large urns or jars. It was here that he eventually died of starvation and grief over the loss of his fiancée and his people.

There was one more detail. His fiancée in that lifetime reincarnated as Ariel in this lifetime. The two of them reunited as lovers after 2,000 years. Finally, the long-postponed wedding would take place.

Anthony and Ariel had only been separated for one hour when he stepped out of my office. But the power of their reunion was such that it was though they had not seen each other for 2,000 years.

Recently Ariel and Anthony were married. Their sudden and intense and seemingly coincidental meeting now has a new layer of meaning to them, and their already passionate relationship is now infused with a sense of continuous adventure.

Anthony and Ariel plan to take a trip to North Africa to try and find the location of their past life together and to see what other details they can uncover. They know that whatever they find can only increase the adventure they find in each other.

|1|africa,soulmate,hannibal,hypnosis,past-life regression,past lives,brian weiss|_none|1|brian_l_weiss_md A Face Says It All!|The true map of your inner emotions.|2010-10-18 17:00:00|public://imports/1673.jpg|0|public://imports/1673.jpg|

Within one-tenth of a second of seeing a new face, you’ve already made a judgment about what that person is like. In a flash, you know whether you trust him and what you expect your experience with him to be. Studies have found that different people come to remarkably similar conclusions when they view the same face, even if it’s just for an instant.

It’s well known that faces are very important to us, and scientists have mapped entire sections of the brain devoted specifically to recognizing and reacting to them. Babies only nine minutes old already prefer to look at pictures of faces rather than any other image; and 12 hours after birth, infants favor photos of their mothers to those of other mothers. Newborns even respond with a different set of facial expressions when they see a human than when they look at an object.

This emphasis doesn’t disappear with maturity. In fact, we all unconsciously read and react to faces all the time without really knowing why we’re having an aversion or attraction to them.

There are thousands of studies that show the ways in which our appearance influences how people respond to us. In criminal court, for example, men on trial with small, more subdued features and rounder faces are more often exonerated than men who have sharp jaws or large noses. In experiments, men with full lips; wide eyes; and thinner, more curved eyebrows are selected as good choices for husbands, as they’re judged to be more open to commitment and less likely to be unfaithful. Men with square jaws, large noses, and smaller or more deeply set eyes are labeled as less warm, less likely to commit, and more apt to try to dominate in romantic relationships.

The results of these studies may seem to highlight what a foolish focus on superficial appearance our culture has, but what’s astonishing is that, in many cases, people’s conclusions about others’ personalities are accurate!

We respond to the features on people’s faces—the size and shape of their noses, for instance—but also to the expressions they make and wrinkles they develop as a result. It’s common to think that wrinkles are just a natural sign of aging and they don’t appear in any meaningful design on the face, but this certainly isn’t so. The lines that we form give us remarkably clear messages about the patterns of emotion we tend to have on a regular basis.

Anytime we have a feeling, we subtly make the expression associated with it. Even if it’s just for a fleeting moment, we show a tiny microexpression, and, over time, as we repeat certain feelings throughout each day, we’ll slowly carve different kinds of wrinkles into our faces. This is not a “bad” thing; there are actually certain wrinkles that you’re supposed to get, and if you don’t, it’s not a good sign!

For instance, the lines called “crow’s-feet” in the West are called “joy lines” in Chinese face reading and are considered a reflection of an open heart. People with these lines are easily able to give and receive love.

Some fascinating research has been done regarding facial expressions. For example, scientists in Israel filmed blind people and their relatives as they talked about their happy and sad life experiences, worked on puzzles, listened to a gory story, and then heard a question expressed in gibberish. As participants felt various emotions, each change in expression was recorded. What they found was that the blind subjects made expressions that resembled their family members’ more than those of strangers. These were blind people who had never even seen their relatives’ faces; in fact, one blind subject had never even met his mother until he was 18—yet his facial expressions matched hers more than others. So again we have another instance of how our inner nature is piloting our lives from the beginning, and how it can be read on our faces.

It’s important to know that our faces are remarkably clear indicators of who we are and who we’re becoming. By learning to read our children’s expressions, we’ll know more accurately how to help them deal with their emotions. In the size and shape of their features, the inherent traits and tendencies that are coloring how they perceive their experiences are visible. Such valuable information can be used for guidance on many levels.

|23|babies,children,facial expressions,scientists,first impressions,wrinkles,chinese face reading,jean haner|_none|1|jean_haner Seeing Orbs in Your Digital Photos?|Here’s what they mean!|2010-10-19 17:00:00|public://imports/1688.jpg|0|public://imports/1688.jpg|

Multitudes of people all over the world have been noticing opaque circular features in their flash photographs taken with digital cameras, making them wonder what they mean.

What is magnificent about these “orbs” is not how bright, how large, or how many you capture in one photo, but that they are there, and what that means to you. The messages they likely want to convey to you are simple, practical, helpful, and affirming.

Symbols come to us and speak in their unique language that communicates directly to the soul. Symbols have transforming abilities. They point toward something that allows us to change and move forward toward what is essential. They are like signposts on the way, pointing toward deeper meaning and what brings significance in our life.

Symbols speak to our intuitive way of taking in data. They reach directly to our core, circumventing the mind in communicating information.

The circle, or the sphere in a three-dimensional expression, represents oneness, wholeness, unity— “come-unity,” coming together as one.

When they saw the Earth as a sphere circling in space, the astronauts had a profound experience. The pictures of the globe on which we all live, taken from the moon in 1968, became a transforming symbol to remind us of our interconnectedness and the fragile state of the system on which we all live. Photos of planet Earth, now readily available to be seen by everybody, serve as a reminder of our destiny to come together as one.

Digital photography makes it possible to see things that heretofore could not be seen. People in many places around the world report having taken photos of circular light phenomena, or orbs, which we have identified as emanations from Spirit Beings, conscious entities that are not part of our physical world.

Perhaps their visibility is intended to wake us up to the following notions:

  1. You are one
  2. All is one
  3. We are one
  4. One Earth, one humanity, one spirit
  5. One people, interconnected, interrelated, with one destiny

It becomes clear that only by working together can we solve our numerous global challenges.

No wonder that orbs show up in great numbers when people celebrate, sing, dance, and do things together in a joyful, cooperative way. Perhaps they want to remind us of our true purpose, to realize come-unity as we live in harmony and work together for the benefit of all.

The orbs serve as powerful reminders of our destiny. When these light spheres are photographically enhanced and enlarged, an intricate interiority with intriguing shapes and different colors becomes visible. They have symbolic significance. It is likely that specific messages expressed in these features will become clear in time.

Freddy Silva, one of the world’s foremost experts on crop circles and orbs, recently stated that the orbs seem to replace the phenomenon of crop circles. In principle, all phenomena tend to be ignored or rationalized away by some critics. With the abundance of orbs, being captured by thousands of people like you and us all over the world, where enjoying photography with a digital camera is essentially the only required common denominator, we seem to receive strong signals to pay attention to what connects us all.

Ignoring these signals is becoming increasingly difficult and, at the same time, irresponsible. In the process of coming together, cooperating for the benefit of the whole, wonderful possibilities can unfold. As we anchor the idea of “all is one” deep in our hearts, we can release our innate gifts and co-create life in a conscious, fulfilling way with magnificent global outcomes.

The messengers of hope are around us, waiting to help—they have always been, but now we can actually see them. They live in an energetically different system, and their entanglement with our robust physical system has heretofore been too subtle to be recognized by us humans. Our mainstream technological achievements and advances in science have not helped, but actually aggravated our ability to connect with other realms, until the digital camera made it possible for us to receive “their” messages on a large scale.

Orbs have become so powerful that it is getting harder and harder to ignore them. They show nothing new, but they communicate in a fresh way the wisdom that has always been there. May we, the human species, become perceptive to this wisdom!

|5|klaus heinemann,gundi heinemann,orbs,digital photography,light energy,earth from space|_none|1|gundi_heinemann This Is the Moment!|In gratitude for all who made a difference.|2010-10-20 17:00:00|public://imports/1687.jpg|0|public://imports/1687.jpg|

My mother had two bouts with breast cancer, the first when I was just 9; and my father had a heart attack when I was 11 that he survived, but subsequently had a fatal one when I was 17. These were lessons that awakened me to how short and precious life can be. What a bittersweet gift.

As an adult, I became fascinated with learning about life from studying death, and I’m still drawn to books on these subjects. Among those that got me thinking about my gratitude journey are: Mitch Albom’s Tuesdays with Morrie, which I read several years ago; and, more recently, Randy Pausch’s The Last Lecture and Eugene O’Kelly’s Chasing Daylight.

An imperative to express unsaid thoughts and feelings before time ran out was a common thread in all three books. In the case of Tuesdays with Morrie, the title character was aged and in poor health; in the other two, the authors were far younger but had received diagnoses that left them facing impending death. These books drove home the point that when time gets short, conversations become real, and messages that we want to leave to those we care about—be they our spouse, children, family, friends, or colleagues—take on critical importance. So it occurred to me that if these conversations are so crucial at the end, why not have them earlier? Why not have them now?

Another thing that affected me related to this subject was the sudden death of NBC political commentator Tim Russert. Only 58 years old and clearly respected in his profession, he received tributes from presidents and politicians, colleagues and comedians, and even rock stars. His death was so fast and unexpected that those who were greatly indebted to him and loved him for all he’d done were cheated out of being able to tell him what he’d meant to them. What a shame that the impact of the extraordinary tributes at his funeral was offset by the awareness that he would never hear the difference he’d made in so many people’s lives.

I’m not suggesting that Tim Russert had such a powerful ego that he needed to hear all of these tributes, but I do believe that most of us receive value from acknowledgment by others. In fact, I’ve long been conscious of the power of gratitude. I’ve also had a commitment to leading a meaningful life and an appreciation of the central role that relationships have played in creating that meaning.

My hope was that by the end of my yearlong journey, the people who were so special to me would be aware of why I loved them and why I so appreciated them.

|23|tim russert,eugene okelly,randy pausch,tuesdays with morrie,mitch albom,gratitude,breast cancer,walter green|_none|1|walter_green How Do You Feel?|Let your emotions be your guide.|2010-10-21 17:00:00|public://imports/1686.jpg|0|public://imports/1686.jpg|

Your emotions let you know how much Source Energy you are summoning in this moment by virtue of the desire you hold in this moment. They also let you know whether your preponderance of thought on the subject matches your desire, or matches the absence of your desire. For example, a feeling of passion or enthusiasm indicates that there is a very strong desire focused in the moment; a feeling of rage or revenge also indicates that there is a very strong desire; however, a feeling of lethargy or boredom indicates very little focused desire in the moment.

When you really, really want something, and you are thinking about your desire and feeling pleasure from the thought, your thought vibration is now in alignment with your desire—and the current from your Source is flowing through you toward your intended desire with no restriction or resistance. We call that: allowing. But when you really, really want something and are feeling anger or fear or disappointment, that means you are focused upon the opposite of your desire, and in doing so, you are introducing another non-matching vibration to the mix—and the degree of negative emotion that you are now experiencing indicates the degree of your resistance to receiving your desire.

When emotions are strong—whether they feel good or feel bad—your desire is strong. When emotions are weak, your desire is not so strong. When emotions feel good—whether they are strong or weak—you are allowing the fulfillment of your desire. When emotions feel bad—whether they are strong or weak—you are in the state of disallowing the fulfillment of your desire.

Your emotions are absolute indicators of your vibrational content. Therefore, they are the perfect reflection of your current point of attraction. They help you know, in any moment, whether or not you are currently allowing the fulfillment of your desire.

You may believe that you cannot control your emotions, or you may believe that you should control your emotions, but we would like you to approach your emotions in a different way: It is our encouragement that you pay attention to how you feel and allow your emotions to be the valuable indicators they are.

When the fuel gauge on your vehicle indicates that the tank is empty, you do not criticize the indicator. You receive the information that it has offered you, and you do something about adding more fuel to your tank. Similarly, a negative feeling is an indicator that your current choice of thoughts has you offering a vibration that is so out of harmony with your Source Energy that you are currently disallowing your full connection to that Energy Stream. (You could say your tank is approaching empty.)

Your emotions do not create, but they do indicate what you are currently attracting. If your emotions are helping you know that your choice of thoughts is not taking you in the direction that you desire to go, then do something about that: Replenish your connection by choosing better-feeling thoughts.

Much has been written about the power of positive thought, and we are certainly proponents of that. No better guidance has ever been offered to our physical friends than the words “Follow your bliss,” for in the steady reaching for bliss, you must surely align with the Energy of your Source. And in that constant alignment, your Well-Being is certain. But when you find yourself engulfed in circumstances that cause you to offer a vibration that is far from that of bliss, then reaching for bliss is an impossible thing, for the Law of Attraction does not allow you to make that vibrational jump any more than you could have tuned your radio receiver to 101FM and heard a song that was being played on 630AM.

You have the ability to direct your own thoughts; you have the option of observing things as they are, or of imagining them as you want them to be—and whichever option you choose, whether you are imagining or observing, is equally powerful. You have the option of remembering something as it actually occurred or imagining it as you would prefer. You have the option of remembering something that pleased you or remembering something that did not please you. You have the option of anticipating something you want or anticipating something you do not want. In every case, your thoughts produce a vibration within you that equals your point of attraction, and then circumstances and events line up to match the vibrations that you have offered.

|23|esther and jerry hicks,abraham,law of attraction,emotions,feelings|_none|1|esther_and_jerry_hicks Too Much Chronic Pain?|The answer is in your genes. |2010-10-21 17:00:00|public://imports/1684.jpg|0|public://imports/1684.jpg|

Rebecca was 26 when she first came to see me. She was chronically ill, with severe, chronic pain in her feet and ankles. This wasn’t surprising since she weighed 254 pounds, with a little more than half her weight, or 51.5 percent, being body fat. For many years, Rebecca had tried most of the popular diet plans—Atkins, Jenny Craig, Weight Watchers— and she had even worked with two local weight-loss providers in her struggle to lose weight and keep it off. None of them had worked. In fact, she had continued to gain weight, even though she had followed each plan religiously. Finally, she came to see me, determined once and for all to lose weight, lose her pain, and be healthy.

As always with new patients, I took a detailed medical history. Rebecca’s family had a strong history of heart disease; and she suffered severe headaches, chronic pain, terrible acne, kidney stones, and chronic constipation. Her gallbladder had been removed as a result of gallbladder disease. Not surprisingly, she also suffered from deep depression. Her modest job created high levels of stress for her.

I also gave Rebecca the Integrative-Medicine Questionnaire, which contains questions that help both my patients and me to understand their past, their beliefs, and what they really want out of life. I also gave her a physical exam, and she had an Apo E gene test. She was an Apo E 4/3. Now it all made sense why she had never been able to lose weight—and even gained pounds—on the popular alternative low-carb, low-calorie, and high-protein diets that seemed to produce such good results for other people. Relieved and happy to know the reason, she was more than ready to test the nutritional plan that was best for her genotype. More than once, she asked me why no one had ever told her about this process before.

She studied the Big Three food groups—carbohydrates, protein, and fat—and how they applied to her Apo E 4/3. Very slowly, Rebecca began making dietary changes according to her genotype. At her next visit, her weight had increased by two pounds, but that did not deter her. The next time, she weighed 246 pounds—she had lost 10—and by six months, her weight was 223 and her body fat was 46 percent.

In addition, her cholesterol improved, her acne had completely disappeared, as had her constipation and chronic pain. Six months after that, or one year after her first visit, she had slimmed down to 197 pounds and 41 percent body fat. She had lost 59 pounds, of which 42 pounds were fat.

Today, Rebecca continues following her prescribed Perfect Diet and exercise and stress-reduction plan. She is happier and healthier than at any time in her life, feeling like a beautiful woman who has gained control of her health. “I’ve changed my life for good,” she says, “and I won’t ever look back.”

|6|pamela mcdonald,chronic illness,weight loss,pain,stress|_none|1|pamela_mcdonald Set Yourself Free|Spontaneous play is good for the soul.|2010-10-22 17:00:00|public://imports/1685.jpg|0|public://imports/1685.jpg|

“I still get wildly enthusiastic about little things…. I play with leaves. I skip down the street and run against the wind.”  

— Leo F. Buscaglia

James: The ego thrives on predictability in every situation, while the Soul seeks spontaneity. How can you be more spontaneous in ways that challenge you? It’s easy to stick to a routine and avoid leaving your comfort zone, but what would happen, for example, if you overcame your fear of looking like a fool and sang a silly song as loud as you could on a busy street corner? Maybe it would open something new inside you—something that needs to wake up. Today is the day for risk taking because you’re never going to experience Oneness unless you let go of the ego’s fear of appearing foolish.

Anakha: Yes, and this practice creates a more unbound self, one who is free to be fully alive. We can be free because we’re supported. We can sense Oneness affirming Yes! Yes to life, yes to love, yes to this grand experiment, yes to play, and yes to the chances of looking like a fool for God’s sake! This is the Sacred Yes factor!

If we really think about it, we often realize how serious we’ve become. We’ve limited the ways in which we express ourselves. Yet when we experience Oneness, feeling it in our bodies and in our lives, we start to possess suppleness and an ability to respond moment to moment without deep contemplation. When we live within Oneness, we act in more natural, open, and even childlike ways, more in tune with curiosity, play, and fun.

I believe this is necessary medicine in our world today—especially for those of us who are spiritual practitioners and seekers. Bringing the levity of Oneness into our daily lives can help it truly blossom and bear fruit.

James: The greatest mystics were usually also known as “fools” for God. They weren’t bound by the ego’s constraints; rather, they entered the flow of life in spontaneous ways. As long as they were expressing their passion for Divinity and Oneness, it wasn’t important what other people thought.

If we can manifest that same passion, if we can find ways to live spontaneously, then we can be a powerful inspiration to those who are locked in their own minds and egos. Most people are afraid to reach out and stretch beyond their normal boundaries. These are the walls we’ve created in our minds…nowhere else. But the truth of who we are was created by the Divine, by God. It’s in choosing to live in that holy creation that this spontaneity flows and brings us into a deep state of Oneness.

Anakha: I love that. I’m reminded of one of the core teachings of Jesus: Be in the world but not of the world. We take this consciousness—this spontaneity of Oneness—into the world, and we inspire a whole new way of being. In many ways, we’re going against the grain, against the common views of society, when we’re truly connected to and following the spontaneity of Oneness.

|1|oneness,play,spontaneity,anakha coman,james twyman|_none|1|james_f_twyman Hip-Hop Heals|Why a college professor grooves.|2010-10-24 17:00:00|public://imports/1689.jpg|0|public://imports/1689.jpg|

“The blues is the elegant coping with catastrophe that yields a grace and dignity so that the spirit of resistance is never completely snuffed out.”

– Cornel West

The college professor as bluesman isn’t a concept easily embraced by the college president. The academic intellectual as bluesman is another notion that doesn’t go down easy with the powers that be. How about the teacher making a hip-hop record? Few university administrations would applaud such a move. As a rule, university administrations like their teachers contained. They’re comfortable with strict definitions and tight boundaries when it comes to faculty members and their public posture.

I’ve always seen it another way. I believe in specialized studies. I believe in dedicating oneself to a focused field of scholarship. I’ve done my fair share of scholarly writing. The American Evasion of Philosophy: A Genealogy of Pragmatism, a book I wrote in 1989, was such a work. Keeping Faith, from 1993, was another. But that’s never been enough for me. If I’m to address what’s wrong with the world in which I live, if I’m going to sing the blues that stirs the deepest part of my soul, I need to follow the bluesman’s lead. I have to get out there. I have to sing in front of groups of people—at schools and churches, in prisons and on the streets, on TV, on records, on iTunes and iPods—because the blues message is universal—universally true and universally healing.

The blues message is real, the blues message is pain, and the pain is real as rain. When the blues led to rhythm-and-blues and rhythm-and-blues to hip-hop, I was not put off by the changes. I saw them all as branches of the same tree. That tree has roots deep in the soil of history. I liked the idea of hanging out on those branches. Together with Mike Dailey, Derek Allen, and my brother Cliff, I wrote a hip-hop/spoken word record that, in many ways, was a teaching device. The songs were serious. They addressed our past, our future, and our present condition. The beats were as strong as the message. I loved being in the studio and working with the grooves. I saw the operation as part of the radical democratic impulse and tragicomic truth-telling that comes directly out of the blues root.

I see my role as an educator, as someone who feels both a Socratic and prophetic calling, to implement what Nietzsche called a singing paideia. (Paideia is the deep education that informs and transforms us so we shift from bling bling to a quest for wisdom.) I am always compelled to remember that paideia represents an unfathomable education in which self-examination and service to others produces a mature, compassionate person willing to speak, live, and sacrifice for truth.

I see hip-hop as part of a movement linked to a danceable education, teaching that can both delight and instruct. I know that I am not a rapper like KRS-One, who has been lecturing in my classes for years. I am surely not a singer any more than I am a preacher. But, in some small way, if I can help bring the social consciousness of a Curtis Mayfield or a Nina Simone to hip-hop, if I can reach one young person with a message embedded in a sound that stirs his or her soul, then I have not labored in vain. My point of reference as an educator is tied to a mighty mission: unsettling minds and motivating hearts to be forces for good.

Hip-hop is a young game. Some might ask, “Why is this old fool turning out hip-hop CDs?” My answer is that the generation of the Dramatics and the O’Jays can—and must—offer their insights to the ongoing culture. I believe it’s a continuum, not a conflict or a contradiction, but, in the language of rap, a continuous flow between one generation and another. The ’60s and ’70s of Sly Stone and Stevie Wonder are more pertinent and compelling than ever. Hook them up with what’s happening today and you have a fusion, a kind of hybrid, that looks backward and forward at the same time. It’s a beautiful thing.

|1|scholarship,education,blues music,hip-hop,rap,cornel west|_none|1|cornel_west Only 4 Ingredients…|Mixed with a little Deepak Chopra wisdom!|2010-10-23 17:00:00|public://imports/1690.jpg|0|public://imports/1690.jpg|

Since the release of our first book, 4 Ingredients: Over 340 Quick, Easy and Delicious Recipes Using 4 or Less Ingredients, we have been constantly asked to bring out a recipe book that focuses on a healthier lifestyle. As everyone knows, our forte is making meals simple and easy to prepare. So when the opportunity came up to work with the foremost authority on mind-body medicine in the world Deepak Chopra, we believed that this was perfect timing. Through our collaboration, we believe we have come up with the best of all worlds when it comes to delivering healthy and simple meals.

For those of you who have not been exposed to Ayurvedic principles, it’s a tried and true ancient system that is followed by millions of individuals around the world. Ayurveda, in Sanskrit, means the science of life. It is a philosophy that’s been around for at least 4,000 years, focusing on prevention, healing and wellbeing. Balance is very important in Ayurveda and strives to harmonize through the combination of diet, meditation, massage, essential oils and herbs.

The pure Ayurvedic principles that Deepak and many others follow are much deeper and more precise than what we have presented in our new book, 4 Ingredients: Fast, Fresh and Healthy. [Please note: Only available in Australia at leading retailers or by clicking here.]

Our intention is to introduce the concepts of what has worked so well in the East, in the hope that our readers can apply them to their very busy and demanding lifestyles. We wish to encourage everyone to explore all forms of a healthy and holistic lifestyle so that healthy and simple choices become the obvious ones to make.

The Basic Ingredients for a Healthier Mind & Body
By Deepak Chopra

If you understand just these four basic ingredients for healthy living you will be well on your way to a healthier mind and body.

  1. There is a genius inside you and me. Our bodies have an inner intelligence. In other words, our bodies know exactly what it is we need to eat (and when) for us to be healthy. Just as your brain takes in certain pieces of information and works out what to do with them, your digestive system takes in the food you eat and works out what it can use, what it will get rid of and what it will store.
  2. Your cells recreate themselves over and over millions of times in your lifetime. We are being created anew each day. The skin, for example, replaces itself once each month, the stomach lining every five days, the liver every six weeks, and the skeleton every three months. In fact, each year around 98 per cent of each one of us is made up of brand new cells. So, even if you are feeling overweight or unhealthy today, there is no reason that you have to stay that way.
  3. There is a mind/body connection. In recent times science is confirming more and more what some cultures have known for thousands of years: your thoughts and feelings can have a direct affect on your body's organs and cells, so it makes sense to keep a positive attitude around eating and exercise.
  4. Everything you eat has an effect on your body. There are many books and research papers to prove this, but for now, let's just say that YOU BECOME WHAT YOU EAT. Just for the record…Food is more than just protein, carbohydrate and fat.

Your relationship with food needs to provide you with a sense of joy, growth and enrichment. You don't need to count calories, kilojoules or grams of fat; you need to simply develop more of an awareness around the food, you are choosing to eat day to day. When you pay attention to what your body wants to eat and when it wants to eat, you will experience positive change.

Healthy food was designed over millions of years to be pleasurable. Food doesn't have to be bland to be healthy. The flavors of life in the right proportion add richness to our food and our experience. Your body will respond well if you spice up the food you eat. If you are not enjoying your food the nutritional, emotional, psychological and physical benefits of a meal will be greatly reduced.

Kim and Rachael have created recipes and food preparation ideas that incorporate wonderful colors, stimulating aromas and a variety of flavors, textures and spices to completely satisfy your taste buds. The recipes are simple, healthy and environmentally sustainable.

By becoming aware of the way you currently behave toward food, you will be able to make changes for the better. When you change your way of eating by changing a few simple rules, you will create a healthier, more vital body that is capable of providing you with more strength, joy and pleasure!

Hawaiian Breakfast
Serves 4
A recipe from the inspiring Wayne Dyer.

  • 2 oranges
  • 2 tbs. honey
  • 1 mango
  • ½ pineapple

Since I now spend so much of my time in Hawaii, I have taken to eating whatever is fresh and in season. This is my favorite breakfast and it’s so simple. Cut oranges in half and juice, then strain. In a tbs. hot water, dissolve the honey then combine orange juice. Slice and cube the mango and pineapple and mix all the ingredients in a bowl.

|6|mind-body health,recipes,cooking,4 ingredients,deepak chopra,rachael bermingham,kim mccosker,alternative medicine|_none|1|deepak_chopra_md Are You Too Darn Dependable?|Put your First Chakra back on track.|2010-10-25 17:00:00|public://imports/1713.jpg|0|public://imports/1713.jpg|

Do you suffer from any first-chakra, chronic health problems with your blood, immune system,  bones, joints, or skin; and do you tend to have Pseudo–Social Worker issues? If so, fear not, for there is hope.

In addition to considering a number of nutritional and herbal supplements and changing your diet, an important step of the Pseudo–Social Workers’ mind-body makeover is to address the emotional, intuitive right brain.

What follows is my seven-part program to rehabilitate Pseudo–Social Workers’ compulsive rescuing of people in need so that they can protect their own interests as much as they safeguard everyone else around them:

  1. Identify how when someone near you has a problem, you intuitively pick up on his pain and distress. Was it through a sense of dread? Anxiety? A dream or image? A gut feeling or a tightness in your chest? Or was it some other sensation in your mind and body?
  2. Recognize that the person in need has other resources, including a higher power, which he can access for protection. Acknowledge that you are not his higher power (a sobering thought indeed). Join Co-Dependents Anonymous (CoDA), where you’ll get support from compulsive rescuers who are also learning to resist the impulse to chronically attract and defend dependent people.
  3. Discern whether helping this individual in the past has either strengthened or weakened him, making him more dependent. If your previous rescue missions have helped him learn to support himself, choose to intervene. However, if past efforts have done little to help him gain insight into the crises in his life (or worse yet, fostered more dependence), then sit on your hands. Learn to tolerate your anxiety as you watch the other person’s life unravel, and learn to soothe the guilt you experience when he gets angry with you for refusing to play the rescuer yet again.
  4. Restrict the amount of time you spend around people who depend on you. This doesn’t refer to any young children, if you have them, but to that adult relative who’s always calling you about his loser relationship and the friend who keeps asking for your advice on one emotional crisis after another. In the past, this may have helped you feel loved and needed, but now you can see that what it’s really doing for you is draining your first-chakra health. As the saying goes, “Out of sight, out of mind” (and, I might add, out of intuitive field). Begin to develop relationships with more independent people who can love you even if they don’t need you.
  5. Know that you can be safe, even if certain loved ones’ lives are in peril.
  6. Change the unhealthy thought: If I am needed, I feel loved, appreciated, and accepted . . . to the healthy affirmation: I am lovable even when I am not needed.
  7. Follow the first rule for intuitive health—All for one, and one for all—by emphasizing that your individual need for support and survival is as important as all the rest of the needs of all the other people in your life.
|5|mona lisa schulz,intuition,medical intuition,medical intuitive,immune system,first chakra,compulsive rescuing,co-dependents anonymous,coda,chakra,chakras|_none|1|mona_lisa_schulz_md_phd The Call to Create|Let divine inspiration flow through you.|2010-10-25 17:00:00|public://imports/1693.jpg|0|public://imports/1693.jpg|

The creativity of Oneness is constantly calling to you. Now is the time to answer the call and open yourself to the boundless inspiration available to you. When you hear the Divine knocking, fling the door wide open and invite your own particular genius inside. When you do so, you become receptive to the creativity of Oneness. You’re filled with wisdom and enthusiasm that is deeply and intricately connected to your well-being and to the well-being of the world. This inspiration is sourced in the Divine Idea of goodness for all. The creativity of Oneness taps into the collective Soul and delivers to your doorstep a notion of life that surpasses your wildest dreams. Your creativity fans the flame of Oneness; this is the Divine spark that connects you to the Source of all life.

James: When I think about the word creative or creativity, I also think of compelling. To be creative is to be compelling. This is something that’s so vital today, especially if we want to inspire others. This needs to be compelling! We can’t be somber, and we can’t just lie back and relax into a passive state. If we can live this mind-set in creative, vibrant, passionate ways, then people will look at us and say, “I want some of that!” This is how we can be inspiring in the world today: by stepping into that experience ourselves, living it, and embracing it fully so that others will desire it and access it for themselves.

Anakha: Yes. I think that the passivity you’re speaking of (you can also call it malaise) is like a cloud that gets in the way of the sun’s brilliance. We have to make it our intention to connect with the power of the sun—the power of Oneness and creativity. It’s easy to become complacent and collectively depressed about the state of the world instead of realizing that there is a God idea, a Divine idea that we can tap into. And it’s our duty and responsibility to actually make ourselves receptive to Divine inspiration and to also encourage others to do the same. That’s how dynamic, creative ideas for our educational and political systems, the economy, the environment, and new ways of living together on the planet today become manifest: through our receptivity to them.

James: Who can you inspire today? Several people probably come to mind, those you deal with every day in the most ordinary fashions . . . the ones you could choose to give the gifts you’re seeking in order to receive yourself. How can you change the predictable patterns that you usually follow in ways that may inspire something new? Remember that the best way for you to receive inspiration is to offer it to someone else. Can you be creative today? Can you offer something that helps another person access Oneness and also inspires the same in you?

Anakha: Yes! I think the creativity of Oneness is so necessary right now. We have to realize that who we were yesterday isn’t who we are today. We must move out of those fixed ideas of ourselves and what the state of the world is. It’s much more dynamic than that! In the creativity of Oneness, each day we become new—that is, there’s a new aspect of Oneness that’s actually expressing itself as us and as our friends, family, co workers,  even as this very world. As we become fluid and flexible, allowing ourselves to be infused with the Divine Intelligence that wants to speak to us, through us, and as us, we become part of a global consciousness, a global community of Oneness.

It’s important to be receptive to an intelligence that’s so far greater than our limited minds, to be open to it and to activate it in ourselves and each other. We need to encourage one another to be available to the Divine Idea of Oneness that wants to manifest in our lives and as the conditions of the world.

Today, notice which Divine Ideas catch your attention and intention. What do you want to create? Do you feel pulled toward something? What fascinates you or whets your appetite? If you were to stop conforming to someone else’s idea of creativity, how would you express your own unique brilliance? Would you dance, paint, cook, sing, garden, act, draw, write, dress up, decorate, orchestrate, or design? Trust the Divine impulse that moves you to express and contribute. Have faith and act. As the wave of creativity rises and swells within, catch it and ride it in! This is the creativity of Oneness at work in you.

As you increase your willingness and ability to receive, conceive, and act on Divine inspiration, you open the channel for more to flow through. Divine inspiration for all aspects of your life will become easily accessible to you. Have the courage to create today! Make it contagious. Invite others to join you, uniting in the creativity of Oneness.

Affirmation: I AM consciously creating a world of brilliance and Oneness with my every expression—prayer, thought, statement, feeling, and action.

|23|james twyman,anakha coman,oneness,creativity,divine guidance,inspiration|_none|1|james_f_twyman The Gravity Factor|How Isaac Newton woke up your mind.|2010-10-26 17:00:00|public://imports/1720.jpg|0|public://imports/1720.jpg|

When I think of gravity, images come to mind of Isaac Newton resting under a tree while an apple falls from the branch above, symbolically containing the inspiration for the law of gravity. Newton, of course, is considered one of the pillars of the Enlightenment and the Age of Reason.

Newton, together with his forerunners, including Copernicus, Galileo, and Descartes, and contemporaries such as Locke and Spinoza—among many more leading scientists and philosophers of this renaissance of thought—stood on the threshold of an awakening power of the mind that would reshape the Western world. European society underwent a shattering transformation as the result of this flood of reasoning, a reaction to both the superstition and the mystical mindset fostered by the medieval church.

The Renaissance signaled the dawning of a new age, one that would reshape even the celestial myths about the nature of God. If the systems of heaven were orderly, if the earth indeed revolved around the sun, if laws such as gravity governed all falling objects in some kind of universal harmony, then God, too, must be a logical Being. Reason was the power to strive for, the ultimate inner quality of the human being.

All material things have a symbolic counterpart in the archetypal realm that imbues each physical object or force with meaning. Another way to say this is that the law of cause and effect operates on many levels other than the physical. Emotional and psychic forces, for instance, also have causes and effects.

In the realm of mystical law, however, although the law of cause and effect functions just as reliably as it does in the realm of natural law, it is far more porous, or open to influences that do not exist in the same way within the physical realm. Grace and prayer, for example, have the power to influence the dynamics of the laws within the mystical realm. Some mystics have been able, in effect, to “defy gravity” as a result of their knowledge of and trust in the authority of mystical law.

To understand how the laws of the universe, including the law of gravity, can function in symbolic ways requires us to train our minds to perceive beyond the limitations of reason and logic. First, we need to understand the word gravity through its other meanings, such as “seriousness” or “heaviness.” Symbolically, we might say that Newton discovered the law of seriousness, the law of the relationship between reason and the symbolic “weight of thought,” along with the conventional law of gravity.

Certainly it can be said that Newton made a scientific discovery in identifying the law of gravity, but from another and far more intriguing perspective, the case can be made that Newton had a mystical experience in which he was given a glimpse into the essential oneness of the universe. He saw through the veil of ordinary sight this one day of his life to comprehend the functioning of but one of the physical laws—which he named the law of gravity—which reflects the constant mystical truth that “What is in one is in the whole.”

He saw “into the whole” on that one day in his life and noted that all things are subject to one law, related to weight and force. That he applied his mystical insight to science is just part of his task, but the mystical consequence was that energetic weight—psychic weight—began transferring more “seriously” into thought as well as science grew more and more into prominence, eclipsing the value of emotional and intuitive knowledge.

We must, it seems, shift to yet another realm of perception, a realm that is beyond conventional reason, in order to maneuver through the problems facing us. We must learn to think as the mystics did. We must learn to defy gravity. This requires developing our intellectual and creative resources as well as our capacity to perceive the world through the power of our soul. In this way, what is impossible in the physical world of reason and logic becomes completely possible in our world of grace, mystical laws, prayer, and divine companionship.

It is in our nature to defy gravity, to transcend the limitations of the reasoning mind and connect with an inner realm of mystical truth. We have always been on the quest for this truth; we have always been seeking a way to defy the laws that weigh us down in ordinary thought. From a Renaissance of the mind, we are now coming full circle to a mystical Renaissance. It’s time to learn the truths that govern our interior soul.

|1|intuition,mystical experience,logical thinking,truth,galileo,renaissance,reason,isaac newton,caroline myss|_none|1|caroline_myss Spirit Spheres|Visitors in orbs of light come to Missouri. |2010-10-28 17:00:00|public://imports/1694.jpg|0|public://imports/1694.jpg|

Not every experience that falls in the category of “orbs” can be documented with nice photographs of orbs. In some cases, people can actually see them with their own eyes (or senses), as they move around them—and in some of those cases the experience can be so strong and so profound that further “recording,” such as in photos, is entirely unnecessary. Consider the following story sent to us by Kay, a business owner in Branson West, Missouri:

“I had an experience with what may be an orb on a Wednesday evening, July 2nd, 2007. I did not know much about orbs. After learning a little about them since this experience, I thought others actually saw them as I did on this night, but now I realize most people are only seeing them on digital camera photos.

That night I actually had contact with this ‘light energy,’ not only seeing it, but actually interacting with this being of intelligence. It lasted for about two hours. The ‘light energy’ was outside my apartment in Branson, Missouri, from 10:00 P.M. until about midnight. It was originally about 30 feet above me, but came in closer to me—to only inches from my outreached hand at one point, and then at the end of these incredible two hours, it very quickly moved way up and out into the sky away from me and disappeared.

It was in the form of four somewhat fuzzy white lights, rotating counter clockwise, equally spaced, around and around about four or six times. Then the four white lights (like sheer curtain) would meet in the center, make a more solid ball of light, then sort of bounce off each other and then go back to being four separate, equally spaced faint lights, going round and round again.

I had my sister in New York on the cell phone all the time while I was experiencing this unusual happening. She was scared for me and told me to go back into the house, but I soon did not feel afraid but was rather mesmerized by the experience. When I saw it at first, it was above the roof, and I thought it was one of those advertising lights. But when I moved further out into the parking lot, it moved with me, out above my head, and came down closer to me, always going round and round, meeting in the center, then bursting back into the four shapes of light.

I became curious, and I decided to ‘play’ with it a little. I moved about 500 feet to a building to the left of my apartment, and it followed over me! I then decided to move up the hill to the highway, where a small strip mall is located. As I was at the crest of the hill, I reached up, still on the cell phone with my sister, and reached out my right hand. The ‘lights’ came down very close to me. One of the four actually separated from the other three, which continued to circle in a counter clockwise fashion above and behind it, and the one light came down to almost touching my finger tips!

When this happened, I just felt this feeling of ‘pure love and peace’! It was wonderful! I remember just feeling totally full of love, and I remember saying to my sister on the phone, ‘It’s beautiful! It’s beautiful!’ But it was not physical beauty, because the lights remained sort of dull, fuzzy white features (not colorful or distinctive in any way), but it was the feeling of beauty that I was experiencing. I was totally filled with the feeling of love and peace.

Then I moved up and to the right about 1,500 feet, and the lights moved above me, kept right along with me, over my head. I sat on the curb for about 20 minutes or so, talking to my sister, totally taken back by all this. They moved up and away in the sky a bit, but still quite low above me all the while. I was watching them go round and round and meet in the center, and burst back into four separated lights.

Then I decided to go back down and around to my apartment. The light came with me. When I came down to my apartment, I actually pulled out a folding chair and placed it in the middle of the parking lot, and sat there talking to my sister—and the light was circling up above me all the time.”

The particularly remarkable parts of this story are the duration (two hours!); the fact that a witness was connected by phone the entire time; that the beings stayed with Kay while she was walking substantial distances; the sensation of joy, peace, and love throughout the experience.

Surely, these Spirit Beings were benevolent. They must have been happy that Kay recognized their presence and that she communicated it with her sister, who thus became a witness to this unfolding story.

|5|light energy,non-physical entity,orbs,gundi heinemann,klaus heinemann|_none|1|gundi_heinemann Power to the Locals!|Healing the economy close to home.|2010-10-27 17:00:00|public://imports/1714.jpg|0|public://imports/1714.jpg|

The buy-local movement offers a promising natural economic trend. It represents the recognition of two cost-effective principles. First, locally produced products are economically and energetically more efficient simply because they eliminate transportation charges. Second, and equally important, locally owned endeavors add to the quality of life and uniqueness of an area while literally multiplying that area’s wealth.

Two recent studies bear this out. The first study concerned four types of businesses in San Francisco: books, sporting goods, toys and gifts, and limited-service dining. The study’s results conclude that a mere 10 percent shift in retail spending from large chains to local stores resulted in nearly $192 million in increased economic output, $72 million in new income for workers, and more than $15 million in new retail activity.1 A second study in Austin, Texas, concluded that if each household shifted $100 of holiday spending from chain stores to local merchants, it would have a $10 million positive impact on the local economy.2 How are these financial benefits possible? Big-box and chain stores take their earnings out of the community. In contrast, locally owned businesses recirculate money close to home: they hire local labor, buy goods and services from regional merchants, support community charities, and spend their profits with neighboring stores. 

According to a study by the Go Local organization of Sonoma County, California, when purchases are made from locally owned businesses as opposed to national chains, the proceeds circulate three times longer in the community.3

To counter the daunting task of raising enough food for all 6.5 billion of us, the Go Local movement also has evolved a grow local branch that offers a simple and natural solution. The goal is for every community to become sustainable through food and energy self-sufficiency. And, because the sun and soil are the sources of all wealth, then a healthy, wealthy commonwealth begins with every community having access to this abundance.

Even in the most urbanized and ghettoized areas of our country, food can be grown locally and provide a thriving business opportunity. When inner city residents have access to vacant lots, rooftops, or a corner of a schoolyard or park, they also acquire the possibility to grow, process, sell, and deliver food up the economic food chain.

To take the garden notion one step further, in a sense, each neighborhood, community, city, state, and nation is a garden with the potential to grow not only food but other forms of renewable wealth, including intangibles like happiness. Perhaps we need to follow the lead of the Buddhist kingdom of Bhutan, where back in the 1970s King Jigme Singye Wangchuck decided the true measure of wealth is Gross National Happiness.

And what exactly is happiness? To the Bhutanese, it’s a change in perspective. “The underlying message,” according to an article in Developments Magazine, “is that the country should not sacrifice elements important for people’s happiness to gain material development. In short, GNH takes into account not only the flow of money but also access to healthcare, free time with family, conservation of natural resources and other non-economic factors.4 In keeping with the Buddhist idea that the ultimate purpose of life is inner happiness, the Bhutanese society has decided to curtail the excess use of consumer goods, essentially eliminating the corporate middle man, and cultivate the greatest good of all—happiness. Bhutan’s lead begs the curious question: what if each nation, each region, and each community had a mission for maximizing happiness in the world, in its own unique way? Yes, what if?

We cannot underestimate the economic impact of well-being intangibles like love, happiness, imagination, and awareness. In an evolving economy, these are the multipliers that help us achieve what Buckminster Fuller would have termed a dymaxion economy, which means an economy based on “deriving maximum output from a minimum input of material and energy.”

The indices of well-being—love, happiness, peace, and equanimity—are contagious. For example, one person can walk into a room with love, and hundreds or maybe thousands absorb that love and carry it out of the room with them. The love of the original bearer is not only undiminished but has very likely increased. If ever there was a formula for applying the miracle of loaves and fishes, this is it!


  1. Civic Economics, “The San Francisco Retail Diversity Study,” Civic Economics, May, 2007, 1-28, (accessed March 14, 2009).
  2. Civic Economics, Economic Impact Analysis: A Case Study, Local Merchants vs. Chain Retailers, (Austin, TX: Civic Economics, 2002), 1–16. (accessed April 15, 2009).
  3. “The San Francisco Retail Diversity Study,” Studies in Economics, Sonoma County GoLocal Coop, April 2007, (accessed March 14, 2009).
  4. Kencho Wandi, “Bhutan - where happiness outranks wealth,” Developments, (accessed March 14, 2009).
|23|happiness,self-sufficiency,grow local,buy local,steve bhaerman,bruce lipton|_none|1|bruce_h_lipton_phd Choose Your Natural State|You were born for joy.|2010-10-28 17:00:00|public://imports/1717.jpg|0|public://imports/1717.jpg|

You live in a universe that has limitless potential for joy built into the creation process. Your Source, which we call the universal mind of intention, adores you beyond anything you can possibly imagine. When you adore yourself in the same proportion, you’re matched up with the field of intention, and you’ve opted for the path of no resistance. As long as you have even a pinch of an ego, you’ll retain some resistance, so I urge you to take the path in which resistance is minimized.

The shape and quantity of your thoughts determine the amount of resistance. Thoughts that generate bad feelings are resistant thoughts. Any thought that puts a barrier between what you would like to have and your ability to attract it into your life is resistance.

Your intention is to live a tranquil life, free of stress and anxiety. You know that stress doesn’t exist in the world, and that there are only people thinking stressful thoughts. Stressful thoughts all by themselves are a form of resistance. You don’t want stressful, resistant thoughts to be your habitual way of reacting to your world. By practicing thoughts of minimal resistance, you’ll train yourself to make this your natural way of reacting, and eventually you’ll become the tranquil person you desire to be, a stress-free person free of the “dis-ease” that stress brings to the body. Stressful thoughts all by themselves are the resistance that you construct that impedes your connection to the power of intention.

We’re in a world that advertises and promotes reasons to be anxious. You’ve been taught that feeling good in a world where so much suffering exists is an immoral stance to take. You’ve been convinced that choosing to feel good in bad economic times, in times of war, in times of uncertainty or death, or in the face of any catastrophe anywhere in the world is crass and inappropriate. Since these conditions will always be in the world someplace, you believe you can’t have joy and still be a good person. But it may not have occurred to you that in a universe based on energy and attraction, thoughts that evoke feeling bad originate in the same energy Source that attracts more of the same into your life. These are resistant thoughts.

Here are some examples of sentences on the path of resistance, which are then changed to sentences on the path of least resistance.

I feel uneasy about the state of the economy; I’ve already lost so much money.

I live in an abundant universe; I choose to think about what I have and I will be fine. The universe will provide.

I have so many things to do that I can never get caught up.

I’m at peace in this moment. I’ll only think about the one thing I’m doing. I will have peaceful thoughts.

I can never get ahead in this job.

I choose to appreciate what I’m doing right now, and I’ll attract an even greater opportunity.

My health is a huge concern. I worry about getting old and becoming dependent and sick.

I’m healthy, and I think healthy. I live in a universe that attracts healing, and I refuse to anticipate sickness.

My family members are causing me to feel anxious and fearful.

I choose thoughts that make me feel good, and this will help me uplift those family members in need.

I don’t deserve to feel good when so many people are suffering.

I didn’t come into a world where everyone is going to have the same identical experiences. I’ll feel good, and by being uplifted, I’ll help eradicate some of the suffering.

I can’t be happy when the person I really care about loves another and has abandoned me.

Feeling bad won’t change this scenario. I trust that love will return to my life if I’m in harmony with the loving Source. I choose to feel good right now and focus on what I have, rather than what’s missing.

All stressful thoughts represent a form of resistance you wish to eradicate. Change those thoughts by monitoring your feelings and opting for joy rather than anxiety. Remember that your natural state is joy. You are a product of joy and love; it’s natural for you to experience these feelings. Remind yourself as frequently as necessary: I come from peace and joy. I must stay in harmony with that from which I came in order to fulfill my dreams and desires. I choose to stay in my natural state.

|1|depression,current events,divine,stress,joy,intention,wayne w. dyer|_none|1|dr_wayne_w_dyer How Do You View the World?|Return to the wholeness of life.|2010-10-29 17:00:00|public://imports/1715.jpg|0|public://imports/1715.jpg|

Healing is connected to living and loving. It’s the experience of wholeness, or holiness. It’s being as one with life and our Creator. Curing, on the other hand, refers to the physical body. Being cured means overcoming a disease and, for the time being, postponing death.

But doctors can’t cure every disease, and ultimately, you can’t avoid death. You can, however, be sure that you don’t miss the chance to live. You can always heal your life, because you’re always capable of loving and living more fully. Sometimes the by-product of healing your life is being cured. A 90-year-old patient we treated was so full of life that she was, in her words, “too busy to die.” The will to live is a powerful force.

Some spiritual traditions view the moment of birth as a passage from a state of wholeness and knowledge to a state of forgetting. In this view of the world, we spend the rest of our lives searching for wholeness and knowledge, wellness and health—the balance and harmony we lost when we were born. If our wholeness is interrupted, then our health suffers, and we need to find a way to restore our sense of meaning. When we move in the direction of that meaning, we’re healing.

This is not a new concept. The Hebrew word shalom is usually translated as “peace,” or “hello” and “good-bye.” But shalom also means “wholeness.” In Hebrew, the question, “How are you doing?” is derived from shalom, so although the speaker may not be aware of it, he or she is actually asking, “How is your wholeness?”

Sometimes healing brings a cure or a full restoration of health, but it’s important to recognize that healing isn’t a single destination point; it’s a path that moves us toward balance. Many people have had afflictions that can’t be cured, but they’re still whole—think, for example, of Helen Keller.

If you want to be on a healing path, you have to be cognizant of your beliefs about yourself and the world. You define what’s stressful and what’s just one of life’s redirections. So if you choose to view your life as a learning process, then you’ll experience the “stressful” events differently. You’ll be able to stop seeing things as either good or bad, and start appreciating them as opportunities to learn to deal with difficulties—maybe you’ll even see them as having potential future benefits.

We know of a 93-year-old blind woman whose husband died. The woman was admitted to an assisted-living facility, and as she was being wheeled in, she said, “Oh, what a beautiful place.” The attendant pointed out that she was blind and asked how she could say that her new home was beautiful.

“I have a choice about how I see the world,” the woman answered, “and I choose to see it as beautiful.”

I often talk about 90-year-olds when I tell stories about people who have found peace. The reason is simple: When you make it to 90, you’ve already lived through all of the things that the rest of us still fear. I’ve often asked my 90-year-old patients to join our support group as therapists, because they can help others survive what they’ve already lived through. When I asked one support group what they feared, a woman in her 90s thought awhile before answering: “Driving on the parkway at night.” When that’s all you fear, you’re ready to be a teacher and help others survive their life-threatening situations.

Of course, not all 90-year-olds are perfect. My mom is in her 90s and still finds time to worry about the things that disturb her peace or threaten people she loves. We’re all human, and we all have some struggles to find peace—even at 90—but in general we get better at it with time.

|6|bernie siegel,yosaif august,healing,wholeness,meaning,aging,wellness|_none|1|bernie_s_siegel_md Whatever Happened at the Hazey Place?|A tale of Sawyerton’s haunted house.|2010-10-31 17:00:00|public://imports/1736.jpg|0|public://imports/1736.jpg|

I had been in the house a hundred times, but it still gave me the willies. Located at the end of a logging road behind town, the dilapidated old structure had been abandoned for years. It was covered with wandering fingers of kudzu and honeysuckle, which only added to its creepy appearance.

The house held a sinister attraction for kids. Despite the pitchfork murder that had supposedly taken place in the attic at one time, we simply could not stay away.

This night, however, was different. I could have easily stayed away. In fact, on this particular night, I would have rather been anywhere else in the world. Because this night was the 31st of October—Halloween.

For the first time any of us could remember, Halloween was happening on a Friday. That meant, of course, no school the next day. We were given permission by our parents to camp out in the Peytons’ backyard. The tent was there. We, on the other hand, were not.

Somehow the five of us (Lee Peyton, Kevin Perkins, the Luker boys and me) had goaded each other into spending the night at the old Hazey place. We considered ourselves too mature for dressing up and begging candy from the neighbors.

We sat in a tight circle, close together in what we had decided was once the living area.

I, for one, was not enjoying myself. The stories were beginning to have an effect on me. I had had enough golden arms, hooks left hanging on car doors, and ghost girls being picked up on the highway wearing prom dresses. I was ready to leave and was about to suggest it when Lee picked up the conversation. “Reckon why she did it?” he asked.

We all looked at him. We knew what he was talking about. In 1951, so the story went, Martha Hazey stuck her fourth husband, George, with a pitchfork in the attic.

 “My dad said she cut off his head,” Lee offered. In our hearts, we knew that Lee’s father had said nothing of the kind—that Lee had fabricated this part of the story—but no one challenged him, because the information, according to Lee, had come from his dad. Crediting one’s parent with a wild tale has always been the primary method for avoiding the scorn of peers. (“I didn’t say it, my dad said it!”)

“Martha Hazey,” I mused. “What kind of name is Hazey?”

“I’ll betcha God gave her that name,” Kevin said, “because it rhymes with crazy. You know she escaped from an insane asylum.”

Kevin made the statement as a fact. He was not asking us if Crazy Hazey had escaped—he was telling us that indeed she had. He continued. “She dug up George’s head and still carries it around . . . everywhere she goes.” I was about to tell Kevin that he was full of it when he added, “At least that’s what my mother told me.”

“Somebody saw her down at Henley’s Hardware not too long ago,” I said. “She was looking around in the pitchfork section.”

The other guys looked at me. Their eyes were the size of silver dollars and their breath was coming in rapid bursts. They knew I was lying as well as I did, but as we embellished the tale, it was like an addiction—there was no stopping us. The tension became unbearable. Past the point of casually getting up and going home, we were terrified!

Suddenly, Roger began to sing, “Ninety-nine bottles of beer on the wall, ninety-nine bottles of beer. Take one down, pass it around . . .” As his quivering voice faded away, we felt even more uneasy. It had been a pitiful attempt to change the subject.

Only Roger’s brother, Steve, said anything to him. “Don’t be so stupid. If you ever do anything that stupid again, I’ll . . .” Without warning, Steve’s face went white. His mouth kept moving, but there were no words—no sound. He was looking at a spot directly behind me.

I looked at Roger and Lee. Their eyes were now fixed on the same spot. Roger was on his back trying to push himself away with his legs. Lee didn’t move.

Kevin started a weird moaning sound that seemed to be an odd combination of crying and begging for mercy. As Steve continued to mouth nonexistent words, I quickly turned around and almost fainted. There, sliding slowly through the window, was a pitchfork.

My mouth was like sand and my heart was about to come through my chest. It was true! All the stories we’d heard were true.

There really was a Crazy Hazey. She really did kill her husband, and now she was after us! Why had I come here? Why hadn’t I gone trick or treating with my sister?

“Ahh!” Kevin screamed, “It’s George’s head!” Indeed, something that looked very much like a man’s head had come flying through the window and rolled up against Lee’s leg.

A large percentage of the time, when one speaks of hair standing on end, it is merely a figure of speech. In this case, it was not. Our hair did stand on end, we curdled blood with our screams, and before we left the house, we ran in place for a few seconds like mice in a cartoon!

We didn’t stop running until we were safely in the Peytons’ backyard. We were out of breath, we were still scared, but we were alive.

To this day, I have never experienced sheer terror to match that Halloween. Even now, I break out in a sweat when I hear kids singing “Ninety-nine Bottles of Beer.”

It wasn’t until years later—I was in college—when I found out what had actually happened that night. My mom and dad had walked over to the Peytons’ with my sister. As the adults talked in the side yard, they saw us leaving the tent. Dr. Peyton and my dad decided to follow. They had waited outside the window of the old Hazey place, listening to us talk in the living room. When the time was right, Dr. Peyton stuck an old board slowly into the window. Then my dad threw a clump of roots into the room, and the rest is history.

Because of that night, I never went in the old Hazey place again. That, I am sure, is exactly what my dad had intended. Still, it was a mean trick for a grownup to play on a bunch of kids. It makes no difference that it was Halloween. It was dirty, rotten, heartless . . . and I can’t wait for the chance to do something like that to my own boys one day!

|23|ghosts,pitchfork,october 31,haunted house,halloween,sawyerton springs,andy andrews|_none|1|andy_andrews Purity Heals |Clear your thoughts with love.|2010-10-30 17:00:00|public://imports/1716.jpg|0|public://imports/1716.jpg|

The act of making your thoughts pure can heal you very quickly, because it destroys the dark influences around you that promote pain and disease.

I can read people’s etheric life force at fifty yards, so I can see inside an individual’s soul. But with that ability I found myself commenting mentally, especially if the person I was watching was rather ugly, or downright evil.

But to have a pure mind, one must have no reaction at all. One should react neither to a person’s loveliness or their darkness. One has to be neutral and wish everybody well and of course, any rancor or spite is out of the question. 

When I become more and more disconnected from people’s dysfunction and pain, I offer a silent love and redemption to everyone I pass in the street or elsewhere—no matter who they are. This action seems to liberate me, it feels so light.

I found this simple discipline also helps reduce my negative thoughts and worries as it brings with it a clean serenity.

In essence, one redeems oneself as one becomes more and more neutral and detached. It is a form of piety; one that is never expressed verbally to others, and yet you can be sure in that silent piety your Christ light shines ever more.

There is a perfection in its simplicity. So that is why I believe a pure mind heals you. It restores the broken symmetries of your body and soul.

|5|spirituality,darkness,positive thoughts,intuition,stuart wilde|_none|1|stuart_wilde Author Spotlight: Marianne Williamson |A book with gold letters that can change your life.|2010-11-04 17:00:00|public://imports/1695.jpg|0|public://imports/1695.jpg|

“No matter what did or did not happen in your past, the present remains the endless fount of miraculous opportunities.”

— Marianne Williamson

When she was 13 years old, Marianne Williamson took a trip to Saigon with her father. This was back in the mid-sixties during the Vietnam War. Her dad wanted to show Marianne what war was. And he wanted to make sure that if she saw the devastation and the bullet holes firsthand, she would be convinced that war was “not okay.”

But for Marianne, the first two decades of her life were still a battlefield—even if it was an emotional one. She was always looking for some sense of identity or purpose. She wanted to do something with her life, but she wasn’t sure what.

Marianne says that by her mid-twenties she was a total mess. “I often felt as though life was a private club and everybody had received the password except me,” she recounts in her first book A Return to Love. “I felt other people knew a secret that I didn’t know. I believed other people were dying inside, too, just like me. But they couldn’t or wouldn’t talk about it.”

Then one day in 1977 somewhere in the middle of New York City, Marianne noticed a set of books with gold lettering on them on someone’s coffee table. Being a voracious reader and well-versed in many subjects by then, her innate curiosity led her to read the introduction. This is a course in miracles.

Marianne was intrigued, but then some of the religious terminology made her a little apprehensive. She put the book back on the table.

The Divine hand of the Universe, however, would place the book in her path again. It was another year before Marianne picked it up again. This time, she read it. “It sounds a bit cliché to say this, but I felt like I had come home.”

Marianne studied the course so passionately, her mother once commented, “She read it like a menu.” Soon, Marianne couldn’t keep her newfound inner transformation to herself. She began sharing what she learned with small gatherings, which turned into larger and larger groups. 

Marianne wrote about how A Course in Miracles became her personal teacher and her “path out of hell” in her first book A Return to Love. It spent 39 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list and sold in excess of three million copies. It is evident that Marianne wasn’t alone in her search for meaning and purpose in life and for a path beyond emotional turmoil.

During her earlier life struggling to find this purpose, Marianne also struggled with her weight. She was a compulsive overeater and often found herself starving one moment and bingeing the next. For Marianne, the lessons she learned in A Course in Miracles helped the weight fall off.

After listening to an increasing number of stories and questions about weight issues from participants at her lectures and reading startling statistics in the media, Marianne spent the last year taking the powering spiritual lessons she has learned and applying them specifically to the task of losing weight.

Marianne’s groundbreaking discovery is now available in her latest book, A Course in Weight Loss—21 Spiritual Lessons for Surrendering Your Weight Forever.

In it, Marianne shows you how to retrain your consciousness and address the root causes of your weight gain and suffering. “Getting back to the truth of who you really are, you will get to a place where all your problems with weight have disappeared.”

We can release the weight of unprocessed pain and embrace the lightheartedness of a wiser and more humble heart. Whomever it is you were born to be, whatever your soul was coded to accomplish, whatever lessons you were born to learn, now is the time to get serious and get going.

Is there a book with gold lettering on it sitting on someone’s coffee table that can change your life? Why wait?

|1|spiritual lessons,miracles,spirituality,a return to love,a course in weight loss,a course in miracles,marianne williamson|_none|1|hay_house Stop Spinning and Start Winning!|How to get your life back in balance.|2010-11-01 17:00:00|public://imports/1737.jpg|0|public://imports/1737.jpg|

I find that everyone I coach always has an issue with finding balance in their life. I handle this in my life by writing out categories and making a pie chart. This helps me determine where I feel I’m spinning, deficient, and open to doing more of something else.

When you eat meals, for example, you don’t just have one food group over and over. Imagine if everyday you ate just eggs. How long would it take to be bored and desiring something else? It’s the same with your life—if you expand it, you’ll find the parts that make you happy and that’s got to be good. More happiness, ecstasy, and extreme joy is what you can experience when you decide what you value most and make room for more of it.

These are the categories that are important to me—Love/Relationships, Fun, Family, Finance, Fitness, Spiritual Life, and Community/Charity. You can make up categories to fit your desires. Now use a pie chart to map the portions of your life that these categories occupy right now. Do you have great things going on in these areas? Are you out of balance? Are you vibrant and fully satisfied in all these ways? What activities can you do to engage more fully?

I find that if I focus some time on each one of these on a daily basis I feel best, relaxed, taken care of, in equipoise. The whole world might still be in chaos around me, but I’ve got my way of being that allows me to just stop, enjoy, breathe, and have it all in the Now. Because I say so. It’s a powerful mind/heartset.

Here are a few questions and insights to help you think about the focal points you want to balance in your life:

  1. Contribution – How can you best serve with your heart, mind, money, time and voice? Are you transforming lives including your own? What is your legacy? What difference will you make to humanity? How do you make a difference on the planet?
  2. Health – What is your vision for your future self? How are you working to be fit, energetic, and flexible? What daily, consistent action are you taking to build your health? Make a list of your activities, your meals, your healthy practices. Go into the future and bring back a clear picture of yourself and the action it took to get there.
  3. Relationships – How do your relationships feel? Are you making enough time to do quality things together? Are you growing? How open is your heart? How available are you to love? Fish don’t practice swimming—love is our water, and you are a natural swimmer…are you making love harder than it needs to be?
  4. Family – One word: forgiveness. Get clear with every person in your family. What do you need from them? What do they need from you? Have you said everything you need to? If someone died would you be complete? Does everyone feel loved, listened to, heard, open, interested in one another?
  5. Fun – Your focus is to create a life filled with fun. It’s absurd how many of us don’t have fun every day. Or we make excuses for why we can’t have it. Fun is why you want money. So dream of the sensational adventures, travel, weekly massage, toys, great homes, amazing collection of music, books, clothes, personal trainer, chef, classes. Come up with 100 happy things you want to do in the next 60 days. Do them!
  6. Spiritual – Go to the places where divinity is. Re-visit the sacred places within. Practice meditation, yoga, take time for self in silence. Are you spiritual? How does God/Great Spirit play in your life?
  7. Learning – What are you learning about today? What’s new? What’s fascinating? How about learning a new language? Exploring Poetry? Astronomy? Art? Science? Going onto the Internet and finding out about things you’re interested in? Expand daily.
  8. Gratitude – Appreciate and celebrate daily. Especially the little things!  The more daily celebrations the better!  There is so much to be grateful for each day. Make a Gratitude Log. Every time something good goes on, write it down. If things are not going well for a period of time and you are feeling like it’s time to give up hope, you can look back and bask in the warm glow of success and happiness.
  9. Volunteer - Volunteer at your favorite Charity. Life is short, but filled with infinite opportunities. Find your purpose, your legacy, your mission. It’s your time to soar!
  10. Career and Finance – You become rich by doing what you love, and you deserve to be rich. Discover your purpose for wanting more money. Explore and understand the why. Commit to making money by doing what you love for the right reasons. Play the money game with love. Affirm: “I am rich in every possible way.” 

You can achieve balance. You do get to have it all, and handle it all without stress. You get to say “YES!” to what you love. You are capable of whatever you want to accomplish in a way that empowers you so you can be the giving leader you are meant to be.

|23|relationships,giving back,happiness,balance,wealth,millionaire,wendy robbins|_none|1|wendy_robbins Live the Millionaire Mindset!|See what’s holding you back from your millions.|2010-11-01 17:00:00|public://imports/1726.jpg|0|public://imports/1726.jpg|

Are you ready to star in your own reality show? It will require attention and a commitment from you. You have to want to change — and you have to want it more than your lazy and fearful self doesn't want to. It's that easy. And that hard.

I’ll give you an example of how I overcame my fears and grew to trust my inner Xena.

Someone once handed me a thick, wooden board and told me to break it in half with my hand. I thought the guy was out of his testosterone-driven mind. All I could think was how I knew I was going to break something, and the smart money was on my hand not the board.

I automatically approached the feat with fear. Not exactly the best strategy. So I tried a new approach. I visualized breaking the board, no matter what. Nothing was going to stop me. I looked at the board, concentrated on it and beyond it. I saw it break in my mind...and I went for it with pure, wild abandon. What do you think happened? Was the emergency room my next destination? Not exactly.

That thick piece of wood broke in half effortlessly. My hand was fine. My worry was gone. I had summoned my courage and knew I could and would do anything I wanted.

That is the lesson I want you to learn. Your board is your doubt, your excuses, your uncertainties. You are going to smash them all. Break it right in half, courageously and easily. When you feel your fears taking over, think of the board. Imagine yourself breaking through, completely obliterating whatever it is that is standing in your way.

Allow your passion to move you forward. Look your excuses in the face and tell them You're not the boss of me! then take a step back and understand why you have allowed them to be up to this point.

Speaking of WHY, consider the uses of adversity. Something is stopping you from acting on your dreams, right? We'll identify it and then we'll change it so you act, creating results. Figure out WHY you want what you think you want.

Imagine if I asked you to make $5,000 in the next 72 hours. Sounds a lot like the wood slab that guy gave me to break. It seems scary and impossible. Your excuses may be shouting at you and you give up with a bunch of I can't... stories, right?

What if I said that someone you love needed an operation, didn't have insurance and you only had 72 hours to raise $5,000 or they would die? You would find a way to get that money, wouldn't you? You would be creative and courageous, with no excuses or obstacles to stop you, right?

So what is your WHY? Make up a powerful, back-against-the-wall, life-or-death decision and know that nothing will stop you. You will change radically in 72 hours with your big WHY guiding you and your actions. Take out a piece of paper and complete the following sentence: My big WHY to be financially free is_____.

Whatever that WHY might be, it must resonate with you emotionally. You need to be so passionate and so driven to accomplish your goals that nothing can or will get in your way. Got it? Good.

Remember, I am not giving you the tools to pursue a fad diet. This is not a get-rich-quick scheme, producing immediate results that will disappear after a week or a month. The gift I am giving you can — and will — change your life forever if you let it. It may take you one, three, five or ten years to become a millionaire. You must change your thoughts, beliefs, feelings and habits so that you start living richly in the millionaire mind-set, thereby honestly changing your life one thought at a time.

|23|xena,confidence,self-image,doubt,fear,wealth,millionaire,wendy robbins|_none|1|wendy_robbins The Body Brilliant|Getting back to who you really are.|2010-11-02 17:00:00|public://imports/1738.jpg|0|public://imports/1738.jpg|

To accept that God has given each of us a magnificent role to play on Earth merely because we’re human; that we were born with a perfect script etched on our hearts; that it’s not to our personal credit, but to His greater glory, that each of us is brilliant—such are the truths that free us from the ego’s lies.

Mystical understanding is a ray of light, God’s kiss that transforms us back into who we truly are. Each of us can put down the burden of our false self and allow our truth to reemerge.

The world in which we live today—reflecting in so many ways the opposite of our sweetness and love—reminds us how desperately important it is to break the spell that’s been cast on the human race and retrieve our shining self. Our inner sweetness—whether we call it “the Christ,” “the soul,” or whatever word describes the spiritual essence so not at home in our worldly zones of combat—is the only place where we will ever, ever, be safe. The outer kingdom is not our real home. The inner kingdom is our everything. And until we retrieve it, our outer kingdom will be a land of suffering for everyone.

My dreamlike and mystical nature as a child could rarely find acceptance within my family system or support at school, a conundrum to which I responded—as most people do to the stress of finding themselves at home where they are not at home—by psychically splitting off from myself. I separated from my authentic spirit, my psyche splitting in two like a broken tooth. My spirit wandered high above me, as though on a shelf where it would remain accessible to me personally but hopefully invulnerable to derision by others. Which means that to the best of my young ability, I put my spirit into the hands of God for safekeeping.

I remember when I was a little girl, one of my close girlfriends lived in a house where there was a mural painted on the wallpaper in the powder room. It showed two little angels lying on clouds holding hand mirrors. And that powder room at Beth Klein’s house became like a chapel to me. I would come up with any excuse to enter that room and just stare up at the mural. I felt like that prepainted wallpaper was speaking to me of somewhere I had been and longed to go again. I wondered if others could see what I could see on that wall of my Sistine Chapel on Tartan Lane.

How young we were, so many of us, when we felt psychologically cast out of our homes. Feeling cast out, we collectively manifested a world from which, if we don’t change things, we will be cast out. The only way we can fundamentally heal a situation in which the human race teeters on the brink of all manner of catastrophe is to repair the original separation between who we truly are and who we have become.

In the words of poet T. S. Eliot:

We shall not cease from exploration

And the end of all our exploring

Will be to arrive where we started

And know the place for the first time.

Every life is a microcosm of the greater global drama. As each of us returns to the truth in our hearts, we will be released to our highest creativity and intelligence. This will open up avenues of repair the mortal mind can’t even imagine, leading us to co-create with God a transformed experience of life on earth. Realigned within ourselves, we will realign the world. And heaven and earth shall be as one.

Dear God,

Please deliver me to

my own true self.

Please make of my body

a perfect container

for who You created me to be.

And teach me how to live within it

in happiness and peace.


|6|ts elliot,angels,addiction,weight loss,a course in miracles,spirituality,self-care,acceptance,mysticism,marianne williamson|_none|1|marianne_williamson Listen and Trust|Let your Source be in charge.|2013-07-02 17:00:00|public://imports/1731.jpg|0|public://imports/1731.jpg|

If we’re honest with ourselves, every one of us can agree that we’re acquainted with the ego part that controls and manages our lives and eagerly attempts to do the same for others. Be they family, friends, co-workers, or even strangers, ego routinely accepts the job of edging God out and taking on the role of being the master manipulator. As we move in a different direction, we realize the pointlessness of attempting to control any individual or any situation. We recognize this need to practice interference as the power trip of our false self.

There was a time in my life, for instance, when I needed to be in charge of most social conversations. Having made the shift from control to trust means that I now flow with the conversational direction and opinions that are expressed. I’m content to sit back and observe, even as others take on the false-self role, as I view it. I can smile inwardly at some of my children’s choices in life even when I disagree. The shift from control to trust has increased my noninterference.

Beyond my personal interactions with friends and family, in a much larger sense I trust more and control less. In my heart I know that God writes the books, delivers the speeches, and builds the bridges. When trust replaces control, edging God out isn’t appealing. “All I have seen teaches me to trust the Creator for all I have not seen” may have been Ralph Waldo Emerson’s words, but I agree so completely that they could be my own. I absolutely trust the wisdom of the universe and its creative Source.

With trust, we acknowledge our own wisdom. We remember that we came from the same Source and, therefore, must be like what we came from. We can trust Source to guide us, rather than screw things up with ego’s demands for self-recognition and belief in our superiority. Trust lets us listen rather than take over. Listening allows us to comfortably sit back, knowing that the creative Source of everything is in charge instead of our puny little ego. Shifting from control to trust is so important for our life work.

In The Shift movie, I relate how I found the road that resonated with the calling of my soul. I did so by listening to what I was feeling deep within me, rather than what my ego was saying to me about how to capitalize on my fame by writing books to make more money. By trusting my inner excitement, I was able to make a big shift in my life, away from writing about psychology to writing about living life from a spiritual orientation. That shift away from the Ambition of ego, which tried to control my writing and speaking career, put me on the path of Meaning.

When you disengage from ego control, what is it that you trust? There are three markers to look for on this road. They are: trust in yourself, trust in others, and trust in the Source of being. Here’s a brief explanation of each of them:

Trust in yourself. This means hearing your soul speak in whatever way it does. Intuition is generally a reliable voice, in whatever form it expresses itself individually. Mahatma Gandhi explained his sense of it: “What is Truth? A difficult question; but I have solved it for myself by saying that it is what the ‘voice within’ tells you.”

Trust in others. This means noninterference as much as possible. Everyone has the universe located in him or her; trusting others frees you from feeling obligated to interfere. In the words of Lao-tzu in the Tao Te Ching: “Do you think you can take over the universe and improve it? I do not believe it can be done.”

Trust in the Source of being. This means trusting the mystery of creation. The universal Source of all creation, invisible though it may be, guides you just as it guided your development in the womb. When you trust in Divine intelligence, you cooperate and invite the shift to Meaning.

|1|noninterference,source,control,trust,tao te ching,ego,meaning,ambition,shift,wayne w. dyer|_none|1|dr_wayne_w_dyer Fire Your Perfectionist Voice|It’s good to be good enough.|2010-11-04 17:00:00|public://imports/1730.jpg|0|public://imports/1730.jpg|

Allen was having real difficulty getting things done at work. He was afraid he would make a mistake and then regret it. “I either spend an incredible amount of time working on something to get it just right,” he told me, “or I avoid it entirely. There’s no in between for me.” Working for a marketing firm, Allen had to write up reports on a regular basis. Allen’s fear of making mistakes led him to research every angle before completing a report, asking anyone he could for advice and reassurance. Rather than spending eight hours at work, he would stay at the office until late in the evening, then take home more work that would fill up his nights and weekends. When he wasn’t absorbed in trying to get things just right, he was worrying that he had made a mistake in a report and that it would come back to haunt him.

Allen mistakenly believed that acting like a perfectionist was a sign of his merit and his professional seriousness—not his insecurity. Many of us have high standards and work hard to make sure that we do a good job. Being conscientious can be rewarding. But when your high standards become unrealistic, they can drive you to the ends of the Earth trying to live up to your own expectations or what you think others expect of you.

If you have been living your life trying to obey your rules of perfection, you have lost any freedom you ever had. It’s time for you to stand up, rebel, and write your own Bill of Rights so that you can exercise your freedom to be a human being rather than a slave to perfection.

Allen could begin his Bill of Rights with the following:

  1. I have the right to pursue happiness and self-acceptance.
  2. I have the right to make mistakes.
  3. I have the right not to get everyone’s approval.
  4. I have the right to be good enough.

I suggested to Allen that his Bill of Rights could be universal—it could be applied to everyone, including himself. Everyone can pursue happiness (as he or she saw it), everyone can make mistakes, everyone can live a life that others might or might not approve of, and everyone can feel good enough. Exercising your right to being good enough is a first step in being assertive about the life you want to live.

Next, it’s time to deal with that voice in your mind that keeps telling you, “You’re just not good enough. You’re always making mistakes. How stupid can you be?” You’ve been listening to this voice, obeying it, fearing it, and thinking that you have to live your life a captive of your own mind. But maybe your perfectionism isn’t so smart, after all. It’s been taking this superior position with you, talking down to you as if you are a moron and you can’t think for yourself. Your perfectionist voice hasn’t been on your side; even when you do well, it doesn’t tell you that you are good enough. It just sets higher goals, or it discounts what you do, saying, “Anyone could do that” or “That’s what we expected, anyway.” This voice makes you feel bad about yourself, makes you feel ashamed, makes you avoid trying new things.

Let’s strike back.

“Okay, Allen, we’ve been talking about your perfectionism, so now let’s do a role-play. You can be a rational human being and I can be that terrible perfectionistic voice that has been beating you over the head with shame and guilt. Now, I want you to really go at me, make me—the perfectionist—realize how dumb I really am.”

BOB: You never do anything right. You are always making mistakes.

ALLEN: That’s not true. That’s your all-or-nothing thinking. I’ve done a lot of things right. I graduated from college, I have a job, I’ve gotten some good feedback. I don’t have to be perfect.

BOB:  Yes, you do have to be perfect. That’s what life is about—always being the best.

ALLEN: Why do I have to be perfect?

BOB:  Because that’s the only way to feel good about yourself—to feel good enough.

ALLEN: Well, that’s not working for me. I’ve been trying to be perfect all my life and now I realize it never makes me feel good enough or good about myself. It’s failing.

BOB: Are you calling me a failure? After all the hard work I’ve done to make you better?

ALLEN: Yes, you’ve failed me. You’ve made me feel like I’m inferior—and I’m not.

BOB:  But if you don’t try to be perfect you’ll end up mediocre.

ALLEN: I don’t even know what that means. I could end up accepting myself as a human being rather than listen to you all the time.

When you criticize your perfectionist voice you are not criticizing yourself—you are criticizing your critic. You are standing up for yourself. You are defeating what defeats you. As I listened to Allen arguing against his perfectionism I realized that he was getting distance from it, he was able to fight against it, and he was realizing that perfectionism is really dumb. It masquerades as a superior, condescending voice—but it fails in many ways. It fails to make you feel good, it fails in your relationships, it fails your self-esteem, and it fails to give you any satisfaction.

Is it time to fire your perfectionist voice?

|6|happiness,forgiveness,productivity,motivation,perfectionism,depression,robert leahy|_none|1|robert_l_leahy Pollyanna Had a Point!|Create miracles with optimism.|2010-11-05 17:00:00|public://imports/1729.jpg|0|public://imports/1729.jpg|

There’s a wonderful story about a little girl whose refusal to think anything negative changed an entire town; in this story, Pollyanna encourages people to stop seeing themselves as sick, alone or hopeless in any way. Even when things are hard, she teaches them to play the “glad game,” a game where the person tries to find at least one thing to be glad about, no matter what difficulty they may be experiencing.

This inspiring story was very popular many years ago. Over time, however, people have begun to see themselves as too sophisticated to engage in such a simplistic approach to things. In fact, the name Pollyanna is now often used as a term of derision, a way to belittle someone who is “too optimistic,” implying that they’re not being realistic enough.

But Pollyanna had a point! As simplistic as it might sound, there’s no reason to ever engage in pessimism. No matter what difficult experience you’re faced with, pessimism doesn’t help the situation. It doesn’t change things for the better. It doesn’t empower you or anyone involved. And it certainly doesn’t create the kind of energetic environment that fosters miraculous and happy outcomes. In fact, no matter what the obstacle, it’s utterly self-defeating to engage in the energy of pessimism, precisely at the time you need a miracle most!

Only the energy of optimism and value can create the miracle you need at any given moment. You must assume the best, and you must search for something to value in your life, no matter what hardship you may be enduring. The “glad game” is a way to find something of value, something that could be appreciated no matter what else is going on. This is a powerful decision at any time, for the choice to appreciate and acknowledge value always attracts more value. Of course, Pollyanna had no awareness of quantum physics. She just knew it made her feel better, and when she taught it to others, it made them feel better, too. Pessimism, on the other hand, only succeeds in making people feel worse.

Because optimism is emotionally beneficial, it’s also favorable energetically. Emotions charge your energy, and the excitement that comes from optimism pumps up the volume of your magnetic resonance more than almost any other emotion. So whether you decide to be optimistic because it makes you feel better, or because you finally realize that it’s necessary to change your energy, it doesn’t really matter. The magnetic consequences of your optimism will remain the same. When you choose to be optimistic, you radically change your electromagnetic field, bringing a brighter, happier light frequency to your world—and to the world of those around you.

|23|sandra anne taylor,pollyanna,optimism,pessimism,law of attraction,quantum physics|_none|1|sandra_anne_taylor Have We Lost Our Compassion? |A lesson of love and forgiveness.|2011-03-10 17:00:00|public://imports/1951.jpg|0|public://imports/1951.jpg|

In the 1880s there was a rich rancher who lived in Texas. He was not a particularly spiritual dude, but he was very good at manifesting abundance, making some of his neighbors suspect that the two things weren’t necessarily connected. He did claim to be a Christian, but his actions in the world made this claim a doubtful one.

One day, a poor farmer who had no food sneaked on to the rich rancher’s land and stole one of his chickens so that his family could eat. He was caught by one of the ranch hands and brought to the rancher. There were a lot of things the rancher could have said, but all he said was, “Hang ‘im! It’ll teach ‘im a lesson.”

A couple of years later, a man from Mexico was trespassing on the rancher’s land. He was very poor, and hoping to find a new life. What he found were the rancher’s men, who took him to their boss. After looking the trespasser over, all the rancher said was, “Hang ‘im! It’ll teach ‘im a lesson.”

Then one night the rancher’s body died, and he saw himself going up toward the pearly gates of Heaven. The rancher was hoping that no one would recognize him and maybe he could just walk in. But right before he got to the gate, St. Peter stepped in front of him and said, “Wait a minute. Jesus wants to talk to you.”

Now the rancher was very worried. He remembered some of the things he had done in his life, and here he was, about to be judged by Jesus himself! Suddenly, the rancher was shaking in his boots. Jesus appeared, walked slowly up to the rancher, looked him right in the eyes, and then said to St. Peter, “Forgive ‘im. It’ll teach ‘im a lesson.”

|5|afterlife,heaven,forgiveness,jesus,gary renard|_none|1|gary_r_renard Chase Away the Winter Blues|6 easy tips to boost your mood.|2010-11-08 17:00:00|public://imports/1742.jpg|0|public://imports/1742.jpg|

Exposure to light naturally increases feel good chemicals in our brains and bodies, such as serotonin. When the days shorten in the fall and you have less exposure to sun and natural light, you have a physiological setup for feeling a bit blue or moody. This seasonal change isn’t in your imagination—seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is real and affects tens of thousands of people (maybe more) each year.

As the summer ends, it’s not uncommon to experience fatigue, lethargy, weight gain, carbohydrate craving, excessive sadness, and changes in your libido. Luckily there are some easy things you can do to alleviate seasonal symptoms. 


As the seasons change, you’re also more likely to experience premenstrual syndrome (PMS). And women with PMS are more likely to experience SAD. Let me share some insight on why your menstrual cycle is affected by the seasonal change. When light hits the retina, it directly influences the entire neuroendocrine system via the hypothalamus and the pineal gland. In one study, patients with PMS responded significantly to treatment with bright light. Their weight gain, depression, carbohydrate craving, social withdrawal, fatigue, and irritability were reversed with two hours of full-spectrum bright light in the evening.1 This is not surprising, because both natural light and carbohydrate consumption increase serotonin levels, which ease depression. Living under artificial light much of the time, without regular exposure to natural light, not only can profoundly affect the regularity of the menstrual cycle, but can also create PMS.23456

The link between PMS and SAD is a profound example of how women’s wisdom is simultaneously encoded in both the cycle of the seasons and our monthly cycles. SAD is to the annual calendar as PMS is to the monthly cycle! The natural tendency to turn inward during the premenstrual time of our monthly cycle is reflected in the natural tendency to turn inward during the autumn of the year. All of nature reflects this wisdom back to us. In fall and winter, the trees send their energy down into their roots, where profound activity and revitalization go on even though it is not obvious to us. The early luteal phase of the menstrual cycle, following ovulation, is when our energies go deep into our roots so that we can take stock and then prepare for the next cycle of outer growth in the world. Because our culture doesn’t understand this cyclic wisdom, we have been taught to be afraid of both the times in our cycles and the seasons of the year when wisdom demands that we go into darkness, withdraw, and take stock of our lives. 

We have been taught to be suspicious of these natural energies—and too many women see them as a weakness that needs to be overridden and ignored. Heaven forbid we should follow our body’s wisdom and take a break from getting it all done!

Chemical Changes

In the winter, we tend to make more melatonin. Melatonin is a natural substance created by the brain when it’s dark. And it aids with sleep. Too much melatonin can leave you feeling sluggish and mentally foggy. When you add this to the fact that our circadian rhythms, those that govern our sleep and wake cycle, are different in winter than in summer, it’s easy to understand why you might experience fatigue.

To counter this, you need to increase the amount of full spectrum light you are exposed to with full spectrum light bulbs and/or a light box. You will feel some relief from sleepiness and even premenstrual moodiness or irritability. All you need to do is expose yourself to regular doses of full spectrum light generated ambiently. Although light is absorbed by the eyes, you never stare at a light box or light bulb because it can cause eyestrain, headaches, and other symptoms. You just sit somewhere where the light reaches you out of the corner of your eye. Light boxes can be used during the day on a cloudy day, in the late afternoon, or early morning or evening to extend the day.

There are numerous studies that have demonstrated the connection between full spectrum light and serotonin levels.7 Interestingly, a drop in melatonin enhances feel-good hormones, including endorphins and serotonin, which help you feel both alert and calm. This transformation occurs in the brain as a result of being in more light. That’s why getting outside at noon for a half hour walk on a sunny day during the winter months will lift your mood greatly. Hold the sunglasses whenever possible. They block some of the colors of the light waves.

Help for Seasonal Blues

You can keep the seasonal changes from impacting you negatively by following these simple suggestions:

  • Take a pharmaceutical grade multi-vitamin/mineral every day. It’s essential to health!
  • Getting enough vitamin D is critical in winter months. I’ve written extensively about vitamin D, so I’ll just briefly mention that vitamin D levels drop in the winter because the body makes it after being exposed to sunlight. The vitamin D research is so compelling when it comes to the connection between depression and vitamin D deficiency. (Vitamin D deficiency is also linked to certain cancers, like breast and colon; a weakened immune system; poor bone health; and much more.) Make sure to get 1,000–4,000 IUs per day in the winter, especially if you tend to be vitamin D deficient (less than 32 ng/ml).
  • In addition, make sure you’re getting enough essential fatty acids, which are found in coldwater fish (like salmon), nuts, seeds (like flaxseed), and many plants. Aim for 500–2,000 IUs of fish oil or flaxseed oil per day, or some combination of the two.
  • Eliminate refined sugar, refined flour, and other processed foods from your diet. Eating carbs increases serotonin, which you might find in short supply if you’re not getting enough natural light. Be aware that while this may give you an initial pick-me-up, the drop afterwards just isn’t worth it. Plus these foods deplete vital vitamins and minerals that help the body handle stress and build immunity.
  • Invest in full spectrum light bulbs and consider purchasing a light box, especially if you live in a Northern latitude.
  • Practice stress reduction or energy medicine. Women who practice meditation or other methods of deep relaxation are able to alleviate many of their PMS and seasonal blues symptoms. Relaxation of all kinds decreases the stress hormones cortisol and epinephrine levels in the blood and helps to balance your biochemistry.
  • Get at least twenty minutes of aerobic-type activity three times a week. Brisk walking during sunlight hours—especially without sunglasses so your eyes absorb the light—can boost endorphins. It’s estimated that half of all depression cases can be helped through exercise alone. (Read Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom, Chapter 18 for more information.)

It’s not uncommon to feel a shift in energy and mood as the seasons change. However, if these symptoms are excessive, they shouldn’t be ignored. So seek the help of a professional if they are severe. In the meantime, adopt as many of my suggestions as you feel comfortable with. Not only will they chase away the winter blues, they’ll help you stay healthy at the cellular level, too.


This information is not intended to treat, diagnose, cure, or prevent any disease. All material in this article is provided for educational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you have regarding a medical condition, and before undertaking any diet, exercise, or other health program.


  1. Parry, B.L., et al., 1991. Morning vs. evening bright light treatment to late luteal phase dysphoric disorder, Am J Psych, 146:9.
  2. Ott., J., 1978. Health and Light, New York: Pocket Books.
  3. Kime, Z., 1980. Sunlight Could Save Your Life, Penryn, CA: World Health Publications.
  4. Lieberman, J., 1991. Light: Medicine of the Future, Santa Fe: Bear & Company.
  5. Rao, M.D., Muller-Oerlinghausen, B., Volz, H.P., 1990. The influence of phototherapy on serotonin and metatonin in non-seasonal depression, Pharmocopsych, 23:155-58.
  6. Blundell, J.E., 1984. Serotonin and appetite, Neuropharm, 23:128:1537-51.
  7. Willeit, M., 2007. Enhanced serotonin transporter function during depression in seasonal affective disorder, Neuropsychopharmacology, Sep 19.
|6|seasonal blues,pms,sad,christiane northrup|_none|1|dr_christiane_northrup 7 Spiritual Laws for Kids|Help your children build a happy life.|2010-11-08 17:00:00|public://imports/1734.jpg|0|public://imports/1734.jpg|

“From the day your baby is born, you are a teacher of spirit. Look upon spirituality as a skill in living, since that is what it is. I believe in imparting these skills as early as possible by whatever means a child can understand.”   

— Deepak Chopra

What if you could teach your children 7 lessons that would help them on their way to a happy and successful life? Over the years, many adults who have read my books and become familiar with my teachings on the 7 spiritual laws of the universe tell me they wish they had learned these lessons much earlier in life.  My book On My Way to a Happy Life presents these timeless universal laws in terms that even the youngest ones can understand. When kids understand the way the world works from a spiritual point of view, it makes it easier for them to navigate through life with joy, love, and happiness.

Every child has a spiritual life already. This is because every child is born into the field of infinite creativity and pure awareness that is spirit. But not every child knows that this is true. Spirit must be cultivated; it must be nourished and encouraged. A child raised with spiritual skills will be able to answer the most basic questions about how the universe works; he or she will understand the source of creativity both within and outside of us; he or she will be able to practice nonjudgment, acceptance, and truth, which will be free from fear and anxiety about the meaning of life.

Real spiritual growth changes a person in a paradoxical way, bringing both understanding and preserving innocence. Deeper than love, the one thing you can’t do without is innocence. Innocence is the source of love. It is openness.

The Seven Spiritual Laws for Children:

  1. Everything is possible. We all have the gift of creating absolutely anything. There’s no limit to what we can do or be.
  2. If you want to get something, give it. Always give with a happy heart. The greatest gift is feeling good.
  3. When you make a choice, you change the future (karma). Your choices bring about changes. To make good choices, follow your heart. How do your choices make you feel?
  4. Don’t say no—go with the flow. Create peace within by learning acceptance of what is outside our control.
  5. Every time you wish or want, you plant a seed. Making your wish is like planting a seed and believing that it will grow. Let nature do the rest.
  6. Be open to life and enjoy the journey. New ways and new ideas can lead to more happiness.
  7. You are here for a reason. Your dharma is your purpose, path, or vision, the unique talent that you are here on Earth to share. Your dharma is your happiness.

As parents, we are not teaching our children hard-and-fast rules that must be heeded. We are inviting them into our own journey, into our sense of purpose, which never ends. It is a journey of ever-expanding meaning. Although very young children may not be able to understand what this means in words, your child can easily sense whether you find life exciting and wondrous. Your sense of purpose in the universe speaks far louder than any words.

|1|deepak chopra,kristina tracy,spiritual law,spirit,happiness,childrens books,peace,karma,dharma|_none|1|deepak_chopra_md Born to Shine|Hold on to your essential spirit.|2010-11-09 17:00:00|public://imports/1732.jpg|0|public://imports/1732.jpg|

As long as I live, I will never forget the moment my son was born. My wife, Monica, and I chose to have a home birth supported by midwives and nurses so that we could welcome our child in our own loving, familiar space. More significantly, it was my honor to be my wife’s primary doula (birth coach) and support. We almost never lost physical contact once the contractions began in our living room that afternoon. There in the loving energy and setting of our bedroom, my wife courageously and gracefully delivered our baby boy into the world later that night. It was mind-blowing, terrifying, horrific, amazing, awesome, beautiful, and astonishing. It was the most magnificent experience of my life.

Just moments later—not even a minute after Narayan came into the world—he was in our arms. Lying on Monica’s chest with my hand on his tiny back, he turned his head toward me as if he recognized my voice and opened his eyes for the first time. I can’t know what it was that he intended or understood in that moment, but I do know what I felt. It was bigger than words can express, a love and connection so overwhelming and pure that it defies all speech, science, and religion. Nothing existed but that moment, and in that moment lived all moments.

The story of Narayan’s birth spread quickly to our immediate families in New Mexico and Canada, and then on to our extended families in South Dakota, Africa, New Zealand, and beyond. The focus of the great news was a photo. It seemed that from the very first day he had begun to smile, but on the morning of Narayan’s fourth day, his smile was clear and so obvious it was unmistakable. His expression was so content, so joyful, that we knew it was more than “gas” or an accident. Even though many people have said that babies don’t smile until they’re older, Narayan kept on smiling, and we captured it in a picture for all the world to see. The response was amazing.

People circulated the photo via e-mail, and many displayed it in their offices or put it on their cell phones. Even my friend and colleague Dr. Christiane Northrup began showing people the image in some of her presentations! One friend told me that whenever she felt sad or stressed-out, she’d just look at Narayan’s smiling face and her mood would improve. Individuals I’d never met were actually using the photo to motivate themselves and feel uplifted.

Why all this fuss about a picture? And what does all this have to do with you?

The photo revealed two simple things: First, that a person’s personality (such as Narayan’s, which is still sunny and full of smiles) is clear from the very beginning. Second, it showed that the natural essence a person is born with is so pure, so beautiful, and so true that when we simply witness that essence of another, it connects us more deeply to ourselves, as well as to something greater. Some call it God, and others refer to it as the mystery of life. Most of us can agree to call it our Original Source. When we touch that pure source, all of our everyday troubles melt away. We are healed by authenticity—what is real and genuine—and that’s why the photo of a smiling four-day-old baby could inspire and heal so many. The beauty of your essence never changes. Those who live and express their essence are beautiful, no matter what they look like.

It’s hard to imagine, but if you have any recollection of being a young child or if you’ve raised a child, you know that we all come into this world with everything we need to be happy and free. No one has to teach children how to play or be curious or full of energy. They show up like that. The essence of self is in place from day one and contains all the energy, wisdom, talent, and drive a person needs to live fully and well. Much the same can be said of caring for animals and plants. The challenge in raising children lies not in what you give them, but in being careful about what you take away.

During a recent workshop I led, I asked the group, “Do any of you remember what you used to love to do as a child, and has it remained a passion to this day?” Most people could think of something they loved to do when they were young, such as paint, ride horses, play basketball, knit, look for stones in nature, write, and so on. I try to emphasize that those natural tendencies are examples of their Essential Self. When people talk about these essential elements, they light up with the joy of the memory and energy of enthusiasm. If we can spend more time doing the things we love, we can find our way back to the center of self again.

Everything from the music that soothes you to the type of ice cream you like and the spiritual practices that work for you is imprinted in your essence. Don’t be fooled by family or community. Often than not, when you feel like you don’t fit in, the answer isn’t to try harder, but to find your own way with balance and respect for the people, places, and things you love.

When you express your truth through your choices, health and happiness will follow. Quite literally, a life disconnected from the Essential Self is one doomed to stress, unhappiness, and poor health. The energy of the self is a very real life force that infuses the entire human system, uniting body, mind, and emotion. When the essence of self is not honored, the energy for living is diminished. This is when the roots of Inspiration Deficit Disorder begin to take hold. The lesson of the child and the Essential Self is that your greatest joy and vitality lie in honoring what makes you unique. Your tendencies, preferences, and passions are your links to your best experience of life. They are your way back to Original Source.

|1|jonathan ellerby,essence,self,spirit,happiness,peace,home birth,childhood,parenting|_none|1|jonathan_ellerby_phd Want to Be Happy for No Reason?|Don’t believe everything you think!|2010-11-10 17:00:00|public://imports/1741.jpg|0|public://imports/1741.jpg|

I once heard a revered sage speak. He took a question from a man dressed in a $3,000 suit, wearing classy shoes, and dripping with gold jewelry. The man asked, “What do I need to give up to experience true happiness and inner peace?” 

The sage replied, “There’s good news and there’s bad news. The good news is that you don’t have to give up any of your stuff. Poverty isn’t the way to happiness. The bad news is that you have to do something that may be even harder for you. You have to give up the way you think.”

Give up the way I think?  Isn’t that like saying I have to stop breathing? Well, it’s not as hard as it may sound. From the research and interviews with unconditionally happy people I did for my book, Happy for No Reason: 7 Steps to Being Happy from the Inside Out, I’ve learned some powerful techniques for changing the way we think—ways that allow our minds to support our happiness rather than sabotage it.

Reflect for a moment: How many times a day are you ambushed by negative thoughts? If you’re like most people, it’s probably a lot.

The good news is that to keep the many negative thoughts we have each day from dragging us down, we don’t have to try to get rid of each one of them. There’s a simpler way. The secret is in accepting an astonishing fact: Your thoughts aren’t always true. I can remember the time many years ago I first made this discovery.

I was well into my presentation in front of 450 people packed into a hotel ballroom. My palms were clammy and my heart had started to pound—I was bombing big-time. How was I so sure? Because the man in the third row was letting me know in no uncertain terms. He sat rigidly, arms crossed. He hadn’t laughed at a single one of my jokes. Not even a small nod of comprehension. Was that an eye roll I detected?  My stomach churned. He hated what I was doing. He hated me.

I was horrified when the man made a beeline for the stage the second I wrapped up my presentation. I braced myself for his scathing critique of my lousy talk.

Instead, he came right up to me and thrust out his hand. “Thank you so much,” he said, in a voice husky with emotion. “That talk changed my life.” 

I almost fell over—he hadn’t hated it at all! That’s when I realized that my mind—my constant companion through the thick and thin and ups and downs of life—doesn’t always tell the truth. It’s the same for all of us. When you shine a light on your negative thoughts—and see you don’t have to believe them—it takes away much of their power to create misery.

The lesson here? If you want to be Happy for No Reason—don’t believe everything you think!

|23|happy for no reason,negative thoughts,poverty,happiness,marci shimoff|_none|1|marci_shimoff Sunday Brunch in Heaven|How we choose our earthly lives.|2010-11-11 17:00:00|public://imports/1735.jpg|0|public://imports/1735.jpg|

Every Sunday morning, in a place beyond the beyond, the place commonly called heaven, the Creator, known to all as God, hosts a weekly Sunday brunch. The guests are all of the souls becoming. For the souls becoming, the Sunday brunch is a really big thing. Besides the tasty dishes and the live music that God provides, this is where the souls becoming sign up to live human lives on earth.

A soul becoming is the true essence at the center of every human being. It is the spark of divinity that keeps all human beings connected to God. At the divinely appointed time, a soul becoming takes on a life assignment—a life—and agrees to become a living demonstration of the nature of God in human form. Within its life assignment, the soul becoming will encounter one or more learning agreements to help it become a stronger and wiser being, more useful and pleasing to God. At the Sunday morning brunch, God provides details on the latest life assignments available. A soul can choose to stay in heaven with God or sign up for a life on earth.

All of the souls becoming know that fulfilling the learning agreements of a life assignment according to God’s specifications is a good thing. They also know that the minute a life assignment begins, the soul forgets its learning agreements. The soul must work very hard to maintain its connection to God or risk being overwhelmed by the experiences of the assignment. When that happens, well, let’s just say it is not a good thing. Successfully completing a learning agreement requires skill, and building skills requires the right tools. So God provides every soul becoming with the tools it will need, in the form of principles. Using these principles in the right way at the right time supports a soul in developing a good human character and a heart that remains connected to God.

The air is filled with anticipation as the souls wait to find out if there are assignments suited to the skills they have and the lessons they still need to learn. Every life assignment provides a soul with the opportunity to shine in the world, and all souls love to shine. It is for this reason that some souls are recycled through many life assignments. These are known as advanced souls, and they get to stand at the front of the brunch line. They also get the best courtyard seats. It’s not that God has favorites, oh no! God loves every soul in the same measure. It’s just that an advanced soul has learned a lot about life and is eager for the opportunity to learn more. An advanced soul knows that life can be a joyful process. An advanced soul also knows that if it is to experience joy in a life assignment, it must learn and live the truth: God’s truth that is buried alive in each and every soul. Once a soul becomes a being, the truth has a way of becoming very elusive.

Since time has no meaning in God’s plan, the Sunday morning brunch takes the equivalent of two days. In that period, God details hundreds of thousands of life assignments: the country in which the assignment will begin; the language the soul will need to speak; the race and gender the soul will express; and the challenges the soul will face. When a soul hears the assignment it is called to, a light goes on in its heart center. In that moment, the soul receives a name, and the name is planted in God’s heart.

On Sunday evening, in a personal consultation, the soul becoming is imprinted by God with specific instructions about the gifts required to shine brightly in the state of being human. God also whispers in the soul’s ear about the particular principles it must master and the skills it must perfect to joyfully navigate through the process ahead. The principles, God cautions, will be revealed in a variety of ways, not always obvious. Recognizing them is absolutely essential to living a fulfilling life, a life that pleases God. Before the consultation ends, each soul is blessed with God’s love and instructed to use it in every situation it encounters. Love, the soul is told, is God’s healing balm. Love is like super glue! It maintains a soul’s connection to God. It overrides every possible error a soul can make. And God’s supply of love can never be diminished, no matter how much is used.

|23|iyanla vanzant,soul assignment,life experience,human life,divine love,heaven|_none|1|iyanla_vanzant Tweet Yourself to Success|Be a power communicator on the web.|2010-11-12 17:00:00|public://imports/1740.jpg|0|public://imports/1740.jpg|

If you don’t know what a “tweet” is, you are officially behind the curve. But don’t panic—read on and you’ll be back on track in no time. Twitter is an online tool that allows you to communicate and stay connected with friends, family, and colleagues. Yes, I know what you’re thinking: You can already do this through social networking and blogging.

Twitter, often referred to as micro-blogging, distills communication into one or two short sentences—maximum 140-character transmissions. Twitter allows people to follow you and you to follow them. In this context, follow means “to keep up with what other people are doing” or “to stay in the know.”

In January 2010, 73.5 million unique visitors logged on to Twitter and over 1.2 billion tweets were transmitted. Millions use Twitter every day. Some use it for pointless, self-indulgent banter. Others use it to create meaningful dialogue and share content. I’ve been seriously tweeting throughout 2010 and have left my initial skepticism behind. Tweeting is definitely something that all entrepreneurs should seriously consider, If you don’t already have a Twitter account, it’s time to get one. It’s 100 percent free. If you do have a Twitter account, it’s time to start tweeting. For more details or to sign up, click here.  To follow me on Twitter, click here.

Twitter’s exponential growth makes it a very useful tool for getting and retaining new clients. It’s also an amazing way to stay in the know. Check out two new sites that can enhance your Twitter experience. helps you easily find relevant people to follow on Twitter. Essentially, it’s a Yellow Book directory for Twitter profiles and is much more extensive than the search feature on Twitter’s website. I use this site all the time to find people who are connected to the businesses that I’m most interested in. For instance, if I search for relevant key words such as “supplier diversity,” “minority business,” or “diversity recruiting,” I find people and start following and interacting with them. Eventually, these are people who’ll inquire about my services.

Another valuable site that entrepreneurs can benefit from is called It allows you to get e-mail alerts whenever someone twitters about you or your company. You can also specify other key words that may be of interest to you.

10 Twitter Tips to Help Grow Your Business

  1. Don’t start automating your tweets. This will only make you look impersonal and faceless. People are following you on Twitter because they want to follow YOU, not some automated script. Avoid services like that will automatically post your blog feeds. Do this yourself manually because not every blog post needs to be tweeted. Keep your tweets meaningful.
  2. Be conversational. Don’t just use Twitter to post a bunch of links. Talk in first person, and be you. After all, that’s why people are following you in the first place.
  3. Don’t just follow anybody. Twitter is not about random interactions. You want to interact with people and brands that are relevant to you.
  4. Ask questions. If you have a question pertaining to your industry, why not post it on Twitter? Many times, the people following you will have the answer and will reply very promptly.
  5. Retweet other people’s tweets. If it’s newsworthy and it’s relevant to your followers, retweet it. Not only will you get credit for sharing a resourceful tweet, but you’ll also gain more followers.
  6. Reply when people talk to you. Whether it’s a public message or a direct message, always reply when someone communicates with you or mentions you. Remember that the more dialogue you engage in, the more followers you get.
  7. Don’t be a salesman. Your followers on Twitter don’t want to be bombarded with sales pitches.  Be indirect. Just say resourceful things and eventually people will inquire about your products and services.
  8. Use—a tool that allows you to schedule your tweets for future dates.
  9. Try Tweetie, an application for the iPhone that allows you to manage multiple Twitter accounts. Not only can you send tweets and retweets, but you can also follow and unfollow people right from your cell phone.
  10. Check out TweetDeck, an application for the iPhone, the BlackBerry, and other cell phones – that also allows you to manage your Twitter account.
|23|dante lee,twitter,communication,retweet,social networking,marketing|_none|1|dante_lee Love Will Serve You Tea|Let your mind steep in kindness.|2010-11-13 17:00:00|public://imports/1739.jpg|0|public://imports/1739.jpg|

While visiting Japan I had a breakfast meeting with my sponsor at a resort hotel. Sitting in a corner of the dining room, our meeting went on beyond the time breakfast was served, and the staff was cleaning the dining room tables. I felt bad about occupying a table during the cleaning period, but no one said anything, so my sponsor and I continued.

Our meeting went on into the time that the lunch buffet opened, and I thought for sure we should leave, since the buffet was expensive and the hotel might think we were trying to stay for a free lunch.  At that point a waiter came to us with a tray. I thought he was going to ask us to leave, but when I looked at the tray, he was bringing us a tea service. “I thought you might like some refreshment,” he told us as he served us graciously.

I was deeply touched by this thoughtful act. My mind had gone into guilt about overstaying our welcome, but the waiter’s mind went to love and kindness. (This is very typical of the Japanese culture, which I appreciate so much.)

If you would like to do an uplifting exercise to undo fear and guilt, take a piece of paper and write down everything you think is wrong about you and your life. List physical, relationship, financial, and spiritual issues, and anything else you can think of. Then hold the paper between your hands and pray sincerely. “Dear God, please let me be wrong about all of this.”

Your prayer is answered instantly because all of your judgments about what is wrong are wrong. When you are intent on being right about what is wrong, what is wrong stays wrong. When you have more of an investment about being right about what is right, what is right gets better.

If your mind goes to guilt or what is wrong, remember that when fear is ready to kick you out, love would serve you tea.

What aspects of grace are caring for you now? Can you believe that grace will continue to provide for you?

|1|alan cohen,compassion,guilt,acts of kindness,high tea,japan|_none|1|alan_cohen Who Calls the Shots? |Using your positive power.|2010-11-14 17:00:00|public://imports/1743.jpg|0|public://imports/1743.jpg|

Is there a way of staying positive around “lackful” others? Here is Abraham’s reply to a student who asks: How can I remain positively focused when my mate is predominantly focused on lack and makes no effort to be positive? And it gets to me—it’s hard not to also feel lack.

Abraham: We know that it is easier to feel good when you are seeing or hearing something that causes you to feel good, but it is extremely liberating to show yourself that you have the ability to feel good in any situation even when those close to you do not.

You will discover that it is far easier to learn to direct your own mind than to arrange, through action, the people with whom you spend your time. Even if there is only one person who is with you often whom you need to train, you could not train him or her sufficiently. And, of course, there are many more persons than one to whom you are having an emotional response. When you do become adept at directing your thoughts to things that are pleasing, the unpleasing people (or unpleasing aspects of those people) will leave your experience. It is your attention to the unwanted that holds it in your experience.

Many people disagree about that when they first hear it, because they believe that negative things are in their lives because someone else is putting them there: “My abusive husband asserts himself negatively into my experience.” But we want you to understand that if you use your power of focus to withdraw your attention from the negativity or abuse, and put your attention upon positive aspects, instead—the abuse cannot remain in your experience. It is empowering to discover that any and all negative aspects stay in your experience only because of your attention to, and therefore continuing invitation of, them.

We acknowledge that holding positive thoughts in the midst of negative conditions is not easy. Especially in the beginning. The best time to begin to make the effort to direct your thoughts really is not when you are the middle of a negative situation. It will be easier for you to reach for better-feeling thoughts when you are alone: Begin by trying to remember when you did easily feel good about this person. And if you cannot find that beginning place, then choose another topic altogether. The first thing that is necessary to break a negative trend and start it in a more positive direction is the acceptance that your thoughts do create the reality that you live. Next you must accept that you do have the power to direct your own thoughts. And then, what is required is a willingness to direct your thoughts in the direction of what feels better until that pattern is established within you.

One of the most exciting things about beginning the process of deliberately focused thought is that the Law of Attraction will bring you evidence of your improved thought immediately. And while old patterns may be hard to break, and you may slip back into those old patterns from time to time, the evidence of your effort will be undeniable to you. And, before long—with much less effort than you spend trying to dodge negative conversations, or train another into better behavior—all of your relationships will improve.

A Brief Bedtime Exercise That Transforms Relationships

As you lie in your bed before sleeping, if you will think of good-feeling things from your past or present, or even speculate into your future, you will set the tone of the Vibration in which you will awaken in the morning. In the morning, when you first return to Consciousness, try to remember what you were thinking about in the evening, and make an effort to reestablish that positive trend of thought. This one small exercise will change the way everyone you meet responds to you in this new day. And as you do that—night after night, and then morning after morning—new patterns will emerge, and your relationships will transform.

|23|esther and jerry hicks,abraham,law of attraction,relationships,positive thinking,lack|_none|1|esther_and_jerry_hicks Unanswered Prayers|Why do you depend on luck?|2013-10-08 17:00:00|public://imports/1751.jpg|0|public://imports/1751.jpg|

Often the people that most antagonize us are the ones we need most to teach us what we want to learn. My mother used to say, “Birds of a feather flock together.” Call it that, or call it simple attraction, anger attracts anger, hostility attracts hostility, love attracts love, and so forth. What we resist we tend to become. When we see something in someone we do not like, we need to be careful, for often they are mirrors of ourselves. What we dislike in them is likely to be a behavior of our own. When we are alert to this, it’s quite easy to do something remarkable, something that truly changes your own reality.

When I lived in Las Vegas, Nevada, my local post office was always jammed with patrons. They all seemed in a hurry, and the clerks were absolutely rude. Many times heated arguments erupted between patrons and staff. I decided to try a little experiment. “What would happen if I just smiled and beamed light to all of these people?” I thought. Every day for at least two weeks when I stopped to pick up my mail, I did my best to focus light on all. One day the oldest and grouchiest of the postal clerks, whose line I was queued in, looked up and said, “Hello, Dr. Taylor.” There was a smile on his face and in his voice. From that day forward, every clerk in the office spoke and smiled, laughed and joked with me.

Everything had changed. They were still snippy with other patrons for a while, but the smile and light had paid off. Somehow, unconsciously even, they identified me with warmth and love. Within a few months this post office and its employees were as warm and friendly with everyone as any I have ever visited. It is amazing what a little unconditional love can do. We all are capable of coaching or cheering on our friends and family, but when it comes to strangers, particularly those we think of as rude, it is often another matter. It doesn’t have to be. This is just another way to do good deeds.

Again, self-responsible means taking responsibility for everything in your life. That does not mean you’re in charge of your environment and in control of all the stimuli you encounter. It does mean that you’re in charge of your own inner environment and you begin to make choices—true choices that are healthy and wise. The so-called bad luck is seen through a different lens.

Let me tell you about one of my favorite country songs. The song titled “Unanswered Prayers” tells of a young man who falls in love with a girl in high school. He prays nightly that she will see him and love him in return. She marries another man, and years pass. He eventually meets a woman who turns out to be the real woman of his dreams. A few more years pass, and he receives an invitation to a high school reunion. At the reunion he sees the sweetheart who married another. She has aged early, is nasty and bitter, and in other ways is totally unattractive. He looks at his wife and says, “Thank God for unanswered prayers!”

|23|prayer,good luck,self-responsibility,coaching,relationships,unconditional love,eldon taylor|_none|1|eldon_taylor Standing Tall|Need some help with self-confidence?|2010-11-15 17:00:00|public://imports/1752.jpg|0|public://imports/1752.jpg|

A conversation with Abraham about recovering self-confidence:

Jerry: Well, I guess I usually talk about my own experiences because they are the ones where I’m surest about what happened and how I felt. I remember that, as a little child, I had such self-confidence. I didn’t know a stranger. I felt capable of accomplishing just about anything. But then, as the years went by, I began to accept the criticism of others, I began to feel criticism toward myself, and I lost that self-confidence. I became almost introverted.

Today, when I see little children coming in with that bravado and high self-confidence, I remember feeling that way. But then, little by little, I see them get what I call “chopped down” as their self-confidence diminishes. Would you clarify why we experience this erosion of self-appreciation and how we can prevent it? And how can we uplift others to a higher degree of self-appreciation?

Abraham: You are right—it is really only through your own experiences that you can understand anything, for this reason: Your life has caused you to expand, to launch rockets into your Vibrational Vortex of Creation; but true knowledge, or understanding, is experienced only when you allow yourself to catch up with and merge with those rockets. No knowledge is ever experienced by your trying to catch up with rockets that have been launched by others. That is why words do not teach. It is only your own life experience that teaches.

That is why you are so fiercely independent in the beginning: not wanting to take other people’s word for things, wanting your own experience, wanting to make your own decisions, wanting your own freedom to choose. None of that wanting ever recedes or becomes less. In fact, it becomes more! The reason why the bravado that you are born with usually fades is because you allow yourself to become distracted from your Vortex. In other words, you allow others to convince you that it is more important to you to pay attention to how they feel than how you feel.

Every emotion that you feel is an indication of your relationship with your Vortex. When you feel confident, that means that your current thought is a perfect match to the way the Source within you, from inside your Vortex of Creation, is feeling about you. When you feel embarrassed, that means that your current thought does not match the way the Source within you is feeling about you. So, when parents or teachers or friends project an attitude of disapproval toward you (in an effort to evoke a more-pleasing-to-them behavior from you), if you respond to their disapproval by modifying your thoughts, words, or behavior to please them, you have distracted yourself from your own true Guidance and from your own true Source of confidence.

And so, it is not that your self-confidence erodes, but rather that you are disallowing the continual replenishment of it. As you seek approval from them, you are distracted from your fountain of Source Energy renewal. Again, “looking for love in all the wrong places.”

For you to uplift others, you must direct them to their own fountain of replenishment. You do not help them by asking them to respond to your approval or disapproval. Many people think that the way to uplift others is by showering them with your own approval. But if they are looking to you for the refreshment of their being and you have other things to which you want to give your attention, they will be in trouble. Or if they are looking to you and you yourself are not connected to your own Stream of replenishment, so you have nothing to give them, they are again in trouble. But if you help them understand that they have a Source of refreshment that is independent of all other humans, and that they have only to understand the nature of their own Vortex of Creation and align with it often, now you have offered them true upliftment that will serve them, independently, all of the days of their lives.

|23|esther and jerry hicks,abraham,self-confidence,source,law of attraction,relationships,courage,self-esteem|_none|1|esther_and_jerry_hicks Fear Death? Embrace Life!|Make the present moment precious.|2010-11-16 17:00:00|public://imports/1761.jpg|0|public://imports/1761.jpg|

Although you will never die, your body most certainly will. To the extent that you identify with your body (and not with your soul), the death process will be frightening and filled with emotional distress. If you accept death as a valuable part of your evolution as a soul, then you’ll be able to fully live in the present. Accept that you have a body, but know that when your body dies, you will continue.

More than 35 years ago, a doctor from China told me something that changed my life. I visited Dr. Wu because I was concerned about my tailbone, which was actually dangling by the nerve. (It had been so damaged during an accident that it wasn’t connected to the rest of my spine.) Another physician had warned me that if I fell or moved in the wrong way, it could paralyze me. Dr. Wu had a great reputation, so I decided to see him for a second opinion.

After I explained the challenge and shared my fear of becoming paralyzed, he asked if I had trouble walking. I said no and that it wasn’t a problem. Then he asked if I was healthy and whether or not I could run. I replied, “I’m healthy, and I run all the time.”

Dr. Wu looked me straight in the eyes and asked, “Would you care if you didn’t have a heart, as long as you were healthy and well?” This startled me, and my first response was: “Of course I need a heart!” He didn’t say anything; he just looked at me with compassion. I sat there thinking, then slowly said, “Actually, as long as I’m healthy, I wouldn’t care if I didn’t have a heart.” He then told me to focus on what was true—the fact that I could walk and run—and realize that a woman could be incredibly healthy, even if the medical profession declared that she wasn’t. Dr. Wu reminded me that the human spirit (and soul) was amazing and could create miracles. Almost four decades later, I can still walk and run with ease.

The body is the gateway to the soul . . . and when you hang out in the realm of the soul, anything is possible. Is there a time in your life when you listened to the wisdom of your soul and overcame a challenge or experienced healing of some kind? Today, take a moment to imagine that you’re traveling inside your body to reach the sanctuary of your soul.

Native Americans have an expression that I love: “It’s a good day to die.” To me, this means: I accept my life in its totality. I’m complete right now. If I am to die today, I’m ready. The truth is that there will be a time in your evolution when you no longer possess a body. There’s value in being prepared for that day. Many ancient cultures included this practice in their spiritual training, as it can be a powerful rite of passage. When you face your death, you also face (and embrace) your life. You have a body. But you are not your body. You are eternal.

To overcome your fear of death and even accept it, it’s valuable to practice dying. Of course, this doesn’t mean actually dying—it means that you just practice imagining that you accept your death when the day comes, until you no longer feel afraid. In a strange way, when you overcome your fear of death, you dramatically strengthen your body and make it less prone to dying.

One technique athletes use to improve their performance is to visualize doing a particular activity over and over again. For example, competitive downhill skiers will repeatedly visualize themselves going down a ski run, and this tends to dramatically improve their actual performance. You can use the same technique to practice dying. Every time you imagine yourself dying (at the end of your days), see yourself slipping out of your body and journeying to a place that is exquisitely beautiful and peaceful. It might be a garden or a gentle meadow, or perhaps it’s where angelic beings or your loved ones are waiting for you with open arms.

The more you can accept and even embrace the fact that your body will die, the less the fear of death will subtly penetrate into your body and everyday life. The less fear of death you have, the more fully you can live in the present moment.

|5|denise linn,soul,body,death,fear,end of life planning|_none|1|denise_linn What Does Self-Help Mean?|A journey to the best of who we are.|2010-11-17 17:00:00|public://imports/1747.jpg|0|public://imports/1747.jpg|

Over the years, I have encountered so many people who scoff at the idea of Self-Help. I have never understood why. The Self-Help movement is simply yet profoundly about finding and using the tools that take us to the most powerful and most loving part of who we are.

I used to be an incredibly fearful person. Because of my intense fear, it is not surprising that I hung onto many things that clearly were not working for me. I longed to move forward with my life, but fear was holding me back. Part of my problem was the nonstop little voice inside my head that kept telling me very negative things such as, You'd better not change your situation. Don't take a chance. You might make a mistake. You're not good enough. And on and on and on.

Then one day as I was dressing for work, I reached the turning point. As I glanced in the mirror, I saw an all-too-familiar sight—eyes red and puffy from my tears of self-pity. Suddenly a good healthy rage welled up inside me, and I began shouting at my reflection in the mirror, ENOUGH...ENOUGH... ENOUGH! I shouted and shouted and shouted until there were no shouts left.

When I stopped, I felt a strange and wonderful sense of relief and calm that I had never felt before. Without realizing it at the time, I had gotten in touch with a very powerful part of myself that before that moment I hadn't even known existed. I took another long look in the mirror and smiled as I nodded my head YES. The old familiar voice of doom and gloom was drowned out, at least temporarily, and a new voice had come to the fore— one that felt healthy and strong. My rage had been transformed into a feeling of strength, love, joy, and all good things.

At that moment, I knew I was never again going to let fear get the better of me. I would find a way to push through the negativity that prevailed in my mind and therefore, in my life. Thus began my spiritual odyssey, which I define as the journey to the best of who I am—my Higher Self.

Over the years, with the help of a wide variety of Self-Help teachers, I gathered many tools and I learned many things: I learned that what I thought was the totality of my being was only a very small part of a much larger whole; I learned that there were dimensions of my being that I had never experienced or explored; I learned that as much as I got caught up in the melodrama of daily life, there was a more spiritual and transcendent way of seeing myself in this world; I learned that I had an immense amount of power and love living inside me.

It is this spiritual odyssey, this journey to the Higher Self, the best of who we are that I believe is at the heart of the Self-Help movement.

It is about finding the fantastic power and love we hold inside—and then radiating that power and love out into the world. And it is much more . . .

It is about focusing on our blessings—We are masters for taking things for granted, and taking things for granted is one of the greatest assaults on our lives. We must teach ourselves to notice the wonder of it all, the blessings all around us. We must practice gratitude. We have to learn how to make all the ordinary events in our lives extraordinary—because that is what they are.

It is about trusting that there is a reason—a purpose for all that happens in our lives and in the lives of those we love. And using all of our experiences to help us learn and to grow.

It is about letting go of the victim mentality—and, instead, take responsibility for our experience of life. Victims live in the Lower Self with a poor me state of mind. Powerless, indeed! Creators live in the Higher Self with a Whatever happens, I'll handle it! state of mind. Powerful, indeed!

It is about living in the now—Our goals are wonderful, but they are not our life. Now is our life. The joy of the process is more important than the actual reaching of our goals.

It is about making this a better world.

It is about being love and teaching love.

Little by little, as you practice trusting your gut, you will be led to many wonderful teachers and many wonderful places—within your mind and out in the world. As many of us have already discovered, the Self-Help journey to the best of who we are is an amazing journey, indeed!

|23|susan jeffers,self-help,new age movement,spirituality,unconditional love,positive thoughts,positive thinking,affirmations|_none|1|susan_jeffers_phd Change Begins Within|How to let go of your addictions.|2010-11-18 17:00:00|public://imports/1750.jpg|0|public://imports/1750.jpg|

No book, much less a single chapter, can fully take the place of therapy and 12-step programs in healing an addiction. However, change begins within. The best programs cannot help you if you are not ready to release your addictions. It’s time to make a new vision of your future and let go of any beliefs and thoughts that do not support it.

I hope you find inspiration in the following story of addiction from Teresa, an artist and writer from Oregon:

How I Quit Smoking

I was a light smoker for 30 years, on and off. After my divorce at age 50, however, I became a confirmed, pack-a-day smoker for several years. I was definitely hooked. I couldn’t quit and wasn’t even sure I wanted to—but I had to, for health reasons.

I purchased a very expensive prescription drug that was supposed to curb nicotine cravings. The bonus was that I could smoke during the month or so that it would take for the drug to become effective. Two weeks after starting this drug, I was puffing away, wondering how long it was going to take to give the cigarettes up. I still didn’t have the slightest desire to quit.

Louise’s book You Can Heal Your Life was lying next to me at the time, and I remembered that she had a “smoking section” in it, so I went right to it. She’d written:

You might ask yourself a series of questions like: “Am I willing to give up uncomfortable relationships? Were my cigarettes creating a smoke screen so I wouldn’t see how uncomfortable these relationships are? Why am I creating these relationships?” 

Those questions hit me like a ton of bricks. I thought of my friendship with a woman who was opinionated, negative, and highly critical; and then I thought about my marriage, where everything had supposedly been my fault. Louise continued:

Then you notice the reason you’re so uncomfortable is that other people always seem to be criticizing you. . . . You then think about criticism, and you realize that as a child you received a lot of criticism. That little kid inside of you only feels “at home” when it is being criticized. Your way of hiding from this had been to create a “smoke screen.” 

I flashed to my childhood, especially to the parents who’d stamped their “Good Housekeeping Seal of Disapproval” on everything my siblings and I said or did. Nothing was ever good enough for them.

I had an epiphany! Stubbing out my half-smoked cigarette, I grabbed the remainder of the pack and ceremoniously crushed every one of them into a pile and announced, “I am willing to release the need to be criticized.”

I quit smoking that day and never took another pill from the prescription. Quitting was easy, so I was ready to start being easy on myself. Since then, I’ve continued my healing journey and have found new relationships that support me in my truth. Before, when I believed I wasn’t good enough, I attracted plenty of people to support that belief. Smoking provided the shield that kept me from seeing the truth.

Now, I watch how I talk to myself and about others. I’ve learned that if I criticize someone else, I’m just criticizing myself. I like me too much to practice that old self-loathing behavior. It just doesn’t fit anymore.

|23|family relationships,criticism,self-esteem,nicotine cravings,12 step program,quit smoking,smoking,louise hay|_none|1|louise_l_hay Saved by a Prayer|Calling on God in the courtroom.|2013-08-11 17:00:00|public://imports/1749.jpg|0|public://imports/1749.jpg|

I really thought I would love practicing law. However, before you pass the bar, you don’t get to practice law. You get to fill out paperwork—lots and lots of paperwork. Because I had not taken or passed the Pennsylvania bar exam, I couldn’t actually represent anyone in court, though I could appear at bail hearings. Every now and again, the paperwork would turn out to hold a real story. Those were the people I really wanted to help. Those were the people I thought I would be helping after I passed the bar exam.

One woman, Patricia, had gotten into an altercation with another tenant in her apartment building. There was a knife involved. The other tenant got stabbed, and Patricia was arrested. When I first saw her paperwork, I assumed she would get bail, go to court, and get probation and I would never see her again. Case closed. I had put my paperwork in order and was standing at the vending machine when a short woman tapped me on the back.

“Are you the public defender?”

“Yes, ma’am, I am.”

“Are you going to handle the case for Patricia Muller?”

There was something about this woman that I liked. While she was very soft-spoken, I could feel an energy coming from her that I recognized but couldn’t quite explain―yet.

“That is my pastor’s daughter, and I am here on her behalf.”

That’s it! This was an old church mother. One of those powerful women who sit around and pray all day. I knew that energy because I had felt it so many times as a child when I went to church with Grandma. These women felt welcoming. They rocked. They hummed. They moaned. And they could pray the paint off the walls.

“Is she going to have to go to jail?”

“No, ma’am. Not if you pay the bail.”

She explained that the pastor and his wife were on the way up from South Carolina, and it was going to take them at least eight hours to get here. When would she need to have the money?

“They will probably call her before the commissioner within the next hour. If you can’t pay the bail then, you will need to pay it later and then go to the detention center to pick her up.”

“The Lord knows the way.”

“I am sure he does.”

The next group of defendants came up within the hour. Ms. Muller was not among them. When I looked over my shoulder to give the church mother a reassuring nod, her eyes were closed and she was rocking from side to side. By the time the third group came up without Ms. Muller, I was laughing to myself. This woman’s prayers are affecting the entire legal system.

As soon as I sat down next to the church mother, her eyes flew open. Before I could get my mouth open, she asked me if I would go and let Patricia know that Mother Carol was here and her parents were on the way. I explained that I was not allowed to speak to the prisoners before they came into the court room.

“Prisoner? Patricia ain’t nobody’s prisoner!”

“I mean the defendants. I am not allowed to speak to them while they are in police custody.”

“You are the lawyer, right?”

“Yes, ma’am. I mean, I’m not actually a lawyer because I haven’t passed the bar exam, but I can stand before a commissioner.”

“You’re going to pass the exam, but today I need you to go and tell Patricia that I am here.”

It was worth a try. I knew the officers on duty, and they teased me about being a New Yorker. I had never made such a request, so maybe—just maybe—they would be nice to me.

I went down into the basement where the defendants were held in lockup. I walked the long and narrow hallway that never seemed to end. When I stepped up to the window of the cage, I noticed that Patricia was alone. I knew from the paperwork that there were at least 212 defendants in the cage, but Patricia had a cage all to herself. She was sitting on the floor, in the corner. She had been in lockup for 11 hours. I tapped on the window and gave her Mother Carol’s message. She began to weep.

“Why are you crying? Your parents are on the way, and Mother Carol has this entire building on lockdown.”

“I am so scared.”

“Scared of what?”

“I didn’t do what he said. I didn’t stab him.”

“So what are you afraid of? You know what to do.”

“I don’t know what to do!”

“You mean to tell me that you are a pastor’s daughter and you don’t know what to do? Girl, you better get to praying.”

She looked at me as if I had lost my mind. I started her off:

“The Lord is my shepherd.”

She continued, “I shall not want.”

We prayed Psalms 23 and 91 together, aloud. Then we just prayed. The only thing that stopped us was the officer letting me know that court was about to begin. As I left, prisoners in the other cages were screaming through the windows.

“Pray for me too! Miss. Miss. Please pray for me too!”

Two hours later, the pastor and the first lady arrived. Ten minutes later, Patricia Muller entered the courtroom. When the commissioner attempted to set her bail at $5,000, I reminded him of how long the prisoner had been held—14 hours by this time, 2 hours longer than the maximum. I glanced into the gallery. Pastor Muller, the first lady, and Mother Carol were all standing, all rocking from side to side. The commissioner released Patricia Muller on her own recognizance. When she came upstairs an hour later, the pastor thanked me and invited me to church. I went.

Over the next few weeks, I realized I was in the right place, at the right time, doing the wrong thing. After many months of agony and much prayer, I knew in my soul that I was not meant to be a lawyer. I knew that my destiny was not aligned with man’s system of law. It was my destiny to find and teach the process of being in alignment with God’s law. After 21 days of fasting and purification, I left the defender’s office without a goal or a vision. I knew I had made the right choice.

|23|pastor,court procedure,prayer,lawyer,practicing law,iyanla vanzant|_none|1|iyanla_vanzant Two Big Questions|Why am I here? Where is God?|2010-11-20 17:00:00|public://imports/1748.jpg|0|public://imports/1748.jpg|

Two of the most important questions in the world have been asked since the beginning of time. People from all walks of life, the most powerful people in the world, and those seeking truth and understanding as well as those struggling for reasons why they are here on this Earth—have wanted to know:

What is the purpose of my life?

What is my relationship with God?

In my book, Time for Truth, I discuss the answers to these two questions in detail, but today I want to share with you a synopsis of these answers, for they are the keys to your living a life filled with harmony and peace of heart, mind and soul. And the answers to these questions are interconnected, for you cannot have one without the other.

You have been taught that you are over here (on the left), God is over there (on the right), and the Church is in the middle between you and God. Many millions have been taught that you cannot have God without the Church being the conduit to God. And without the Church, you cannot have salvation and redemption from God. But this is not true.

The spirit of God is inside of you. You are a part of God and God is a part of you. No person or organization has the right to claim they control that personal relationship between you and God. The reason you are an immortal child of God is because the Lord’s spirit is inside of you and eternally connected to your soul.

And your purpose in life is to become at one with God.

Imagine that there is a pyramid of 1000 steps within you. And at the very top of the pyramid is God and the Christ Consciousness. Your goal in life is to climb those stairs—one at a time—until you reach the top and are at one with God and Christ Consciousness. Each one of you is at a different step, and the higher you climb to the top, the more spiritually evolved you are becoming. But you may only be able to climb a few steps each lifetime. That is why reincarnation is so important.

Remember, you are not human beings who by coincidence have a spirit and a soul. You are spirits with a soul who are having a human experience.

You advance up the stairs of your pyramid by living your life embracing universal compassion and universal love. You move up the stairs by letting others benefit by experiencing your love and compassion. For then all around you, you shall create the same. There is no linear time in the spirit world, and God will wait for you until you reach the top of that pyramid.

Think back when you were a child and you finished the fourth grade. After you rested during the summer, you did not return to school as a junior in high school or a senior in college. You continued where you had left off. The same is true in life, in that after the transition of your soul in any lifetime, you return in your next lifetime to continue from the step you left off in your journey to become at one with God.

From your own observation, you are able to evaluate where a person is in their ascension to becoming at one with God. Living saints would be on the 800th step or above. Those whose lives are influenced by greed, hate, dishonesty, deceitfulness and other undesirable traits would be below the 200th step.

How does one accomplish climbing up the stairs of the pyramid—or essentially evolving to a higher level? It is by living your life consistent with God’s will, embracing universal love, universal compassion and living in truth. So your purpose in life is to live your life in a manner that enables you to ascend and evolve until you are at one with that part of God that is inside of you.

God bless you as you continue on your journey.

|5|nick bunick,purpose,relationships,god,church,reincarnation,soul,salvation,christ,conciousness|_none|1|nick_bunick Do Your Words Spell Success?|What you say is what you get.|2010-11-21 17:00:00|public://imports/1746.jpg|0|public://imports/1746.jpg|

I receive a lot of calls for help through my Websites, radio show, and workshops. Frequently, I’m asked for angelically based answers to help resolve stressful financial and career situations. Invariably, I find that people—because of their stress—are using negative words to describe their current situation. They’re often unaware that they’re using negative affirmations (such as “I’m broke”) or that these statements are ensuring that their stressful condition will continue.

A woman named Carolyn Purchase has owned a metaphysical store in Nova Scotia for five years. In the past, whenever anyone would ask her how business was, she’d always reply, “I’ll never be rich, but it pays its bills.” Carolyn said that phrase countless times before realizing its impact.

One day she was chatting with a close friend about how the store should be a gold mine, since it’s the only one in the region, with lots of customers and a great reputation. They wondered, then, why wasn’t the store doing better? Why was it only making enough for Carolyn to buy inventory and pay the bills?

Carolyn got her answer when a customer asked how the store’s business was doing. Just as she was about to give her standard, “I’ll never be rich . . .” reply, she had an epiphany and said instead, “Fantastic! This place is a gold mine!” She said it with such conviction that she believed every word.

That was a year ago, and whenever anyone asks, “How’s business?” Carolyn continues to say that it’s fantastic and the place is a gold mine. In the last year, her sales have increased 40 percent over where they were the previous one . . . and they just keep climbing! All that has changed are Carolyn’s words—from limiting ones to those with a positive energy vibration. Her words have made the gold mine.

The words that we say have a direct impact upon our finances, as Carolyn’s story illustrates. And a woman named Livia Maris Jepsen went through a similar transition. A few years ago, Livia wondered why her prayers were only answered with “just enough,” and never more. For instance, if she needed money to pay for something, she’d receive just the amount she required, and not a dime more. If she needed additional time to finish something, she’d get just enough time and complete things at the very last minute . . . and so on.

One day Livia visited a prosperous friend at the woman’s mother’s house. After serving her delicious meal, the mother asked, “Do you have enough?” and the friend answered, “Oh yes, Mom, I have plenty!” That was exactly what Livia needed to hear! She realized that she was always asking for and affirming “just enough.”

Livia says, “If you ask the angels for just enough, that’s exactly what you get. Try asking for ‘plenty’ and affirming ‘plenty’ and you’ll always get much better than what you expect.” Since changing her vocabulary, Livia is much more financially secure.

If asking for plenty of money creates discomfort, rest assured that you can use this extra cash for charitable contributions, helping your loved ones, and financing your Divine life purpose. Your increased flow allows you to give in even bigger ways!

Diana Mey is another woman who learned the power that words can have upon one’s finances. Most of her life, she would say, “I don’t have enough money for . . .” this or that. Diana’s continual negative affirmations ensured that she’d never be able to afford anything she wanted.

Then Diana started seeing the numbers 818 repeatedly—on clocks, on license plates, in telephone numbers, and on receipts. She finally found the reason in my book Angel Numbers 101, which lists the meaning behind repetitive number sequences. The book explained that 818 was an angelic message to stay positive about money, and suggested that people who see this number use this affirmation: “I am financially secure now, and I have a surplus of money to spare and share.”

Diana started saying this affirmation repeatedly, and today she is financially secure, with plenty to spare and share. She told me, “I now look at the world totally differently when it comes to money.”

Sometimes, a painful situation will wake us up to the role that our vocabulary is playing, as a woman named Caryn Connolly discovered. After she was laid off from her engineering job, she started telling people, “I am unemployed.” Caryn desperately searched for a new job, without success. Then she realized that by continually saying that she unemployed, she was creating that situation. So she stopped using that word, and shortly afterward, she was offered an engineering position that would pay all of her bills. Caryn says, “By changing the words I was using with myself and others, I was able to manifest abundance very quickly into my life.”

|1|word graphs,angel,positive affirmations,success,prosperity,grant virtue,doreen virtue|_none|1|doreen_virtue Is Something Missing? |Let Wolf and Raven restore life’s magic. |2010-11-22 17:00:00|public://imports/1744.jpg|0|public://imports/1744.jpg|

The term spirit guide, also known as a helping spirit or guardian spirit, is a term for any spiritual beings that help us in a life-positive way. We can call on them for guidance, protection, healing, encouragement, and inspiration. We may see them, hear them, feel them, or just know they’re with us, and we can have any number of spirit guides throughout our life whether we’re aware of them or not.

Those spirits that are in animal form that teach us, guide us, empower us, and help us heal are called animal spirit guides or spirit animals. In shamanic and indigenous cultures, they may be called totem animals or power animals. Often these terms are used interchangeably, although there are subtle differences in meaning.

When an animal or symbol of that animal shows up to you in an unusual way or repeatedly (at least three times in a short period of time), it’s most definitely trying to convey a message from the spirit world to you.

There are four major ways in which you can get messages from the spirit world: visual, auditory, kinesthetic, and cognitive. As your receptivity to the spiritual dimension opens and develops, you’ll discover that one of these pathways is the strongest and feels the most natural, with a secondary one that works fairly well. The more you practice and the more you attune to the spiritual dimension, you’ll find that you can receive input through the other channels as well. What’s required is that you hold a clear intention to receive these messages and simply remain receptive, and they will come to you, often in unexpected and surprising ways.

Here’s an introduction to two of the familiar animal spirits that you might encounter: raven and wolf.

If RAVEN shows up, it means:

Magic is in the air, and something special is about to happen. Pay attention to dreams and visions, especially colorful and powerful ones, as these are indicative of prophecy.

In any undertaking or in any relationship, be very clear as to what your intentions are because whatever they are, that’s what will manifest.

You’re gradually shape-shifting to a more confident, powerful, and spiritually based you that will continue to emerge the more you let go of your old self.

You’ll observe an increasing number of synchronistic events over the next few days, so just notice these, appreciate them, and don’t try to figure them out.

Call on RAVEN when:

You need to clarify your intention about a task, a relationship, or your spiritual path so that you can manifest that intention in third-dimension reality.

You had an especially painful childhood and want to reclaim the lost innocence and joy.

You’ve lost touch with the magic of life and want to recapture that sense of awe and wonder, as well as manifest your desires.

You’re in need of physical and/or emotional healing and want to augment whatever other treatment modalities you’re using.

You have an ailing loved one who is some distance away, or there are others at some distance who are suffering and you want to send strong prayers and healing energy.

If WOLF shows up, it means:

Characteristics and behaviors that no longer serve your spiritual purpose are being culled from your consciousness.

Make cooperation a priority over competition.

Valuable insights, ideas, and new teachings are coming your way, so pay close attention.

It’s important to maintain your self-esteem and integrity and deeply trust in your inner knowing, even when you feel misunderstood or misaligned.

You’re being spiritually and psychically protected at all times.

Call on WOLF when:

You feel lost with regard to a relationship, project, or your career, or else you’re confused about your life path and purpose.

You feel at one extreme or the other with your social ties, either feeling isolated and alone or overly enmeshed with family and friends.

You’ve been feeling a little too civilized lately and want to tap in to the wild and instinctual.

You’re having trouble discerning the sincerity and truth of what someone is communicating to you.

You want to be more expressive in your communication, particularly by adding more body language and vocal inflection.

|5|message,wolf,raven,spirit,animal,steven farmer|_none|1|steven_d_farmer Secrets of a Teen Millionaire |From broke to bountiful.|2010-11-22 17:00:00|public://imports/1762.jpg|0|public://imports/1762.jpg|

You may remember Farrah Gray as the young black entrepreneur who made his first million at the tender age of 14, the youngest black to become a millionaire through business rather than entertainment. Today he inspires thousands through his writing, consulting, and lecturing. He’s probably best known as the author of the national best-seller Reallionaire.

In the following conversation, Mr. Gray shares some of the secrets of his success.

Dante Lee: What’s your definition of a successful business?

Mr. Gray: To me, a successful, bona fide, money-making business is one that has a few things in alignment: your mission statement needs to be sound, and profitability must be there—but to be profitable you have to have the right team and the right vision. DL: Who or what inspired you to be an entrepreneur?

Mr. Gray: I’m a strong believer that comfort is the enemy of achievement. So, I didn’t know what entrepreneurship was, I just knew we didn’t have any money. We were broke. So when you think of the entrepreneurial mindset, I call it “the third-world country mindset” because everybody there is born an entrepreneur. They don’t have an Exxon, General Motors—they don’t have those kinds of companies, so when you’re born, you have to be an entrepreneur or else you don’t eat.

As a small business entrepreneur, it’s very important to have a passion for what you’re doing. My first business, I didn’t know it was entrepreneurship. I saw oversized rocks in the street and I started painting them. I would tell people “These are paperweights, bookends, and doorstoppers.”

My mama always talked to me about money. A lot of times parents don’t talk to their children about money—they don’t have that Suze Orman or Glenda Bridgeforth conversation. My grandmother taught me that children are practicing adults, so give them the tools that they need.

DL: What’s the number one quality or trait that ambitious entrepreneurs overlook or underestimate?

Mr. Gray: As for the person who wants to be an entrepreneur, I think some overlook knowledge. As it says in the scripture, people perish for the lack of knowledge. Understand your industry; you need to explore what will actually make your business tick. You need to look at your profit and loss statement.

Many African American entrepreneurs don’t run businesses. Often our so-called business starts as a hustle for us, because we’re trying to pay the rent, keep the utilities going, pay our car note. So we end up running it as a hustle as opposed to a business.

If you want to be an entrepreneur, don’t overlook knowledge. It’s important to acquire knowledge as it relates to writing a business plan and learning more about your business. Not every business is going to be profitable in 3 – 5 years. However, you can write a business plan and dare yourself to be profitable within the first year. It’s possible.

DL: What’s the most fatal business mistake you’ve ever made and what did it teach you?

Mr. Gray: Just because you have money doesn’t mean you have to spend it. When I first started out, I was a bit more frugal. But as you make more money, you tend to bring on more people, add expenses, and pay for things that, when you didn’t have the money, you didn’t have the option. So I think it’s important to be as frugal as when you first started. And that’s why there are major consulting firms that make millions of dollars just by consulting with Fortune 500 corporations on cost-reduction strategies.

Why even focus on entrepreneurship with the economy as bad as it is? First, you have to understand that 50 percent of Fortune 500 corporations that exist today were started in a recession.

DL: What have been the most vital steps in building your brand?

Mr. Gray: Bill Gates is known to have said, “If I had two dollars left, I’d spend one on PR.” I find that, as entrepreneurs, we tend to forget that. Many of us have to close our businesses because we failed to advertise.

We wake up to an advertised alarm clock; we’re in a bed that was advertised with sheets that were advertised to us. We take a shower, get dressed, and eat breakfast—all with products that were advertised to us. Then we get into a car that was advertised to us, walk into our business, and have to put a “Closed” sign on the door because we failed to advertise.

What has helped with my brand has been the fact that I let people know that I exist.

DL: How did you create the original capital for your company?

Mr. Gray: I started off small. Really, I started an investment club with my friend on the south side of Chicago called “UNEEC,” which is an acronym for the Urban Neighborhood Economic Enterprise Club. We were able to raise $15,000 through going to people who had more money than we had at that time, and that was pretty easy because that was pretty much everybody because we were kids. Then as we grew the funds to a $1.5 million venture capital fund, I went to higher net worth investors, which gave me the distinct honor, by God’s grace, of being the youngest to have an office on Wall Street in U.S. history, then ultimately to become a millionaire. So I think, again, that I was able to do it by networking. I think your net worth has a lot to do with your networking skills.

|23|business success,millionaire,investing,business advice,entrepreneurship,bill gates,farrah gray,dante lee|_none|1|dante_lee One Delicious Meal|Love matters in the kitchen, too.|2010-11-24 17:00:00|public://imports/1760.jpg|0|public://imports/1760.jpg|

The dinner was delicious. I had been eating mostly bread and raw vegetables after the disappointing turkey-and-Swiss incident, and this meal of fresh angel-hair pasta with tomatoes and basil was an absolute feast. The food embodied love and happiness, and my soul felt nourished and rejuvenated. It was one of the most satisfying meals I’d ever had, and I could feel Martika’s love and support with every bite. When the dessert of fresh blueberries arrived, everyone switched places and I was fortunate enough to end up across from Madisyn. With the benefit of proximity, I could see that she had light blue eyes and a small white flower in her hair that complemented Martika’s.

“This food feels amazing,” Madisyn said as she sat down.

“Did you say feels?” I asked.

“Yes, the energy here is so beautiful, and this food is filled with good intention.”

“I agree. I didn’t know anyone else could feel energy in food. I just discovered it myself recently. I tried to eat in a restaurant and couldn’t, because it felt like I was eating someone else’s anger.”

She nodded. “I don’t understand why more restaurants aren’t into conscious cooking. That’s the main reason I can’t eat out anymore.”

“’Conscious cooking’? I didn’t know it had a name. Is that a new thing?”

“It’s been around since the beginning of time. It’s just that most restaurants don’t care about intention. That’s why a home-cooked meal always tastes better.” She caught her breath for a moment and then added, “If I had a restaurant, I’d force the employees to go home if they came to work in a bad mood. You can’t have a restaurant and let chefs put their bad energy in the food that’s served to customers. I guess now I have to start my own restaurant! Do I have to do everything myself?”

She laughed and her blue eyes sparkled.

I had never met someone who effortlessly balanced strength with compassion as much as she did. In her world, it appeared that both were part of a single continuum; and I was genuinely impressed with the grace with which she wove them together.

“That’s a handsome bracelet.” She changed the subject without missing a beat while nodding to the bracelet Robert had given me.

“Thanks. A friend of mine made it for me.”

“Tell me about it.”

“It’s made of carnelian and has moonstone and silver because of my connection to the moon. It comforts me.”

“Oh, that makes sense,” she smiled. “I thought I felt some lunar energy coming from you. I have a spiritual jewelry company. This is a piece of mine.” She gestured toward the necklace she was wearing. It had three silver ovals with Chinese characters and a clear crystal hanging from it.

“It’s very beautiful.”

“Yes, I love it. I just licensed it from a friend of Martika’s. I’ve actually been looking for some new designs that can be worn by men. Maybe your friend would be interested in working with me.”

“That would be great—I’ll let him know.” I thought that getting Robert some additional income would allow him to spend less time at the Co-op begging for money, and have more quality guru time.

“Give me your number and I’ll call you when we’re ready to take on some more designs. In the meantime, find out if your friend might be interested.”

“I will.” I gave her my number, hoping that she wouldn’t wait too long to call. As I handed her the paper, a friend of hers appeared and whispered in her ear.

“That’s my ride,” Madisyn said while getting up. “I have to go now. It was really nice talking to you.”

“You, too.”

“Bye, Lunar Boy.” She winked as she walked toward the door.

“Goodbye.” I nearly blushed.

After Madisyn left, I realized that I was starting to get tired. I decided it was probably a good time to leave and found Martika outside on her porch saying goodbye to the other guests. I too said my goodbyes and walked down her painted white steps into the night and toward my apartment.

There were no streetlamps on the road until I got to the main arterial, but the moon was full, which provided plenty of light. Walking alone by the light of the moon was a perfect way to end such a wonderful evening. When I arrived at my apartment, I immediately crawled into bed, filled with gratitude to finally be part of a community that welcomed me so completely. I closed my eyes and fell asleep, the happiest I’d been in years.

|5|jewelry,spirit,restaurant,cooking,food,madisyn taylor,scott blum,crystal healing|_none|1|scott_blum Your Power Words|Expressions that affirm and heal.|2010-11-25 17:00:00|public://imports/1763.jpg|0|public://imports/1763.jpg|

When my son Grant and I were recording a podcast about archangels, he stopped and pointed to his computer screen, exclaiming, “Look! When you said the word angel, the graph made angel wings!” Sure enough, his computer program showed all sorts of shapes representing each word I’d used. And when I said “angel,” the graph looked like a celestial being soaring from heaven.

Grant and I began experimenting with other words to find literal graphic representations of their meanings. What we discovered was remarkable: the words we consider positive and feel-good were significantly larger than those considered negative.

We were astounded by this visual representation of positive and negative utterances! Here was tangible evidence of high and low vibrations within speech. The positive words exhibited a much bigger impact, like light shining radiantly. Meanwhile, the negative ones looked tight and constricted.

The word admiration shows evidence of big radiant energy, while the word jealousy shows the opposite. This makes sense, since when you admire someone, you’re affirming that there’s abundance in the world. You’re saying, “Wow, isn’t it wonderful that this person is enjoying success, health, love, and happiness. If he or she can do this, then so can I!” Doesn’t that feel expansive and generous?

Contrast this with the word jealousy, which is based upon a belief in lack and limitation. Jealousy says, “Hey! How come that person gets to have fun? How come I can’t have what he or she has?” and “This isn’t fair!” Can you feel the underlying fear within jealousy? No wonder it shows up as a small graph!

This very message was demonstrated during one of my appearances on the Oprah television show. My book Losing Your Pounds of Pain had just been released; and Oprah, her guests (including me), and the audience were discussing the psychology of weight loss and gain. This was in the early 1990s, when the talk-show host had lost a great deal of weight while working with a personal trainer and a personal chef.

Oprah’s staff had collected and divided letters she’d received into two categories: (1) those from viewers who admired her weight loss and said that it inspired them to take up this goal themselves, and (2) those expressing jealousy about her accomplishment. A sampling of the letter writers from both viewpoints had been flown in to the studio.

What Oprah discovered was remarkable: those who admired her weight loss had all been subsequently successful with a fitness, exercise, and weight-loss plan. Conversely, those who were jealous reported that they hadn’t been able to lose even one pound! Clearly, this negative emotion blocked them from emulating Oprah’s healthy habits. Their negative mind-sets wouldn’t allow them to follow her positive example.

Similarly, a woman named Sharon Gartner (a reader of my books who contacted me) found that her smoldering jealousy of her neighbors blocked her from living the lifestyle that she desperately wanted. She’d look at others’ nice houses and cars and say, “It’s not fair! I never have enough of anything!”

Sharon felt as if she were living in a dark hole of despair and worry. She told me, “My thoughts and words were the shovel digging my way deeper into darkness.” Sharon was so consumed with jealousy and loathing for those who had more than she did that she hadn’t noticed that her husband had become withdrawn and moody and her children were unhappy. Nothing seemed to be going right in her family’s life.

One night, Sharon had a dream of sitting on a park bench under a tree. A man who looked like a hobo sat beside her and handed her a piece of paper, which simply read: “Let it go.” Sharon awoke with the knowledge that everything would be okay. She started affirming, “I give love and I receive love,” and “I am open to receiving prosperity from expected and unexpected sources.”

Sharon now describes her life as wonderful. She and her husband have fallen back in love and feel that they are living their dreams together. Wonderful opportunities come to them daily, and their children are now happy. Why? Sharon says: “It’s because I changed my thinking pattern, guided by those three simple words: Let it go. I now realize that the reason my life wasn’t going well was because my dark, jealous belief was that I wouldn’t have ‘nice things,’ since I thought I wasn’t worthy of having such things. I now live in a constant state of love and joy, with the knowledge that I am only open to receiving all that is good in my world.”

|1|word graphs,self-expression,negative affirmations,positive affirmations,words,angel,grant virtue,doreen virtue|_none|1|doreen_virtue How To Be a Master of Love|A Story of Compassion|2014-02-20 17:00:00|public://imports/3706.jpg|0|public://imports/3706.jpg|

Once upon a time, a Master was talking to a crowd of people, and his message was so wonderful that everyone felt touched by his words of love. In the crowd there was a man who had listened to every word the Master said. This man was very humble, and he had a great heart. He was so touched by the Master’s words that he felt the need to invite the master to his home.

When the Master finished speaking, the man looked into the eyes of the Master and told him, “I know you are busy and everyone wants your attention. But my heart is so open and I feel so much love for you that I have the need to invite you to my home. I want to prepare the best meal for you. I don’t expect you will accept, but I just had to let you know.”

The Master looked into the man’s eyes, and with the most beautiful smile he said, “Prepare everything. I will be there.” Then the Master walked away.

At these words, the joy in the man’s heart was strong. He could hardly wait to serve the master and to express his love for him. This would be the most important day of his life: He bought the best food and wine, and found the most beautiful clothes to offer as a gift to the master. Then he ran home to prepare everything to receive the Master, He cleaned his entire house, prepared the most wonderful meal, and made the table look beautiful. His heart was full of joy because the Master would soon be there.

The man was waiting anxiously when someone knocked at the door. Eagerly, he opened the door, but instead of the master, he found an old woman. She looked into his eyes and said, “I am starving. Can you give me a piece of bread?”

The man was a little disappointed because it was not the Master. He looked at he woman and said, “Please, come into my house.” He sat her in the place he had prepared for the Master, and gave her the food he had made for the Master. But he was anxious and could hardly wait for her to finish eating. The old woman was touched the generosity of this man. She thanked him and left.

The man had barely finished preparing the table for the master again when someone knocked at the door. This time it was another stranger who had traveled across the desert. The stranger looked into the man’s face and said, “I am thirsty. Can you give me something to drink?”

The man was a little disappointed again because it was not the Master. He invited the stranger into his home, and sat him in the place he had prepared for the master. He served the wine he had intended to give the Master. When the stranger left, the man again prepared everything for the master.

Someone knocked at the door again. When the man opened the door, there stood a child. The child looked up at the man and said, “I am freezing. Can you give me a blanket to cover my body?”

The man was a little disappointed because it was not the Master, but he looked into the eyes of the child felt love in his heart. Quickly he gathered the clothes he had intended to give the Master, and he covered the child with the clothes. The child thanked him and left.

The many prepared everything again for the master, and then he waited until it was very late. When he realized the master was not coming, he was disappointed, but right away he forgave the Master. He said to himself, “I knew I could not expect the Master to come to this humble home. Although he said he would come, something more important must have taken him elsewhere. The master did not come, but at least he told me he would, and this is enough for my heart to be happy.”

Slowly he put the food away, he put the wine away, and he went to bed. That night he dreamed the Master came to his home. The man was happy to see him, but he didn’t know that he was dreaming. “Master you came! You kept your word.”

The Master replied, “Yes, I am here, but I was here before. I was hungry, and you fulfilled my need for food. I was thirsty, and you gave me the wine. I was cold, and you covered me with clothes. Whenever you do for others, you do for me.”

The man woke up, and his heart was filled with happiness, because he understood what the master had taught him. The Master loved him so much that he had sent three people to give him the greatest lesson: The Master lives within everyone.

Perhaps you have never thought about it, but on one level or another, all of us are masters. We are masters because we have the power to create and to rule our own lives.

You have the same power as any other human in the world. The main difference between you and someone else is how you apply your power, what you create with your power. Be a master of love!

|23|humility,prophets,master,bible,gratitude,spirituality,love,don miguel ruiz|_none|1|don_miguel_ruiz A Gift Card or a Compliment?|Which one would you rather get?|2010-11-26 17:00:00|public://imports/1758.jpg|0|public://imports/1758.jpg|

Imagine that a friend asked for your advice about how to repair his troubled marriage. He shares his strategy for saving his marriage. “I thought I’d take her on a cruise or send her to a spa. Or maybe buy her that bracelet she has her eye on.”

You can’t believe your ears. It’s absurd to think that bribing his wife to stay with him would actually work. You want him to understand that what she really needs is his time and his attention. He needs to let her know by his actions that he values her.

Now think about what you do to reward and recognize your employees. If the way you typically show your appreciation is to give them goodies, you may want to think again. While there is nothing wrong with giving out gift cards or having a celebration during Customer Service Week, what really matters to frontline employees is genuine, on the spot recognition from their supervisor.

Ascent’s 2009 Reward & Recognition Best Practices study bears this out. Frontline reps ranked “praise” as most important. Tangible gifts came in fourth. The study also found that praise is best delivered on the spot. “Recognition and rewards can be formal or informal recognition, meaning, spontaneous or immediate--simple thank yous or expressions for a job well done.

In fact, most of a company’s recognition activity should be informal. Informal recognition is a critical component in human nature and the social structure — it’s a major motivator and results in people feeling good about themselves and their achievements.”

The report pointed out that while some supervisors are naturals, most don’t know how to reward and recognize their individual employees. “Managers and supervisors should receive the proper training that will develop the skills needed to praise and reward desired behavior and performance.”

This week stop by and give your employees and coworkers a compliment for a job well done. It will do you good.

|23|barbara burke,employment,compliments,self-care,leadership,motivation|_none|1|barbara_burke Our Need for Love|When left alone, we will not survive.|2010-11-27 17:00:00|public://imports/1757.jpg|0|public://imports/1757.jpg|


Ultimately, the reason why love and compassion bring us the greatest happiness is simply that our nature cherishes them above all else. The need for love lies at the very foundation of human existence. It results from the profound interdependence we all share with one another. However capable and skillful an individual may be, left alone he or she will not survive. However vigorous and independent one may feel during the most prosperous periods of life, when one is sick or very young or very old, one must depend on the support of others.

Interdependence, of course, is a fundamental law of nature. Not only higher forms of life, but also many of the smallest insects are social beings who, without any religion, law, or education, survive by mutual cooperation based on an innate recognition of their interconnectedness. The most subtle level of material phenomena is also governed by interdependence. In fact, all phenomena—be they from the oceans, the clouds, or the forests that surround us—arise in dependence upon subtle patterns of energy. Without their proper interaction, they dissolve and decay.

It is because our own human existence is so dependent on the help of others that our need for love lies at the very foundation of our existence. Therefore, we need a genuine sense of responsibility and a sincere concern for the welfare of others.

We have to consider what we human beings really are. We are not like machine-made objects. If we were merely mechanical entities, then machines themselves could alleviate all of our suffering and fulfill our needs. However, since we are not solely material creatures, it is a mistake to place all our hopes for happiness on external development alone. Instead, we should consider our origins and nature to discover who we are and what it is we require.

The expression of love is also very important at the time of birth. Since the very first thing we do is suck milk from our mothers’ breast, we naturally feel close to her, and she must feel love for us in order to feed us properly; if she feels anger or resentment, her milk may not flow freely. Then there is the critical period of brain development from the time of birth up to at least the age of three or four, during which time loving physical contact is the single most important factor for the normal growth of the child. If the child is not held, hugged, cuddled, or loved, its development will be impaired and its brain will not mature properly.

As children grow older and enter school, their need for support must be met by their teachers. If a teacher not only imparts academic education, but also assumes responsibility for preparing students for life, his or her pupils will feel trust and respect, and what has been taught will leave an indelible impression on their minds. On the other hand, that which is taught by a teacher who does not show true concern for his or her students’ overall well-being will not be retained for long.

Nowadays, many children grow up in unhappy homes. If they do not receive proper affection, in later life they will rarely love their parents and, not infrequently, will find it hard to love others. This is very sad.

In the end, since a child cannot survive without the care of others, love is its most important nourishment. The happiness of childhood, the allaying of the child’s many fears, and the healthy development of its self-confidence all depend directly upon love.

Even when we engage in ordinary conversation in everyday life, if someone speaks with human feeling, we enjoy listening and respond accordingly; the whole conversation becomes interesting, however unimportant the topic may be. On the other hand, if a person speaks coldly or harshly, we feel uneasy and wish for a quick end to the interaction. From the least to the most important event, the affection and respect of others are vital for our happiness.

Recently I met a group of scientists in America who said that the rate of mental illness in their country was quite high—around 12 percent of the population. It became clear during our discussion that the main cause of depression was not a lack of material necessities, but a deprivation of the affection of others. So, as you can see from everything I have written so far, whether or not we are consciously aware of it, from the day we are born the need for human affection is in our very blood. Even if the affection comes from an animal or someone we would normally consider an enemy, both children and adults will naturally gravitate toward it.

I believe that no one is born free of the need for love. And this demonstrates that, although some modern schools of thought seek to do so, human beings cannot be defined as solely physical. No material object—however beautiful or valuable—can make us feel loved, because our deeper identity and true character lie in the subjective nature of the mind.

|1|depression,compassion,altruism,childhood,affection,love,happiness,his holiness the dalai lama|_none|1|dalai_lama How I Caught the Exercise Bug|My three-year-old put me to shame.|2010-11-28 17:00:00|public://imports/1756.jpg|0|public://imports/1756.jpg|

When my kids were small, we lived in a rural area where the homes were spaced far apart. One day a neighbor banged on the door with news that the family down the road had just put out a kitchen fire. They had called her to mobilize help for the cleanup.

Since it was winter in New England, I threw on a coat and rushed out the door after my neighbor, who’d taken off at a steady jog. I tried to follow, but after a minute or two I was out of breath and puffing like a steam engine. Although I was just 30 years old, I felt ancient. Hunched over in the middle of the street with my hands on my thighs and gasping for breath, I had a come-to-Jesus moment. I realized that it was time to pay attention to my body, which, after all, was my only home.

That very night there was a show on public television about a woman in her 50s who had started to run a few years before and now jogged up to eight miles a day. Her transformation began by running to her mailbox and back, a distance of about a hundred yards. That didn’t seem so hard—I figured if she could do it, so could I.

The next morning my three-year-old son, Andrei, and I set out together and took off at a steady clip. A minute later, I was bushed and slowed down to a walk, while he continued to jog along unfazed. It was a tad demoralizing to be outdone by a three-year-old, but I figured he had a lot less bulk to move so I persisted. Jog and walk. Jog and walk. Thinking of the PBS lady, I added an impromptu mantra to the regime. Breathing in, I’d think, If she can do it, and breathing out, I’d think, so can I. Soon I was like the little engine that could.

By the end of a few months, I was jogging three miles on most weekdays and five or more on the weekends. I lost a whole dress size, and along with it, some of my cravings for fatty foods.

If you think you’re ready to take the plunge into a more enjoyable, less stressful life (and yes—if there’s any doubt about whether you’re healthy enough to exercise, get your doctor’s approval first), here are a few suggestions to make exercise work for you:

  • Choose something fun and easy to get to. Personally, I’d rather be chased by a lion than go to the gym. Gyms involve work. People have trainers and the whole thing seems like another job—with grades. My husband, on the other hand, loves the gym. He can gauge his progress and watch the news while running on the elliptical trainer. And he almost always meets friends there—it’s like a community center. I’d rather hike with our dogs, go for a bike ride, or cross-country ski in season. These activities start at the front door, which saves time and makes it much more likely that I’ll do them.
  • Make exercise a nonnegotiable priority. Putting yourself first means that you write exercise into a specific time slot on your schedule and treat it as an important appointment.
  • Exercise is easier with a buddy, human or four-legged. If someone is waiting, you’re more likely to show up. Furthermore, social support is a proven stress reliever, so exercising with a friend does double duty for your health. The likeliest people to keep their exercise appointments, however, are dog owners. Dog walking more than doubles the average person’s weekly minutes of exercise. The additional walking time burns off an average of 600 calories a week, which adds up to ten pounds a year in weight loss or weight that you don’t put on.

A fitness program takes discipline and continued commitment before it starts to feel as comforting as bad habits like eating junk food, smoking cigarettes, drinking alcohol, or anything else that provides instant gratification but bites you in the backside later. If you keep at it, exercise is habit-forming because the feelings of strength and well-being that result are hard to beat.

|6|joan borysenko,exercise,fitness,health,stress relief|_none|1|joan_z_borysenko_phd Hijacked by Anger?|Here’s your escape hatch!|2010-11-29 17:00:00|public://imports/1745.jpg|0|public://imports/1745.jpg|

Traveling from Chicago to Kona, in Hawaii, to accept an invitation to become a member of the Transformational Leadership Circle (a group of progressive spiritual teachers from all over the world), I was seated in front of a woman who spoke nonstop at the top of her lungs to the bleary-eyed, boundary-challenged seatmate next to her. At first I tuned her out with my iPod and noise-canceling headphones, but soon my batteries gave out, and once again, I was subjected to her endless stream of negative ranting.

I heard about her mother’s bathroom habits; the sales at Walmart versus K-mart; the obnoxious ways of her last three husbands; and the troubles she had with her dentures, hemorrhoids, cataracts, bunions, and wrinkle-cream allergies. She didn’t come up for a breath. Her voice was grating on my nerves like fingernails on a chalkboard. Desperate for relief, my eyes darted around the plane for an empty seat to escape to. No luck. Every seat was taken. Trying to divert my attention, I picked up my book, hoping that it would distract me from the endless drone buzzing in the back of my head. I couldn’t even concentrate on one sentence. As if held prisoner, all my mind could do was wince at her every word, secretly plotting a million ways to turn around and scream, “Lady, will you please shut up!” The irony of going to be elected as a spiritual leader while secretly plotting to strangle the lady behind me was not lost on me.

The choice was simple. I could travel in psychic misery and suffer the indignity of being subjected to her banal blabber and victimized by her merciless drone, boiling in frustration and irritation until I could hardly restrain myself; or I could travel at the speed of love—peaceful, calm, and at ease. Honestly, the choice wasn’t easy. I was “in it,” meaning my ego had been sufficiently agitated and the beast had been let out of her cage. I was upset and wanted to let her know it.

It’s interesting to note just how intense being seized by the ego’s irritations can be. I had to make a choice. I turned around, looked the woman straight in the eye, and placed one finger in front of my lips, as if to suggest “Shh . . . be quiet!” She looked at me as though I had slapped her, and she stopped talking. I relaxed, Whew! Yes. Quiet. I turned around. Two short seconds later, she tapped me sharply on the shoulder.

“Excuse me. Are you implying that I’m talking too loud?”

Surprised, and just a little scared, I nodded my head, smiled, and whispered, “Just a little.”

“Well,” she snapped back. “I never!” Then she began to stage-whisper a loud, harsh “Screw you, lady” diatribe against me, which lasted a full five minutes, before she jumped back to her previous discourse and continued her nonstop babble at full volume.

What to do? How do you travel at the speed of love when you have someone behind you irritating the hell out of you, and they either don’t know or don’t care?

This is exactly the time to reach for the escape hatch from the ego and lift up. In other words, bring your attention to the energetic portal located in the very center of your heart, and begin to vibrate on a higher level. The way to enter the portal isn’t difficult. Just breathe and, with focus and concentration, open your heart. Breathe and connect with your Spirit. Breathe and accept, rather than fight what’s going on. Study the difficult situation you find yourself in with compassion, and find love for it all.

I turned around and sneaked a peek. The woman was anxious and lonely. She filled her emptiness and fear with words. She didn’t want to feel her anxiety, so she talked over it. Words were her drug. She was so frightened of her loneliness, she was unaware of anything else. I was grateful that I wasn’t in her position. Compassion replaced irritation. I understood her compulsion to talk and freed myself from being angered by it. She was simply self-soothing. I needed to do the same. The enraged beast of my ego gave one final inner growl, but then returned to its corner and quieted down. As soon as I realized her behavior wasn’t meant to be so obnoxious, I calmed down. I returned to myself. I found the portal to my heart and up I went. My heart expanded. My imagination shifted to peaceful images. I focused on the approaching island: the beauty, the ocean, the flowers, the dolphins, the sweetness of the earth. I drifted into my own daydreams. I breathed into my peace. I became lost in the beauty of my imagination for a long time. My eyes closed; eventually my mind relaxed. I felt quiet, an aura of calm surrounding me. It was peaceful. Moments later, I realized that light was flowing throughout my entire body.

The chattering woman was sleeping, and glancing backward, I could see she had a peaceful look on her face as well. With my newfound peace came some newfound insight. The first was that we cannot change another person, ever. Moreover, when aggravated by another, we cannot fight the situation either. All we can do is remember that there’s an escape hatch from all that bothers us in life, a secret portal through which we can slip into tranquility; and once we do, everything that’s bothering us will cease to irritate. That portal is one of love, and it’s located in the center of the heart. Once we focus on the heart, we begin to spiral up into a vortex of positive energy, leaving the aggravation far below.

|1|sonia choquette,hijacking,spiritual teacher,difficult people,compassion,airlines,anger,meditation|_none|1|sonia_choquette You Are Safe, All is Well|Affirmations for World Aids Day.|2010-12-01 17:00:00|public://imports/1766.jpg|0|public://imports/1766.jpg|

In my counseling practice, I always had a few gay men. And when AIDS came out, it terrified everybody on Earth. I remember one of these men called me and said, “Louise, would you be able to start a little group for people with AIDS.” I didn’t know what to say. What did that mean? Okay, I told him. “Let’s meet.”

So the next week six young men came to my house. This took place in 1983. And we talked about releasing resentment and forgiveness and how to love yourself. I didn’t know exactly what we were going to do, but I knew what we were not going to do: Play “Ain’t It Awful!”  We were going to take a positive approach and we would see what would happen. So we talked, we sang, we did a meditation and then they went home. The next morning, one of the men called me up and said, “Louise, this is the first time I slept in four months.”

The next week, we had 12 people. The following week, we had 20. It just kept growing and growing. When it got to be 90 people, my living room couldn’t hold everyone. So we managed to find a gymnasium in West Hollywood who accepted us. We went from 90 to 150 the first night there. And then it kept doubling and doubling until they couldn’t hold us. Finally, the City of West Hollywood gave us space so we could meet every Wednesday night. It got to a point where we had almost 800 people every week.

During these Wednesday night groups, I would ask the following questions every few months: Why do you think AIDS is on the planet? and Why do you think you got AIDS? The answers were often: It has given me a chance to love myself, Now I know how loved I am, I am finding my spiritual pathway, I needed to change my life in every area, I had to learn that people cared. Or as one person put it, When I was well, I was really sick. Now that I’m sick, I feel well for the first time in my life.

One person felt so strongly about this that he wrote a letter to his AIDS, and gave me a copy. This is what it said:


Dear AIDS,

For so long now I’ve been angry with you for being a part of my life. I feel like you have violated my being. The strongest emotion thus far in our relationship has been anger!

But now I choose to see you in a different light. I no longer hate you or feel angry with you. I realize now that you have become a positive force in my life. You are a messenger who has brought me a new understanding of life and myself. So for that I thank you, forgive you, and release you.

Never before has anyone given me such great opportunity. You don’t know how much you have given me. You have given me the push I needed to take a look at my life, see the problems and find the solutions. I now realize all the choices that I have in life.

Because of you I have learned to love myself, and as a result I love and am loved by others. I am now in touch with parts of my being that I never knew existed. I have grown spiritually and intellectually since your arrival. I have become a loving, honest, and caring person. So again I thank you for giving me this opportunity to have insight into my life. How could I not forgive you, when so many positive experiences have come from your visit?

But you have also led me to the realization that you have no power over me. I am the power in my world. So since I forgive you, I will now release you from my life.

I accept and love myself just as I am. I am healing, and I accept perfect health and energy as the way for me. Again I thank you, forgive you, and release you from my life.

With love,


There is always a choice of love or fear. If we choose fear and the alienating behavior that goes with it, we go down the tubes. It is up to us. The future is ours. If we choose love and the opportunities it offers us, we will be able to heal ourselves and the whole planet.

Let’s affirm:

Today is another precious day on earth. We shall live it with joy. We accept this gift with gratitude and joy. We realize that we have no time to waste on living in the past. So we go within, and seeing with eyes of love, we seek out all the dark corners where pain and fear dwell. We no longer choose to put up with these old handicaps. We move into our heart space, and we bring the abundant light of love we carry within us. We allow this love, which sees without judgment or expectation, to flood our body, our mind, our consciousness. This light of love shines on and dissolves all that is unlike itself. We are willing to release all old garbage. It has no life of its own; it has no truth in it. It is only an old memory that no longer exists, disappearing from our lives. We are one with the power that created us.

We are safe, and all is well in our world.

In 1986, Louise established The Hay Foundation, which continues to offer to support to various AIDs organizations and charities. For more details, click here. For more information about World Aids Day, click here.

|23|louise hay,aids,world aids day,affirmations,positive thinking,forgiveness|_none|1|louise_l_hay Were the Good Old Days Really Good?|No more rose-colored glasses. |2010-12-02 17:00:00|public://imports/1767.jpg|0|public://imports/1767.jpg|

Many people could list a hundred ways that life in the past was better than life today. Life was easier. Pressures didn’t build 24 hours a day. And on and on. By romanticizing a tiny part of what life was like—and blocking everything else out—they can make it seem like life used to be almost perfect. But the simpler life that once existed was also stifling and harsh.

“If you want to go backward in time,” Harvey Levinson says, “you have to be willing to go backward.”

Harvey is a Connecticut rabbi whose social conscience brought him to the Deep South several times during the Civil Rights Movement. He remembers exactly what it felt like when he stepped up to the counter of a restaurant in Birmingham, Alabama, and the waitress told him they were out of food.

To his left and right were plates of food. On the shelf between the kitchen and the dining room were plates of food. And he could see the cook in the back with yet more food.

This was a minor disgrace compared to what others were facing at the time. But Harvey was still stunned by the reflexive hate.

Four decades later, Harvey was traveling in the area and stopped in Birmingham. Out of curiosity, he looked up the restaurant and found it was still there.

“I ordered dinner, and do you know what the waitress said to me? She said, ‘Would you like anything else, sweetie.’ Can you imagine that?” Harvey said.

“Don’t ever let someone tell you the world isn’t a little bit better place today, when we treat each other with more dignity and humanity.”

In psychological studies, people with the strongest tendency to romanticize the past also score very high in the certainty of their views. In other words, they not only rewrite the past, but also are confident that their revisions are correct. When researchers asked a group of senior citizens to make lists of things that are better and worse today than they were 40 years ago, the “better” lists were, on average, three times as long.

|23|david niven,past,present,quality of life,civil rights movement|_none|1|david_niven_phd Living on Autopilot?|Awaken to a new state of bliss.|2010-12-02 17:00:00|public://imports/1764.jpg|0|public://imports/1764.jpg|

My exploits as a musician have led me to Germany, where I’m scraping a living from doing gigs with my band and giving a few English lessons each week. Our gigs often involve long periods of hanging around with nothing to do but drink beer and smoke cigarettes and then periods of over-excitement after we’ve finished playing when we try to unwind by talking to our ‘fans’ – especially the female ones – and drinking and smoking more.

I used to meditate regularly and do chi gung exercises almost every day, but for the past year or so I haven’t done either of them. I used to be inspired by books on mysticism – I used to carry a copy of the ancient Indian text, the Upanishads, around with me – but lately I seem to have lost interest in them as well.

On this particular night we don’t have a gig, but I’ve been to one of the local bars for a few drinks as usual. The bars are always open into the early hours and I get to bed at about three in the morning, feeling slightly drunk. Just a couple of hours later I wake up, for no apparent reason. I should feel terrible, but I have a marvelous warm sense of well-being. I’m lying on my back, looking up at the ceiling. It’s dark, but the darkness is different from normal. It’s full of something, alive with something – a powerful harmonious force. The darkness is so thick with this force that I feel that I can reach out and touch it. It’s almost solid, as if the air is concentrated with 1,000 times more oxygen than normal.

But this force isn’t just in my bedroom; it’s everywhere – a kind of essence, something fundamental, which fills the whole of space and the whole of the universe. It feels like the heart of things, the source of everything that exists, and it fills me with a sense of calm euphoria, a sense that everything is well in the world, that there’s nothing to worry about. No matter how messy and frustrating life can be, no matter how much trouble there is in the world, in some way all of that is just on the surface. Below the surface the whole universe is gently vibrating with warm radiance and is filled with harmony. And in some way I am a part of this force. There is no ‘me’ and no ‘it’. I’m being carried along by it, out there in space, surfing on the waves of this ocean of bliss.

Now my unruly musician days are long behind me and I’m a semi-respectable member of society working as a lecturer, teacher and writer, and the father of two young children. We’re on holiday in Anglesey, an island off the coast of north Wales. On the last night of the holiday I decide to explore some of the farmland around our bungalow. I climb over a gate I haven’t noticed before because it is hidden by long grass and find myself looking down at a valley, with farmers’ fields sloping as far as I can see and hundreds of sheep dotted over the hills.

Suddenly, as if someone has pressed a switch, the scene becomes intensely real. The fields and the bushes and trees and the clouds seem to be powerfully there, even to have their own kind of identity, almost as if they’re sentient beings. Seeing so much land in front of me with so much clear sky above it makes me think of the planet I’m on the surface of and that at this very moment it is spinning on its axis, away from the sun, and that’s why it’s starting to get dark.

My normal sense of duality – of being an ‘I’ inside my head, looking out at the world – is an illusion. The whole of the cosmos is one vast living unity which I’m a part of. In some sense I feel that the universe is inside me and that I am it.

These are examples of the higher states of consciousness – or ‘awakening experiences’, as I prefer to call them.  When I studied literature I found that many poets had described visions of mystical radiance and unity, from explicitly religious poets such as Thomas Traherne and Henry Vaughan to romantic poets like Wordsworth and Shelley and mavericks like Walt Whitman and D. H. Lawrence.

Awakening experiences seem to be universal. No matter what kind of culture a person comes from and no matter what their personal religious or philosophical beliefs are, they have essentially the same experiences. They might be interpreted slightly differently due to cultural differences, but they have occurred in essentially the same form all over the world throughout history.

The vision of the world that Walt Whitman describes in Leaves of Grass, for example, is essentially the same as that of the Upanishads (the earliest of which were written down 2,500 years ago and probably originated centuries before then), of the third-century Greek philosopher Plotinus, of the medieval German mystic Meister Eckhart, and so on. But these experiences certainly aren’t confined to famous mystics and poets.

I see these experiences as a kind of ‘waking up’ from the sleep of our normal state. Our normal consciousness is narrow and restricted and gives us a false and limited experience of reality. That’s why, in awakening experiences, there is a sense that our consciousness has become wider and clearer and that we have gained access to a deeper and truer level of reality which is normally hidden from us.

|5|dh lawrence,leaves of grass,walt whitman,mysticism,poets,higher conciousness,awakening,steve taylor|_none|1|steve_taylor The Spirit Lives On!|What the Founding Father really saw.|2010-12-03 17:00:00|public://imports/1768.jpg|0|public://imports/1768.jpg|

Both John Adams and Thomas Jefferson died on July 4, 1826, the 50th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence. As our second president John Adams lay on his death bed, his last words were, Jefferson still lives. What he didn’t know was that our third president Thomas Jefferson had died a few hours earlier.

You may think this is about to become a history lesson, but it’s not. It is a discussion of the afterlife and exploring the question of “Do we really die?” Many believe for Adams there were deathbed visions of a world yet to come. As we die the veil between life and death is lowered for the dying. You would be surprised to look into the afterlife and see someone there waiting whom you thought was in our earthly world of the living. I believe as many others do that John Adams saw his friend waiting for him and realized not only that death is not an ending, but that we live. Jefferson lives!

We have all been taught if nothing else that death is the end, our end. Death is a broad traveler in our society today. It is sometimes the result of violence, sometimes a kind act of nature, sometimes the end of a long disease. We watch it in our homes on TV, we pay to see it on movie screens, and we play with it in video games. Per¬haps we hope that the more we view it, the less we will fear it. Albert Einstein pointed out that time is not constant, that it’s relative to the observer. For now we can only observe time and the dying. As my work has brought me closer to this unwanted visitor, I have found more peace in death, and I have come to know on a very personal level that it is not an ending.

We live in time and die in time. While we inhabit our bodies, time is a useful measurement. Yet it has only as much value as we give it. Webster’s defines time as “an interval separating two points on a continuum.” Birth appears to be the beginning and death the ending but they are not; they are just points on a continuum.

Two weeks before my father died, I moved him into my apartment. I had a hospital bed brought into the living room. There he would receive one visitor after another. In the evening, friends and family would pull up chairs surrounding his bed. In illness as in health he was a center of attention. The circle remained right up to his death. After he died we spent time with him, but suddenly realized his body was no longer given any attention. His body was no longer the center of attention. We were still talking, crying and laughing, but our body language and our focus was now on his spirit and not his body.

If you have been with a loved one who has died, you quickly see that their spirit has left their bodies. That spirit that is beyond description that made our loved ones who they are, our mother or a father is forever gone from its earthly body. The spark of life has left. Before us lies the body, like a suit of clothes that they were wearing their whole life. We love it, we are familiar with the look of it and yet we know that who they were is so much more. And that “so much more” their spirit, no longer dwells in their body.

None of us know what will happen after death, but I believe, if you look deep inside, deep in your soul, you will know you have always existed and always will. Spirit is eternal. If you think back, you’ll remember that you never felt as if you didn’t exist before you were born into this life. Rather, you felt as if you have always existed and always will. That’s why this death will not be an end¬ing. You may not have life as you know it once you die, but you will continue. If you have lost a loved one, he/she still continues. The dying still exist. Now when someone I know is dying, I don’t say goodbye anymore, I just say, until we meet again. Marianne Williamson always reminds those at her lectures about the teaching of A Course in Miracles that birth is not a beginning and death is not an ending. There is a shift from the body identification to the spiritual identification.

No one can really claim to understand death, unless they have actually died. We’re only observers until our time comes. What I teach about death is what I have learned from it. While my med¬ical training touched on the subject, I learned most of what I know about death from the countless people I have had the privilege of caring for, and sharing with, in these most precious, final moments. What I know for sure is love is a house that even death cannot knock down.

|23|david kessler,marianne williamson,john adams,thomas jefferson,deathbed visions,afterlife,albert einstein|_none|1|david_kessler Children from Another Lifetime?|What Ben Casey didn’t know!|2012-07-30 17:00:00|public://imports/1769.jpg|0|public://imports/1769.jpg|

Sitting in the green room of the Donahue show many years ago, I witnessed a stunningly surrealistic scene. There was Jenny, a 41-year-old woman from England, sitting with her son, Sonny, age 75, and her daughter, Phyllis, who was 69 years old at the time.

Ever since her early childhood, Jenny knew that in a recent past life she had died suddenly, leaving her eight children virtual orphans. She knew detailed facts about their early-20th-Century lives in rural Ireland. Her name in that life was Mary.

Jenny’s family humored her, but there were not enough funds or interest to investigate the child’s fantastic stories of a life of crushing poverty and tragedy in Ireland decades ago. Jenny grew up not knowing if her vivid recollections were real or not.

Finally, Jenny had the resources to begin her research. She found five of the eight children of Mary Sutton, an Irish woman who died in 1932 from complications after the birth of her eighth child. Mary Sutton’s children confirmed many of Jenny’s incredibly detailed memories. They seemed convinced that Jenny was indeed Mary, their “dead” mother.

And I was watching their ongoing reunion, there in the green room of the Donahue show.

My mind shifted gears and I saw the beginning sequence of the old Ben Casey television show. This was a medical show in the late fifties or early sixties. My mother, in her subtle way, encouraged me to watch this program, relentlessly influencing me to choose medicine as my career.

The Ben Casey Show always began with universal symbols, and the aged neurosurgeon mentor of the young Dr. Ben Casey intoned, “Man…Woman…Birth…Death…Infinity.” Universal mysteries, unanswerable riddles. Sitting in the green room just prior to going on Donahue as an expert on past-life memories, I was getting the answers that had eluded young Ben Casey and all the others.

Man? Woman? In the course of our lifetimes, we change sexes, religions, and races in order to learn from all sides. We are all in school here. Birth? If we never really die, then we are never really born. We are all immortal, divine, and indestructive. Death is nothing more than walking through a door into another room. We keep returning in order to learn certain lessons, or traits, such as love…forgiveness…understanding…patience…awareness…nonviolence…. We have to unlearn other traits, such as fear…anger…greed…hatred…pride…ego…which result from old conditioning. Then we can graduate and leave this school. We have all the time in the world to learn and unlearn. We are immortal; we are infinite; we have the nature of God.

As I watched Jenny and her aged children, even more came to me.
“Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” The concept of karma is stated virtually word for word in all the great religions. This wisdom is ancient. We are responsible to ourselves, to others, to the community and to the planet.

Propelled by her need to care for and to protect her children, Jenny was pulled back to them once again. We never lose our loved ones. We keep coming back, together and together again. What a powerful reuniting energy love is.

|5|forgiveness,love,mothers,children,past lives,reincarnation,ben casey,donahue,brian weiss|_none|1|brian_l_weiss_md The Real Shape of Nature|Take a closer look at your childhood drawings.|2010-12-05 17:00:00|public://imports/1770.jpg|0|public://imports/1770.jpg|

In the late 1990s, I had the opportunity to put all of the organizational and planning skills I’d developed in the corporate world to good use for my own family. It was time to move my mother from her home in one city to a different home in a different city. I quickly found, as anyone who has ever embarked upon such a mission has already discovered, that the move itself was the easy part. It was the preparation that had to happen before that became the project of a lifetime.

Mom had made the decision that this move was a special one and she was going to do it differently than any she had ever done in the past. Celebrating good health, new beginnings, and new surroundings, in an effort to streamline her life she had chosen this move as the one to downsize. This meant that everything she had accumulated for decades would be examined and evaluated, and the things she no longer needed would find a new home. So before we could even begin to pack, we had to choose what would make the journey.

As we sifted through the boxes and bags that held the accumulated history of our entire family, we found ourselves engrossed in the memories and the meaning that the contents brought to mind. Every few minutes I would hear Mom’s excited voice coming from somewhere behind a stack of boxes taller than she was, asking me to come and look at the treasures she had rediscovered. “Oh, look at this,” she would say, holding up something that my brother or I had made for her more than 30 years before.

There was the Valentine’s Day card that still had two Tootsie Roll chocolates (now nearly fossilized) taped inside. My brother had made the card and given it to her when he was in the second grade. There were the black-and-white metal-plated photographs of our stern-faced ancestors taken in the late 19th century. Apparently, having a personal photo taken a century ago was serious business. Not one of them was smiling! Then there was my artwork. Mom had all of it, showing the evolution from the simple drawings of nature I’d made in kindergarten to the Asian watercolors of martial artists I’d painted in high school.

As I unfolded the brittle construction paper and darkened crayon images, I was amazed by what I was seeing. As a child, I had done my best to reproduce the beauty of northern Missouri’s trees and the changing of the seasons. The thing was that the drawings on the paper looked nothing like the trees that made up the forested bluffs overlooking the Missouri River. My trees resembled triangles on skinny poles! The puffy clouds that dotted the sky were empty circles hanging above the horizon, and the rocks on the ground looked like a pile of tiny squares.

What I had recorded on paper was a primitive rendition of what I had actually seen with my eyes. What’s important here is that I expressed what I’d seen using the tools that I’d been taught represent our world: the geometry of shapes. Because the geometry that we’ve typically learned in the past is based on forms that we don’t find in nature, the drawings were approximations. I’d expressed what I’d seen as a child through the shapes with the closest resemblance. Now we know that this type of geometry—Euclidean geometry—simply can’t do the job. The reason is that nature isn’t made of circles, triangles, and squares. Clearly, we need a different geometry to describe the world that we experience through our senses.

Now we have one. A new mathematics has burst onto the scene, forever changing the way we think of everything from nature and our bodies to wars and the stock market. It’s called fractal mathematics, or simply, fractals.

In the 1970s, a mathematics professor at Yale University, Benoit Mandelbrot, developed a way for us to see the underlying structure that makes the world as it is. That structure is made of patterns—specifically, patterns within patterns within patterns….and so on. He called his new way of seeing things fractal geometry. His work The Fractal Geometry of Nature is now recognized as one of the most influential books of the 20th century.

Before Mandelbrot’s discovery, mathematicians employed the Euclidean geometry that I’d used as a child to describe our world. The belief has been that nature is too complex and too fragmented to have a single mathematical form, or formula, that represents it accurately. It’s for precisely this reason that children’s first drawings of trees usually look like lollipops on sticks. It was from an epiphany that Mandelbrot experienced as an adult studying the world’s architecture and the inadequate tools he had to re-create what he saw, that he began a search for a new way to express his experiences.

|1|mandelbrot,fractals,mathematics,nature,geometry,gregg braden|_none|1|gregg_braden Easy Affirmations For Positive Self Talk|Change your attitude, change your mood.|2013-11-22 17:00:00|public://imports/3600.jpg|0|public://imports/3600.jpg|

Attitude is vastly important because it presents your image to the world and is the driving force behind behavior. Your attitude influences your world and everything you do in it. It defines the energy you send out and, in turn, takes shape and color in your circumstances. If you have a positive attitude, you are more welcoming and people are drawn to you. A positive attitude opens you to the flow of life. If you are depressed, angry, and unhappy, no one wants to be around you. You literally push people and opportunities away.

The wonderful thing is that you have the freedom to choose which attitude you want to adopt. There is no perfect way; each way is unique to each individual. Knowing that you can choose how to react is especially important when unexpected problems occur. Remind yourself of techniques to keep a positive attitude. In doing so, you are guaranteed to have a happier life.

Positive Affirmations

By simply changing your personal self-dialogue you can bring positive things to your life. Here are the three statements that shape positive self-dialogue:

  • I am - is a statement of who you are.
  • I can - is a statement of your potential.
  • I will - is a statement of positive change in your life.

I AM statements are positive affirmations of a real state of being that exists in you.

  • I am competent.
  • I am patient.
  • I am forgiving.

I CAN statements are positive affirmations of your ability to accomplish goals.

  • I can lose weight.
  • I can let go of guilt.
  • I can handle my children.

I WILL statements are positive affirmations of a change you want to achieve.

  • I will like myself better each day.
  • I will give others responsibility for their lives today.
  • I will feel good things about myself today.

To attract positive, joyful, and prosperous situations to you, you must be that way yourself. If you have an open, loving, positive attitude, anything burdensome in life can be lightened. Therefore, it is important to be aware of your mood. It is created by your thoughts. Every day you have a choice of how you will behave, the mood you will give out to the world, and how you want people to know you.

So if you want something in your life, first you must think of it, put your intention behind it, and keep your focus on it. It is almost like baking a cake. The thought is in the oven and you have to keep it baking with belief. You have to see your thought manifesting and becoming real.

Never forget you are a child of God. Follow your heart and be true to yourself. Never live the life of another. You have to create your own road. You have a responsibility to be the best you can possibly be, so keep your mind and heart open to the higher aspects of your being. And you will harness the power to have a loving and fulfilling life with attitude!

|1|manifesting,anger,depression,affirmations,positive attitude,positive thinking,james van praagh|_none|1|james_van_praagh Your Winning Streak|Take small steps to victory.|2010-12-06 17:00:00|public://imports/1784.jpg|0|public://imports/1784.jpg|

Looking for a motivator that really works? Something sustained, consistent, and positive? Consider the streak. Streaks are motivational powerhouses: small daily and weekly goals that help launch your health and fitness program and keep it alive. Continuing a streak—whether it’s tracking your food every day, doing ten minutes of daily exercise, or drinking an extra cup of water—gives you the kind of satisfaction and motivation that will build confidence and momentum and fuel your journey.

Here’s how a streak works: Set a definite time period for your streak, such as “I’m going to cut out soda for a month,” instead of leaving it open-ended. If you reach that goal and want to continue the streak, just keep it going with a new goal, or move on to a streak on a different topic if you’d like.

Start with something you feel sure you can succeed with but don’t already do regularly. If the idea of doing something every day is intimidating and stressful, try a weekly streak, such as “I’ll walk three times a week every week for two months.” Keep track of the number of weeks in a row you reach this goal. A variation is to give yourself one or two free passes each week, so that missing a day or two doesn’t derail you. Reward yourself along the way as you reach streak milestones, especially when you reach your streak goal (a month without soda) or a personal best (the longest you’ve ever gone without soda). Create positive peer pressure by streaking in public! Telling others of your streak will help you follow through, plus it gives them the opportunity to help.

If you miss a day and break your streak, don’t worry. Just reset your counter and try to outdo yourself next time. Streaks aren’t about perfection, but doing better. The important thing with streaks is to figure out how to make them work for you. Some people love this strategy and will do just about anything to keep their streaks alive.

And don’t forget to reward yourself!  Everyone deserves a pat on the back once in a while. And there’s no better time to get one than when you’re out of your comfort zone, challenging yourself to improve.  You can reward yourself for anything you please. The keys to doing it right are consistency and frequency. Remember, you’re building a lifestyle full of healthy habits, and habits require repetition. That means rewarding good actions when they occur to give those healthy habits some positive reinforcement along the way.

Small rewards are perfect as regular, everyday “action rewards.” Small rewards can range from watching a movie or giving yourself a compliment to pausing for 20 minutes to call a friend or take a bubble bath. This strategy works even better when you make it official. Write down your rewards. Record what behavior or goal you’re working toward (and when you want to reach it, if it is a goal that can be scheduled), then tell others! Also, plan to celebrate, either by yourself or with others.

|6|chris sparkguy downie,the spark,sparkguy,fitness,motivation,goals,inspiration|_none|1|chris_sparkguy_downie Ask the Body|Where personal transformation really begins.|2010-12-06 17:00:00|public://imports/1788.jpg|0|public://imports/1788.jpg|

How can we, as individuals, make positive changes in our lives, how we can transform, or expand our consciousness, going beyond the limitations of prejudice and fear, beyond the bounds of familiar and habitual patterns to discover new solutions to the challenges we face?

In many forms of psychological and spiritual work, the mind is the focus. And it is not very easy to change the mind. Perhaps you are aware of having had good intentions that you were not able to realize. In our individual lives there are many situations in which we feel limited by patterns and habits that we wish we could change, yet we don’t know exactly how to do so.

You may have tried the common method of exerting conceptual power over yourself, basically a method of forceful advice. You reason with yourself: “I shouldn’t do this. This is bad for me.” You may have listed all the reasons that something is legally bad for you, ethically bad for you, or spiritually bad for you, and still you are unable to change. This is simply because many of our habitual patterns exist in a place deeper than our good intentions are capable of reaching, and so our intentions lack the power to effect the change we desire.

Perhaps, for example, a friend has done something and you are very agitated as you think of her behavior. “What was my friend thinking? How could she do this?” You may feel like you want to contact her right away and resolve the issue. Immediately you launch into strategies to solve the problem she created. You have an imaginary conversation with her in your head, or you sit at your computer and write an e-mail. Your intention is to clear this up. Perhaps your doctor, your spouse, or your friends have all told you that you need to relax, to let go, to not get so worked up over things—or for that matter, to simply not work so hard. Maybe you plan to go to the gym later, but right now you want to write an e-mail and clear up this conflict. Then you will be able to relax. We often posit a “later” after we’ve finished certain tasks, when conditions will be better and we will be able to relax.

Our agitation, conflicts, and habits can be the doorway to another dimension of being, an experience of clear and open awareness, vitality, and positive qualities. Sometimes, when we are bothered by a problem, we think of the problem as being “out there.” We externalize the problem entirely, and we simply conclude that the other person needs to change. Or when we try to fix a problem, we strategize and analyze over and over. Yet, as we mull over our challenges, our strategies and actions are driven by the energy of agitation and discomfort. No action that is driven by our discomfort will solve anything. It will only contribute to the problem. It is only when actions come from openness that true resolution is possible.

By nature the mind is open and clear. This is who we are. Openness is the source of our being, and in openness we are connected to all of life. What obscures us from recognizing this source is similar to the way clouds obscure the sun. The sun is always shining, but from our vantage point—namely, our identification with our problems—we don’t recognize the radiance. We are simply more familiar with identifying and dwelling on problems, and we’re used to solving them with our conceptual mind. But it is through nonconceptual awareness, that we are able to directly experience the mind’s openness.

|23|tenzin wangyal rinpoche,meditation,buddhism,mind-body connection,thought|_none|1|tenzin_wangyal_rinpoche Four Rules for Living|Your map to the land of no excuses!|2013-03-30 17:00:00|public://imports/1783.jpg|0|public://imports/1783.jpg|

Some 2,500 years ago, Lao-tzu spoke of “the four cardinal virtues” and noted that when we practice them as a way of life, we come to know and access the truth of the universe. These four virtues don’t represent external dogma, but a part of our original nature—by practicing them, we realign with Source and access the powers that Source energy has to offer. According to the teachings of Lao-tzu, the four cardinal virtues represent the surest way to leave habits and excuses behind and reconnect to your original nature. The more your life is harmonized with the four virtues, the less you’re controlled by the uncompromising ego.

The First Cardinal Virtue: Reverence for All Life

The first cardinal virtue manifests in your daily life as unconditional love and respect for all beings in creation. This includes making a conscious effort to love and respect yourself, as well as to remove all judgments and criticisms. Understand that you are a piece of God, and since you must be like what you came from, you are lovable, worthy, and Godlike. Affirm this as often as you can, for when you see yourself in a loving way, you have nothing but love to extend outward. And the more you love others, the less you need old excuse patterns, particularly those relating to blame.

The Second Cardinal Virtue: Natural Sincerity

This virtue manifests itself as honesty, simplicity, and faithfulness; and it’s summed up by the popular reminder to be true to yourself. Using an excuse to explain why your life isn’t working at the level you prefer isn’t being true to yourself—when you’re completely honest and sincere, excuses don’t even enter into the picture. The second virtue involves living a life that reflects choices that come from respect and affection for your own nature. Make truth your most important attribute. Walk your talk; that is, become sincere and honest in all that you say and do. If you find this to be a challenge, take a moment to affirm: I no longer need to be insincere or dishonest. This is who I am, and this is how I feel. When you know and trust yourself, you also know and trust the Divinity that created you. If you live from honesty, sincerity, and faithfulness to the callings of your spirit, you’ll never have occasion to use excuses.

The Third Cardinal Virtue: Gentleness

This virtue personifies one of my favorite and most frequently employed maxims: “When you have the choice to be right or to be kind, always pick kind.” So many of your old thinking habits and their attendant excuses come out of a need to make yourself right and others wrong. When you practice this third virtue, you eliminate conflicts that result in your need to explain why you’re right. This virtue manifests as kindness, consideration for others, and sensitivity to spiritual truth.

Gentleness generally implies that you no longer have a strong ego-inspired desire to dominate or control others, which allows you to move into a rhythm with the universe. You cooperate with it, much like a surfer who rides with the waves instead of trying to overpower them. Gentleness means accepting life and people as they are, rather than insisting that they be as you are. As you practice living this way, blame disappears and you enjoy a peaceful world.

The Fourth Cardinal Virtue: Supportiveness

This virtue manifests in your life as service to others without any expectation of reward. Once again, when you extend yourself in a spirit of giving, helping, or loving, you act as God acts. As you consider the many excuses that have dominated your life, look carefully at them—you’ll see that they’re all focused on the ego: I can’t do this. I’m too busy or too scared. I’m unworthy. No one will help me. I’m too old. I’m too tired.  Now imagine shifting your attention off of yourself and asking the universal mind How may I serve? When you do so, the message you’re sending is: I’m not thinking about myself and what I can or can’t have. Your attention is on making someone else feel better.

The greatest joy comes from giving and serving, so replace your habit of focusing exclusively on yourself and what’s in it for you. When you make the shift to supporting others in your life, without expecting anything in return, you’ll think less about what you want and find comfort and joy in the act of giving and serving.

The four cardinal virtues are a road map to the simple truth of the universe. To revere all of life, to live with natural sincerity, to practice gentleness, and to be in service to others is to replicate the energy field from which you originated.

|23|ego,spiritual path,excuses,universal truth,four cardinal virtues,lao-tzu,tao te ching,wayne w. dyer|_none|1|dr_wayne_w_dyer Find Peace in Forgiveness|Give up the right to resent.|2013-06-06 17:00:00|public://imports/3429.jpg|0|public://imports/3429.jpg|

You hear people say this all the time: “I have a right to be upset because of the way I’ve been treated. I have a right to be angry, hurt, depressed, sad, and resentful.” Learning to avoid this kind of thinking is one of my secrets for living a life of inner peace, success, and happiness. Anytime you’re filled with resentment, you’re turning the controls of your emotional life over to others to manipulate.

I became aware of how powerful this lesson was many years ago while sitting in on a meeting of 12 people who were in a recovery group for alcoholism and drug addiction. All 12 of those people were accustomed to blaming others for their weaknesses, using almost any excuse as a rationale for returning to their self-defeating ways. On a poster hanging in the room were these words: “In this group, there are no justified resentments.”

Regardless of what anyone would say to another group member, no matter how confrontational or ugly the accusations, each person was reminded that there are no justified resentments. You may need to consider whom you resent before you make your own choice about whether this is useful for you. Resentments give you an excuse to return to your old ways. This is what got you there in the first place!

Removing resentment and blame from your life means never assigning responsibility to anyone for what you’re experiencing. It means that you’re willing to say, “I may not understand why I feel this way, why I have this illness, why I’ve been victimized, or why I had this accident, but I’m willing to say without any guilt or resentment that I own it. I live with, and I am responsible for, having it in my life.” Why do this? If you take responsibility for having it, then at least you have a chance to also take responsibility for removing it or learning from it.

If you’re in some small (perhaps unknown) way responsible for that migraine headache or that depressed feeling, then you can go to work to remove it or discover what its message is for you. If, on the other hand, someone or something else is responsible in your mind, then of course you’ll have to wait until they change for you to get better. And that is unlikely to occur.

First, you have to get past blame. Then you have to learn to send love to all, rather than anger and resentment. Just as no one can define you, neither do you have the privilege of defining others. When you stop judging and simply become an observer, you will know inner peace. With that sense of inner peace, you’ll find yourself free of the negative energy of resentment, and you’ll be able to live a life of contentment. A bonus is that you’ll find that others are much more attracted to you. A peaceful person attracts peaceful energy. You won’t know God unless you’re at peace, because God is peace. Your resentments literally send God out of your life while you’re busy being offended.

At the root of virtually all spiritual practice is the notion of forgiveness. Think about every single person who has ever harmed you, cheated you, defrauded you, or said unkind things about you. Your experience of them is nothing more that a thought that you carry around with you. These thoughts of resentment, anger, and hatred represent slow, debilitating energies that will disempower you. If you could release them, you would know more peace.

You practice forgiveness for two reasons: to let others know that you no longer wish to be in a state of hostility with them and to free yourself from the self-defeating energy of resentment. Send love in some form to those you feel have wronged you and notice how much better you feel.

|23|letting go,blame,peace,resentment,forgiveness,wayne w. dyer|_none|1|dr_wayne_w_dyer Build Your Immunity!|Just in time for winter.|2010-12-10 17:00:00|public://imports/1779.jpg|0|public://imports/1779.jpg|

There’s no question that the incidence of colds increases in the fall and winter. Some researchers believe this is related to the decreasing amounts of health-giving light and vitamin D from sunlight.1 I’m certain that this plays a role. It’s also true that the body undergoes a shift in the fall—with energy going inward.

But you don’t need to sit around and wait for cold viruses to find you, regardless of what the sun or your body’s energy is doing. Instead, now is the time to consciously shore up your immunity, so that you’re better able to ward off any germs and viruses that might be floating around.

Here’s how:

  • Keep Vitamin D levels in optimal range. Every cell in your immune system has a receptor on it for vitamin D. (Vitamin D is both a hormone and a vitamin). Those with the highest vitamin D levels appear to have lower risks for cancer and colds.2 Get your vitamin D level tested. And don’t settle for “normal,” which was recently raised to 32 ng/ml. You want your level to be optimal—and that’s somewhere between 52–80 ng/ml. You can safely go a little higher, but no higher than 100 ng/ml. This applies to children and teens as well as adults.

    If your level is below 32 ng/ml, you’ll want to supplement with 3,000– 5,000 IU of vitamin D-3 per day for several months. Then, have your vitamin D level retested. Though vitamin D toxicity is rare, it does happen. So it’s best to work with a healthcare provider who knows how to monitor your levels. Many people maintain optimal levels by supplementing with 1,000–2,000 IU per day. (Clearly this is far higher than the RDA of 400 IU, which is woefully inadequate.)

    Note: 3.5 oz. of red sockeye salmon contains 600 IU of vitamin D. So, you can also get your vitamin D from high quality fish sources! Although milk is fortified with Vitamin D, it contains only 100 IU per 8 oz. of milk, so even if you drink a few glasses of milk a day, it doesn’t provide enough.
  • Keep plenty of vitamin C on hand. The best form of vitamin C is ascorbic acid, which has a long and illustrious history as a powerful agent for quelling cellular inflammation. Start taking about 1,000–2,000 mg per day in the fall. I keep 1,000 mg capsules in my kitchen all the time. And at the earliest sign of a sore throat or sniffle, I start taking handfuls of the stuff. I have a cast iron stomach and can take 10,000 mg at a time. Most people can’t do that. The key is to get your vitamin C level up to “tissue saturation.” You’ll know you have reached this when you develop loose stools. Given this indicator, you don’t have to worry about overdosing on vitamin C.
  • Get enough sleep. Sleep is, hands down, about the best medicine I know. When I start to feel something coming on, I get into bed as soon as I can and sleep for as long as I can. Very often, when I wake up, whatever was lurking around in my system has left. Almost all people stay at their healthiest with 8–10 hours of sleep per night.
  • Decrease stress hormones. Remember that sleep is the body’s most efficient way to digest excess stress hormones such as cortisol. And high cortisol, which is the result of stress of all kinds, wreaks havoc with the immune system. Meditation and exercise also helps the body get rid of excess stress hormones.
  • Take a good pharmaceutical grade supplement with a good antioxidant formula. This step alone will help with your immunity because antioxidants help the body deal with the adverse effects of free radical damage from infectious agents, environmental toxins, and stress. Look for products that have “GMP” (good manufacturing practices) and “pharmaceutical grade” on the label. That guarantees the potency and quality of what’s in the bottle. Note: When it comes to vitamin/mineral supplements, you get what you pay for! Inferior products cost less, but don’t get the job done.
  • Eat garlic and onions. Garlic and onions have well-researched anti-inflammatory properties and can often ward off a cold. Note that you can take deodorized garlic in capsule form in order to avoid bad breath. Perhaps the key to the beneficial effect of chicken soup is actually the garlic and onions. The warming broth helps, too!
  • Take probiotics. Everyone knows what an antibiotic is. But most are just beginning to realize the value of taking probiotics. Probiotics are sources of helpful friendly bacteria that keep the gut and the openings of the body far more balanced and disease-resistant. Fermented foods contain naturally occurring probiotics—examples include sauerkraut, miso, and yogurt. But most foods don’t contain enough to truly make a difference if your bowel flora needs replenishing.
  • Be media savvy. Our immune system is very sensitive to the thoughts we think. The brain creates chemicals—either “feel good” or “feel bad”—that are transmitted to the receptor sites on our immune system cells. So pay attention to what you’re thinking and watching. It’s well documented, for example, that watching violence on television or in the movies can depress immunity. So be very mindful about the media you watch and listen to. Remember, network news is designed to bring you the bad news of the entire planet—and it’s set to evocative music designed for the biggest and scariest impact. This often results in feeling discouraged and powerless. And that, in and of itself, depresses immunity.
  • Keep upbeat company. Do you have friends or family members who enjoy discussing their health problems, latest natural disaster, or are always complaining about work? Do these individuals drag you down with their pessimism? Research shows that optimism enhances the immune system. So keep good and upbeat company. Distance yourself from naysayers.

One final thought. I’ve always believed that community equals immunity. Many studies have shown that support from social and spiritual connections boosts immunity (and also provides protection against heart disease, mental illness, and many other health conditions). This makes sense, since the immune system is connected to the health of the first chakra. The first chakra is shored up by how safe, supported, and connected we feel. Everyone is bound to get a cold or the flu from time to time. But if you’re sick a lot, take a look at your life, see how strong your life’s foundation is, and make some changes if necessary. You’ll be glad you did.

This information is not intended to treat, diagnose, cure, or prevent any disease. All material in this article is provided for educational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you have regarding a medical condition, and before undertaking any diet, exercise, or other health program.


  1. Cannell, J.J., et al. 2008. On the epidemiology of influenza, Virol J, Feb 25;5:29.
  2. Staud, R., 2005. Vitamin D: more than just affecting calcium and bone. Curr Rheumatol Rep, Oct;7(5):356-64.
|6|stress hormones,stress,vitamin d,immune system,immunity,christiane northrup,alternative medicine|_none|1|dr_christiane_northrup Climbing Your Own Everest?|A helping hand is there when you need it.|2010-12-11 17:00:00|public://imports/1785.jpg|0|public://imports/1785.jpg|

Writer and popular blogger GapingVoid Hugh Macleod writes, “Everybody has their own private Mount Everest they were put on this earth to climb.” 

Perhaps you already know exactly what your own personal Mount Everest is. If so, you may have also discovered there are times during your journey when you feel courageous, powerful, and strong. These are awe-inspiring times when you know deep inside that anything is possible and you feel connected to harmony and happiness.

You may have also noticed there are moments during the climb when you feel discouraged, disheartened, and dejected. Yet even in those dark moments—when you feel like giving up—one little glimmer of hope can help to bring back those positive feelings and put you back on track.

I recently received an e-mail from a woman I’ve never met before. She wrote that she had been in a place so dark during her own personal journey that she felt suicidal. I’ve included an excerpt from her e-mail below. While I’ve removed her name to respect her privacy, I’m sharing her words with you so that if you ever feel like giving up, you’ll remember to believe that you have the strength within to rise up, take back control, and resume your climb.

Hello Denise,

I recently discovered your book while trying to get my life back on track. I have just been through an extremely rough patch and I was worried about everything that was happening. I wouldn’t leave my bedroom—let alone the house—to go to work or shopping. I wouldn’t talk to anyone at all—not even my family and friends.

Then one day a close friend (the only person I would actually speak to although I didn’t speak a lot to her) came round to my house. She came into my room (which I hadn’t been out of in 4 weeks) and handed me your book CALM. She said, “Do not leave this room until you have at least read the first chapter.”

I said, “I’m never leaving this room again! So, put it on the shelf; I’ll get round to it when I feel like it—if ever.”

She said, “I promise you, after reading the first chapter, you’ll find some strength to carry on with your life.”

I still don’t know what said to me: Read that book! But, whatever it was, I’m glad I did it because, not only have I never read a book in my life, my first impressions were “Yeah, okay, how is a book going to save my life from going any lower and being suicidal. I did read the first chapter and found some strength. I also read the second, third, fourth, and fifth the same day; and, at 4 o’clock that day I took my first steps downstairs in 4 weeks, I had my first proper meal in 4 weeks, and I spoke to somebody again.

All because your book taught me that I have to take control of what I can and let go of what I can’t control. It also taught me that everyone can make mistakes; we are all just human. But, most important it taught me that I am not the only woman in the world to worry about life and what’s going to happen next or who might say something that’s going to upset me or whether I’m going to have the right attitude to succeed. It even taught me that no matter what I still have rights.

Your book currently goes everywhere with me in my bag; and, if I’m struggling, I open it up and read a random page and manage to gain some strength out of it to carry on.

This all happened six months ago. I am now about to take one of the biggest steps in those six  months and that is returning to work which I must admit I’m worried about; but, your book will be with me and I’ll definitely be reading it on the way to work and right up to the minute that I start so I can get myself in the right frame of mind.

I guess you hear this a lot from different people but I really do need to thank you from the bottom of my heart because without the strength your book has given me I wouldn’t be here today to be able to write this to you.

No matter where you are on your own journey, have faith and trust that you have the strength within to survive, thrive, and reach the summit of whatever mountain you’re climbing. You’ve always had that strength. It’s been a part of you since the day you were born. Sometimes all you need to help you call upon that strength is a new idea or a new way of thinking to light your way.

Where can you find that new idea? Although some challenges you face may require help from a professional, don’t forget there is a myriad of supportive resources out there for you to explore. Whether through professionals, support groups, or books, a helping hand is there, you just have to grasp it. For example, there are numerous books written for people—and by people—who have faced the challenges and climbed the mountains you’re climbing right now; you really don’t have to feel that you’re alone! If you’ll commit to reading for 15-30 minutes each day, the information you can learn—from getting out of debt to mastering happiness—may astonish you and can set you on a path of inner peace and fulfillment.

Why not begin searching for solutions and tools to assist you on your journey today? Visit your local library or bookstore and take home a volume that resonates with you. Read, discover new strategies, and act on the ideas that inspire you. You have the power and internal strength to turn your life around. Start by turning a page...your Mount Everest awaits.

|23|depression,recluse,positive feelings,personal journey,hugh macleod,personal best,courage,strength,determination,mount everest,denise marek|_none|1|denise_marek Hey, Come to Me! |How to attract what you desire.|2010-12-12 17:00:00|public://imports/1786.jpg|0|public://imports/1786.jpg|

Most people don’t realize how powerful thoughts are and how each thought has its own unique energy signature, so it’s not hard to subscribe to the notion that: “You are what you think.” You’re a magnetic energy being – so that when you have a conscious thought – it’s immediately lodged in your magnetic field, which is more commonly known as your aura. When that thought remains in this field for any length of time, it often radiates out to be absorbed into the Universe.

It’s easy to imagine what’s likely to happen to someone who constantly fears certain things will occur in their life. They’re consciously thinking about it, dwelling on it, obsessing about it, feeding their precious energy into it. The net result is that they end up sending that stream of fear-based thought out into the Universe. It’s like they’re holding up a sign above their head with a giant arrow saying: “Hey, come to me!” So, it usually does. As a result, you’ll hear them say: “I knew this was going to happen!” It’s not rocket science to see that we attract what we think.

Recently I returned from a break in the UK and a week in sunny Spain. I wasn’t particularly looking forward to the 10-12 hour journey back home. The fact that I had to take two planes wasn’t helping my worrying about the connection, when I heard the first leg of my journey was delayed by over an hour. I decided right then I better change my thoughts at that moment. Even though the first flight took off over an hour late from England, when I got to New York I could feel the level of worry rising as the security check-in was taking a long time moving people through. I immediately put the thought in my head: “Everything will work out perfectly.” I repeated it over and over as I watched the minutes click by, and my boarding time on the next flight getting closer. I maintained the positive thought and relaxed. With a very long line still ahead, I held onto the thought that I was going to make the next flight as planned. Sure enough, another airline official took up a position at the security desk, waved to me, and opened up a new line. I was first to go through it.

I looked at my watch and knew that the next flight should be boarding as I ran through the huge airport halls looking for my gate. When I arrived at the gate breathless, I saw that my connecting flight was actually delayed by 15 minutes. So, in the end I had time to relax and get my breath back. Not only did I make the flight but also had the choice of where I wanted to sit since it was not a full flight. I thanked the Universe as I looked out the window and headed home. I did secretly wonder, had I focused on missing the connection, whether that extra security gate would have opened, and would that have meant I missed the connection?

I believe that holding onto the thought: “Everything will work perfectly” did actually help. We are such powerful magnetic beings that we don’t even realize it! You’ve heard the saying: like attracts like – well it’s really more about: frequency attracting the same frequency. Everything is made up of energy, which includes you and me. Since we’re energy, it’s highly probable that we will tune in to and attract the same frequency that we resonate. If you’re afraid – you’ll attract fear; if you’re kind – you’ll attract kindness; when you’re grateful – you’ll attract prosperity. As we think, we begin to feel; as we feel, we vibrate; when we vibrate, we start to attract. You’ll attract exactly what you’re resonating.

|23|john holland,thought,energy,magnetic,frequency,air travel,law of attraction|_none|1|john_holland Are You Really Awake?|Open your heart to nature’s embrace.|2010-12-13 17:00:00|public://imports/1803.jpg|0|public://imports/1803.jpg|

Take a deep breath . . . relax and feel your heart open to nature's embrace. The wisdom and beauty of Infinite Love & Gratitude is all around you, but even more within the essence of your soul's longing to experience life. Now is the time to shine and awaken nature's sacred space of pure potential for growth and change. Anne Frank, wrote in her famous diaries,

The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely, or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quiet, alone with the heavens, nature and God. Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be and that God wishes to see people happy, amidst the simple beauty of nature.

Peace on earth is more than a vision or a mission . . . it's a natural process that we're privileged and blessed to witness each and every day. In any given moment, Mother Earth provides endless opportunities to observe the miracle of life through a ripple in a pond, a blossoming flower, a spider spinning a web, birds taking flight, or a butterfly emerging. Magic and miracles are all around, everywhere in nature's mysterious rhythmic flow from season to season.

Oftentimes, the hustle and bustle of life and our busy to-do list cause us to feel distracted, disconnected, or even neglect our connection to life's wonder. A single moment of observation, contemplation, or reflection holds the power to transform a mundane experience into one of deep meaning and purpose.

Knowingly or unknowingly we choose our reality. Who you are, what you experience, and where you find your self is either a conscious choice or a moment of reaction. A gentle deer, a waddling duck, one single blade of grass, a blue heron, a solitary rose, and all other unique expressions of the natural world are the culmination of a driving force that ultimately reveals its truest colors, sounds, and behaviors in an ever-changing and evolving way.

Who are you? What are you experiencing? Are you where you'd choose to be? Or do you sense a deeper calling coming from deep within? When you begin to observe yourself in the environment of your life circumstances, you'll soon recognize that there's something pulling, guiding, harnessing, incubating, and being forged from the very essence of your core. It's your soul awakening to its authentic expression of your truest self.

You can walk the same path again and again. Thinking that the environment around you is trivial . . . the same old same old. However, if you'd just stop and be still something extraordinary would occur. You'd discover that there are portals to other dimensions right in front of you, and that nature is the quickest and most efficient way to activate these doorways. You'd recognize spiraling shapes, scintillating colors, deep aromas, and sounds that stimulate a primal part of you that flows and transforms with grace and ease. This is what the ancient sage Lao Tzu described in the Tao Te Ching when he said, Be content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you.

Nature has a way of speaking the unspoken word. And as a natural consequence of connecting to nature you'll spontaneously begin to shift, like a seed being planted deep within the womb of Mother Earth. You'll begin to take root and grow. Just like the seed, you'll grow the only way you know how . . . through the perceived darkness toward the light.

|1|darren r. weissman,anne frank,tao te ching,lao-tzu,mother earth,nature,silence,solitude|_none|1|dr_darren_r_weissman The Heavenly A-Team|Archangels to the rescue! |2013-06-05 17:00:00|public://imports/1804.jpg|0|public://imports/1804.jpg|

Traditionally, people think of the four archangels as Michael, Raphael, Gabriel, and Uriel. However, only two are named in the traditional Bible. Muslims hold that there are four archangels: Gabriel, Michael, Azrael, and Raphael.

The Bible’s Book of Revelation tells us that there are seven archangels, and in the noncanonical Book of Tobit, Raphael says he is one of seven. The Gnostics also held seven archangels in esteem. Historians believe that the number seven comes from the Babylonians’ blend of religion and astronomy, with reverence for the seven planets’ mystical powers.

Which seven archangels make this list, though, differs from source to source. And that’s not even taking into account that each archangel’s name has alternative spellings and pronunciations.

In the Judaic mystical Kabbalah, ten archangels represent each of the Sephiroth, or aspects of God. Metatron is the chief archangel in this tradition.

So the topic of how many archangels exist can be confusing and subjective. In truth, there are legions of archangels helping us here on Earth. In fact, Eastern Orthodox theology holds that there are thousands. My prayer is that we will be open-minded and welcome trustworthy archangels into our sphere of spiritual friends.

Archangel Michael

Michael is probably the most famous of all the archangels. He’s been sainted, churches are named for him, he features prominently in the Bible and other sacred texts, and countless men are named after him.

Ancient and modern artwork portray Michael as a muscular, athletic archangel with intensely powerful facial expressions and body language. Usually he’s painted with his sword poised above a pinned-down demon. This is to signify Michael’s primary purpose of slaying the ego and fear.

His sword is actually made of light instead of metal, and is used to detach us from the grips of fear. Michael knows that if we aren’t afraid, we’re at peace.

Some believe that Michael and Jesus are the same Divine son of God because they have such similar missions. I’ve found that the two work very closely together, yet still maintain distinct personas. In my historical psychic research, I found evidence of Jesus and Michael working together, as Earth was originally populated by humans. They’ve always been here on Earth, and they always will be . . . protecting all of us, as well as the planet.

Michael is also a patron saint of the sick, and traditionally was seen as a great healer. He is often invoked along with Jesus, Raphael, and other saints associated with healing physical maladies.

Each archangel has a speciality; and some, like Michael, have several. His include the protection, life-purpose guidance, repairing necessary items.

Archangel Raphael

Raphael has long been regarded as the angel of healing. His name may be derived from the Hebrew word Rophe, which means “medicine doctor”; or Rapach, which means “God heals the soul.”

In Catholicism, he is Saint Raphael, the patron of physicians, travelers, and matchmakers. Raphael appears by name in the Book of Tobit. His name also appears in another Dead Sea Scroll text, the Book of Enoch, in which his role upon earth is described as “one of the holy angels, who is over the spirits of men.” In this book, the Lord charges Raphael with the task of healing the earth of the mess made by some fallen angels and giants, binding and casting out a demon, helping all of the children, and saving the world from corruption. Archangel Raphael is still focused on this mission today.

As the patron saint of physicians, Raphael helps both traditional and alternative healers. If you feel called to one of these professions, you can ask Raphael to help you decide which branch of healing work you’d most enjoy and excel in. Notice any books that mysteriously fall off bookshelves around you, as that’s usually a sign from Raphael.

At your request, the archangel can also help you to select a school and obtain the time and money for your healing education. Upon graduation, he’ll assist you with securing a healing practice or other outlet for your work in your chosen area. Raphael can help you attract wonderful clients as well.

In Islamic scriptures, Raphael is known as Israfel, the archangel who is destined to blow a large horn twice to signal Judgment Day. Legend holds that Raphael’s original name was Labbiel. When Labbiel sided with God about the creation of humans, the Lord rewarded the angel by changing his name to Raphael.

|1|religion,patron saint,bible,archangel raphael,archangel michael,archangels,doreen virtue|_none|1|doreen_virtue Your Body and You|It’s time for an alliance.|2010-12-16 17:00:00|public://imports/1727.jpg|0|public://imports/1727.jpg|

When my daughter was a little girl, she had a very distinct way of entering into social situations. If we went to a party or to a new school or playground, she would stand very close to me, tightly hugging my leg and not letting go. At the same time, she was intently observing the other children, watching them closely as they went about their activities.

When she felt she had seen whatever she needed to see, having absorbed whatever information she needed in order to feel secure in joining in, she would let go of my leg and enter easily into socializing with the other girls and boys. There was no point in saying, “Go on, honey, play with the other children!” as soon as we arrived, because she wouldn’t. Yet there was never a need to coax her, either, because she would get there in her own time. She simply had her process. She needed to see what was going on and sort of feel her way into a situation. Then, when she was ready, she would go.

I developed a great respect for my daughter’s way of empowering herself inwardly before moving into such situations. I saw how well it worked for her. She had a child’s way of simply knowing what her needs were and honoring them naturally.

In Lesson 6 in my book A Course in Weight Loss, we are honoring your need to both develop better eating habits and move toward them naturally, gradually, and on your own terms.

Years ago, I discovered that green grapes were helpful to me in cutting down my sugar consumption. Friends told me that while grapes are a natural substance, they still contain sugar. There’s no comparison, however, between the poison that is refined sugar and the natural sugar in ripe green grapes.

At that time I began a love affair with grapes, which continues to this day. But I didn’t one day say to myself, “That’s it! No more refined sugar!” Rather, there was a gradual and natural process. I would eat green grapes along with whatever refined sugar I was eating. If I was eating a piece of cake, I’d put some green grapes on my plate as well. I don’t know why I did this. Like my daughter, I simply had a natural knowing of how best to transition myself from one state to another.

And so do you.

In time, my body began to get its sweet kick from green grapes, maybe not as kicky as from cake, but kicky enough. And after even more time, my body began to register not only the kick of cake when I ate it, but also the fog it brought to my mind, the manic state it would produce within me that was then followed by physical sluggishness. My body had an innate knowing of what it really wanted, and when I gave it the chance to regulate itself, then its natural intelligence kicked in.

I wasn’t taking some authoritarian attitude toward my body: “Do this! Don’t do that!” Rather, I worked with my body, making it an ally and not an enemy in my healing. I honored my emotional need to withdraw only gradually from my dysfunctional way of eating too much refined sugar, recognizing that my attachment to it had not formed in a day and would need some time to wind down. And I gave myself the gift of introducing into my system more healthy food choices, like I was showing up for a new relationship. Which I was!

A doctor once said to me, “Your body doesn’t want to be sick.” And your body doesn’t want to be fat. Just as your heart knows how to beat and your lungs know how to breathe, your body knows how to calibrate its weight to that which serves the maximal functioning of your body as a whole. Essentially, artificial substances have created within you artificial appetites. When natural substances are reintroduced to your body, then your natural appetites will come again to the fore. But as with anything, you must give them a chance.

|1|marianne williamson,healthy eating,healthy foods,addiction,natural appetite,weight loss,obesity|_none|1|marianne_williamson Tear Down Your Wall|Release the shadows of your past.|2010-12-17 17:00:00|public://imports/1793.jpg|0|public://imports/1793.jpg|

The weight you are seeking to let go of was added to your consciousness before it was added to your body. Your body is merely a screen onto which is projected the nature of your thoughts. When the weight is gone from your consciousness, it will be gone from your physical experience. Asking God to remove the cause, you will then have the power to remove the effect.

The weight on your mind, and thus on your body, is the weight of your own dark shadows that have not yet had a light shone on them, whether they be unprocessed feelings, negative thoughts, or fear-based attitudes and personality traits. They are no different from the shadows that other people have.

What is unique to your situation is that for whatever reason, these thoughts or feelings have become frozen within you and are not being processed properly. Instead of your getting sad, let’s say—going through the sadness and then moving to the other side of it —your sadness is likely, for various reasons, to stay stuck within your mind. And then it gets stuck within your body. You are failing to assimilate an experience and let it go. Emotionally and mentally, as well as physically, our systems must process waste.

Painful experiences are not meant to linger. They are meant to teach us what they need to teach us, and then dissolve into the realm of soft-focus memory. Even bitterness in our past can transform into peaceful acceptance. With your system of psychological-waste removal on the blink, however, you’ve subconsciously tried to get rid of these thoughts and feelings by eating them. If I can’t process my sadness, perhaps I can eat my sadness. If I can’t process my anger, perhaps I can eat my anger.

In the absence of an exit valve for what could be seen as your psychological sewage, your unprocessed thoughts and feelings have embedded themselves in your flesh—literally. They are the materialization of dense, unprocessed energy that had nowhere else to go. You are carrying your burdens around—not only with you but on you. This course is a way to release them to God.

It’s not as though other people don’t have unprocessed emotions; we all do. In some of us, unprocessed pain expresses itself through taking drugs or drinking; in others, through emotional outbursts; in others, through promiscuous sex, and so forth. The form of dysfunction is not particularly relevant; what matters is that we address the unprocessed suffering behind it.

In order for your healing to be real and deep, you must be willing to be real and deep with the issues you address. No one else needs to know what is revealed to you, unless you choose to share the information with a trusted other. This journey is a sacred one, in which you travel with God through the secrets of your heart.

With Lesson 2 in my book A Course in Weight Loss, you’ll begin to tear down the wall.

Knowing that there are only two categories of thoughts—those of love, and those of fear—you are beginning to achieve spiritual mastery: the ability to transcend fear by replacing it with love. As you identify fear-based thoughts and then surrender them to Divine Mind, love emerges. And in the presence of love, miracles occur naturally. When the thoughts that lead you to overeat are surrendered, then those that lead you to wholesome eating come forth naturally to take their place.

The unprocessed thoughts will then leave your system, in time taking with them the pounds of flesh they’ve produced. In bringing them into your conscious mind and surrendering them to God, your thoughts and then your weight will be transmuted and removed.

In the past, you may simply have ignored or suppressed the thoughts, feelings, and memories that caused you pain. By doing so, however, you stopped a natural process by which such thoughts and feelings could be transformed. The pain has literally been pushed into your flesh. Now you are remembering that you can make another choice: you can look at your pain, and then release it to One in Whose hands it will dissolve forever.

|23|marianne williamson,weight loss,shadows,negative thoughts,fear,emotional pain,spirituality|_none|1|marianne_williamson Are You Giving the Gift that Counts?|Put a bow on your undivided attention.|2010-12-18 17:00:00|public://imports/1807.jpg|0|public://imports/1807.jpg|

Take a moment and think about the times when you felt most happy, joyful, or at peace. Were those moments defined by how much money someone spent on you? Or was it the attention and appreciation you received or the intimacy and connection you experienced that made you feel exuberant? The best gifts aren’t necessarily the biggest or most expensive ones. Better than bigger is the gift of the heart.

One of the most significant gifts we can give in this busy, modern time of ours is our time. With so many issues vying for our attention, we can find ourselves in a constant tug-of-war. How many times have you found yourself trying to talk or listen to those who need you while you are also driving, answering the phone, text messaging, making dinner, watching TV, or sifting through a stack of mail? When that happens, we’re only half there. Yet it’s impossible to give fully to the people in our lives unless we are giving our full attention.

The Unbroken Circle—Learning from Lovers

The sages of East and West understood the importance of focused attention—of being mindful and fully present in the moment. The Christian monastic Basil of Caesarea, for instance, said, “You cannot succeed in loving God or your neighbor . . . if your mind is perpetually distracted.” A famous Zen master put it this way: “When walking, just walk. When sitting, just sit. But above all, don’t wobble!”

Giving your undivided attention is a gift that is both nurturing and healing. It breeds that rare and precious commodity of true intimacy and connectedness. To understand this better, think about how you can tell when two people are deeply in love. As the saying goes, lovers only have eyes for each other. Each one’s gaze is fixed on the beloved—so much so that they don’t notice what is going on around them.

When we are locked in that warm embrace of an unbroken circle of energy, we know that at that moment we are the sole object of our partner’s attention. We feel deeply loved and supported. In reality, a focused, heart-centered connection is an essential ingredient for good relationships in any setting.

Tips for Transformational Giving

The gift of your time and undiluted attention can work magic in any relationship, whether at home, at work, or at play—and it can turn holidays and celebrations into feasts of the heart. Here are three simple and effective tools you can use to create more authentic and intimate connections with anyone as you practice giving wisely, creatively, and from the heart.

  1. Give your full attention. Honor the people in your life by drawing a circle around your conversations with them. Do what it takes to sustain the circuit of energy between you and the person you are with. Simply turning off the TV or your phone and looking into someone’s eyes as you listen or share can transform a situation. It shows that you care enough to be completely present.

    Tip: Look at the most important (or problematical) relationships in your life and ask yourself: What can I do to create a quality, focused connection with the people in my life? What can I stop doing to ensure that I am fully present and engaged in my interactions?
  2. Be creative with your gifts. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to be a good giver. It’s your inner gifts, the ones that touch another, heart to heart, that are your most precious offerings.

    Tip: Rather than buying a present at the last minute, think ahead and allow yourself to get inspired. Go into your heart and ask yourself what would really touch the heart of the person you will be giving to. (Hint: If you can’t figure it out, ask them what they would like to receive!) Most important, consider spending quality time with loved ones as a gift. If you have more than one child or sibling in your family, think about giving him or her a one-on-one date just with you. The possibilities are endless.
  3. Ask compassionate questions. It’s not always easy to open your heart and give when the person you are with is like a caged tiger ready to pounce. “What’s wrong with her?” we mutter, instead of realizing that grumbles, complaints, and angry outbursts can be SOS calls for support. People need the gift of your heart the most when they seem to deserve it the least.

    Tip: When someone in your life is pushing your buttons, try to catch yourself before you criticize or ask condescendingly, “What’s the matter with you?” Ask more helpful questions, such as “Why are you hurting and what can I do to help you right now?” You can’t solve others’ problems for them, but you can provide a safe space that invites them to understand what they are feeling and to articulate their needs. Opening your heart and asking compassionate questions honors others and honors your relationship with them. What better gift can you give?
|5|gratitude,focused attention,giving,present moment,relationships,patricia spadaro|_none|1|patricia_spadaro Have a Green Holiday!|10 eco-friendly gift ideas. |2010-12-19 17:00:00|public://imports/1806.jpg|0|public://imports/1806.jpg|

Between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day, Americans throw away a million extra tons of garbage each week, including holiday wrapping and packaging. That’s miles of forests felled to make gift wrap that ends as a mountain of trash in landfills—not to mention the financial impact to all of us. Here are my Top 10 ways to help care for creation, save a little cash, and get back to the true spirit of the holidays – giving from the heart.

  1. Send e-Holiday cards.
  2. Send holiday greetings by e-mail, not U.S. mail. You can go online and e-mail family and friends a creative virtual card, complete with options like music, a photo, a personalized message and even your own signature. You’ll be saving trees, energy, carbon, and cash.
  3. Give an experience instead of stuff.
  4.  Do we really need more stuff? Why not give family and friends a memorable experience instead of a material gift? How about theater or concert tickets, a massage, horseback riding, or even an art class? An experience will last a lifetime, and be a gift they will never forget.
  5. Use natural beeswax holiday candles.
  6. Toss those old holiday candles you inherited from your great aunt—they could have lead wicks, which are toxic when burned and were only banned in the U.S. in 2003. Choose natural beeswax over paraffin wax candles, which are petroleum based and give off toxins similar to diesel fumes when burned. Beeswax will also burn five times as long as paraffin which makes them a much better value even if they cost a bit more initially.
  7. Decorate with nature.
  8. One of my favorite memories was stringing together popcorn and cranberries to make a garland for our holiday tree. You can enjoy the garland twice if you remove the corn and cranberries and place outdoors in a good viewing spot, then sit back and watch as the local birds enjoy the treats.
  9. Go for handmade.
  10. Instead of going to the mall, and all of the emotional as well as financial stress that it entails, consider giving a gift from your own hands. Homemade banana bread, cookies, jams, jellies, or canned goods will be so much more appreciated than another store-bought item we don’t really need.
  11. Save $$ and energy with LED lights.
  12. Replace those old holiday lights with new LEDs, and save about 90 percent of the energy and cost to run conventional lights. You can find perfect replacements today in both multi-colored and white LED strings. They are also much safer than incandescents because they won’t heat up. And, they last so long your grandchildren may inherit them. Green fact:  If everyone replaced their conventional holiday light strings with LED’s, we’d save enough energy in one month to power 200,000 homes for a full year.  — U.S. Dept. of Energy
  13. Wrap it creatively.
  14. Nobody will mind if you use old newspaper funny pages, brown paper bags, or a vintage scarf to wrap your gifts, especially with a creative bow on top. Those old Christmas lights, cloth tape measure, string or shoelaces will add the finishing touch to your eco and economical gift giving. You can even turn old VHS or cassette tape into creative curly ribbon. And, don’t forget to make your own gift tags by cutting old greeting cards into small squares and folding in half. Have fun. There are no rules in recycling.
  15. Bag it.
  16. Most grocery or health food stores sell artsy reusable shopping bags that can be used for wrapping your gift and then reused over and over again. You’ll be appreciated for a gift that keeps on giving and one that lessens the load on landfills from disposable plastic or paper bags.
  17. Go battery-free or rechargeable.
  18. Disposable batteries are a waste to our wallets and a waste to the planet. Choose durable toys made from natural and non-toxic materials like hardwood. If you do go with techie toys that need batteries, give some rechargeable batteries and a charger along with the gift. Rechargeable batteries can last thousands of charges and save thousands of dollars.
  19. Give Solar Gifts.
  20. If you do purchase a gift, consider giving a clean renewable energy gift like a solar oven a solar lantern, or solar patio lights. A solar oven is a great way to teach children about the power of the sun, while providing a dependable cooking stove for daily use, camping, or power outages.
|23|treehugger,mother nature,holiday shopping,holiday gifts,trash,landfills,eco-friendly,going green,chris prelitz|_none|1|chris_prelitz Your Motivational Moment|What helps you meet your goals?|2010-12-20 17:00:00|public://imports/1781.jpg|0|public://imports/1781.jpg|

Other people’s lives matter to us; we’re inspired by their examples of courage and perseverance. Exposing yourself to motivational and inspirational stories—whether they’re directly related to weight loss and getting fit or about accomplishing other great goals—is a powerful tool.

In our Secrets of Success survey, the most successful Spark members reported using the inspirational strategies that we call “motivational moments.” For example, of 100-pound losers, 71 percent read inspiring stories on, and over 60 percent regularly read motivational stories and books and watched motivational movies and films to keep themselves inspired. In our survey, even we were a little surprised at how much people utilized these tools and how highly they correlate with success. The key is converting the power of these motivational moments to help power your overall program.

How many times have you watched an inspirational movie or heard a rousing speaker and felt as if you were ready to move mountains? But then a few hours or days later you were back into your normal routine with no lasting changes. Now we want you to be more mindful and cherishing of these moments. Notice whenever you’re moved by a speech, a book, a movie, or a special experience. Write about it in your journal so you can hold on to the power of your inspired feelings.

Here are some suggested strategies for finding your motivational moments and harnessing their power:

Read about Other People’s Success

Reading about the bravery and perseverance of my own personal heroes—from Viktor Frankl to Ernest Shackleton—has had a huge impact on my own life. So it was no surprise to me that the number-one technique our 100-pound losers used was reading other people’s inspiring stories of successful weight loss and of reaching health, fitness, and other life goals. You, too, can benefit from these success stories by logging on to our website at

Watch an Inspiring Movie

Who said changing your lifestyle is all work and no play? The best part of drawing inspiration from a movie is that there’s one out there for everyone. Some of us draw inspiration from cheering for the underdogs, especially in sports films. Others find inspiration in stories of courage or of triumphing over personal setbacks. A movie conjures emotions unlike any other form of entertainment, making us understand what the characters are going through and how we can aspire to be more like them.

Be Inspired by Music

Staying motivated by music is one of the most common inspirational techniques successful SparkPeople use. Music is such a powerful motivator because it can reach out and touch your soul and move you to take action—all with only a few minutes of beautiful sound. Build a list of motivational songs. Listen to one of your favorites as you get up in the morning and let it “ring” in your head throughout the day. It can be as energizing as a morning cup of coffee. Music is also a great way to prevent boredom. Download a few new songs to jazz up your next trip on the treadmill!

Read an Inspiring Quote

When you need a jolt of inspiration, take note of the wisdom of others. Meaningful quotations may only take a few seconds to read, but they can have lasting effects on your mood and performance. Go to the bookstore or library and leaf through books of quotations or check out SparkPeople’s motivational quotes, along with commentary, online at Once you find a quote that works for you, use it. Hang it on your mirror. Keep a copy in your wallet. Tape it to your computer monitor.

Write in a Journal

Writing in a journal is a great way to learn more about yourself. Here are two types of journal entries to consider: the action journal and the success journal. The action journal is an inspiring way to track your weight-loss experience by keeping a before-during-and-after journal that chronicles your journey to a new, healthy lifestyle. If you’re already keeping a journal or using one to track your food intake, you can use the same book to record your whole experience this way. Include writing and photos from all stages, showing how you felt and looked all along the way. This can end up being a mini-autobiography, a book of your life that traces your challenges and commemorates your success.

Another idea is to keep a journal that focuses on all the positives in your life—a place where you record what you’re proud of and what you’ve accomplished. Think back as far as you can, and record often. One technique is to write down a highlight from every day. The more you focus on what you are good at, what you have done, and what you are capable of, the more motivated you’ll be.

|6|chris sparkguy downie,sparkguy,motivation,weight loss,fitness,self-esteem,inspiration|_none|1|chris_sparkguy_downie You Are the Gift|Holiday reflections on self-love|2010-12-21 17:00:00|public://imports/1808.jpg|0|public://imports/1808.jpg|

Around the holidays we tend think about what we can do to better the lives of others. An ongoing mantra that sounds beautiful is “Peace on Earth, Goodwill Toward Men!”  While this is a great thing if it could happen, Peace on Earth sounds like a tall order, doesn’t it? If you were tasked with making this a reality, where would you start? At first it was so overwhelming I couldn’t imagine what to do. Like a child faced with cleaning their messy room, it seems like it would be a lot easier to crawl under the covers and just hope it happens on its own. Then it hit me, like any big goal, it starts with a smaller goal and works outward. Okay, that helps a little but who or what should be the catalyst for such a beginning? Then it suddenly became clear . . . peace for the world starts with our peace in the world…and that peace starts within each one of us. Now we’re on to something but, again, where do we start?

I come to this with kind of a different angle given my particular area of expertise as a beauty and life coach. Years ago while working as a makeup artist, it became very clear that much of the inner turmoil and lack of peace that we experience comes from allowing ourselves to be caught up in superficial things like external beauty and material possessions. While millions are constantly searching for an outer “fix,” the real connection to harmony and beauty is feeling bliss on the inside and radiating that out to the world.

Even before thinking of the gifts you would like in your life, start finding your peace by thinking of those you already have. Your gifts can be your beautiful smile, buoyant personality, intuitive feeling and connection to those around you, constant optimism, or just about anything else. By taking this mental and emotional inventory you remind yourself of the value that you already hold rather than thinking there must be something more. This is the point after all, that you are already more than enough!

All too often we think of ourselves in terms of the mizpah, the beautiful necklace that we give each other as friends. It’s the heart that is broken and each of us takes half to symbolize the eternal bond with the other. The true gift is in letting yourself be complete and giving your whole heart to as many people as you can throughout your life.

We can also achieve peace by remembering that we are all gifts to the world. We are such wonderful gifts in fact, that we should be re-gifted often. And as those gifts we are not our wrapping paper, ribbons, and bows—we are a joy-filled bundle of beauty and divine purpose! You know as well as I do that what really matters is not only what’s inside the box but if it does what it’s intended to do. If it is a beautiful diamond, does it sparkle and shine?  If it is a toy, is it fun to play with? 

When you are true to your purpose and simply enjoy being, you are a source of beauty for the world. Before making your New Year’s resolutions, take some time to explore what it is that brings purpose and joy to you. Consider what you would be doing in your perfect job, relationships, and personal life that will bring beauty to your soul. Now take this a step further and write it down and create your special gift list. There is something about the process of putting pen to paper and seeing your dreams in front of you that helps bring them to reality.

Put yourself under the mistletoe and pucker up, it’s time to love you!

|23|michelle phillips,self-care,self-love,self-esteem,holidays,gift giving,inner peace|_none|1|michelle_phillips Grow Your Happiness|Are you having fun yet?|2010-12-22 17:00:00|public://imports/1811.jpg|0|public://imports/1811.jpg|

A workshop attendee asks Abraham how to love herself more, how to feel more worthy and deserving, and how to have more fun.

Abraham:  Well, a big piece of it has already fallen into place because everyone naturally loves themselves. There is nothing more natural than for you to feel the way you feel. And the you we are talking about is that Source-Energy You that came forth lovingly into this experience, who loves what it sees. In other words, the essence of you, the Energy of you, the soul or Source of you, is love. And you train that out of yourself (primarily in the way that your question amplifies) in that you worry about what this one and that one and this one and that one think of you.

How do I love myself? The answer to that is…just stop not liking yourself. In other words, love is the natural state of being if you are not pushing against something unwanted.

We have been talking about Energy Balancing, and we want you to realize that whatever you give your attention to activates a vibration. So when you look at a buffet of things and you say yes, it activates it. Yes, it activates it. Yes, it activates it. If you are saying yes to the things that you want, then you have activated things that you want, and you are offering a vibration only about what you want, and Source Energy is answering that. Now everything is flowing comfortably.

But in this Universe where it is all about attraction, there is no assertion, there is no exclusion. You cannot say no to something and make it go away. When you say no to it, it comes, because attention to it asks for it, or activates the equivalent within you, which is the same thing as asking for it. So when you look at a buffet of things wanted and unwanted and you say, “Well, I want that, but I don’t want that,” you include them both. “Well, I want that, but I don’t want that. I like this about myself, but I don’t like that about myself.” Now you have activated all of that. So now, instead of a clear, pure, balanced Energy (balanced meaning in alignment with Source), you are out of balance because you are introducing all this foreign stuff. And the feeling of not liking yourself is introducing a whole bunch of vibrations that do not mesh with who-you-really-are. So the feeling of not liking yourself or someone else, the feeling if anti-love, is the feeling of introducing vibrations that do not allow a pure Connection with the Energy that is love.


Abraham offers a “Rampage of Appreciation,” self-talk to help everyone feel better about themselves and their lives:.

Abraham:  “Here I am in my physical body, and I’m now consciously recognizing that I’m an extension of Source Energy. And, understanding what I’m now coming to know about Source Energy, that means that I am Pure Positive Energy and that the essence of me is all wonderful things, and that anytime I feel less than enthusiastic, eager, appreciative, or in love of self, it’s because I’ve introduced something else unnatural to the equation.

“I’m so happy that I have a Guidance System within me that will point out to me, moment by moment, incrementally, anytime I may be introducing an Energy relative to myself or relative to anything that would keep me from being in balanced vibrational alignment with who-I-really-am.

“So I’m loving my Guidance System. I’m loving my emotions, all of them. I’m loving the ones that feel wonderful, and I’m loving the ones that don’t feel so wonderful, because all of them are there to assist me in tweaking myself—moment by moment, gently, more and more, subject by subject—into vibrational alignment.

“I love that there’s no race to run about this. I love that I’m an Eternal Being and that I can take my time in it. And I love that the rewards are instantaneous…that as I reach for something and feel good, I’m right there. And as I reach for something and don’t feel so good, I can still reach for the best-feeling thought that I have access to, and that’s good enough for right now. In fact, that’s all I do have access to right now.

|5|feeling good,happiness,self-esteem,source energy,self-love,abraham,esther and jerry hicks|_none|1|esther_and_jerry_hicks Going Home Again?|Let go of past grievances.|2012-11-17 17:00:00|public://imports/3135.jpg|0|public://imports/3135.jpg|

We all have family patterns, and it is very easy for us to blame our parents, our childhood, or our environment for the present condition of our lives. If we grew up in a family where criticism was the norm, then we are going to be critical as adults. If we grew up in a family where we were not allowed to express our anger, then we are probably terrified of anger and confrontation, and we swallow it and let it reside in our body. If we were raised in a family where everybody was manipulated by guilt, then we are probably going to be the same way as adults. We probably run around saying “I’m sorry” all the time, and can never ask for anything outright. We feel we have to be manipulative in some way in order to get what we want.

As we grow up, we begin to live these false ideas and lose touch with our inner wisdom. We need to realize that we can go beyond our family’s limitations. We are the ones who suffer when we hold on to past grievances. We give the situations and the people in our lives power over us, and these same situations and people keep us mentally enslaved. They continue to control us when we stay stuck in “unforgiveness.” We need to let go of the beliefs that hurt us. This allows us to be free from the needless cycle of pain, anger and recrimination that keeps us imprisoned in our own suffering and prevents us from creating positive, affirming relationships with ourselves and others.

If we want to be accepted as we are, we have to be willing to accept others as they are. We always want to have our parents accept us totally, and yet often we are not willing to accept them as they are. Acceptance is giving ourselves and the others the ability to just be. It is arrogant to set standards for others. We can only set standards for ourselves. And even then, we want them to be more like guidelines than standards. The more we can practice self-acceptance, the easier it is to drop habits that no longer serve us. It is easy for us to grow and change in an atmosphere of love. We must strive to love others, to forgive their past behaviors, and in order to do this, we must first learn to love and forgive ourselves.

The following letter relates to the topic of family relationships:

Dear Louise,

I am a 35-year-old woman who has lived away from my parents for seven years now. I find that when I go home, I almost always revert to a child who is unable to take care of herself. When I am with my parents, I can’t imagine how I can pay my rent, go to work every day, and so on. It creates a fear of returning to my current home, making me question my abilities and self-worth.

Of course, when I do come home, it is no problem to pick up my responsibilities and continue on with my life as always. The problem is that I find myself dreading visiting my childhood home, which troubles me because my parents are getting on in years, and I want to be able to spend as much time with them as I can. Any words of wisdom that may ease my anxiety about going home?

Dear One,

What you are really asking me is: “How can I grow up?” Having lived with your parents for so long, there is a part of you that probably still enjoys being treated as a child and being taken care of. When you go to your childhood home for a visit now, you may feel that strong pull once again to have the carefree life of a little girl.

However, you were strong enough to leave home after 28 years of comfortable security, and you created a life of work and responsibility for yourself. I know you are now strong enough to reprogram your mind when you visit your parents’ home. Instead of fear and anxiety about losing your independence, change those thoughts into love for your aging parents. A good affirmation for you could be:

I am now a complete, secure, independent adult, fully capable of taking care of myself and sharing my love and strength with my parents.



|1|forgiveness,family gatherings,blame,parenting,family relationships,louise l. hay|_none|1|louise_l_hay Stay Trim During the Holidays!|Try these 7 healthy eating tips.|2010-12-24 17:00:00|public://imports/1813.jpg|0|public://imports/1813.jpg|

Here are 7 surefire tips to help you get through holidays, vacations, parties or any family gatherings without gaining weight or losing vitality:

  1. Eat frequently and don’t skip meals. A common strategy, especially during the holidays, is to skip breakfast—and lunch. You know a big meal is coming, so you save up the calories for the celebration. This backfires when you come to the meal starving and wind up eating way more than you ever intended. Eating frequently throughout the day and eating healthy foods helps to eliminate hunger, which in turn prevents overeating. It will also help stabilize your blood sugar.
  2. Bring healthy snacks while out shopping or in the car. Roaming the mall for hours or sitting in holiday traffic leaves everyone starving and vulnerable to the usually bad fast-food choices. If you come prepared with some crunchy, healthy snacks, such as apples, oranges, celery, carrots, or even nuts or raisins (just watch the portion size on these last two as they are calorie-dense foods), you’ll be less likely to succumb to the call of the food court.
  3. Have something before you go out, especially to a holiday party or big dinner. You know what foods you need to stay away from. They are a lot harder to resist when you’re starving and your blood sugar is low. A piece of fresh fruit, some whole grain crackers, a piece of whole grain bread, toast with some fresh fruit jam or a nut butter like peanut or almond will keep your appetite at bay. Try any of these an hour before the big holiday dinner and watch your willpower soar while your waistline stays in place.
  4. Watch out for processed carbs. Processed carbs, such as breads, crackers, and chips, are everywhere. They aren’t always sweet, but most are high in refined starch, which converts to sugar in the body quickly. And with no fiber to slow its release into the system, they can end up as stored fat.
  5. Plan ahead. Especially during holidays like Christmas and New Year’s Day, try to plan around where you’re going, what temptations are likely to arise and how you’re going to deal with them. Decide in advance what you’re going to allow yourself, but prepare for it so you don’t go overboard. It is okay to taste things without finishing them.
  6. Use fiber as your secret weapon. Not only is fiber supremely healthy and directly related to the reduction of risks for a host of diseases, it is a huge player in the weight-loss field. It also contributes to a feeling of fullness. Consume as many high-fiber foods as possible before attacking any other foods. Raw veggies contain sufficient bulk to fill you to some degree before you turn to the high-sugar.
  7. Eat slowly. Hormones signal the brain when you’re full, but it takes about 20 minutes from start time before you feel it. Slow eating not only aids in digestion but also gives your brain a chance to know what the stomach is doing. If you make the meal last—by talking, putting down your fork between bites or just plain waiting—you’re less likely to eat on “automatic pilot” and more likely to realize you’re full. Besides eating slowly, chew your food thoroughly. You’ll be amazed how much will power you can generate when you take your time and give your “satiety center” an opportunity to tell you that you aren’t that hungry anymore. 
|6|carbs,fiber,healthy eating,blood sugar,family gatherings,diets,weight loss,holiday parties,susan smith jones|_none|1|susan_smith_jones The New Holiday Rule|Slow down and laugh!|2013-12-13 17:00:00|public://imports/3634.jpg|0|public://imports/3634.jpg|

I'm sitting here in our living room looking out over the falling snow, feeling grateful for the silence that occurs when we have a storm and everything is forced to stop for a while.  It's as though Mother Nature has gently placed a blanket over my part of the world and whispered, Rest little one. Take a break from the hustle and bustle and let yourself nap for a while. Love that idea!

And I love this time of year—although it wasn't always that way. Ten years ago, after running through a mall on the day before Christmas trying to buy two last-minute gifts, I stopped in the middle of a store and said, ENOUGH!  Yup, right there in the shoe department, I made a promise to myself that I would change the way I did the holidays from that day forward. No more rushing. No more squeezing crowded, noisy, parties into an already full schedule. And no more angst over finding the perfect gifts. Instead I focus on two things: Being present as much as possible and doing what made me feel connected to people. Period. 

That became my new holiday rule and for the most part I've followed it ever since. If I can't find a gift for someone special, I don't panic. I relax and allow the right gift to find me. Sometimes I've written love letters to family members or a Top Ten Reasons Why I Adore You list for Michael (who's always been tough to buy for). I also stopped attending events that left me feeling exhausted, overstimulated, or empty because I couldn't have a conversation deeper than the latest Hollywood scandal. 

Today I want depth. I want soulful connection. I want to be able to communicate more from my heart than my head. And I want laughter. Lots of joyful, gut-busting laughter. 

That's what I want for you, too. I want you to truly enjoy your holidays. Not because you finally got everything done or received the perfect gift, but because you actually showed up.

|1|perfect gift,christmas shopping,mother nature,gratitude,gift giving,holidays,cheryl richardson|_none|1|cheryl_richardson Forget Money Woes|Think Abundance!|2010-12-26 17:00:00|public://imports/1815.jpg|0|public://imports/1815.jpg|

Most of us would really love to move beyond thinking, and worrying, about money into a state of living from abundance. So how do we make that happen? My own journey began when I first started interviewing authors for my radio show and I noticed a very peculiar phenomenon. Whenever I was interviewing an author who I thought was “above me,” I felt nervous and inhibited; when I was interviewing an author who I thought was “beneath me,” I felt easy in myself and able to perform freely. On closer examination, I came to realize that the fundamental difference was less to do with the relative status of the author than it was to do with a fundamental difference in my approach.

In the first set of interviews, I was coming from a sense of lack and focusing on what I wanted to get; in the second, I was coming from a sense of abundance and focusing on what I was able to give.

Here are three keys to experiencing the freedom that comes from living from abundance in your own life:

Key Number One—Focus on What You’ve Got to Give, Not What You Want to Get

Are you going into business because you need the money? Then you are focused on your lack—on what you feel you “need” to get in order to make your endeavor worthwhile.

Imagine, on the other hand, going into business because you have something incredible to contribute. Are you liable to walk out with money?

Key Number Two—Cultivate an Abundance of Well-Being

Have you ever seen a champagne waterfall, where one glass is placed atop three glasses balanced atop five glasses and so on down to the linen tablecloth? As the top glass fills to overflowing, it naturally fills all of the glasses beneath it, and on and on the flow of abundance goes all the way down to the bottom. One secret to living from abundance is to begin filling your own glass by connecting daily with your own inner love, freedom, energy and power. As you fill yourself to overflowing, you will naturally share the best of what you have with those around you.

Key Number Three—Bless the Abundance of Others

According to Huna teacher Serge Kahili King, a blessing is “a compliment phrased like a promise.” Because energy flows where attention goes, whenever we take the time to appreciate and acknowledge the success, wealth, and happiness of another, we create an abundant blessing—more than enough “good vibes” to assist both the receiver and ourselves.

Here’s how you can practice living from abundance:

  • Throughout the day today, notice if you are coming from a place of abundance or one of scarcity. When you notice yourself focused on your own lack, ask yourself what you most want to give in this situation and what you already have to be grateful for in this area of your life?
  • Look for people in your life who are “heroes of abundance.” Be sure to take time to bless their success, and where appropriate, allow your cup to be filled in their presence.
  • Consider beginning each day by filling yourself up with good things. Read from books or e-zines that inspire you. Make a journal note about all the good things in your life. Meditate on the infinite goodness that surrounds you.

You will know that you are done when you feel an inner “fullness”—often a feeling of deep contentment and satisfaction characterized by gentle tears of gratitude. Over time, you will find that although your capacity for experiencing good and living from abundance increases, it takes less and less time to fill yourself to overflowing.

|23|success,abundance,money,michael neill,prosperity|_none|1|michael_neill Living FULL|A life without dieting.|2010-12-27 17:00:00|public://imports/1812.jpg|0|public://imports/1812.jpg|

I grew up in Miami and wanted nothing more than to be an archaeologist and world traveler. (I was really affected by the Indiana Jones movie series!) I later ended up at Harvard University, where I received a degree in anthropology with a focus on archaeology. I knew that I wanted to work the world over, and thought I could best do that as a doctor. I had this fantasy about digging in the dirt and taking care of the people. Never tell a 22-year-old that he cannot do everything. So I returned to Miami and got my medical degree from the University of Miami School of Medicine. Then I went on to Oregon Health Sciences University to become a general surgeon, thinking I’d focus on trauma.

But mastering laparoscopic surgery and getting a peek into the world of gastric bypass surgery during a TK-year tour of duty in Virginia shifted the course of my future. I was amazed by bariatric surgery, which helps people achieve healthy weights through surgery. It is reserved for a specific class of overweight people: those whose weight has reached a level where it negatively impacts their health.

I quickly left the world of appendectomies and the ER to answer my calling in bariatrics where I could participate in people’s journeys to conquering severe obesity. The enriching relationships I forged in bariatrics far outshined those I had experienced in other specialties that rarely saw such dramatic results and hard-won transformations.  Saving the life of a person in the emergency room is one thing, but being able to coach from the ringside as people face the weight that has beaten up their bodies and their lives is another. To this day, I feel like a long-term partner in the lives of my patients rather than just a doctor with a certain specialty who drops in to save the day in a singular moment.

I’ve been fortunate to have learned and mastered the latest bariatric techniques from the pioneers in the field who have truly catapulted this medical specialty from a somewhat primitive state decades ago to a highly advanced practice now.

Most of my patients also have some of the medical problems associated with obesity, such as depression, reflux, diabetes, high blood pressure, high lipids (cholesterol and/or triglycerides), menstrual irregularity, infertility, urinary stress incontinence, sleep apnea (disordered sleep), and joint pain. Bariatric surgery, ultimately, is not about weight. It’s about the weight’s effect on the person’s health. When someone is called “morbidly obese,” he has reached a point where his weight has adverse effects on his health. It is never a comment about a patient’s appearance or value as a person. It’s very important to understand that it is not a judgment about the person. It’s about the patient’s health.

After a few years at the clinic, I came to realize that there was a gap in what I could provide to people. Not everyone qualifies for surgery, yet everyone wants to feel satisfied at meals, happy with their weight, and healthy. I was working hard to help the morbidly obese, but nothing for everyone else. A close friend of mine said, “I get what you’re doing for your morbidly obese patients, but what do you have for my aunt who cannot lose 30 pounds and is suffering from many life and health issues because of it?” It was unacceptable that I had nothing for her. That had to change, which has led not only to my forays into developing an international food supplementation company, but also to my new book—Full.

We live in a world that’s hungry for a diet to end all diets. Two out of five women and one out of five men would trade three to five years of their life to achieve their weight goals. Young girls are more afraid of becoming fat than they are of nuclear war, cancer, or losing their parents. Two-thirds of dieters regain weight within a year and virtually all regain it within five years. The failure rates of our country’s most popular weight-loss programs exceed 95 percent.

My hope is that Full will lead you to reject the diet mentality that thrives on restrictions, deprivations, self-loathing and self-defeat, and instead teach you proven principles of fullness that honor your body’s innate biology to automatically lose weight without the inner war.

Have you lost at least 10 pounds over and over again?

Do you remember the first time you thought about, and became conscious of, your weight?

When you sit down to eat dinner at a restaurant, have you ever thought about avoiding the bread basket?

Have you ever joined a gym thinking you’d go three days a week?

Have you ever felt guilty about a meal you ate?

Have you ever sneaked a snack or fast food by yourself and hoped “no one would notice or know”?

Do you think about your weight on a daily basis?

Don’t bother counting how many of the above questions you checked.

Just a single checked box puts you in the majority. More than one checked box? Still, the majority. Millions of people would answer most of these questions with a resounding yes. So you’re not alone, and it’s time to put an end to all this madness that invades your daily life.

|1|bariatrics,weight loss,obesity,bariatric surgery,michael snyder|_none|1|michael_a_snyder_md 3 Cheers for Fiber!|Are you getting enough?|2010-12-27 17:00:00|public://imports/1805.jpg|0|public://imports/1805.jpg|

You’ve probably noticed that fiber has gotten its own public relations team lately. Food manufacturers will tout the benefits of their product’s fiber content if they can (and sometimes when they shouldn’t if the grams of fiber are ridiculously low). This is all for good reason, as a growing body of scientific research continues to prove the benefits of fiber for heart health, disease prevention, and weight control. Emerging research shows how fiber can lower bad (LDL) cholesterol, blood pressure, the risk for developing diabetes and some types of cancer, and help people to lose weight.

Women need to get at least 25 grams of fiber a day; men should aim for 30 grams a day. A lot of us fall far short of these targets. Some studies suggest that consuming an extra 14 grams of fiber per day (a total of 39 to 44 grams per day) may cause the body to absorb 10 percent fewer calories.

Fiber comes in two forms, soluble and insoluble, and it’s good to get a balance of both. Soluble fiber dissolves in water and is found mostly in nuts, seeds, legumes (beans, lentils, peas), fruit, and oat bran. It’s the “digestible” fiber that helps lower your risk for heart disease and can lower bad cholesterol. Insoluble fiber, on the other hand, does not dissolve in water so it’s this “indigestible” form. Found mostly in whole grains and vegetables, it passes through your body and literally acts like a broom through your system, pushing food along and aiding in digestive health.

It helps to think of fiber as a traffic cop. It allows your digestion to reach an ideal speed that supports optimal metabolism and, ultimately, fullness. Just as all foods are not created equal, not all foods get digested at the same speed. Nutrients from certain foods get in your bloodstream at different times, which changes the chemistry of hormones that either make you feel full or stimulate you to want more food. Insulin in particular, the pancreatic hormone that spikes when you’re eating carbohydrates, guides glucose from the blood to the cells. It’s largely responsible for making you feel hungry for more when you’ve eaten quickly digested foods, such as white bread and fruit juice.

Simple carbohydrates take only 5 to 10 minutes to get absorbed. Foods that make you feel full, though, take longer to get into the system, somewhere between 30 minutes to 2 hours, depending on the food’s makeup. This ideal window of 30 minutes to 2 hours happens when you eat proteins, and high-fiber veggies, fruits, and whole grains, which help prevent insulin surges and maintain a healthy blood-sugar balance.

So fiber becomes a key player in creating a meal that will get digested slowly, and as such, is less likely to be quickly converted to fat and stored. For instance, in the presence of fiber, plain old sugar will get released more gradually into the bloodstream than if it were traveling alone. In fact, you can combine a quickly digested food such as white bread with a slow one that has fiber and change the entire chemistry of a meal. Here’s an example: top a bagel or English muffin with peanut butter and a spoonful of wheat germ. The fiber in the peanut butter and wheat germ will prevent the glucose in the bagel from getting rapidly digested. It’s like the difference between foods traveling on a highway versus side roads with street lights that slow down the traffic.

Following is a list of high-fiber foods broken down into three tiers. I’ve created these separate categories because there’s a difference between eating a cup of kale versus a cup of rice, even if it’s brown rice. Choose from Tier I as often as you like; these are your all-star vegetables that will make you full on less due to their fiber and water content. Tier II includes fruits, which also have fiber and volume but a higher concentration of sugar (and thus calories). When you eat from Tier II, be sure you’re eating the whole fruit and not just the juice! Any fruits with edible skins, such as apples and berries, are great choices because the skins contain fiber too. Tier III includes the grains and starchy vegetables, which are dense in calories but have a Full effect due to their high fiber content.

TIER I (High-Volume Vegetables and Fruits):

Artichoke, arugula, asparagus, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, celery, chard, collard greens, cucumber, green beans, kale, mushrooms, mustard greens, onion, peas, red and green cabbage, romaine lettuce, spinach, sugar snap peas, summer squash, tomato, turnips, water chestnuts, zucchini.

TIER II (Medium to Low-Volume Vegetables and Fruits):

Apples, apricot, banana, beets, berries (especially blackberries, raspberries, blueberries), cantaloupe, carrots, cherries, dates, grapefruit, kiwi, mango, nectarine, orange, papaya, parsnips, peach, pear, pineapple, plum, prunes, pumpkin, rutabaga, sweet pepper, watermelon, winter squash.

TIER III (Grains and Starchy Vegetables):

Beans (black, pinto, kidney, garbanzo, lima), bran cereals, brown rice, butternut squash, corn, eggplant, lentils, oatmeal, potato, quinoa, split peas, sweet potato or yams, whole-grain bread, whole-grain cereals, whole-grain crackers, whole-grain tortillas, whole-wheat couscous , whole-wheat pasta.

|6|michael snyder,fiber,high cholesterol,blood pressure,diabetes,weight loss,fiber content,blood sugar,vegetables,healthy eating|_none|1|michael_a_snyder_md Just Give It Your All|The paradox of “overnight” success.|2010-12-28 17:00:00|public://imports/1820.jpg|0|public://imports/1820.jpg|

As a track athlete, I remember always wondering how Olympian Carl Lewis was able to win all those races right at the very end. Very seldom did he come out of the blocks faster than everyone else and rarely was he winning at the halfway point, but almost always at the eighty- or ninety-meter mark Carl Lewis would come on and finish the hundred-meter race in first place, often edging many of his competitors right at the finish line.

As I studied the science of racing, I learned that it wasn’t so much that Carl Lewis was going faster at the end of the race, it was just that everyone else was slowing down faster than he was. When you’re willing to give your all, consistently and passionately, everyone else will slow down faster than you will. When you don’t give enough in the beginning, then there’s no way you’ll have enough in the end to finish—let alone win.

Conventional wisdom seems to be that fame, money, and the good life can come overnight. The success of hip-hop artists proves that you can become famous from nothing but a hot ring tone. Right. Reality television proves that you can become famous with little or no talent. Wrong. The truly good life—which comes from reaching your best and possessing a sense of fulfillment—cannot happen simply because you want it. You can’t pull it out of a hat; it can’t happen overnight. If you want to complete this journey, you have to work for it. Hard work does still pay off, and if you give your best, you can get your best in return.

Our culture, driven primarily by media, has created the impression that we can get things easily that actually have to be earned. We see it on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire. We see it with local lottery winners. We see it in entrepreneurs no one even heard of yesterday getting multimillion-dollar business deals, or athletes getting huge sports contracts, or musicians going platinum. All of these images repeated over and over again give the appearance that you, too, can make it overnight.

The media bear some of the blame for this “overnight” sensation phenomenon, because it’s easier to tell the story of overnight success than to describe ten or twenty years of hard work required to achieve celebrity status. When you hear about a recording artist whose first album has gone platinum, you don’t usually learn that he’s been in the business—or trying to get into the business—for years.

Recording artist Ne-Yo is an accomplished songwriter who’s written for everybody from Mariah Carey to Céline Dion. Speaking to a group of young people, he was asked how it felt to be on top of the industry. His answer makes my point: “I don’t think you get it. I was doing this for twelve years before anybody knew who I was.” 

For twelve years Ne-Yo was writing every single day. He took stories from everyday life, and in every spare moment he wrote song lyrics, created poems, told stories through his music when no one was paying attention. He realized that he had to perfect his craft to be taken seriously. At the end of the day, it’s a solid work ethic that enabled these “overnight sensations” to succeed.

Too many people believe that no matter how hard they work, they won’t be successful. You can’t give in to that belief. Remember, you’ve already admitted that there is something great out there for you. So you have to also believe that on the other side of the journey is that success. Hard work is what exists in the middle of where you are and where you want to be.

The reason you have to put everything on the line isn’t because life is unfair or you’re doing penance for some bad act. You have to put everything on the line because everything you’re supposed to become requires the whole you. Therefore, if you only give half of yourself, you only become half of who you’re supposed to be. How amazing would it be, especially for those of you who think you’re happy with what you’re currently giving, who’ve never given all of yourself—to give it all and reap all the benefits? Think of how much you could have if you gave it your all!

|23|jeff johnson,work ethic,persistence,creativity,craft,success|_none|1|jeff_johnson Where Beauty Lives|Do your eyes deceive you?|2010-12-29 17:00:00|public://imports/1821.jpg|0|public://imports/1821.jpg|

At first it was barely noticeable. Standing with our group in an open plaza of Kathmandu’s historic district, I had grown accustomed to the bumps and nudges that accompany touring with others in close quarters. To help accustom our bodies to the higher elevations of Tibet, we had scheduled a 48-hour layover in the country of Nepal, which is situated at about 4,000 feet above sea level. In addition to preparing us for the Tibetan plateau, this would give us time to immerse ourselves in the traditions surrounding Hindu’s oldest temples. I could have easily ignored the tug that I felt from the cloth pleat in my cotton hiking pants. Because it was so deliberate, though, I did not.

Instinctively, I glanced downward to the source of the distraction. I wasn’t prepared for what I saw. My eyes were met by the intense gaze of a man whose sparsely bearded face rose barely above the height of my knees. He appeared both timeless and ancient, as the hot wind rippled through the long, tangled strands of hair that mingled with the silvery wisps of his beard. The white ash that traditionally covers the body of a Hindu holy man clung to the humid dampness of his skin in patches. Underneath was a black, scarred, and deformed body, made only darker from years of exposure to the harsh high-altitude sun.

It took a moment for me to make sense of what my eyes were seeing. As I searched below his waist to the place where the man’s legs should have been, all that I saw was the limp fold of a soiled loincloth cascading onto the ground below. In place of his legs, there was a short piece of board with rollers attached to the underside. Stained through years of use, the roller board appeared to be his only means of getting around.

Startled, I stepped back. Without breaking his gaze from my eyes, the man slowly placed both of his palms on the ground, maintained his balance on the board, and skillfully pushed himself in my direction. I glanced up to see if anyone else had noticed what I was seeing. Those around me appeared absolutely oblivious of what was happening on the ground beneath their feet!

The sight of overwhelming poverty had become common through the course of our journey, and my immediate assumption was that the man was a “beggar” asking me for a handout. The act of begging is an acceptable profession in many religious traditions for those people who have freed themselves from the encumbrances of homes, professions, and families to devote themselves to prayer. As I reached into my pocket for something to hand him, the man turned and pointed to the roofline of an ancient temple across the square.

Following his gesture, I found myself staring at the most beautiful wooden façade of an ancient Hindu temple. It was partially hidden behind other buildings, and was completely covered with the intricately detailed figurines of the thousands of gods and goddesses of Hindu tradition. If the ashen man had not pointed it out, I would have missed it completely. As I later learned, it also held an important key to understanding the Hindu faith.

When I handed the bills to him, he casually waved his hands as if he were shooing a fly away, gesturing for me to put the money back into my pocket—he wasn’t interested in money! I turned away briefly, in time to catch our translator leading the group in another direction. When I looked back, the man on the roller board had disappeared. Searching the crowd in front of me, I caught a quick glimpse of him just as he made his way across the hot cobblestones and into the masses of tourists. I never saw him again.

I share this story to illustrate a point. Because the man looked so very different to me, I had a judgment about him and who he was. From his gnarled and weathered body, it was the beauty of his spirit that came through that day. Rather than wanting a handout, he simply wanted to share something with me. He showed me a part of his world that I would not have seen otherwise, and in doing so he taught me about my judgment. He also demonstrated that beauty can come through only when we allow it.

|23|poverty,spirit,temple,hindu,nepal,tibet,gregg braden|_none|1|gregg_braden Not So Sweet!|5 sweeteners to watch out for.|2012-08-11 17:00:00|public://imports/1822.jpg|0|public://imports/1822.jpg|

You maY be thinking that the solution to belly fat is to use alternative sweeteners, right? Nope. There are five sweeteners that I suggest you watch out for: saccharin (pink packets), aspartame (blue packets), sucralose (yellow packets), high fructose corn syrup, and agave nectar. The first three are known as excitotoxins, which contain neurotransmitters that “overexcite” neurons in the brain, causing degeneration and even death in these critically important nerve cells. I avoid these as much as possible and suggest you do the same. Here’s more on these alternative sweeteners, along with two others I recommend you avoid:

Saccharin is the oldest sugar substitute around; you probably know it as Sweet’N Low. It was discovered by a chemist in 1879 and became a popular additive in the 20th century. As early as 1911, though, there was already an effort being made to ban it due to the potentially unhealthy effects. Controversy continued to follow saccharin, especially in the 1970s when research published in Science linked it to bladder cancer in animals. Again, there was an attempt to have it banned, but instead products were required by law to post a label stating that saccharin caused cancer in laboratory animals (you probably remember seeing it on the side of popular sodas like Tab). Even though the ban has since been removed, scientists from places such as the University of Illinois and Boston University have requested that saccharin be labeled a carcinogen once again, stating that there is “ample evidence” to suggest that it’s cancer causing. I don’t know about you, but if something has proven to cause cancer in any living being, I don’t want it in my body! It’s not a risk I’m willing to take, which is why I avoid saccharin.

Aspartame was also discovered by a chemist; you probably know it as Equal and NutraSweet. It’s found in thousands of food and drink products, namely diet sodas. Studies have shown that it can cause imbalances in your brain, affecting your nervous system, your moods, and even your quality of sleep. A study published in Environmental Health Perspectives found a connection between aspartame consumption and seizures. Additionally, researchers from Washington University Medical School questioned the rise in malignant brain tumors during the years after aspartame was introduced.

Sucralose is found in more than 4,500 products on the supermarket shelves, such as Splenda. Also discovered by chemists, this sugar alternative is 600 times sweeter than sugar. Scientists at Duke University recently revealed that commonly consumed amounts of sucralose reduce the amount of “good” gut bacteria by 50 percent. Gut bacteria are essential for promoting a healthy digestive system and regular bowel movements, which help you get rid of false belly fat. Sucralose also produced significant weight gain in the study. Beyond this research, sucralose contains chlorine, which as you know is used to sanitize pools and is certainly not something you want to ingest. Manufactured chlorine compounds, like the ones used in Splenda, can cause damage to your organs and reproduction functions.

High fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is something you’ve probably heard is bad for you, but you might be confused about why it’s so bad. All simple sugars that enter the bloodstream can cause a rapid increase in blood sugar, but fructose has a specific effect on your body—and it’s not a good one. Fructose has also been linked to leptin resistance, kidney stones, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and heart disease. When you consume fructose, it goes directly to your liver and gets processed into fatty deposits, which can lead to fatty liver disease—which is only typically seen in alcoholics. This fat also filters into your blood and fills your veins with fatty blood, otherwise known as high cholesterol. Since the introduction of HFCS into mainstream foods in the ’70s, the American obesity epidemic has skyrocketed. If you track the rise in obesity and the rise in consumption of HFCS, you’ll see almost a direct parallel. To make matters worse, high fructose corn syrup has invaded nearly all types of food—you can find it in breads, sodas, juices, pastas, baking ingredients, cookies, ice cream, sauces, salad dressings, jellies . . . just about everything. According to the USDA, the availability of HFCS has increased 10,673 percent since 1970 (yes, you read that number right).

Agave nectar is a sweetener made from the agave plant, a common succulent found in Mexico. It’s a bit like honey, but thinner. It’s been labeled a healthy sweetener and said to be good for diabetics and “100 percent natural.” But here’s why it’s landed on my list of wrong sugars: it is actually highly processed and has even more fructose in it than high fructose corn syrup—agave nectar can be up to 90 percent fructose. According to Dr. Ingrid Kohlstadt, a fellow of the American College of Nutrition, “It’s almost all fructose, highly processed sugar with great marketing.” And Dr. Joseph Mercola, author of Sweet Deception: Why Splenda®, NutraSweet®, and the FDA May Be Hazardous to Your Health, says that “agave nectar is neither a natural food nor organic.” Don’t believe the hype and the labels that claim this to be a “healthy” alternative to sugar. It will actually trigger the same responses as white sugar and high fructose corn syrup. I recommend avoiding it entirely—my personal doctor believes that it’s worse than any other sweetener available!

|6|excitotoxins,agave nectar,high fructose corn syrup,splenda,sucralose,nutrasweet,equal,aspartame,sweetnlow,saccharin,alternative sweeteners,low carb diet,weight loss,belly fat cure,belly fat,jorge cruise|_none|1|jorge_cruise Happy New Year!|Let the affirmations begin.|2011-01-01 17:00:00|public://imports/1823.jpg|0|public://imports/1823.jpg|

Affirmations are like planting seeds in the ground. First they germinate, then they sprout roots, and then they shoot up through the ground. It takes some time to go from a seed to a full-grown plant. And so with affirmations, it takes some time from the first declaration to the final demonstration. So be patient.

The following letter from my book, Letters to Louise, will help you to create affirmations for the New Year. I like saying my affirmations looking in a mirror and saying them out loud. As you practice your affirmations, you will come to realize that the answers really are within you.

Dear Louise,

I’ve just been rereading You Can Heal Your Life after 20 years, and I’ve been saying I APPROVE OF MYSELF as a mantra. I want to compose my own affirmations for the New Year, guided by your words, for a few areas of my life.

As well as repeating them as often as I think of them, I was going to record them and play them to myself every night before going to sleep. Do you think it's better to concentrate on one area at a time, or can I put them all in there together?

If doing one at a time, how much time would you recommend I devote to each one? Until I notice results? One month? For example, I am putting my house up for sale. In this climate, do you think my goal can manifest if I decide on a price I want to get and repeatedly state this in an affirmation?

Dear One,

It’s just great that you want to take charge of writing your own affirmations for the New Year! Remember to always start with positive words such as: I can, I am, I will, I have.

I can do it!

I can allow myself to succeed.

I am the happiest person I can be

I am cherished and loved by everyone.

I will take the next step.

I will do it!

I have all that I need.

I have the power to heal.

Put them all together and record them if you can. Playing them as background music whenever possible will help them become part of your consciousness. Be sure you play them as you go to sleep at night. Each day, repeat a different affirmation as often as possible.

A good affirmation for selling your house would be:

My house easily and effortlessly finds new owners, who gladly pay my price of ____, its equivalent, or better. 

Then do what you need to do to list your house, to make it shiny and bright, and to spruce it up a bit. As you do these things, say your affirmations and know that Life is handling your sale. Appreciating Life always makes things easier to do.

|23|louise hay,affirmations,positive thinking,new years resolutions,mirror work,house for sale|_none|1|louise_l_hay Wishes Do Come True! |Tapping into your own personal genie.|2011-01-02 17:00:00|public://imports/1824.jpg|0|public://imports/1824.jpg|

Stop for a moment and think about your thoughts. They’re non-stop, aren’t they? I’m sure you sometimes wish you could slow them down or turn them off—but you simply cannot. They come and go as they please, wreak havoc as they see fit and, on a good day, can elevate your mood and make you feel like dancing. How many do you think you have in a day? A hundred? A thousand? Nope. Try 60,000.

Sixty-thousand thoughts in a 24-hour period. Wow!!

I just read that statistic and that’s what I said—WOW! I got to thinking: what is swimming around inside my head 60,000 times a day?

More important, how many are relevant, productive and important thoughts—and how many are mindless chatter? How many complaints, rants and trivial issues do I allow to clutter my mind tens of thousands of times a day? I don’t know for sure, but I don’t think I want to either. My guess is you are in the same boat.

Consider your thoughts—how many times a day do thoughts and ideas cross your mind that can birth planets, create life, change someone’s life, heal someone, inspire another or motivate you and others?

Thoughts are like a seed you plant—the question is, are you planting a weed, your favorite, fragrant flower or nutritious food?

Thoughts are a subconscious magnet—they are the greatest source of attraction, seduction and enrollment.

Picture a fabulous genie in your mind, ready and willing to fulfill your every desire, saying “as you wish” to every thought you have. It’s exciting—and it’s also scary. Because sometimes you have scary thoughts. You have unhealthy, negative, depressing and self-destructive thoughts. The genie in your head doesn’t know the difference, it’s trained to grant your every wish, your every desire, whether it’s healthy or harmful.

Your subconscious simply says, “Yes! Yes! Yes!” to your every thought.

The universe answers back, “I’ll have what she’s having.” Soon you give birth to your thoughts. You are about to be laid off from work. You lost your best client. You broke up with someone. You are about to enter into foreclosure. You gained that ten pounds back. You produce all sorts of thoughts without even remembering what you were paying attention to in the first place.

I’ve read that computers can now “read” minds by scanning brain activity and reproducing it as video footage—as moving images of what people are seeing or remembering. You need to be your own computer, always monitoring what you are seeing or remembering. Change the channel if you aren’t entertained.

When you say “I will be—I am committed to being—financially free,” the powerful genie in your head responds, “as you wish.”

Employing that logic, consider what would happen if you said, “I’m horrible with money. I never have any, and I’m always struggling.” The same genie hears that and says, “As you wish.”

Wait, what?? I didn’t wish for that, what’s wrong with my genie?? Nothing. She’s just fine, she’s doing her job to collect her paycheck while you cry about not having any money. You asked for it, you got it.

What happens next? You assume the victim role. You blame everyone but yourself. You judge the person, or persons, that you fault for your misfortune. You point your finger at circumstances. Yes, that’s it! Bad luck and unfortunate circumstances—or “circus-stances”—put you in this position. No sweetheart, they didn’t. You put you in this position.

Accept responsibility now.

The beauty of accepting responsibility is that you are also accepting the power to change your life, yourself and your circumstances. Why would you want to give that power to anyone else? You have spent a lifetime becoming your own person—now be that person!

|1|wendy robbins,thoughts,ego,change,genie,money,responsibility|_none|1|wendy_robbins ThetaHealing™ and The 5 Types of Brainwaves|Understand the different brainwave frequencies|2013-11-18 17:00:00|public://imports/3597.jpg|0|public://imports/3597.jpg|

To understand what ThetaHealing™ and the Theta state is, you must first understand brainwaves. There are five different frequencies of brainwave: Beta, Alpha, Theta, Delta and Gamma. These are constantly in motion since the brain is consistently producing waves in all frequencies. Everything that you do and say is regulated by the frequency of your brainwaves, and one frequency will dominate in any given situation.


Whenever you are thinking, talking and communicating, your mind is in Beta. It will be in Beta at this moment. Beta waves have a frequency of 14–28 cycles per second. Beta is the state in which you are active and alert.


Alpha is the bridge between Beta and Theta. In an Alpha state, your brainwaves are moving at a frequency between 7 and 14 cycles per second. The Alpha frequency is likened to a very relaxed, meditative state of mind. Alpha waves govern daydreaming and fantasizing; and denote relaxed, detached awareness. People who don’t function well at this frequency will experience memory difficulties. For example, if you are aware that a particular dream or meditation was quite powerful, but can’t recall the details, sufficient Alpha frequencies were not generated. You didn’t have the bridge between the subconscious and the conscious mind.

To more fully understand an Alpha state, close your eyes and imagine a sunset. See in your mind’s eye the sun setting against the ocean and seagulls flying low near the shore. This is the beginning of inducing an Alpha state. Alpha has been known to take away pain and is useful in healing.


A Theta state is a very deep state of relaxation. This is the state used in hypnosis and dreaming. In it, the brainwaves are slowed to a frequency of four to seven cycles per second. In fact, sages meditate for hours and hours to reach this state, as in it they are able to access absolute calmness. Theta brainwaves can be thought of as the subconscious; they govern the part of our mind that is layered between the conscious and the unconscious. They hold memories and sensations. They also govern our attitudes, beliefs and behavior. They are always creative, inspirational and characterized by very spiritual sensations.

It is believed the Theta state allows us to act below the level of the conscious mind. It is the first stage of the dream state. It is the state we are in when we stand on the top of a mountain completely absorbed in our surroundings. At that moment of realization we experience the absolute “knowing” that God is real; we just know that God is. When we access a Theta state and call upon the Creator, we connect to the Creator of All That Is to heal a person instantly.

The ThetaHealing™ State

In ThetaHealing™, you imagine yourself going up above your head through your crown chakra. What did the ancients mean when they said, “Go up and ask of God”? When you imagine lifting your consciousness above your head through your crown chakra and you go up and ask of God, your brainwaves shift instantly to Theta. When I was asked what I was doing in my readings, this is what I realized. I was sitting across from the person, holding their hands and imagining myself going above my space, praying that God would grant me the reading that this person needed, and it was given to me. I was holding a Theta state.


A Delta state of mind happens when you are in a deep sleep. In a Delta state, the brainwaves are slowed to a frequency of zero to four cycles per second. It is also this state that is utilized when the phone rings and we intuitively ‘know’ who is calling.


The Gamma brainwave is the state we are in when we learn and process information. Gamma waves stimulate the release of Beta endorphins. They appear to be involved in higher mental activity, including perception and consciousness. In this state, your brainwaves cycle between 40 and 5,000 cycles a second.

I believe that when you are in a Theta-Gamma state, you are in the condition most conducive to instant healing. In the miracle of instant healing the brain can go from 4 cycles a second to 5,000 cycles a second. In times of emergency, the brain has been observed to switch back and forth between Gamma and Theta with no other wave present. This seems to be a natural response. My book, Theta Healing™ explains more about brainwaves and will teach you how to put your brain into a theta state and much more.

|6|crown chakra,brain function,brainwaves,energy healing,healing,theta healing,vianna stibal|_none|1|vianna_stibal Keep Colds Away!|Try a healthy attitude adjustment.|2011-01-05 17:00:00|public://imports/1827.jpg|0|public://imports/1827.jpg|

I’ve noticed lately that there seem to be loads of people with colds or the remnants of a bout of cold/flu, like a persistent sore or irritated throat, or persistent blocked nose or sinuses that just won’t let go. It seems like this season’s colds have clung on a bit too long for many people.

It is likely that our attitudes play a role here.

Studies have shown that people who experience more positive emotions tend to be less likely to catch colds than those who experience more negative emotions.

For instance, a study led by Sheldon Cohen, a psychology professor at Carnegie Mellon University, recruited 354 healthy volunteers aged between 18 and 54 years old and gave each of them nasal drops containing the cold virus.

Beforehand, each person was assessed for their tendency to experience positive emotions, like being happy, pleased, and relaxed, and their tendency to experience negative emotions, like being anxious, hostile, and depressed. The results clearly showed that those who experienced the most positive emotions were less at risk of developing the cold than those who experienced more negative emotions.

What does this mean for the average person?

It means that we should look at our lives and pay attention to how we’re feeling. Do you often feel stressed, irritable, or hostile? Or do you feel mostly cheery?

The way we tackle the daily situations of our lives can affect our emotions and beyond that our health. Some people see everything as a problem and have a tendency to “make mountains out of molehills.”

This is not meant as a criticism. We have all been there, and this reads true for many of us right now in our lives. It can be a symptom of difficult situations in our lives, tiredness, work or relationship problems, or even dietary factors. These people typically experience more negative emotions.

Others make “molehills out of mountains” and have a tendency to breeze through situations without getting too hot and bothered. Life seems to be easier for them. But for most of us in the western world, we also know that when this reads true for us it’s not always that life is easy but that it is our attitude that makes life easy.

Changing how we look at things can make the difference between experiencing mostly negative emotions or mostly positive emotions in our daily lives.

|6|health,happiness,emotions,flu,colds,david hamilton|_none|1|david_r_hamilton_phd No Need for a Genie|It’s just 10 lbs!|2011-01-03 17:00:00|public://imports/1828.jpg|0|public://imports/1828.jpg|

You’re cleaning out your attic and you find a dusty lamp with a lid on the top. Although it looks to be about 1,000 years old, there’s a magical glow around it, an aura. You immediately recognize it for what it is: a genie’s lamp. Your heart pounds as you remove the lid, rub the lamp, and wait for something magical to occur. For a few seconds, nothing happens and you start peeking around from side to side, hoping no one has noticed the biggest fool in the world.

Just then, a huge cloud of smoke spews from the lamp, spitting out your own personal genie. He’s about 9 feet tall, smells like mothballs, and looks a lot like Mr. Clean. He is about to grant you three wishes.

A recent poll of genies revealed that everyone who is granted three wishes uses one for becoming thin. Wanting to be thinner is one of those givens, like the fact that we all want to win the lottery, look like Halle Berry, Cindy Crawford or George Clooney, and get a television set so enormous the neighbors can see what we’re watching. People who don’t want to better their bodies a tiny bit simply don’t exist. Rub. Poof. Wish. Voilà? If only.

I’m not your personal genie. I’m someone just like you. I used to have a food problem that sent my weight up and down so many times I could have passed for a seesaw. I can’t grant you three wishes, but making your dreams a reality is what I’m all about. I can help you discover how to weigh what you want, stop hating yourself every time a piece of candy or a chunk of chocolate crosses your lips, and be at peace with your body.

Welcome to the Just 10 Lbs. concept. The goals are simple:

  1. Lose 10 pounds in 30 days by following the 10 steps in the program. Each step tackles a different aspect of weight loss, from nutrition to spiritual support. Do the steps and losing weight will feel almost effortless, because it’s a way of living, not a way of losing (weight).
  2. Reclaim the power and emotions you’ve handed over to the food and renounce your food fight.
  3. Open up the emotional blockages that clutter your path to living your life to its glorious potential.
  4. Learn to eat normally and live at a healthy weight.
  5. Create a lifestyle that emphasizes the mind, body, emotions, relationships, and, most important, your spirit.

Just 10 Lbs. offers a sustainable approach to normalizing your weight and stopping destructive eating habits. It is built around restoring a positive, loving relationship with yourself—one of the most overlooked factors in weight management. It’s really a spiritual diet program.

You see, no matter why you overeat, I know that food is not your only problem. This statement may surprise you. But I’ve learned through my own experience and through my work as an interventionist, and dealing with clients with food issues, emotional problems, addictions, and other disorders, that losing weight is not just about dieting, doing push-ups, crunching out thousands of sit-ups, or running on a treadmill. It’s primarily about your relationship with yourself. Weighing what you want starts with you—the “you” between your ears more than the “you” under your clothes. If you’re stuck in a self-loathing mind-set, or your eating is out of control, then it’s very hard to do something good for yourself, or treat yourself well. Those three pounds of gray matter between your ears (that’s about what your brain weighs) represent the key!

So, why just 10 pounds? Many of us think big—way too big—when it comes to losing weight, working out, and eating better. Once we’re in major overhaul mode, we plot dramatic self-improvement campaigns with jumbo goals like losing 30, 50, or 100 pounds or more. The problem with such ambition, of course, is the potential for failure. Obsessing over a big loss can be overwhelming. And it may keep you from sticking to your weight-loss program. Let’s focus on just 10. It’s a winning strategy. And there are some pretty impressive health benefits by losing just 10 pounds.

In a large National Institutes of Health clinical trial called the Diabetes Prevention program, more than 3,000 overweight people with impaired glucose tolerance (a pre-diabetic condition) were randomly assigned to a placebo group, a drug group, or a lifestyle intervention group (with low-fat diet, 30 minutes of daily exercise, and behavior modification). On average, the intervention group lost 5 percent to 7 percent of their body weight (11 pounds to 15 pounds) and reduced their risk of type 2 diabetes by 58 percent, significantly more than those on oral medication.

In the second phase of a National Institutes of Health study called the Trials of Hypertension Prevention, overweight people were randomly assigned to weight-loss intervention. Those who lost as few as 10 pounds over six months—and kept it off for two years—experienced significant reductions in blood pressure and fewer subsequent diagnoses of high blood pressure than those who didn’t lose weight.

So, just 10 pounds? You may be rewarded with some big health payoffs!

|6|brad lamm,weight loss,spiritual diet,healthy diet,overeating,compulsive eating,emotional health|_none|1|brad_lamm Walk a Mile in My Shoes?|Emotional eating is just the beginning.|2011-01-04 17:00:00|public://imports/1829.jpg|0|public://imports/1829.jpg|

I grew up in a family where there was pressure to diet. Everyone gained weight and everyone dieted. Every meal in our family was a binge, with portions that were three times the norm. My mom led our diet craziness. 

Looking back, I mimicked my mom’s eating and yo-yo dieting habits while growing up. As a kid, I started eating in secret, hiding frozen spritz cookies and other goodies in my sweatshirt for the walk to my bedroom, where I would console myself or celebrate a triumph. Food! Diets. Weight loss. Celebration. Pain. Hunger. I ate for all those reasons, and more.

At college, my food intake went up and down by turns. I felt fat, pathetic, and self-conscious. I would gain and lose the same 20 pounds I’d been struggling to keep it off since a teen. Dorm food zipped it right back on. It seemed like I was heavier than everyone I hung out with, and I started to hate myself for being unable to lose weight again.

Then my thin-as-a-rail friend Valerie showed me how to “get rid of it” by purging. Throw it up. Gross, right? But that was my remedy—don’t keep the enemy down. Unhealthy and self-destructive as it was, that was what my best thinking got me. Soon, I was preoccupied with bingeing and purging—and was anything but in control. I was in the grips of an upside-down relationship with food, and it was called bulimia.

I struggled with bulimia and compulsive binge eating for many years, but I didn’t look thin enough or sick enough for anyone (including me) to think I needed help. I just kept my food fight to myself, year after year, and tragedy after triumph.

But that’s not all. I started drinking alcohol as kid; I liked the way it made me feel. Alcohol led to recreational drugs, lots of them. Food was a balm, too; I ate to soothe myself.

In 2001, I was pushing 197 at around 5 foot 9. I’d start my day with a 32-ounce Dr. Pepper from 7-Eleven. That’s approximately 28 ounces of soda and 4 ounces of ice, clocking in at a brain-changing jolt of 128 grams of sugar and 512 calories in one shot. By summer 2002 rolled around, I had added a six-pack of Red Bull per day, boosting my sugar intake by an additional 132 grams per day. I was wired and on fire from my food and drink choices.

The sugar, the food, the alcohol—it all made me fat. I was desperate to stay trim and avoid those “10 pounds” they say being on television adds on you (I worked in television for many years). I smoked to control my appetite and keep the weight off. I binged and purged when I had eaten too much.

I hated myself and my lack of self-control. No matter how hard I tried, I always ended up right back where I started: in the drugs, the alcohol, the nicotine, the sugar, and the food. I was self-medicating with everything I could get my hands on.

I’d look in the mirror and think, What happened? I had the resume of a model citizen, not a common drunk or addict. Hometown: Eugene, Oregon. Occupation: weather anchor. Parents: beloved minister and devoted mother, both of whom raised me in an alcohol-free home with lots of love.

Why couldn’t I beat my addictions? Of course, there is no simple answer. Trying to describe the process of becoming an addict is like trying to describe space. It’s too big and mysterious and pervasive to be defined. All you know is that you can’t live without your vice(s).

I went through countless detoxes and even more diets to get cleaned up. But I didn’t keep the post-detox or post-diet promises. Active addicts try, and active addicts fail. That’s how it works. I made the promises, and I really did try to keep them. But I kept rationalizing the third drink or the fourth or fifth, or the box of doughnuts or package of chocolate chip cookies with lots of excuses. Just today. Bad day. “I deserve a reward,” I told myself. “I’ll stop tomorrow.”

I hated myself into multiple, life-threatening addictions that could have robbed me of the chance to share my story with you. Sickened, drained, unable to feel—it was perpetual numbness. No sadness, no happiness, no highs, no lows. Nothing. This is why addictions are so difficult to kick. My pleasure receptors were so fried that my brain no longer had the ability to feel any pleasure on its own. When you’re that addicted, you’re so depressed that you just want to get high, again and again.

All told, I spent 20 years living in addiction. But through the help of friends and therapists, I got into rehab for one last time. Recovery was rough, tough going. I spent hours tracing my relapse history and building a timeline of progression, identifying many of the feelings and thoughts that led to each setback. One therapist told me, “Brad, you have a choice. You can begin to love yourself today or you can die from all this.”

Whoa. My struggles were causing me emotional pain, but I didn’t think they could kill me. I didn’t want to die. Heck, I didn’t even like myself anymore. How was I going to achieve self-love? There weren’t any infomercials selling me a quick, easy way to do that. But when I was 34 years old, I finally broke free from my self-defeating, life-robbing behavior.

|23|brad lamm,food addiction,diet,overeating,bulimia,addiction,recovery,self-love,emotional eating|_none|1|brad_lamm Love Your Inner Child|Releasing hurts of the past.|2013-02-08 17:00:00|public://imports/1836.jpg|0|public://imports/1836.jpg|

It doesn’t matter how old you are, there is a little child within who needs love and acceptance. If you’re a woman, no matter how self-reliant you are, you have a little girl who’s very tender and needs help. If you’re a man, no matter how macho you are, you still have a little boy inside who craves warmth and affection.

As children, when something went wrong, we tended to believe that there was something wrong with us. Children develop the idea that if they could only do it right, then parents and caregivers would love them, and they wouldn’t punish them. In time, the child believes, There is something wrong with me. I’m not good enough. As we grow older, we carry these false beliefs with us. We learn to reject ourselves.

There is a parent inside each of us, as well as a child. And most of the time, the parent scolds the child—almost nonstop! If we listen to our inner dialogue, we can hear the scolding. We can hear the parent tell the child what it is doing wrong or how it is not good enough. We need to allow our parent to become more nurturing to our child.

I have found that working with the inner child is most valuable in helping to heal the hurts of the past. At this point in our lives—right now—we need to begin to make ourselves whole and accept every part of who we are. We need to communicate with our inner child and let it know that we accept the part that did all the stupid things, the part that was funny looking, the part that was scared, the part that was very foolish and silly—every single part of ourselves.

Love is the greatest healing power I know. Love can heal even the deepest and most painful memories because love brings the light of understanding to the dark corners of our mind. No matter how painful our early childhood was, loving our inner child now will help us to heal it. In the privacy of our own minds we can make new choices and think new thoughts. Thoughts of forgiveness and love for our inner child will open pathways, and the Universe will support us in our efforts.

The following letter from my book, Letters to Louise, may help you better understand your inner child:

Dear Louise,

I was raised by parents who had very little love for themselves or others. They rarely praised me or validated my self-worth. Instead, they continually criticized and berated me, no matter how hard I tried to win their approval. And they frequently fought violently with each other.

As an adult, I have forgiven my parents, but I find myself locked in the shame and guilt and fear I was raised with. How can I rid myself of the many messages they taught me as a child and learn to love myself?

Dear One,

So many wonderful workshops are available to you. There are also 12-step programs of every sort. By reaching out and taking advantage of the help they offer, you can place yourself in a healing environment that may be helpful. You can also go within and silently ask the Universe to bring you to the appropriate next step in your healing process. Be sincere in really desiring to move into greater understanding.

Also, remind yourself every day that guilt is merely the feeling associated with a thought that you did something wrong. Shame is only a feeling associated with a thought that something was wrong with you.

Use the affirmation: I am perfect, whole, and complete, just as I am. The more you repeat this statement of truth about yourself, the quicker you will release the past.

|1|positive affirmations,positive thinking,forgiveness,parenting,self-esteem,self-care,inner child,louise hay|_none|1|louise_l_hay Cholesterol Too High?|Perfect Gene Diet can help.|2011-01-07 17:00:00|public://imports/1830.jpg|0|public://imports/1830.jpg|

The right diet for your APO E gene is what can truly heal your life.

For 16 years, Dora had been working with her primary care doctor to solve her cholesterol mystery. Despite trying many different medications, reading all the books about lowering cholesterol and following their advice, and even trying some of the popular diets, Dora was never able to bring her cholesterol level below about 400—double the recommended maximum level for good heart health.

When this lovely 75-year-old woman came to see me, she was not following any particular cholesterol-lowering program because she was stymied, as was her primary care doctor, about what approach to try next. Nevertheless, she was still determined to reduce her cholesterol levels. She had good reason.

As she told me while relating her medical history, nearly every immediate family member suffered from severe heart disease, and many had already died. Clearly, she faced multiple risk factors for heart disease, and perhaps even Alzheimer’s disease, since certain Apo E genotypes carry a higher risk for both. People with the Apo E 4/4, in particular, are more prone to Alzheimer’s disease, although Dora said none of her family members had exhibited symptoms.

I saw no hint of cognitive impairment in Dora, whose delightful sense of humor never failed to cheer me. Very no-nonsense and polite, she was also bright, aware, alert, and happy. She is also one of the most determined people I know. While her children were young, she worked nights as a telephone switchboard operator to support them, coming home in time to get them off to school and then sleeping during the day while they were gone. It was this same brand of perseverance that motivated her to solve the perplexing mystery of her cholesterol levels.

Once I explained that advanced cholesterol testing and an Apo E test could give her very detailed information, Dora eagerly agreed to have the tests done. The results showed extremely high total cholesterol and high LDL—not unexpected—as well as Apo E 4/4, passed to her from both of her parents.

Her test results of January 4, 2005, blew the top off the charts with a total cholesterol level of 489 and an LDL level of 381—both extremely high. Her HDL was 67, in the high range.

Now we had a very specific genetic road map, which we could use to structure her particular diet and exercise program. Since Dora had never been able to physically tolerate either drugs or botanical supplements typically used to lower cholesterol, we decided on a no-medicine approach using only diet and exercise in line with her Apo E 4/4. These top two integrative medicine tools would be a true test of the right program for her genotype.

I recommended a diet for Dora that would reduce all her cholesterol levels. She was to make the changes slowly so her body could adjust. First of all, it was important for her to avoid skipping meals, with breakfast, lunch, dinner, and three healthy snacks spaced three hours apart. She was to eat 1,600 to 1,800 calories a day, divided this way: 25 percent protein from plant sources and fish (very little red meat, limited to only once every 24 to 48 hours), 55 percent carbohydrates from low-glycemic foods such as whole grains, and 20 percent fat in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated forms. In addition, Dora was to begin walking on a treadmill every day, beginning with 10-minute sessions and slowly increasing the time.

A month later, Dora’s total cholesterol was 243, her total LDL was 160, and her HDL was 57. At the time of her third test, on March 11, 2005, her results had improved even further: total cholesterol of 214, total LDL of 142, and total HDL of 65. The final result: one very happy patient with exceptional results. A summary of her progress is as follows:

January 4

Total cholesterol: 489 mg/dL (Optimal: below 200. High: over 240)

LDL cholesterol: 381 mg/dL (Optimal: below 100. Very high: over 190)

HDL cholesterol: 67 mg/dL (Low: 40. High: 60)

After a month of Apo E 4/4 genotype diet and exercise protocol with no medications:

February 8

Total cholesterol: 243 mg/dL

LDL cholesterol: 160 mg/dL

HDL cholesterol: 57 mg/dL

March 11

Total cholesterol: 214 mg/dL

LDL cholesterol: 142 mg/dL

HDL cholesterol: 65 mg/dL

Five years later, Dora still comes to see me, and she’s doing well.

|6|pamela mcdonald,apo e gene,high cholesterol,alzheimers,cholesterol testing,healthy eating|_none|1|pamela_mcdonald All Shook Up in Sawyerton Springs|A tribute to Elvis fans.|2011-01-08 17:00:00|public://imports/1837.jpg|0|public://imports/1837.jpg|

Michael Ted Williams passed away last week. In another month, he would have been ninety-five years old. He was tall and skinny and had been a part of the landscape in Sawyerton Springs for as long as anyone could remember.

Mr. Michael Ted had more than ten thousand cats, or at least it seemed that way. There were cats inside the house, outside the house, around the house, and on the house. He had black cats, white cats, and every kind of cat in between. Funny thing, though, he actually claimed to hate cats.

For all the talking Michael Ted Williams did about hating the cats, he never adequately explained to anyone why he bought 50-pound sacks of cat food. Or why he made toys for them. Or why he made them all sleep inside when it was cold.

There was one place in his house, however, where the cats were not allowed. It was an area the whole town knew about, because most of us had been through it. We younger people thought it was neat, but its very existence caused most of the adults in town to think Michael Ted Williams was rather a nut. I am referring to the Elvis Room.

Mr. Michael Ted liked Elvis Presley. No, strike that. Mr. Michael Ted loved Elvis Presley. He absolutely idolized the man.

The Elvis Room was a shrine. Hundreds of pictures were stacked on shelves anchored by Elvis decanters or other figurines. Movie posters were on the walls—Fun in Acapulco, Girls Girls Girls, Viva Las Vegas, G.I. Blues, and Clambake—all framed nicely. By the door, a filing cabinet held every single record the man ever made—every album and every 45—still in their original jackets. One hundred twenty-nine ticket stubs were neatly displayed on a table in the corner. Each stub was a reminder of particular concert attended by Mr. Michael Ted.

When Elvis died in 1977, Mr. Michael Ted left his cats in the care of his nephew Billy Pat and headed to Memphis. We saw him drive out of town past the elementary school with tears rolling down his face. For three days, he stood outside the gates at Graceland, paying his respects with thousands of others.

He met a lady about his same age, Patsy Jones, from DeKalb, Mississippi. She had met Elvis once at a train station. Having missed her connection that night, she hadn’t had any money to eat supper. Patsy showed Mr. Michael Ted the five-dollar bill Elvis had given her for food, and as he held the bill admiringly, he asked why she hadn’t spent it. She had been too excited to eat, she told him, and besides, she added, it was the nicest thing anyone had ever done for her.

When he got back to town, there wasn’t a trace of sadness in Michael Ted Williams. “Elvis was way too young to go,” he explained, “but the young fellow had a good life. He helped a lot of people ease their loneliness, and I, for one, will always be grateful.

We still got his music . . . so we still got him.”

About a year ago, Mr. Michael Ted started giving away his cats. “I ain’t real young anymore, y’know, and these fur balls need to be kicked around by somebody.” Almost every person in town took a cat or two. We knew that he was preparing for the end. What we didn’t know, however, was how prepared he actually was . . .

It was all very simple actually. The house and lot were to become the property of the Methodist Church. The contents of the house were to be divided between friends and family, except for the Elvis memorabilia. It was all to be carefully packed and shipped to DeKalb, Mississippi, in care of Patsy Jones. As the closest blood relation to the deceased, Billy Pat Williams had been named executor of the estate.

Billy Pat arrived at the bank shortly after they opened and followed a teller into the vault. The will said the funeral instructions were in a safety deposit box. He unlocked box number 30024 and inside he found an envelope marked: INSTRUCTIONS. Slipping it into his jacket pocket, Billy Pat thanked the teller, left the bank, and drove directly to the only funeral home in Sawyerton Springs, Mike’s Mortuary.

Mike Martin, the mortician, met Billy Pat in the foyer, took the unopened envelope, and assured him that all would be taken care of. “I’ll call you after lunch with the final details,” Mike said, “but let’s go ahead and set the service for Friday at two o’clock.”

Ten minutes later, as Billy Pat walked into his office at the Toyota dealership, his secretary held the phone out to him and said, “Mr. Martin is on the phone. It must be important, because he insisted on holding, and he has been holding for seven or eight minutes!”

“Billy Pat? Did you read the instructions your uncle left for his funeral?” Mike asked.

“Well, no,” Billy Pat said, “I never even opened the envelope.”

“For God’s sake, Billy Pat, get down here—you are not going to believe this!”

On Friday afternoon at two o’clock, Beauman’s Pond United Methodist Church was filled to overflowing. In fact, I believe it safe to say that the entire town was there. Every man, woman, and child—even some people who weren’t particularly close to Mr. Michael Ted. There existed an air of expectation one rarely experiences at a funeral. The word had gotten out.

Mike Martin stood to the side. He knew what was about to come, and it seemed to him almost indecent, but as was his custom, he had done exactly as the deceased requested.

Pastor Ward was nervous. Maybe it was the music. “Love Me Tender” was playing in the background. New things always made Pastor Ward nervous, and today, he was about to perform his first Elvis funeral.

Mike nodded at Terri Henley, who approached the pulpit to sing the first song. This is nuts, she thought. A song like this at a funeral?

Well, here goes . . .“You aren’t anything but a hound dog, crying all the time. You aren’t anything but a hound dog, crying all the time. You haven’t ever caught a rabbit, and you aren’t any friend of mine.”

Terri sang the song. She wasn’t happy about it, but she did it. It wasn’t appropriate to use improper English in church, she felt, so she took the liberty of changing some words. “Well, they said you were high class, but that was not the truth . . .”

As he finished his prepared words about how wonderful a person the dearly departed had been, Pastor Ward paused to say a silent prayer of his own. “Sweet Jesus,” he muttered. “Get me through this next part.”

Reading from a printed sheet of paper Mike had given to him earlier, Pastor Ward said, “And now, ladies and gentleman . . . the moment you’ve all been waiting for . . . from Sawyerton Springs, Alabama . . . Michael Ted Williams.”

Mike Martin pushed the button on a tape player and started toward the coffin.

As the music from 2001: A Space Odyssey filled the sanctuary, Mike slowly lifted the casket lid.

As the lid opened, the mourners stood up and moved forward to get a better look. There, amid the flash bulbs popping was Mr. Michael Ted Williams. His hair had been dyed jet black. He was wearing fake side burns and a gold tux. He looked like a ninety-four year-old Elvis Presley!

It is an understatement to say that no one will ever forget Mr. Michael Ted. He was a great old guy who provided us with laughter even after passing. One can imagine him chuckling as he wrote down the instructions for his own funeral—the most amazing production any of us had ever seen.

There was one more time during the service in which the congregation applauded. It was out of respect and admiration for the old man. Applause is intended as acknowledgment of a job well done, whether that job is a show . . . or life itself. So it was fitting that the congregation stood as one, clapping and cheering, as the casket was carried out of the church.

And then, with a big smile on his face, Pastor Ward looked at the people and said, “Ladies and gentleman, you can all go home. Michael Ted has left the building!”

|1|collectibles,memorabilia,funeral,cats,priscilla presley,elvis presley,elvis,sawyerton springs,andy andrews|_none|1|andy_andrews Imagine Your Future|Clues from your past can heal you.|2011-01-09 17:00:00|public://imports/1838.jpg|0|public://imports/1838.jpg|

Healing always involves releasing the past as we move into the future. If we don’t release the past, we keep re-creating it—and it becomes the future. As we release, it’s also crucial to have a powerful vision of a hopeful and exciting future that draws us forward. For years, I had my patients begin their health journeys by exploring their pasts to find clues to how they were creating their present conditions.

Our cells keep replacing themselves daily, and we create whole new bodies every seven years. So it is not really accurate to say that our pasts are locked in our bodies, though sometimes it seems that way. What is really going on is that the consciousness that is creating our cells is often locked in the past—and that consciousness keeps re-creating the same old patterns via old subconscious nervous system programming. If, however, we can change the consciousness that creates our cells, then our cells and lives improve automatically, because health and joy are our natural state. The easiest and fastest way to do this is to imagine your future self in as much detail as you possibly can. Doing this will assist you through any healing process you’re currently involved in. So before you dive into any resolutions, invite your future vision to accompany you on your journey. If you were in optimal health and truly flourishing, what would your life look like?

This question may be answered in the form of an exercise, with a friend who fully supports you; in writing, without worrying about revising or spelling; or out loud to yourself as you look in a mirror.

Answer the following questions (have your friend ask you the questions one by one, or write for three to five minutes without stopping, or talk to your image in the mirror):

  • If anything at all were possible, quickly, easily, and now, what would your life look like?
  • Who would be in it?
  • What would you be doing?
  • Where would you be living?
  • What would you feel like?
  • What would you look like?
  • How much money would you be making?

Don’t think about these questions before you answer. Pretend you’re a child, creating your life exactly as you want it, no holds barred. How would your life be? Your inner guidance knows exactly what your heart’s desire is. When you open your mouth and remove the brakes—and get the judge out of your head for a minute—your inner guidance will come up with the right answers.

If you need help getting going, imagine back to when you were eleven. What did you love to do? Who were you? Who did you think you would be? Imagine yourself now, telling the world who you are—and who you are going to become. Speak it to your image in the mirror—tell it to a friend or to the wind. Call that eleven-year-old back now. She’s got something to tell you. Take her into the future with you and let her become everything she ever dreamed she would be.

After you have completed the first part of this exercise, imagine that it is one year from today. You have been able to create everything that you wanted, plus more. Everything that you dreamed could come true is now true. You are celebrating and looking back over this phenomenal year. You’ve created all of it almost magically, through the power of connecting with your inner guidance and wisdom. After you feel this scene fully, tell your partner (or your journal, or your image in the mirror) in detail about everything that you’ve created; share how excited you are, and invite her or him to celebrate with you. Keep talking for two to three minutes without censoring yourself. Just let it flow—like a child playing make-believe.1 If you can’t dream up any circumstances for the future, just imagine feeling joyous, light, and happy.

This exercise is extraordinarily simple but very powerful. Part of the reason is that focused thought is what creates the reality around us. It has been said that if you can hold a thought or feeling for at least 17 seconds without introducing a contradicting thought or emotion, then you’ll see evidence of this thought manifest around you in the physical world.

You can change the time intervals by dreaming up your future self one week from now, one year from now, or even at the end of your life. In each case, have your future self look back and take in everything that you’ve accomplished and healed. It’s exhilarating and it will get you in touch with who you really are. I recommend repeating this experience at least four times per year.

Excerpted with permission from Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom by Christiane Northrup, M.D., Bantam, New York, 2010, Chapter 15 Steps for Flourishing.

This information is not intended to treat, diagnose, cure, or prevent any disease. All material in this article is provided for educational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you have regarding a medical condition, and before undertaking any diet, exercise, or other health program.


  1. Exercise adapted from a workshop Dr. Northrup participated in with Annie Gill-O’Toole.
|6|inner wisdom,new year,affirmations,dreaming,healthy living,future,consciousness,christiane northrup|_none|1|dr_christiane_northrup Are You Fried?|Shine, don’t flatline.|2011-01-10 17:00:00|public://imports/1831.jpg|0|public://imports/1831.jpg|

My friend Tom Zender is a minister, author, and business consultant with very strong values. One reason why he doesn’t burn out is reflected in a comment he made on my Facebook page. It was in response to a discussion on how getting sick is often the only way in which busy people can get a rest. Tom wrote: “We’ve got to block out at least an hour per day for meditation, silence, prayer, reading, journaling, exercise, communication with family and friends . . . er, make that two hours, Joan!”

Well, I know that all of those things are important, and I not only subscribe to them, I teach them. But when burnout takes over, values get shoved aside so that you can spend every minute working. Priorities shift from living a balanced life to chasing an unobtainable moving target. A good example of this is in the movie Avatar, where a degenerate culture (which was modeled on our own) was willing to destroy a peaceful planet (which was in tune with the natural world) in order to excavate a mineral aptly named unobtanium. The metaphor wasn’t lost on me, nor was it on the millions of others inspired by this mythical film.

When you’re single-mindedly chasing after your own unobtanium, you eventually flatline—effectively becoming deadened to the richness of life unfolding all around and within you. The little blips of joy, relaxation, fun, and spiritual refreshment that give meaning and texture to life disappear. When I’ve been in this state, nothing seems to matter anymore. I don’t care about going to the movies, seeing family and friends, exercising, getting a massage, or gardening. It’s as if all of my interests and pleasure receptors have dried up and fallen off.

I know I’m flatlining when the holidays are coming up and instead of making plans to travel and see the kids, I decide to work. I know I’m flatlining when I stop wanting to take care of the plants and delegate the job to my husband. I know I’m flatlining when the sight of skis in the closet awakens zero interest in going out on the slopes. I know I’m flatlining when meditation, exercise, being in the kitchen, and going shopping for anything—from food to clothing to gifts—feels boring.

How do you recognize when you’re flatlining?

Self-Reflection Exercise: What Did You Once Enjoy Doing?

When I was a kid, we lived about three blocks from a bowling alley. I’d been initiated into the joys of duckpin bowling by my older brother, Alan (duckpins are the smaller pins found mostly at bowling alleys on the East Coast). Because the balls are also smaller, even children, given enough practice, can get really good at the sport. I lived to bowl, which is where most of my allowance went.

As I grew older, bowling became less important, but unbeknownst to me, those narrow lanes had left corresponding grooves in my neural circuitry. Several years later, when I’d flatlined once again, Gordie and I happened to drive past a bowling alley. He turned the car around and pulled into the parking lot despite my protestations that I had too much to do and didn’t like bowling anyway. However, the simple act of picking up a ball and rolling it down the alley reawakened youthful neural networks primed by possibility, and soon I was laughing and having the time of my life.

You may not remember the joy you once felt in a hobby or activity that has fallen off your radar, so you may need to enlist a friend or loved one in helping you remember. One of my friends who is in her 70s was a dancer in her youth. During a flatline period of her own, she noticed a jazz dance class at her gym and signed up. It was as if a light switch were turned on inside her.

In 1981, Harvard professor of psychology Ellen Langer conducted a fascinating study of how we can improve well-being by doing things we enjoyed in our younger years. She calls it her “counterclockwise study,” and you can read more about it in her 2009 book, Counterclockwise: Mindful Health and the Power of Possibility. Langer and her colleagues created a time capsule of the world as it was 22 years earlier, in 1979, setting up in an old monastery in Peterborough, New Hampshire. They invited two groups of men in their late 70s and early 80s to live in the meticulous re-creation of the late 1950s for one week each.

One group was instructed to pretend that the year really was 1959 and talk about “current” events like Castro’s victory in Cuba and Nikita Khrushchev and the Cold War in the present tense. The other group spoke of events in the past tense more as observers than participants. All of the volunteers were tested physically and cognitively before the study began and again at its conclusion. While both groups showed increases in strength, flexibility, memory, and intelligence, the group who had acted as if it were really 1959 improved the most. Living like younger versions of themselves actually rejuvenated the men, demonstrating the profound effect that our thinking has on our body.

Think back to a time before you were burned out—when you were at your prime and filled with enthusiasm for life’s possibilities. What did you enjoy doing? Choose one activity (like bowling, for example), and put it on your calendar. This is an experiment. If it rejuvenates you, add it to your regular schedule. If it doesn’t, choose another activity from an earlier time in your life. Make sure to get out your calendar and actually add this to your schedule.

|23|joan borysenko,burn out,emotional flatlining,depression,exhaustion,fatigue,rejuvenation,stress,joy,happiness,relaxation,balance|_none|1|joan_z_borysenko_phd Best Remedy for Burnout?|Take a leap of faith!|2011-01-11 17:00:00|public://imports/1835.jpg|0|public://imports/1835.jpg|

The process of letting go and moving on that all of us face is both enlivening and terrifying. What if you decide to leave a relationship but you can’t pay the rent on your own? What if you finally quit a job that’s burning you out and end up as a statistic in the annals of unemployment? It takes courage to walk away from a bird in the hand to catch a more beautiful one that’s still in the bush. But this familiar tension is the plot that animates the best of adventures.

The most successful Hollywood epics are based on what happens when the hero makes a leap (or is pushed) into the unknown. Anthropologists refer to this letting go of the old as a rite of passage. It consists of three parts: the hero separates from his or her former life, confronts ordeals in the intermediate time between “no longer and not yet,” and finally enters the “promised land” of a new life transformed by the adventure.

The late, great mythologist Joseph Campbell called this evolutionary leap the hero’s journey. But the three-part anatomy of change and transformation isn’t limited to epic stories. It’s the map of soul growth for all of us, lived out in the more familiar contexts of love and work.

Consider Meryl Streep’s character, Jane Adler, in the 2009 film It’s Complicated. Jane’s 20-year marriage ends when she’s dumped for a younger woman (separation from the old life), which pushes her into the second stage of the journey, the liminal time between no longer and not yet. By the end of the film (having faced the ordeals of living on her own, discovering her passion in work, and coming to grips with her ex who suddenly wants her back), Jane has blossomed and enters the final stage of the journey: transformation and empowerment.

Transformation—a deepening into one’s authentic nature—is what burnout ultimately demands. Just as an acorn has an entelechy (an inner blueprint that expresses itself as an oak tree), each one of us has an inner essence that we mature into. That essence is expressed by following our passion, our deepest longing, our bliss.

“Follow your bliss,” Joseph Campbell insisted, which inspired an entire generation of spiritual seekers. That sounds easy enough, but actually pulling it off requires courage, trust, and faith. There are dragons to slay before you can claim the future that has been searching for you all along. There is no map for the journey, and trusting the GPS inside you takes chutzpah.

When my husband, Gordon, and I wrote Your Soul’s Compass, we interviewed 27 sages from different wisdom traditions, trying to get some idea of how to listen to that inner direction finder. One of the sages we spoke to was Episcopal priest Reverend Dr. Cynthia Bourgeault, who is among the greatest female wisdom teachers of our time. When we asked Reverend Cynthia how to listen for inner guidance, she focused on two areas: paying exquisite attention to the cues that life provides and trusting the unknown. She compared the latter to making a leap of faith, intuitively knowing that you’re not diving into an empty swimming pool.

|23|joan borysenko,joseph campbell,leap of faith,follow your bliss,burn out,courage,adventure,meryl streep|_none|1|joan_z_borysenko_phd Is There Really a Biggest Loser?|Fact: There is no best diet.|2011-01-12 17:00:00|public://imports/1855.jpg|0|public://imports/1855.jpg|

A quick wake-up call to the reality behind the “reality” show The Biggest Loser merits some attention, because the only realistic element to it may be its stories of failure after the cameras stop recording.

The show, as many of you know, achieves rapid transformations worthy of prime-time television drama. Contestants often drop more than 20 pounds in a week through severe calorie restriction and extreme exercise. Add to that some crazy behind-the-scenes dehydration and you’ve got a recipe for unbelievable weight loss in a short period of time.

Ryan Benson won the first season in January 2005 and regained nearly 40 pounds within five days simply by drinking water. Two and a half years after his final weigh-in at 207 pounds, he admitted to reverting back to old habits and weighed almost 300 pounds again. Matt Hoover, the second season’s winner, put nearly 15.5 pounds back on within a day of taking home the $250,000 grand prize. Other contestants who came close to winning tell stories of the drastic measures they took to drop weight fast, such as sitting in a sauna for hours, consuming sugar-free Jell-O for days, and downing diuretic foods to spur water loss.

These weight-loss stories may be real, but they certainly are not realistic by any stretch of the imagination, if you consider the means by which they lost weight and the fact that they cannot maintain the loss. The majority of their weight loss came from extraordinary physical activity (four or more hours a day; who has time for that?) and unhealthy dehydration that’s unquestionably abnormal. It concerns me that viewers at home start to feel like the proverbial “biggest losers” because they themselves cannot get the miraculous weight-loss results that the contestants experience. Here we go again: you feel like you cannot succeed at yet another diet plan.

Harsh programs like that espoused by The Biggest Loser aside, the efficacy of more “normal” commercial weight-loss programs has rarely been evaluated in rigorous long-term trials. You’d think that creators of these programs, which do take an enormous amount of money and research to develop, would want to have this kind of information, especially if it proved that their program worked. That way, they could flaunt their “great results,” stomp on the competition, and attract more customers. Something tells me that the statistics—whatever they are for each program—are not that impressive. The success rate of voluntary weight-loss efforts among my patients is, at best, 5 percent over five years.

The largest ever controlled study of weight-loss methods was published in 2009 by the New England Journal of Medicine. When researchers pitted the most popular diets against one another, they discovered that it doesn’t matter which diet you go on so long as total calories consumed is lessened. More than 800 overweight adults in Boston and Baton Rouge were assigned to one of four diets that reduced calories through different combinations of fat, carbohydrates, and protein. Each plan cut about 750 calories from a participant’s normal diet, but no one ate fewer than 1,200 calories a day. Although the diets were not named, the eating plans mimicked those of today’s most popular do-it-yourself programs.

All of the dieters started to regain weight one year later. I should add that their weight loss during the first year wasn’t stunning. At six months, participants in each type of diet had lost an average of 13.2 pounds, and at two years had maintained about 9 pounds of weight loss and a two-inch drop in waist size. After two years, every diet group had lost and regained about the same amount of weight regardless of what diet had been assigned. While the average weight loss was modest, about 15 percent of dieters lost more than 10 percent of their weight by the end of the study. After about a year many participants returned to at least some of their usual eating habits, but they reported an equal level of satiety, hunger, and diet satisfaction.

It does not matter if you are counting carbohydrates, protein, or fat. All that matters is that you are counting something and that your total caloric intake is reduced. You probably cannot live with any of these methods long term, so you need to find a simple, livable approach.

I love this study because it finally put to rest the eternal argument between the camps of “who has the best diet.” There is no best diet. The only thing that matters is that you DO SOMETHING! The fat versus carbs versus protein craziness is just that—craziness. Sure, there are basic components of your diet to help with energy, proper functioning, and essential nutritional needs. But, aside from having some wise variety in your meals, you do not have to become married to one style of food balance. If you hate diets that emphasize proteins and fat, you are not screwed because “only [name of diet] works.”

The real take-home message in this study is that it’s necessary to reduce calories. In an insightful editorial, Vanderbilt University’s Martin Katahn, Ph.D. puts the study into perspective. He observed that the lower calorie intake was not sustained; all of the subjects lost weight initially but then began to trend back upward at two years. In addition, Dr. Katahn teased out another important fact: there were subjects within each group who did better with weight loss. He noted that these individuals attended more counseling sessions and followed the prescribed dietary changes more closely. He acknowledged that willpower is limited, but he also recognized that the only hope we have of solving the obesity epidemic will be by changing the “environment” that helps us be overweight. I couldn’t agree more.

|23|michael snyder,the biggest loser,reality tv,weight loss,ryan benson,matt hoover|_none|1|michael_a_snyder_md Take the “Un” out of Unemployment|Be a joyful job seeker!|2011-01-13 17:00:00|public://imports/1856.jpg|0|public://imports/1856.jpg|

I love meeting new people, even if it makes me a little nervous. But one set of words that I hear at mixers and networking events makes me really want to run for the hills. Last night, I attended a networking event in Berkeley, full of people who are on LinkedIn. The event was set up in speed-dating fashion so attendees could mix and mingle with one other person for five minutes and then move on. I noticed that three of the people I met immediately introduced themselves by saying something like this:

“Hi. I’m Jane Doe. And I’m unemployed.”

Come on, this isn’t an AA meeting. But those initial words left me feeling awkward and sorry for my fellow networkers. Somehow, I felt obligated to help out. The energy between us felt heavy. So finally I told one of these networkers, “Hey, you shouldn’t say you’re unemployed. Why not say you’re between jobs? Or tell people that you’re looking for a new job in whatever field you’d enjoy.” He got the point immediately. He smiled. He felt better about himself.

Saying “I’m unemployed” tells people what you’re not. And, in this case, it communicates “I’m not employed.” To me, saying “I’m unemployed” sounds a little bit like you don’t feel you fit in with the world. Look, my friends, your self-worth is not determined by your job.

I invite you to consider what really makes up your self-worth—like your caring heart or your ability to stand tall in the face of adversity. You are not a social misfit just because some company has decided not to bring you on board. Or some organization decided to let you go. A company is not your family. If you don’t “belong” to this organization, you’re still a living, breathing, talented human being.

You just haven’t found the place where you fit in yet. Well, okay, that’s fine, you may wonder, but what do you say when people ask, “Where do you work?” or “What do you do?” These seem to be the quintessential questions that Americans like to ask each other when they first meet. How can you reply?

I invite you, first of all, not to feel ashamed that you aren’t working. I know it can be daunting to manage your finances, and the anxiety of job hunting can get overwhelming. Instead, think about how you can connect. You’re meeting someone new. What do you want from the interaction? Do you want us to feel sorry for you, dear unemployed person? Or could you be a bit vulnerable and ask for help? You could say something like: “I’m between jobs. I just left a company that does X. And now, I’m looking to join a company that does Y. Hey, I wonder if you know any companies like that?” or … “I am a job seeker. (Hey, that’s a much cooler title than being the unemployed person, right?) I am committed to finding an employer who would value my talents in X, Y, and Z. I’d love your ideas about companies that might fit that bill.” See, now you’re engaging the other person.

You’re not trying to get them to find you the job. You’re inviting them to help out. That’s vulnerability. You’re not victimizing yourself by calling yourself “unemployed.” You’re actively pursuing new avenues for your job search.

Changing the language of “I’m unemployed” to one of the alternatives I’ve suggested is a way to shift your attitude and energy. Notice how these different words make you feel. Unemployed is not generally a pretty word. And you don’t have to use it as a label for yourself. You might fight me here and say, “But it’s true. I’m not employed.” And I’d tell you simply, “If you want to hang on to that energy, be my guest. But if you’d like to shift that energy sooner, rather than later, don’t wait for an employer to change the picture. Decide to lighten up on yourself and call yourself something else.” Follow this advice and I bet you’ll be employed any day now!

If you're unemployed, or know that you'll soon be losing your job, you don't have to lose hope. Click here to listen to a letter that I hope will help you regain your confidence and keep moving forward with ease. Remember . . . you matter!

For more tools to help you get back into the workforce, visit

|23|susan bernstein,career,job hunting,employment,unemployment,job search,workplace,unemployment rate,career center,networking,linked in,self-care|_none|1|susan_bernstein Go for the Joy!|Navigating the map of you.|2011-01-13 17:00:00|public://imports/1832.jpg|0|public://imports/1832.jpg|

The pursuit of happiness is named as an inalienable right in the U.S. Declaration of Independence, because every human strives to achieve this fleeting state and maintain it as long as possible. We often think of happiness and joy as interchangeable, but one is more a pleasant state of contentment, while the other is a deep and profound emotional experience. We know we want happiness, but when we experience joy, we realize just how much more intense an emotion it is.

At the border of any challenging landscape are the Peaks of Joy that offer a perspective you can’t find anywhere else. These peaks are at the top of the world, where your heart soars and you experience deep awe at the privilege of being part of such a beautiful and Enchanted Map. From this vantage point, you can see the interconnections with other maps, the underlying layers that reveal what yours once looked like before you made the choice to change.

When I stand on the Peaks of Joy, I can see the geography that replaced the Barren Desert and the other painful landscapes I was lost in for so long. Gratitude fills me when I realize where I was going back when I was trapped in those landscapes. Now I can see all the interconnected, magical layers. I see the people I met “accidentally” who changed my life and would never have crossed my path had I not altered my map. I see the lands I transformed, and I am so glad to be alive and able to experience this marvelous adventure, guided by spiritual allies.

Gratitude and awe transport us to the Peaks of Joy in an instant. Our perspective about everything in life automatically shifts while seeing from this sentry point.

Happiness is fleeting, and our false symbols for it are the things that foster the illusion that everything is going great and therefore we’re content and always will be. But genuine happiness occurs within us regardless of our circumstances—and we can be happy by choice. Micromanaging our circumstances or parking ourselves in front of the TV or inside of the status quo, chugging along doing exactly what we’ve always done and never striving for more, does not provide the happiness we’re looking for. It certainly doesn’t get us close to joy.

Westerners, in particular, have been taught that happiness can be purchased at the mall or, better yet, through “this special TV offer” (and, as I mentioned, now such values are being spread to other areas of the world). In the West, we seem to want only what is shiny and new, what promises to make us look younger and be more attractive to potential lovers. We want what will provide us with a sense of security, a sense of belonging, and we convince ourselves that the advertisements are correct: money can buy happiness.

Genuine happiness and joy are found when you let go of your limited notions about what circumstances will make you happy and choose instead to see the world as an enchanted place. Purpose, security, love, and belonging—and the ability to evolve—are part of your birthright. To claim them, you need only to find the magic. It’s there, on the Enchanted Map.

|5|colette baron-reid,happiness,joy,enchantment,life purpose,life meaning,manifesting,purpose|_none|1|colette_baron_reid Your 2011 Money Vows|Saying “I do” to financial bliss.|2011-01-15 17:00:00|public://imports/1860.jpg|0|public://imports/1860.jpg|

A new year always brings promises of fresh beginnings. Are you ready to fulfill the promise of more financial freedom, prosperity and smooth sailing in the months ahead. Can you stay the course and stick to your financial goals? Here are a few easy tips on how you can maintain your stamina throughout the year and build your wealth.

Let’s look ahead and pretend it’s a year from now—December 31, 2011. What positive events have transpired? What is the state of your finances? Don’t let the details overwhelm you. What are the wishes and desires that you achieved? This is a good time to visualize your desires.

Make these wishes come true now. Remember, the principle of creating wealth is easy. You need to save more than you spend. Write down how much income you want to make and how you plan to make it. Is it that simple? Yes, it is.

Keep in mind other factors in building your wealth, such as how many hours you want to work per week. Living prosperously is not only about how much money you have, but your time and energy as well. This way you can see how much you need to earn per project or hour to reach your goals.

To stay interested and engaged in your own financial relationship, it might help for you to understand why we sometimes find it hard to stay our financial course. Here are the foremost reasons:

Your goal did not hold a strong, emotional incentive.

You didn’t have enough accountability.

Fear and doubt got the better of your mind.

Go for your dream. If you can’t get excited by what it will bring, it will be difficult to muster enough energy to propel you forward. Here are 7 easy tips to keep your relationship with money in a steady state of bliss!

Set Clear Goals: Get very clear with yourself as to why you want to build your wealth. Understanding that money doesn’t make you happy, what would having more money bring you?

Enlist a Financial Mentor: Find at least one person in whom you can confide, ideally, someone who already leads a prosperous life. Tell them you have outlined specific financial goals for yourself and ask them if you could speak or meet with them at least once a month to discuss how you are moving along.

Rediscover Your Money Beliefs: Get quiet, go within and ask yourself what you really believe about making good money. You may still carry the underlying beliefs that This is too hard or I’m not smart enough or I’m too lazy. You may also think, I’ve never had lots of money before so what makes me think that I could ever make more? It is also important for you to understand the root of your money beliefs. Most likely they started when you were very, very young. See if you can pinpoint an event from your childhood that taught you the beliefs you know are holding you back.

Revisit Your Goals Often: If you find yourself distracted enough to take you off course, revisit your initial reasons for wanting what you want. Questions to ask may include: Am I bored with this plan? Is this not challenging enough? Is this too challenging for where I am in my work around my beliefs?

Put a Positive Spin on Your Money Talk: How often do you think or say words like hard, difficult or painful within the context of money? What stories do you tell yourself about you and money? The bottom line is that you can’t manipulate your mind into a place of prosperity if you don’t feel it, especially if the weight of your current situation informs your future.

Relax: Stay as relaxed as you can. You can think more clearly and make better decisions when you come from a place of ease. Meditation is a wonderful way to get reconnected to yourself. As you go within, you find your true prosperity lies there. Find what gets you to that place and do it as often as you can. What could ever be more important than being relaxed and open to what life brings you? Maybe it’s yoga, meditation, some form of exercise . . . . Every moment is pregnant with life and possibilities. True self-confidence comes from listening to your inner voice, acting upon what it tells you and experiencing the power of your actions to help you and others prosper.

Be Impeccable with Your Word: Watch what you say out loud and to yourself. And in the words of Catherine Ponder, use this affirmation daily: In an easy and relaxed manner, in a healthy and positive way, I am building a life of prosperity.

|23|helen kim,financial freedom,money,economy,prosperity,finance,affirmations,catherine ponder|_none|1|helen_kim Honor Your Extra Flab!|My Tribute to the Fat Ass.|2011-01-16 17:00:00|public://imports/1833.jpg|0|public://imports/1833.jpg|

For the last 20 years of my career, as I've been leading processes around the world, one of the top five reasons I've heard for why people don't really love themselves and their bodies is I have a fat ass. I was born on the skinny side, so I've never really been able to relate to having a fat ass although I've always had other issues with my body, be it my belly, my sagging skin, my skinny legs or any number of other things that if I focused on the, could send me into a pool of bad feelings.

But since my hospital stay when I lost 11 pounds, I have come to dream about having a big, wide, round (okay, it doesn't even have to be round) fat ass. For those of who you have tortured yourselves for millions of hours over the shape of your body, you may wonder Why is she wishing for a fat ass? Well, I've lost so much weight that I'm a little bag of bones. I feel like I'm 13 again except without the muscles or padding in my rear to protect me from hard seats and the bed I've been resting in for so many hours to get well. I can't get comfortable no matter how I sit. Yes, I've even gone to the extreme step of being one of those women who has to carry a cushion around with them—one of my biggest shadows. What kind of person has to carry around a cushion just to sit down? Me apparently, even though I never even liked carrying a purse, let alone a cushion.

My kind sister Arielle got me a booty. Do you know what that is? It's padded underwear to make it look like I have a bigger rounder butt. But the padding is at the top, not where I sit, so there's nothing on the place I need the most help! I've spent hours on Google searching for a great butt pillow, but the system is failing me. It's become cosmically funny how my pants just hang down now since there's nothing to fill them out.

So I decided to do a tribute to the big fat ass. To all those who have been hating, ignoring, hiding, shame-filled, miserable, or embarrassed, to all of you I ask that you appreciate that one day, the extra fat might be your lifesaver. It might be your soft cushion. It might be a friend, allowing you to sleep through the night or sit through a business meeting without wanting to scream because your bones are digging into the chair. You never know when you'll need what you've got.

It's true for me too. Even as I try taping big soft foam around me, I honor my little skinny ass because I know that too comes bearing gifts (although at the moment I just can't find them). So whether it's your thighs, your stomach, your rear end, your flabby arms, or some other part of your body, see if you can make the sacred promise, the solemn oath, and the blessed vow to thank it and honor it.

Go to the mirror now and say you're sorry to any part of your body that you've been judging, criticizing, hating, ignoring or belittling. Really bless this part of your body. Thank it. Imagine how this part of you could serve you if you got hit by a car, were in an earthquake or endured some other trauma. See how the extra flab, for example, could protect you, save you, keep you warm or allow you to be a cushion for someone else to find comfort. Thank your body for all the gifts that it offers you. Promise to be aware not of its faults but of its greatness. Do this exercise every day for 10 days until you can write a thank-you letter to the part of your body you've most judged.

|23|debbie ford,weight loss,overweight,self esteem,self-care|_none|1|debbie_ford Remembering Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. |The Dream Lives On|2014-01-20 17:00:00|public://imports/1849.jpg|0|public://imports/1849.jpg|

Cornel West was a 14-year-old high student when Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated on April 4, 1968 . . .

It was 1968, the year my brother Cliff was invited to the California State Capitol by Governor Ronald Reagan. We found ourselves running in an early spring track meet. Kennedy vs. Sacramento High. It was guaranteed to be a spirited contest. On the day of the meet we were both absolutely focused, promising to leave everything we had at the finish line.

And, Lord knows, we did. The euphoria of youth can be a bubble nearly impossible to burst. Even after the final event was over and the public address announcer had announced the final tallies. Even when he added that he had a very important announcement. Even as we began to register what it was he was trying to tell us.

Even as we were about to be shaken to our very core.

In Memphis, Tennessee, Martin Luther King, Jr. had been assassinated.



Not possible.


A rumor.

No, a fact.

It happened.

The man is dead.

Now nothing makes sense.

Why am I getting up every morning and running five miles? Why am I training night and day? What’s the point? Who cares who hits the tape first? Who cares if the honor of my school is upheld? Who cares about some silly foot race? What does it all mean anyway?

My life up to that point revolved around winning every track meet and getting an “A” in every course. Now those goals didn’t seem to matter. Hitting the tape no longer mattered. Acing the history paper no longer mattered. Not when they shot down Dr. King like a dog.

Next day Cliff and I quietly joined a protest. Saying nothing, we marched out of school. Hundreds of us simply got up and left. We didn’t have to explain. Actions spoke louder than words. Everyone understood.

I’m not sure I understood. I was reading, reading, reading. I was running, running, running. I was going to church, I was praying alongside my parents, I was mourning the loss of Dr. King, I was feeling an anger and outrage that was hard to control. But did I actually understand the way the world was moving? No, sir. I had to rely on John Keats’s “Negative Capability.” I had to remind myself, as the poet had reminded me, that the goal is to chill in that state of “uncertainties, mysteries, doubts, without reaching after fact and reason.”

Music helped the most. Marvin Gaye spoke to me with “Ain’t That Peculiar.” Sam & Dave said, “Hold On, I’m Coming.” But, oh, Lord, James Brown shut the whole thing down with “Cold Sweat.” Far as I was concerned, that was the existential statement of the decade. It was the groove of life. It was the paradox of paradoxes and the dance of dances. It caught the fury and lit the fire, and, most of all, it kept us dancing.

People are hungry for someone with the rare quality of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Someone who possesses the depth of his love, the quality of his service and his willingness to pursue unarmed truth and unconditional love. He empathized not just with those dealing with catastrophic circumstances but with the very folk who were ruling.

We must acknowledge that his mission was extraordinary because a Martin Luther King does not come around every generation. I’m sometimes accused of being anti-American, and I just say that as Plato attempted to make the world safe for Socrates, I’m attempting to make the world safe for the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr.—and King was the best of America!

|1|tavis smiley,i have a dream,social justice,civil rights,martin luther king jr.,cornel west|_none|1|cornel_west Access Your Angels|Peace and love available now!|2011-01-17 17:00:00|public://imports/1861.jpg|0|public://imports/1861.jpg|

How do we go about receiving help from our angels? The angels have a purpose to enact God’s will, which is peace on Earth, one person at a time. These beings know that if each of us is peaceful, then we’ll have a world of peaceful people. So, really, your life’s purpose is to be at peace, and the angels want to help you with this.

While it’s true that challenges do help us grow, the angels also say that serenity leads to even bigger growth spurts. Through tranquility, our schedules and creativity are more open to giving service, and our bodies operate in a healthy fashion. Our relationships thrive and blossom, and we’re shining examples of God’s love.

Sometimes people say to me, “Well, God already knows what I need, so I won’t ask for anything.” True . . . however, we were created with free will. This means that God and the angels can’t intervene into our lives without our permission. In other words, we must ask for their help before they can assist us.

It doesn’t matter how you ask, but only that you do. You can say your request aloud, silently, or in writing. You can sing, whisper, type, or even scream your request for Heaven’s guidance. You can word it in positive, affirmative ways or as an appeal of supplication. Any form of asking for assistance is enough to give God and the angels permission to intervene.

I also hear people say, “I don’t want to bother Heaven with my small tasks.” To celestial beings, though, nothing is too small or too large. They simply want to help us with whatever brings us peace, and many times it’s the small favors that result in long-lasting peacefulness. The angels say that it’s also the small stressors in life that erode peace. So ask for help, as your contribution to world peace.

If you don’t know what to ask for, that’s okay. You can simply say, “Please help me to be at peace,” and they’ll get to work on your behalf. Or request something specific and say, “This, or something better, please, God,” since Heaven always has higher standards than our own.

Just don’t hand God and the angels a script about how to fix a situation. Similarly, don’t waste time or energy worrying about how Heaven will help you. The “how” is up to God’s infinite Divine wisdom. Your job is only to ask for help and then to follow the guidance sent to you.

I’m sometimes asked, “Why should I talk to angels when I can talk to God?” This is an excellent question! When I posed it to God and the angels, here’s the reply I received:

“When people are afraid and most in need of Heavenly help, their vibrations are too low to hear and feel the pure love of God. The angels, who are closer to Earth, are easier to hear and feel when someone is fearful or stressed. Then they can lift the person’s vibrations and help him or her be unafraid and at peace and return to a clear connection with God.”

Everyone can hear and talk with God and the angels. You don’t need to be specially trained, qualified, or deserving. All are equally qualified and deserving of Heaven’s love and help. You were created in the image and likeness of God. So you share the Divine qualities of love, abundance, health, beauty, and goodness. We all do.

You might ask, “Since everyone has guardian angels, why is there evil and suffering in the world?” Another excellent question. If everyone listened to their guardian angels, we’d have a world of loving and peaceful people. There would be no evil, which stems from fears about a lack of resources, which in turn causes people to act selfishly.

When you work with angels, in contrast, you begin to understand that there is no need to compete, because there is plenty of everything to go around for everyone. You begin to share freely, without fear of running out of resources.

Angels are different from departed friends and relatives. While these people can act like angels, they’re still humans with egos and fallible opinions. There’s no problem in talking with your grandma or other departed loved ones to keep in contact. To get pure Divine guidance, though, you’ll want to direct your conversations to God and the egoless angels (and Jesus or other ascended masters with whom you feel aligned).

The spirit world, where angels live, isn’t a faraway place. Heaven is all around us, in a different dimension. This is similar to the frequency bands of different radio stations all existing simultaneously. Your angels are celestial beings who have not lived on the earth before as humans, unless they were previously incarnated angels, who manifest into human form either temporarily to avert a crisis, or for an entire lifetime so that they can more directly help and guide people.

|1|doreen virtue,angels,angelic realm,archangels,angel therapy,peace,creativity|_none|1|doreen_virtue Love from the Other Side|The all’s well signal from heaven.|2011-01-18 17:00:00|public://imports/1863.jpg|0|public://imports/1863.jpg|

“Are my departed loved ones okay?” is a question I hear continually. The reason people ask is simple: the fear that someone is in some sort of “hellish” place, literally or figuratively. Yet my readings find that nearly all deceased people are doing just fine, thank you. Their only discomfort has to do with you and me, especially if we’re grief stricken to the point of obsession or emotional paralysis. They’re going on with their lives, and they want us to do the same. If we hold back our spiritual progress or happiness due to grief, those who have passed on are held back in similar ways.

In fact, it’s safe to say that the only problem most people in Heaven have is . . . us! If we’d go on to live happy, productive lives, our deceased loved ones would sing and rejoice in jubilant celebration.

On the Other Side, spirits feel wonderful physically. All illness, injury, and disability disappear once the body is gone. The soul is intact and in perfect health. Everyone still feels like him- or herself, but without the heaviness and pain of earthly limitations.

In Heaven, souls feel wonderful emotionally, too. Gone are all of the financial and time constraints, and there are no more pressures or concerns (unless we’re inordinately desolate and pull our departed loved ones down emotionally). Someone in Heaven is free to manifest any situation or condition, such as world travel, a beautiful home, volunteer work, and time with family and friends (living and deceased).

I’m frequently asked, “But what if my departed loved ones are mad at me?” People worry that crossed-over friends and family members are angry with them because they:

  • Weren’t there for them toward the end, or at their last dying breath
  • Were involved in decisions to stop artificial life-support systems
  • Participate in lifestyle choices that they believe their deceased loved ones wouldn’t approve of
  • Fought with family members over inheritance issues
  • Could have “prevented” their loved ones’ deaths or were somehow to blame
  • Haven’t yet found, or brought to justice, whoever is seemingly responsible for a murder or accident
  • Had an argument with their loved ones shortly before they passed on

The fact is, though, that during all of my thousands of readings, I’ve never met a deceased person who was angry about any of the above matters. In Heaven, you release a lot of the concerns that weigh you down on Earth. You have better clarity about people’s true motivations, so your crossed-over loved ones have a deeper understanding of why you acted (or still do act) in certain ways. Instead of judging you, they view you with compassion. They only interfere with your behavior (such as addictions) if they see that your lifestyle is killing you or preventing you from fulfilling your life’s purpose.

And don’t worry that Grandpa is watching when you shower or make love. These souls aren’t voyeurs. In fact, there’s some evidence that spirit guides don’t see our physical selves on Earth; they perceive our energy and light bodies instead. So they simply understand our true thoughts and feelings during each circumstance.

Since spirit guides are aware of how you actually feel and think, there’s no need to hide your worries from them.

Let’s say that you have conflicted feelings over your father’s death. You’re angry because Dad’s incessant smoking and drinking contributed to his too-early demise. But you feel guilty, because you believe it’s “wrong” to be angry at a dead person, especially your father. Your dad knows just how you feel, because he’s able to read your mind and heart from his vantage point in Heaven.

Your deceased loved ones ask you to come clean with them—to have a heart-to-heart discussion about your unresolved anger, fear, guilt, and worry. You can have this conversation by writing a letter to the person who’s passed away, by thinking the thoughts you want to convey, or by speaking aloud.

You can communicate with your deceased friends and relatives anytime and anywhere. Their souls aren’t located at the cemetery; they’re free to travel throughout the universe. And don’t worry that you’re disturbing their peace. Everyone wants to heal unfinished business in relationships, whether they’re living or not, so your departed loved ones are just as eager and motivated when it comes to this discussion as you are.

I find that most people can feel the presence of departed loved ones. Every human body is sensitive to energies and intuitively translates these energies into meaningful knowledge. This is an innate survival skill that you—and every person—possess.

So if you sense the presence of Grandma Betty, trust this feeling! Your body knows its surroundings, and it delivers this information to your mind. If you accept your intuitive instincts, you’re well on your way to clearly communicating with all of Heaven.

|23|doreen virtue,death,departed,the other side,heaven,happiness,emotional freedom|_none|1|doreen_virtue Reinvent Yourself!|Discover a new evolution of thought.|2013-09-27 17:00:00|public://imports/1864.jpg|0|public://imports/1864.jpg|

Many people have heard of Barbara Marx Hubbard—and many people have not. I like the fact that she is not a household name, immediately recognizable the world over. That makes her more like us, and a wonderful model. A template. An outpicturing of what we all are—and what we are all potentialed to be.

“Potentialed” is a new word. I just made it up. I like it. It says exactly what I want it to say. I think that we all are . . . no, I know that we all are . . . imbued with the potential to be more than we’ve so far allowed ourselves to be. Further, I think that we all know it. And I think that we are all endowed with an impulse to move toward our highest expression of that More that we know we are.

I’m convinced that all we need is courage, and all we need to gather the courage is a model, a template, a contemporary example, a here-and-now sample of how life could be lived in a new way. In short, someone to inspire us.

That’s where Barbara comes in. Eighty years of age at this writing, she feels that she and we are just beginning, that humanity is going to break through, not break down, and that we are ready to set aside our old patterns and old beliefs and old ways of being as we invent a New Human.

Barbara sees this as part of the natural evolutionary process of all sentient beings. And she believes that there is a natural Place in Time when conditions are perfect for all such beings to launch a new way of living. It is the fulcrum. It is the apogee. It is what Malcolm Gladwell calls the Tipping Point.

For humanity, that time may very well be . . . December 22, 2012.

Barbara and some of her friends are now calling this “Day One.” They are inviting us to join in envisioning, planning, and creating a huge, global multimedia Satellite and Internet Experience during the days leading up to the 22nd, telling the story of our species’ emergence as a new kind of human, and of the beginning of the next cycle of evolution.

Amidst all the anxious wondering, worried predictions, and negative speculation of many around the globe who see 2012 as an Ending, you and I are being urged by all the forces and energies of the Universe to see it as a Beginning—as Barbara sees it. Indeed, Barbara calls it “a birthing.”

How has she come to this point of view? Is it realistic? Could it be true?

The answer is that the life of Barbara Marx Hubbard includes a series of spiritual encounters—three of them, to be exact. And in her case, she paid attention.

As we mature, we, too, will pay attention. We will not only be able to acknowledge the existence of the part of our being from which such wisdom flows—what we might call our Higher Self—but we will also be able to communicate with it, receive guidance from it, and relate to it in a way that changes our lives forever.

Do we—you and I—really have a role to play in the process of that spiritual maturation? For ourselves and for our planet? And will we truly be able to co-create a new world, and a new way of living in our world, following the “end of history” in 2012?

The answers that were given to Barbara may be the answers that can be given to you. Not all such spiritual answers come in visions or dreams or meditations. Some spiritual encounters come to us in very ordinary ways—like reading books.

So dive right in. Rediscover yourself.

Nay . . . reinvent yourself.

And all of us.

|23|personal best,spiritual guidance,human evolution,day one,december 22 2012,2012,barbara marx hubbard,neale donald walsch|_none|1|neale_donald_walsch Being Harry Potter|How to live your magic.|2011-01-23 17:00:00|public://imports/1865.jpg|0|public://imports/1865.jpg|

There are seasons and cycles for everything. No storm stays in one place, so even if you are in the turbulent seas, fearing your boat will capsize, the winds will move along, as they always do, and the waters will become still once more. It may be that by exploring this landscape and discovering its hidden treasures, you’ll find that there is nothing you have to “do” to escape it. It alters because you’ve transformed. Experience this and you’ll realize that your life doesn’t have to be such a struggle.

All of us need to reconcile ourselves to the paradox that change is the only constant. Animals migrate, winds blow, the earth rotates, and the planets revolve around the sun. You, too, are moving, engaged in a journey. Through a simple adjustment to your perception, you can elevate that journey to a mystical, magical adventure.

Because this is an adventure, you’re going to experience some drama along the way: danger, intrigue, romance, and celebration. Stuff happens. There will be rocky roads, steep hills, and crystal lakes. In the epic fantasy by J. R. R. Tolkien The Lord of the Rings, the story begins in the sweet safety of the Shire and moves into the fiery, hellish territory of Mordor. The Harry Potter series places the boy wizard in a dark and unfriendly English “Muggle” home and then plays out the narrative in Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, where staircases shift suddenly underneath him. The Wizard of Oz transports Dorothy Gale from her home in Kansas to the magical land of Oz, where a yellow brick road winds through Munchkinland, the enchanted forest, and the Emerald City.

Every great tale contains many different terrains, each with its own challenges, secrets, and treasures that echo our own inner landscapes. These stories are about ordinary characters who, like many of us, feel out of place and unsure that they belong wherever it is that they find themselves. Nevertheless, they venture forth and confront danger and temptation as they try to achieve what we all want: the feeling of being at home, at peace, and in a state of joy that can be shared with loyal friends and companions. The adventurers in each tale are looking for purpose, for evidence that their suffering and struggles have made a difference.

We, too, can always find people who will offer love, encouragement, and their own special gifts at crucial points in our narrative arc: a rope to rescue us from the snake pit, or a lantern that will illuminate the path when darkness falls. We, too, can find meaning, magic, and a balance between a desire to create something better for ourselves and a longing for respite. Life doesn’t have to be an exhausting, nonstop chase scene. We don’t have to be stuck for ages in a jungle with hostile monkeys. Even Indiana Jones returned to civilization to teach an archaeology class once in a while.

|5|colette baron-reid,harry potter,wizard of oz,mystical adventure|_none|1|colette_baron_reid A New Year’s Recipe for Success|Throw out your limiting beliefs.|2011-01-22 17:00:00|public://imports/1866.jpg|0|public://imports/1866.jpg|

Each January, millions of people resolve to change themselves, their careers, or their relationships. In fact, many of the resolutions they make are identical to the ones they made the previous year! Whether your goal is to make more friends, land a new job, or treat yourself with greater compassion, a critical key to achieving success lies in your ability to activate your potential to create the results you seek.

In my work, I often talk about the power of our life conditioning—the environment in which we were raised, and the role modeling and experiences to which we were exposed while growing up. In response to our life conditioning—and by about the age of seven—we internalize a set of core beliefs about ourselves and the world that embed within our subconscious. Although most people aren’t even aware of them, these core beliefs shape who we become, how we behave, and the lives we live. But while those beliefs and behaviors helped us to function within our families growing up, they often keep a lid on our potential and keep us from achieving what we want as adults.

To achieve your New Year Resolutions—or any other goals you set for yourself—it’s critical to unearth your own limiting beliefs and the self-defeating behaviors that can sabotage your success. Below are two examples of how patterns learned in childhood impact our adult lives:

I’m Not Good Enough

If you were raised in a family where you were frequently criticized, there’s a good chance that one of your core limiting beliefs is: I’m not good enough. In response, you may have adopted the habitual behavior of always flying under the radar and keeping quiet to protect yourself. As an adult, you may withhold your real feelings and needs from your partner, allow others to treat you poorly, or stay in an unsatisfying job out of fear of failure.

I Have No Control 

If you tend to be argumentative or overly controlling, the limiting belief: I am powerless and have no control may be at play. You may have had a dominating parent, or gone through a painful event that was beyond your control such as loss of a loved one or a parental divorce. This pattern not only produces unwelcome reactions in others, but it can wreak havoc in people’s lives. Controllers’ energy is often consumed by conflict, and they can have difficulty keeping jobs or maintaining harmonious relationships with others.

To reclaim your potential and develop the inner resources needed to realize your goals, start by being aware of your self-sabotaging patterns. Invoke your inner observer by noticing how you behave on autopilot. Then, without judging yourself, start to unearth the core beliefs that are driving those behaviors. Once you’ve identified your self-defeating patterns, the next step is to replace them with new, self-supporting beliefs and behaviors. With time, perseverance, and patience, the new patterns of thought and behavior will take hold, and give you the inner support you need to pursue and achieve your goals. 

|23|lauren mackler,new years resolutions,core beliefs,life conditioning,family,relationships,self-esteem,strength meditation|_none|1|lauren_mackler Get Off Your “But”!|Making a stand for what you want.|2013-08-22 17:00:00|public://imports/1867.jpg|0|public://imports/1867.jpg|

In one of my recent seminars, a woman named Jan recounted a long woeful tale about how her 21-year-old daughter, still living at home, was highly irresponsible and abusing her household. Yet Jan felt too guilty about setting even a few reasonable boundaries that would make her home life easier. It was clear to me that Jan needed to tell her daughter she would either have to respect her mother’s household rules, or get her own place. Yet in the face of my various suggestions, Jan had a long list of reasons why this situation couldn’t be resolved. Finally I told her, “I can help you, but if you are not open to help, I cannot. Are you willing to work with me?”

Suddenly Jan “got it” and agreed to do an exercise with me. We role-played a scene in which Jan had a highly productive conversation with her daughter. During the exercise Jan became so authoritative that the audience gave her a huge ovation. She had tapped into her power to lovingly yet firmly say “no” to abusive behavior.  When she became willing, she shifted.

When you are open to receive a better situation than you have experienced, the universe will deliver it. Like Jan, you will have to get off your “But . . .” The more you focus on why things are not working, the more things don’t work. The more you focus on what is working, or how things could work, the more things work.

Your mind is extremely powerful. It is literally generating your world. Take care that you argue for your possibilities rather than your limits. You will get whatever you make a stand for, so make a stand for what you want.

How might you become an advocate for your goals rather than your roadblocks?

I assume ownership of my world. I am open to receive my good . . .  no buts about it!

|23|self-preservation,determination,relationships,possibilities,parenting,boundaries,self-esteem,self-care,alan cohen|_none|1|alan_cohen A Passionate Seeker|It only took one question.|2011-01-24 17:00:00|public://imports/1869.jpg|0|public://imports/1869.jpg|

As a little girl, there was nothing Barbara Marx Hubbard really wanted that she could not have. Her father was Louis Marx, the creator of the biggest toy company in America—and arguably, in the world. Born in Brooklyn, he built his empire, his own life, from the ground up. There was certainly nothing lacking in the Marx household . . . especially not toys.

As might be expected, Barbara went to the best schools, eventually attending Bryn Mawr College outside Philadelphia. She spent her junior year abroad in Paris; and like something straight out of a movie, she fell in love with a disaffected, earnest, handsome, young American artist who happened to join her at a tiny table in a smoke-filled coffee shop tucked away on some side street. She returned with him to the States, had a fairy-tale wedding, and settled down to become the model 1950s wife and mother.

Now don’t get me wrong. There were some difficult moments along the way in Barbara’s life. An early preteen tragedy produced deep anger toward God, and a later teenage perplexity produced deep questioning about life. But for the most part, and as childhoods in the aftermath of the American Depression went, Barbara had a pretty doggone good go of it. The only problem was that the deep anger she had was never expressed, and those deep questions were never answered. . . .

Over the years, Barbara’s father had occasion to meet many interesting people—among them a few military generals including Dwight Eisenhower, who would later, of course, become President of the United States.

By 1952, Louis had remarried and eventually had five new sons. Each had a general as a godfather. And so it came to pass, just after Eisenhower was elected President, that there was a family meeting planned at Gen. Omar Bradley’s home to take a picture of the generals and the President with their godsons.

Not long after that event, Barbara was invited to make a courtesy call on the President in the White House.

At the appointed hour, she and her father were ushered into the Oval Office, located in the southeast corner of the huge mansion on Pennsylvania Avenue. The President was on his feet and put his hand out to Barbara’s father. “Louis, it’s always good to see you,” he said congenially, and he meant it. “Please, sit down.” The three of them moved to the facing couches that stood a few feet from the Chief Executive’s desk.

Dwight Eisenhower and Louis Marx then entered into a discussion about the growing power of the military/industrial complex. “It’s not something to take lightly, Louis,” the President said.

“I know,” Barbara’s father replied. “There’s an awful lot of power there.”

Barbara shifted her weight, drawing Eisenhower’s attention. He picked up on her silent signal that she had something she wished to say. “What can I do for you, young lady?” he asked kindly.

“Mr. President, I have a question for you,” she said.

“And what is that, my dear?”

“You and Father spoke just now about our awesome power.”


Looking into his brilliant blue eyes, she was, for an instant, speechless . . . magnetized. But only for an instant. Then Barbara Marx Hubbard asked President Dwight David Eisenhower: “What is the meaning of our new power that is good?”

The President appeared startled, glanced at Louis, and then looked back to Barbara and shook his head. His voice sounded sad, almost depleted. Then, slowly, he replied: “I do not know. I have no idea. . . .”

The thought occurred to Barbara: Well, then, we had better find out! But she didn’t say that to the President. She simply sat quietly, respectfully, and smiled.

“Your daughter seems to have asked the question of the century,” President Eisenhower ruefully noted to Louis.

It was Barbara’s turn to be startled. She didn’t know what kind of answer to expect from the former war hero and five-star general—who knew all about the exercise of power—but she had hoped for some sort of answer.

This little incident turned out to be not really a “little incident” at all, for it fueled the experience of Barbara Marx Hubbard for the better part of her life thereafter. Although it was true that the drive to find out the purpose of our power and what she was meant to do diminished when she was pregnant, which seemed to be her condition almost constantly over the next few years. Within six years of that White House visit, she was to have four children. By 1960, she would have one more.

Barbara was a devoted mother, remaining at home full-time, and was deeply in love with her husband and every one of the beautiful little beings she and Earl had brought into the world.

Yet a longing for more life, and the lack of an answer to her life’s major question, pressed upon her. Her children would say years later that they knew she loved them, but they felt that she was often not fully “there.”

“They were right,” Barbara told me. “Even though the children were the love of my life, I was such a passionate seeker, that my deepest attention was always elsewhere, searching for the purpose and direction of life.”

|1|neale donald walsch,barbara marx hubbard,louis marx,bryn mawr,generals,dwight eisenhower,power,purpose,meaning of life|_none|1|neale_donald_walsch Survive the Winter!|Stay balanced with healthy kidneys.|2011-01-25 17:00:00|public://imports/1870.jpg|0|public://imports/1870.jpg|

As winter rears its cold and sometimes harsh head, we begin our journey into kidney/bladder season. Kidney season is the darkest, coldest time of the year when activity in the plant kingdom occurs deep in the roots. In humans, this time of year represents energetic reserves, the will to survive, courage, slow movement, self-actualization, trust and faith. The element for the kidney is water; this is an emotional time of year. It is time to dig deep into oneself and grow at the root level. 

When out of balance, the kidney element will show fear and a struggle for survival—fight or flight! If you lack appropriate reserves you will show signs of exhaustion, urinary disorders, infertility, weakness in the endocrine system, hair loss, as well as fear and lack of trust.

The kidneys are bean-shaped organs, each about the size of a fist. They are located near the middle of the back, just below the rib cage, one on each side of the spine. The kidneys are sophisticated reprocessing machines. Every day, a person’s kidneys process about 200 quarts of blood to sift out about two quarts of waste products and extra water. The wastes and extra water become urine, which flows to the bladder through tubes called ureters. Because the kidneys are largely responsible for clearing waste and act as a filtering plant for the body we must keep our kidneys in peak performance.

Here are some tips on how to stay strong and healthy through the winter months:

  • Eat healthy food. Instead of depleting your kidneys/bladder with sugar, caffeine, and alcohol, consume sweet potato, carrot and squash-based soups and deserts. I even eat my pumpkin squash soups for desert! (Click here for some of my recipe ideas.)
  • BYOT—Bring Your Own Tea! I love a warm, rich cinnamon, clove, spice tea for the winter season. My favorite is by Good Earth® OriginalTM Sweet & Spicy. It’s amazing!
  • Eat more steamed foods. The energy of baking is drying and can deplete the necessary water element of the kidneys, so steam and lightly sauté to give you the oils you so desperately need at this time of year. 
  • Keep your feet warm. The bladder /kidney meridian runs through the entire body and begins at the soles of the feet. So keep them warm in the winter! The meridian then travels up the inner most part of the leg behind the inside of the knee crossing over and up the back of the leg. An inner meridian travels through the kidneys into the liver, heart and lungs, then to the throat and into the ears.
  • Listen to your body. Aches and pains behind the knees could be weakness in the kidneys. Chronic throat or ear issues could very well be from depletion of kidney chi (energy) which comes from overconsumption of caffeine, sugar and alcohol.
  • Keep your bones strong. Bones are kept strong from the energy of the kidney and bladder. Dry, broken, split hair, balding or partial balding in men and women may have to do with an imbalance in the kidneys.
  • Give your voice a rest. Kidneys can become depleted and drained from incessant talking, so try to give your throat/voice a rest every so often through the winter months, take a silent retreat or create one at home. This is good for all ages!
  • Exercise. Watch my video above for great exercises to help stimulate the kidneys.
  • Cleanse your kidneys. This is a wonderful time to do a cleanse. I recommend using RenagenTM DTX from Metagenics—a great product for kidney season.
|6|healthy eating,hair loss,urinary disorders,exhaustion,kidney infections,kidney health,dena mendes|_none|1|dr_dena_mendes What Animals Know|The power of pet consciousness.|2011-01-27 17:00:00|public://imports/1871.jpg|0|public://imports/1871.jpg|

My experience with animals has been rich, and they have come in all shapes and forms. At one time I owned a large all-breed stallion station and racing stable complete with a tack and feed store. We had some cattle, dogs, cats, and other farm animals including our mother goats that would adopt orphaned foals. I share many stories in my book What Does That Mean? Exploring Mind, Meaning and Mysteries about my animal friends and what they have taught me about life, spirituality and kinship.

From my experiences, I have found animals to be intelligent companions, sharing with us a consciousness that in some ways is far superior to our own. They are aware in ways that astound me. For example, I once had a mare teach me something really important. This mare died in my arms. It was around midnight and there were some 50 horses in my barn. They were all turned away from the alleyway where I sat with the mare, her owners and the ranch hands close by. The moment her eyes rolled back in her head, all 50 horses turned, came forward in their stalls, put their heads out over the stall gates into the alleyway itself, and in unison began neighing. My foreman, who was standing some 30 feet or so away with the rest of everyone present, shouted to me, “What’s going on with the horses?”  My answer, “The mare just passed.”  How do horses connect this way?  How is it that they all knew what had happened the moment it occurred?

Dr. Rupert Sheldrake, the notable biologist and researcher, has appeared on my Provocative Enlightenment radio show and we have spoken of his research demonstrating that animals have a consciousness that goes beyond the so-called local event. He has unequivocally shown that many animals know in advance when their owners will return, when they call on the phone and much more.

A dear friend of mine, Geoffrey Chambers Hughes, boarded a thoroughbred in my barn for years. He called this horse, “Cupcake.” Geoffrey owned Silk Willoughby Farms and bred Aloma’s Ruler, a Preakness winner. The name Cupcake and Cuppy, as Geoff nicknamed him, always seemed somewhat undignified for a horse from the lines of Legionnaire. Nevertheless, when Geoffrey made a trip down the Amazon, he sent letters to Cuppy. We would read the letters as they arrived and then pin them to the door of his stall. The horse seemed to know what we were reading and that the letters were from Geoffrey. He would sometimes sort of nuzzle the letters and if one fell off the stall door, he would set up a fuss until it was pinned up again.

Where animal communication is concerned, I used to be truly skeptical. I do know that certain animals, those that we share a bond with, seem to know what we are saying. I remember having to shoot a large varmint that was killing our chickens. My friend, Lady Balto, a German Shepherd, had the animal cornered on the railing of my deck. It was large enough that it could well have attacked Balto. I pulled the shotgun to my shoulder and yelled a command to Balto that I had never used with her. One word, the word “Break.”  I had used this command many years ago with my bird dogs in my hunting days. The minute I spoke, Balto dropped back clearing my shot as though she had been trained to break away on that command.

Another guest on my radio show and the author of three books on animal communication, Dawn Brunke, details many interesting cases in her books but the one most people find particularly interesting is of a parrot that understands ten different languages. How is that possible given our current interpretation of animal consciousness?

Animals are truly amazing. About 15 years ago my dog, Duke, came in with a 22-250 wound in the stomach. Someone in the neighborhood had shot him. I went door to door, but no one had seen anything. Duke died later that day from the gunshot wound. The thing is, he never complained. He came when called and wagged his tail and jumped in the truck to go to the vet’s office. The wound was not obvious, but Duke’s behavior wasn’t normal. So when we went to the vet it was without any suspicion of a gunshot wound. To the very last moment, it has been my experience, your animal friends continue to give—not complain.

As humans, we go through life taking many things for granted. I believe one of those on the “for granted” list is our animal friends. I would urge everyone to be more cognizant of our kinship with all life. Let me know your thoughts and I’d love to hear stories about your special animal friends. Together we can truly raise the level of awareness.

|5|race horses,horses,cats,dogs,animal intelligence,animal communication,animal conciousness,eldon taylor|_none|1|eldon_taylor God Lights the Way|A course in self-awareness.|2011-01-28 17:00:00|public://imports/1872.jpg|0|public://imports/1872.jpg|

In 2007, having been reading A Course in Miracles for three decades and lecturing on it literally thousands of times, I came out of meditation one day and thought, I’ve become an advanced student of the Course! Not an advanced practitioner, mind you, but an advanced student.

And that took 30 years. What is it about spiritual knowledge that takes so long to digest? The trendy nature of much contemporary seeking would lead you to think that you spend a year or two at the ashram and voilà!—you’re at the mountaintop. But my experience argues otherwise. It takes a decade to understand the basic nature of spiritual principles, another decade while the ego tries to eat you alive, another decade while you try to wrestle it to the ground, and finally you begin to walk more or less in the light. Anyone who thinks a spiritual path is easy probably hasn’t been walking one.

What does all this mean: to embrace the light, walk in the light, and so on? What is all this light, light, light talk? In A Course in Miracles, light is defined as “understanding.” What a beautiful thought, that to see the light is to understand.

By midlife, we’re usually aware enough to understand which of our issues most need attention. We’ve learned where we’re strong, but also where we’re weak. We know what parts of ourselves to be proud of and what parts of ourselves should change. We know what our issues are this lifetime. It might not be a time when we’re learning new things about ourselves so much as understanding more deeply what we already know. And new levels of self-awareness bring new opportunities for breakthrough.

This is not the time to stop working on ourselves; it’s the time when we’ve finally accumulated enough clues to help crack the case and solve the mystery of why and how we’ve kept ourselves bound for so long.

It’s not the time to give up and say, “This is just how I am. It’s too late to change.” Quite the opposite—it’s time to take a stand, once and for all, for your own potential.

Don’t worry that it took you so long to get to this point. It takes everyone this long. We know nothing until we know all the ways that we’re not who we should be. Only then do we have a chance at becoming the people we’ve wanted to be, and God intended us to be, from the day we were born.

You can’t really build a life till you’ve pulled together all the things you’ve finally come to understand about yourself. And life would be cruel if at just about the time you’ve finally figured it out, it reached some sort of predetermined disintegration. Just as adolescents must separate from their parents, you need to separate from the person you were before this point, to whatever extent that person was not the real you.

Finding out who we actually aren’t, we begin to understand at last who we actually are.

Dear God,

Please soften my heart

where it has hardened.

Please help me reach

for higher thoughts.

Please pave the way

for a better life,

for me and all the world.


|1|self-awareness,a course in miracles,light,love,spirituality,marianne williamson|_none|1|marianne_williamson Walk Away from the Buffet!|The hazards of pig-out portions.|2011-01-29 17:00:00|public://imports/1876.jpg|0|public://imports/1876.jpg|

Restaurants were an important part of my life as a traveling business executive on an unlimited expense account. Now, however, finding a restaurant that meets my particular dietary requirements is getting harder all the time. There seems to be universal competition to see who can provide the fattiest, saltiest, and least nutritious appetizers with an aroma that most diners can’t seem to resist, and not all eateries offer a low-calorie or nonfat salad dressing. It’s no wonder our country is going through an obesity crisis!

For some reason, portions served in many establishments today are far too large. Have you noticed the recent proliferation of the “doggie bag” phenomenon, evident even in upscale gourmet restaurants? What you used to sheepishly take home in a brown paper bag years ago now comes in a custom-made, hard plastic container, which you can casually carry out to enjoy as another gourmet meal tomorrow! How about the ubiquitous fast-food restaurants that proudly name their menu items “Big Mac,” “Whopper,” “Super,” “Mega,” and so on. And where does one go to get a “small” soda that is under 18 or 20 ounces any more? From these gargantuan portions, our kids are getting a head start on how to pig out, clogging their arteries and developing a lifelong tendency to overeat.

That leads me to the movie-theatre refreshment counter, which is an abomination in excess. In the old days, you could leave the concession stand and head for your seat with a bag of popcorn in one hand and a drink in the other. Today the soda comes in a 32-ounce container, and the popcorn in a one-gallon tub. Now you head for your seat, both arms wrapped around your purchases, with a mouthful of paper napkins (and, need I add, a much lighter wallet)! And I ask: Who needs the discomfort of a full bladder while watching a hot love scene or a knockdown, drag-out fight?

By the same token, I always get a great kick out of the size-18 matrons who laughingly exclaim in the front of an overloaded buffet, “Hey, come on—this is a special occasion, so we can splurge a little. . . what’s the harm?” Well, if they’re like so many of us, these ladies have extended families that number into the 20s and 30s, so there’s apt to be a special occasion virtually every other day. There are countless birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, christenings, and bar and bat mitzvahs—and don’t forget Thanksgiving, Easter, Passover, Christmas, wakes, funerals, the Fourth of July, Memorial Day, labor Day, and on and on! I’m sorry, but if you can’t exert a bit of will power and still enjoy the celebration, then forget about that slim waistline you’ve been dreaming about.

|6|arnold bull,weight loss,healthy eating,dieting,nutrition|_none|1|arnold_bull Hoop Dreams in Orleans|When heart wins hands-down.|2011-01-30 17:00:00|public://imports/1877.jpg|0|public://imports/1877.jpg|

The parks and community centers in our area had all sorts of organized sports, and I became pretty skilled at many of them through the years. I was good at soccer and accomplished at baseball, but I excelled at basketball.

Dribbling or passing a basketball wasn’t easy without hands, but I did pretty well by developing my own style of playing. More than anything, the key to playing well was practicing, and pushing myself to become as good as my body would allow. I competed with myself, and eventually that led me to become a very competitive child in everything from sports to academics. And of all the things I loved competing in, basketball was number one. 

When I first started playing organized sports, the kids chosen to be team captains would pick me last to be on their team. It hurt my feelings, but I got used to it. If I put myself in their shoes, I guess I could understand their reasoning—who wanted someone with no hands at the plate when the bases were loaded? But when it came to basketball, I played in community leagues where the captains and coaches had to play every kid who tried out for the team.

When I’d get on the court and start to play, it never failed to delight me when I saw the shocked look on everyone’s faces. Suddenly, they were all watching the kid with no fingers dribbling down the court with amazing speed, weaving through the defense players, and making incredible passes or leaping and twisting through the air to make a basket on his own. Smashing other people’s preconceptions and prejudices was half the fun of playing. I loved proving to people that just because someone looked different, it didn’t mean that he or she wasn’t every bit as good a person, a student, or an athlete. I’d already made that “miracle” breakthrough in my mind and stopped seeing myself as limited.

By the time I was ten years old, I was playing point guard on our team in the local league. I was very fast and had become a pretty darn good defensive player. We played a regional tournament game in which we were up against the best team in the league. Because I was point guard, I felt a tremendous sense of pride that I was leading my team in that particular match. But the point guard on the other team was a star player, one of the very best in his age group in southeastern Louisiana. By the end of the first quarter, the score was very one-sided—we were being whooped badly, trailing by almost 20 points.

I played with an intensity I hadn’t experienced since tackling my friend Kieran in kindergarten, and by halftime our teams were tied on the scoreboard. Later, during a pivotal point in the game, the opposing team’s point guard and I got into a bit of a scuffle. As we scrambled on the floor, we both went tumbling down in front of the crowd. We were both taken out of the game to cool down, but now that the other point guard was off the floor, our team surged ahead! By the fourth quarter, we’d closed the gap, and the game could have gone either way.

We ended up losing by only two points, but I’d earned the respect of my fellow players. I’d showed my mettle in front of the crowd, and I’d also shown my teammates that I was indeed a valuable player. It was one of those moments I’ll always look back upon with a certain level of pride, because I truly realized that no matter how I looked, I was going the distance.

A few days after that tournament game, I got a phone call from The Times-Picayune newspaper, asking if they could do a feature on me. They’d heard about my efforts and decided that my story would make a good article.

A day or two later, a reporter interviewed me and my family at home and also went on to talk to my teachers and coaches. It was an amazing thing for a child who’d only recently stopped thinking that he was forever going to be ignored or shunned. I felt excited about the opportunity to tell my story and to talk about my family and my love for basketball.

After it appeared, the article opened up even more opportunities. Before long, I was asked to be the “King” of the children’s Mardi Gras parade. As I sat on the throne they’d built atop the lead float, wearing a white tuxedo and crown, I waved at the throng of people who were crowding the sidewalks and waving back. I remember thinking that just a few years before I’d felt so lost, so alone, and so ignored. But now I could hear the cheers from the crowd all around me, the positive affirmations flying up to me from the mouths of complete strangers.

Naturally, my family was standing along the route as well, and I felt so much pride at having them there, knowing they’d been a driving force in my life. I was now where I was because my mother and father had stuck by me through thick and thin. They’d taught me to never give up, and it’s a lesson I’d learned well.

But while recognition and public acclaim can be remarkable, many miracles are small and happen at moments we never suspect. The greatest wonder of my childhood, for instance, came out of the blue after years of frustration and constant persistence.

Not long before I graduated from eighth grade, I sat on a bench after gym class and looked down at my unlaced sneakers. As you already know, at the age of five I’d made it my life’s mission to tie my own shoelaces. Now here I was on the cusp of adolescence, just months away from entering high school, and I had yet to master that simple act.

That day, alone on the bench, my most profound personal miracle occurred. I bent down and tied the pair of laces on my left shoe together into a bow. It certainly wasn’t perfect, but it was there, and there was no denying it. Then I repeated the act on the right shoe. I didn’t think or try—I just did it.    

There were no fanfare, fireworks, or applause; what went through me at that moment was even bigger. Those few seconds of simple shoelace tying were the culmination, the embodiment, of every obstruction that I’d encountered up to that point in my life. So many years of struggle stopped cold as I looked down at my feet. Two tied shoes were staring up at me from the floor, and I’d tied them myself—a miracle of my own making.

|1|dan caro,sports,self-esteem,confidence,challenge,miracles|_none|1|dan_caro The 10 Step Spiritual Diet|Start loving your body today.|2011-01-31 17:00:00|public://imports/1878.jpg|0|public://imports/1878.jpg|

I’m sure at one time or another you’ve found yourself reaching for a bag of chips or a pint of ice cream without realizing what you’re doing. Sometimes it’s for no reason other than sheer boredom. Other times you’re on auto-pilot. You grab some cookies when really you’re looking for a way to kill time, or snag a box of this or that to eat instead of thinking about what’s eating you. Other times, it may be to soothe yourself or detour around uncomfortable feelings. To some degree, we all do this. If you’re gaining weight because of it, or you can’t stop eating certain foods, or eating is taking the place of building closer connections with the people in your life, it’s a sign that something is wrong.

After many years helping thousands of people change, and after combating and healing my own up-and-down relationship with food and eating, I have come to a vital truth around food and weight—a truth that will help you, as it helped me, finally weigh what you want and find peace with food.

Here is that truth: When you change your relationship with yourself—when you truly begin to love yourself—you will change your relationship with food, too. You will break the cycles of overeating, and you will be more likely to stay at your healthy weight.

I used to regret the time I wasted being unhappy with my body and being self-destructive. Now I use my history and path to teach and help others. I don’t want you to waste another second in the quest to find happiness and peace with yourself. I want to help you let go of a self-destructive, restrictive relationship with food. It may feel like I’m helping you pry it loose from your grip, but you’ll make peace with food and with your body. You can learn to invite into your life the experience of eating wholesome foods, and doing so in a meditative, loving way with your friends and family. You’ll discover how to heal yourself emotionally and spiritually and bring that power and connective soothing force to others, as a parent does to a child.

Overweight and food issues have multiple causes, and thus must be approached from multiple angles—food, exercise, body image, emotional healing, spiritual power, and more. In my work, I use a 10-step program that anyone can use to lose weight, no matter how many times they have failed in the past. Here, in summary, are the 10 steps:

STEP 1: Live the Love-Centered Diet

For many people, food is like a drug, which could explain why many of us just can’t stop bingeing, particularly on junk food. The Love-Centered Diet simplifies your eating and gives your body a 30-day break from refined flour, sugar, and junk food.

STEP 2: Start a Moving Meditation

Learn how to go beyond the “sweat mentality” of exercise and experience physical activity in a whole new way: as a “moving meditation.” This can involve any form of activity. It teaches you to reflect on your inside self. 

STEP 3: Develop a Daily Practice

What would it take for you to feel less stressed and more in control of your food and well-being all day long? Just 10 minutes in the morning with a “daily practice,” to set the tone you want for your day.

STEP 4: Appreciate Your Body

Research suggests that learning to accept and, yes, even to love your body just the way it is can actually help you lose weight. Reverse those negative mind-sets for good—and reap the slimming benefits. 

STEP 5: Love Yourself Thin

Loving yourself is the most overlooked factor in weight management. If you’re stuck in a self-loathing mind-set, then it’s very hard to do something good for yourself.

STEP 6: Maintain Loving Connections

People who lose weight—and keep it off—generally have help. In one recent study, those who participated in a structured weight-loss program that included weekly group support lost more weight and did a better job of keeping it off for two years than did people who lacked group support.

STEP 7: Eliminate Excuses  

We all tell ourselves stories that explain—or make excuses for—how we’ve come to be the way we are. The trick is to create a new narrative, one that reflects your goals, and why and how you can effect the change you’re aiming for.

STEP 8: Examine Your Battleground Beliefs

Your battleground beliefs are the thoughts running through your head 24/7. These opinions from childhood are often subconscious. Examine your outlook and form the positive beliefs you’d like to have.

STEP 9: Connect with Higher Source Thinking

How we approach life and spirituality contributes to our overall well-being. People who tap into their spiritual side have a positive self-image, a sense of purpose in life, and better health than those who don’t, according to a growing body of research.

STEP 10: Pay It Forward

Everyone is looking for the magical answer on how to keep weight off once you’ve lost it. I believe the ultimate answer is to pay it forward by helping others. When you bring a little fresh air into someone’s life, expect some of that refreshing breeze to blow back your way.

|6|brad lamm,emotional eating,compulsive eating,overeating,diet,exercise,meditation,spiritual diet,just 10 lbs,alternative medicine|_none|1|brad_lamm The Miracle List|How patients regain their health.|2011-01-31 17:00:00|public://imports/1879.jpg|0|public://imports/1879.jpg|

As we followed the shaman up the mountain along the ancient stone pathway crafted by the Inca some six centuries ago, the silence was broken only by the sound of his flute. Our destination was Ollantaytambo, near Machu Picchu, not only one of Peru’s best-preserved archaeological sites but also a site of great spiritual significance.

My companions seemed to be energized by their spirited endeavor, yet I was more concerned with the pounding in my head. The shock to my body of traveling quickly, from sea level in Florida to almost 10,000 feet in the Andes, focused my attention on the inescapable fact that I was suffering from shortness of breath and blurred vision. Thankfully, my wife and two children seemed less affected.

One of the shamans traveling with us noticed my distress and offered me a handful of coca leaves to chew. I decided to try it instead of the acetazolamide I carried in my backpack in case of high-altitude sickness. Soon I felt numbness in my mouth and, very quickly, my symptoms disappeared!

How did this descendant of the Inca know that the leaves of the Erythroxylum coca plant could help with the symptoms of high-altitude sickness? The obvious answer is that it was the benefit of ancient wisdom, yet that only partially satisfied me. It seemed improbable that some hapless forebear had been chosen to chew his way through all the local plants to check their medicinal use. Meanwhile, my companion studied my countenance, much as I would observe my own patients. Meeting his gaze, I realized that his knowledge of the coca leaf did not come from lessons learned but was rooted in a profound knowledge of soul and spirit—not a concept that sat easily with my Western medical training, and yet I felt moved to accept it.

My journey to the Andes was inspired by my wife after she had read several books by Dr. Alberto Villoldo. We chose this expedition because Alberto was leading it, and it was not long after my healing encounter that I had a chance to speak with him. I asked Alberto about the shaman’s apparently unique ability to access complex information by means of intuition.

“It is not knowledge that comes from others,” he said. “It comes from the source of all knowledge, which is Great Spirit. The sages are able to tap into this wisdom, and to a certain extent we all have the potential to do this, not just indigenous peoples. After all, there have been individuals throughout the ages and in all cultures who were considered enlightened.”

I returned to my medical practice serving patients with a variety of challenging brain disorders, my treatment plans always integrating lifestyle issues and nutritional interventions with standard pharmaceutical-based approaches. This less than traditional neurological methodology allowed me to gain a deep understanding of health issues while retaining a mindset that was open to new ideas.

Nevertheless, I continued to be challenged by patients who suffered diseases that were well beyond the scope of neurology alone, including cancer, advanced arthritis, diabetes, and other, equally challenging disorders.

I began to focus on the small but growing number of patients who were actually able to regain their health despite what could have been a diagnosis of incurable disease. What was it about these patients that turned things around? The answer was presented to me late one Friday afternoon during a consultation with a woman suffering from chronic progressive multiple sclerosis.

We had placed Beth on our standard array of nutritional supplements, specific essential fatty acids, and nutrient injections for the disorder several years before. Although her decline had slowed somewhat, she was forced to use a walker and even a wheelchair at times. That afternoon, however, my staff and I were astounded to see her walking down our hallway unassisted.

“We are putting you on our miracle list,” I told her, referring to the growing number of our patients whose improvements could not be explained by medical science.

In the examining room, we explored what had changed in her life and to what she attributed her miraculous improvement.

“I have been studying shamanism for a few years,” she replied, scrutinizing my face for any sign of familiarity with the term.

“Basically, I’ve gained the ability to tap into what I call healing energy,” Beth continued.

Over the coming months, I began to notice that we were putting more and more people on the miracle list. And it was becoming clear to me that, overwhelmingly, the patients who achieved the most profound recoveries were those engaged in some form of meditative or spiritual practice. Whether they repeated affirmations, meditated, or prayed in some fashion, virtually all of these patients were somehow connecting with what the shaman had referred to as the Great Spirit.

Over the next three years, my encounters with Alberto evolved into a close friendship, and we realized that we should put our heads together and collaborate. For it had become clear to us that access to the Great Spirit or Divine Energy—that natural force which is called by so many names—is available to all. In a sense, we are all shamans, and the most advanced teachings in cellular biology are validating lifestyle activities that, for centuries, have been paving the way to enlightenment through meditative practices not just for the chosen few but for all who care to learn.

|1|david perlmutter,alberto villoldo,shaman,peru,great spirit,divine energy,shamanism,spirituality,ollantaytambo,machu piccho,multiple sclerosis,cancer,diabetes|_none|1|alberto_villoldo_phd Is Your Brain Stuck in the Past?|Empty out those negative experiences!|2011-02-01 17:00:00|public://imports/1880.jpg|0|public://imports/1880.jpg|

Enlightenment. This elusive state has been the focus of some of the greatest minds throughout history. Thousands of people have dedicated their lives to its pursuit. We see images of monks sitting peacefully on meditation cushions . . . nuns kneeling in prayer . . . shamans living in the wilds of the Amazon. And while these representations of enlightened individuals may be accurate, they also imply that this desired state is reserved for a privileged few.

We believe, however, that enlightenment is available to all those who are willing to dedicate the time and effort necessary to attain it. Finding this state does not require a lifestyle that is incompatible with surviving in the modern Western world. And the rewards of enlightenment are not limited to the attainment of spiritual knowledge enjoyed by the contemplative mystic. They can also be reaped in the discovery of DNA sequencing by the innovative scientist, the preparation of a mouth-watering meal by the inventive chef, or the creation of an inspiring masterpiece by the insightful artist. We believe that enlightenment promises everyone the possibility for innovation, extraordinary creativity, and inner peace.

We also believe that the search for enlightenment can be accelerated by following a practice focused on awakening the power of the higher brain. When our higher brain functions are engaged, we have the potential to change our lives both spiritually and biologically.

But to achieve this desired state of consciousness, we must not only master ancient enlightenment techniques but also restore the brain’s health at the cellular level.

Is Your Brain Stuck in the Past?

Anger, fear, jealousy, greed, and worry, while commonplace, undermine our inner peace and sense of self-worth. But even on a weekend meditation retreat or during a walk in the quiet and stillness of the woods, the mind continues to chase thoughts, compose to-do lists, and fret about activities not yet completed and situations not yet resolved. Hard as we might try to sit quietly and empty our mind of thoughts, it continues to gravitate toward the unfinished business of our past.

Why does your brain rely on the neural networks created by the prehistoric, survival-at-all-costs brain regions—the reptilian brain and the limbic brain—instead of operating at its optimal level of functioning? How do you overcome the toxic emotions of your old wiring, the conditioning based on negative experiences from the past?

By healing that prehistoric brain, you engage newer, higher, more evolved brain structures—the neocortex and, specifically, the prefrontal cortex—which will help you eliminate fear, poverty mentality, and anger from your life. This is done through the creation of new neural networks in your brain.

Until quite recently, most brain researchers held that, even though the brain is malleable in the early years of a child’s development, the window of opportunity for changing its wiring slams shut by around the age of seven years. While it is true that the brain of a fetus or a young child is like a dry sponge, with the potential to soak up all the knowledge, beliefs, and behaviors it needs to survive in its new worldly environment, the premise that the brain can no longer be rewired past a certain early age has now been upended.

Leading-edge research now confirms that we can grow new brain cells and change the actual networks in the brain. Once we provide our neurons with specific nutrients lacking in our everyday diet and embark on stimulating new activities, we can establish new neural networks that help transform limiting beliefs and behaviors and recapture long-lost feelings of joy, optimism, and tranquility.

In the language of neuroscience, enlightenment is the condition of optimal mitochondrial and brain functioning that allows us to experience both well-being and inner peace and the urge to create and innovate. Mitochondria are the energy factories at work within your cells. They impact your moods, your vitality, your aging process, and even how you might die. They are also in charge of the elimination of old cells and replacement with new cells, a function that occurs automatically, without your conscious awareness.

The mitochondria are influenced by the foods you eat, the amount of calories you ingest, the extent to which you exercise your body, and the inclusion of specific nutrients.

What if you could gain access to keys encoded in your mitochondrial DNA that, until now, have been password-protected? When you unlock this code, you break free of the illness-ridden journey that many Westerners suffer from cradle to grave. With your mitochondria restored, your cells will be able to express the genes that promote brain health and physical longevity, and you won’t have to continue perpetuating the ills and traumas of your family of origin.

|23|positive thinking,reptilian brain,limbic brain,dna,enlightenment,brain cells,alberto villoldo,david perlmutter|_none|1|alberto_villoldo_phd 5 Qualities of Geniuses Revealed |Are You A Genius? |2014-02-17 17:00:00|public://imports/3705.jpg|0|public://imports/3705.jpg|

Genius is one of the greatest untapped resources of our society. It’s no more specific than it is personal—people of genius frequently have multiple talents in different realms, and they might have answers to a diversity of problems. Yet society suffers a great loss because it doesn’t know how to nurture its geniuses, and in fact is often either indifferent or hostile to them. This is unfortunate, for they characteristically don’t cost much to maintain. The lifestyle of those we term geniusis typically simple, and they’re seldom interested in money or fame. Genius is characterized by an appreciation for resources and the economy of integrity, because the genius values life and sees the intrinsic worth of all of its expressions. Since time and resources are considered precious, doing more than is necessary is viewed as a waste; therefore, people of genius often lead very quiet lives and usually only come forth, very reluctantly, when there’s a cause that must be supported.

1.  Geniuses Have Minimum Wants - Because they are in touch with an endless source of supply, geniuses experience only a minimum of want (such simplicity seems a common characteristic of true success in general)—for there’s no need to “get” when you already “have.” The basis of this nonmateriality, this seeming naïveté, is a radical understanding of the nature of the universe itself: That which supports life is supported by life; survival is thus effortless, and giving and receiving are one and the same.

2.  Geniuses Are Eccentric - Genius is notoriously interpreted as unconventionality or eccentricity. It’s true that such people, due to their alignment with high-energy attractors [positive energy patterns], have a different perspective on life; therefore, things have a different significance for them than they do for the average person. The genius is frequently inspired to intense activity by insights beyond our understanding.

3.  Geniuses Are Dedicated To Their Craft - Genius isn’t stardom—those who attain prominence are a very small minority. There remains a legion of geniuses who achieve no such status; many appear in no way noteworthy and may, in fact, have never had formal higher education. What characterizes this type is the capacity to exhaustively utilize what experience they have, and to capitalize on it by the dedication necessary to reach a high degree of mastery. Many productive geniuses aren’t recognized until years after they’ve died. In fact, the gift—or curse—of genius often brings about unfortunate consequences during such an individual’s lifetime.

4. Geniuses Have Sudden Bursts of Inspiration - One characteristic of genius is the capacity for great intensity, which is often expressed in a cyclic fashion. That is, the personality of the genius sometimes seems to incorporate polar extremes: When inspired, he may work 20 hours a day to realize a solution while it’s still fresh in his mind; these periods of intense activity tend to be interspersed with intervals of apparent stasis that are actually times of fermentation, which is a necessary part of the creative process. Geniuses understand the need to make space for ideas to crystallize, for creativity occurs under appropriate inner, not outer, circumstances. The stage is often set by complete distraction—we all know stories of people who have gotten the answers to complex problems while sitting in traffic on the freeway.

4. Geniuses Have A High Degree of Insight - A primary reason that so many people fail to recognize, and therefore empower, their own genius is because in the popular mind, genius is confused with a high IQ. This is a gross misunderstanding, which has arisen from the fact that many celebrated geniuses in the fields of mathematics and physics indeed have high IQs; however, in those fields, the IQ necessary to comprehend the work is a prerequisite. It would be more helpful to see genius as simply an extraordinarily high degree of insight in a given area of human activity. After all, there are droves of noncerebral geniuses in many fields—such as art, music, design, and invention—whose innovative, creative talents fall within certain limited parameters.

5. Geniuses Have Enormous Drive - Keep in mind that IQ is merely a measure of academic capacity for logically comprehending symbols and words. From our studies, it appears that the alignment of one’s goals and values with high-energy attractors is more closely associated with genius than anything else. Genius can be more accurately identified by perseverance, courage, concentration, enormous drive, and absolute integrity—talent alone is certainly not enough. Dedication of an unusual degree is required to achieve mastery, and in the simplest definition, one could say that genius is the capacity for an extraordinary degree of mastery in one’s calling. A formula followed by all geniuses, prominent or not, is: Do what you like to do best, and do it to the very best of your ability.

|23|inspiration,creativity,invention,integrity,achievements,talent,genius,david hawkins|_none|1|david_r_hawkins_md_phd Got Soul Food?|Heritage dishes cooked with love.|2013-11-02 17:00:00|public://imports/1882.jpg|0|public://imports/1882.jpg|

My dining experience around the country has brought me to the conclusion that every region in America has its own take on the soul food experience. Over the decades, soul food has changed in many ways, with even the very name of the cuisine being the subject of debate. While few would likely argue that these recipes reflect the African American culture (even if they are enjoyed by everyone), these foods are considered part of “southern cuisine” as often as they are considered soul food. While many of these foods are commonly prepared in the southern states, this type of cooking has never been limited to that region—not during the slave days and certainly not today. There are, however, some very unique local versions of the cuisine that do represent African American foodways specific to certain regions, like low country cooking that spans the Carolinas, Caribbean soul in Florida, Creole in Louisiana, and so on.

I’ve reached deep into my Louisiana roots for the inspiration that defines my own approach to soul food, which I call Posh Urban Cuisine. It’s a California-French style combined with my African American experience. I’m a classically trained chef but remain true to who I really am, and that’s what you’ll find on any plate of food I serve you.

The America I AM Pass It Down Cookbook is filled with recipes that reflect the need to document and share our history and culture that stretches back generations, even as we continue to create our future identities—which is a significant part of what defines us as African Americans. As a people, it is imperative that we record our culinary contribution to the fabric of America in the past and going forward. The recipes here range from southern-inspired soups made of the best vegetables from the family garden, or those that use ingredients that were left over in the ice box. I often use leftover pot lickers from my slow-cooked collard greens as a base for my sweet potato soup, and for various other quick and easy soups or bisques. We have more choices today than 50 or 100 years ago—there is some great produce that’s grown and sold locally—but we’re still sensitive to price and, if you’re like me, we don’t waste anything.

The collection of recipes I included in my book is accompanied by personal stories and life experiences, many unique to the African American community. These recipes reflect the people who provided them for the project, and give us a window into our community. An historical cookbook like this one wouldn’t be complete without this personal factor, connecting the heart and soul of the recipes with their contributors.

As I traveled across the country gathering recipes and preaching about the importance of passing down such a collection, I met many amazing people who shared their food stories. In Atlanta, while shopping in a Publix for ingredients for a cooking demonstration I was doing later that evening at the annual Black Arts Festival. I got into a conversation with an elderly white woman (she must have been in her mid-70s) as she was making her way through the baking section. Given where we were (in a supermarket in the south), the conversation quickly turned to southern cooking.

What I learned from her was that southern white folks’ cooking was not much different from black folks’ cooking. I was taken aback by the tips she offered me. We talked about canning peaches and the best way to cook collard greens using scrap meat. She even told me that fried chicken is best if cooked in pork fat. Wow, I thought, that’s very interesting.

While not everything she said was new or something I’d do in my own kitchen, I was really touched that she would so readily pass along such personal advice.

For centuries, it was this kind of sharing that kept our folks going. On a daily basis, such exchanges happened at the evening supper that brought family and friends together for the main meal of the day and conversation. Growing up in poverty, supper was the one daily event that put a smile on our faces. No matter how poor folks were, supper was grand for most. We’ve lost a lot of traditions, but that’s one that I try to hold onto. There are other, smaller things I realize still connect me with my family: just like my grandparents, I’ve always had an old mayonnaise jar in the freezer filled to the rim with seafood gumbo, or several casserole dishes in the refrigerator. Many dishes I serve come from my present experiences as a chef and a man, but very few of them reflect who I am more than the foods of my past.

|6|soul food,ramin ganeshram,traditonal foods,family recipes,southern cooking,african american cooking,jeff henderson,chef jeff|_none|1|jeff_henderson How To Lead A More Meaningful Life|Dr. Wayne Dyer Shares 3 Benefits of Changing Your Life Direction|2014-01-21 17:00:00|public://imports/1883.jpg|0|public://imports/1883.jpg|

The direction we take in life is far more significant than the place ego parks us, in the present moment. For example, inquiring about what direction we’re headed is more valuable than focusing on how much we weigh or when we had our last cigarette. Making a commitment to change a self-sabotaging way of life is making a commitment to change direction, and then we head toward weight loss or addiction control. Heading toward something more purposeful and meaningful is even more significant.

Changing Life Direction

If we persistently listen to the demands of the ego, we move away from our Source of being. The ego insists on pursuing more: more stuff, accomplishments, status, triumphs, and money. More is the mantra of the ego, fueling endless striving with a false promise of eventually arriving. However, every assured arrival point is seductively transformed to a desire to strive for even more, unless we choose to make a shift in the direction our life is taking. The shift begins in the process of halting the momentum and self-importance of the ego. Then we must proceed with the work of derailing and rerouting it in the opposite direction. This doesn’t mean we lose our drive; rather, it signifies that our drive is realigned with a life based on experiencing Meaning and feeling purposeful.

Ambition will now be fueled by our Source of being, rather than by ego. Heading back to our natural Source puts us on track to a way of life that supports the potential wholeness that we are.

Here are 3 benefits of changing our life direction and making the return trip from Ambition to Meaning:

1. Ego’s repetitious insistence to do and have more becomes less attractive. Changing direction from a less-than-authentic existence to an authentic one doesn’t mean that we’re no longer able to attract abundance and prosperity, or that we lose our desire to be productive. It does mean that we feel the natural bliss of being tuned in to our wholeness.

We begin to shift from doing more to doing less. On the journey back to our original nature, we do more of what the recovery movement teaches in that we “let go and let God.” Without pressuring ourselves to achieve at all costs, we attain the wondrous position of accomplishing more, and we ultimately feel more significance in our life.

We begin to shun the spotlight and function more from the shadows. Our Source of being says that humility should be our primary focus. But for years, ego has been effectively convincing us that we must focus on acquiring a reputation for being an ambitious person. Imagine the difficulty ego has when we begin practicing this kind of radical humility.

2. A belief in unity replaces our belief in separation. Our Source of being tells us that we’re all connected, so we start feeling less competitive—our desire to dominate is replaced by compassion, and controlling others is no longer appealing. All conflicts, be they in our personal life or the larger world, stem from heading away from our Source of being.

3. We begin realizing that we’re connected in Spirit to everything we perceive to be missing from our life. When we head in the direction of where we reconnect to our Source of being, the journey is typified by an alignment in which we think and act like the Tao that flows everywhere. As we move in this direction, there’s no possibility of shortage or lack. We become content and grateful for all that we have.

We begin trusting the wisdom that created us. We abandon the material ego focus and can no longer see ourselves as separate from God. As we become one with our Source, we begin the realignment process, thinking and contemplating more like God.

|1|conciousness,oneness,spirit,ego,shift,wayne w. dyer|_none|1|dr_wayne_w_dyer What’s Cookin’ on Game Day?|Super tasty snacks for Super Bowl Sunday!|2011-02-06 17:00:00|public://imports/1421.jpg|0|public://imports/1421.jpg|

It’s as close to a modern American holiday as you can get—it’s Super Bowl Sunday!

If you’re a true-blue football fan, you know all about which team has the most Vince Lombardi trophies, which player rushed for the most yards in one game and which quarterback was the most renowned MVP player of the year.

But did you know that Super Bowl Sunday is the second-largest day for food consumption? (First is Thanksgiving Day) Or that on this day, more than eight million pounds of guacamole and 14,500 tons of chips will be consumed before the two-minute warning? Or that on the Monday after the Big Game, the sale of antacids will increase by 20 percent and 6 percent of the people who watched the game will call in sick for work?

Before you charge off to your favorite grocery store and fast-food establishment with your list of gut-busting snacks and “belly bad” beverages, here are 3 super healthy recipes from health and fitness expert Jorge Cruise and his best-selling book The Belly Fat Cure. These will help you score a trimmer waistline during this year’s Super Bowl feast:

1. Pepperoni Pizza Do-Over Meal (Serves 4):

Compared to a Schlotsky’s Pepperoni and Double Cheese Pizza Meal Deal of 52 grams of sugar and 8 servings of carbs—more than you should have in an entire day, my Pepperoni Pizza Meal Do-Over has only 4 grams of sugar and 2 servings of carbs.

4 (6”) Sara Lee Mr. Pita Whole Wheat Pita Breads
8 Tbsp. Ragu Homemade Style Pizza Sauce
1 cup grated mozzarella
12 oz. Sliced pepperoni
1 Tbsp grated Parmesan
Preheat over to 425 degrees F. Warm pitas on a baking sheet in the oven for 5 minutes; remove.
Spread 2 tbsp. of pizza sauce over each pita; top with cheese and pepperoni. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until cheese has melted. Garnish with grated Parmesan.

4 cups arugula greens
1 lime, cut into wedges
16 (1”) pieces of shaved Parmesan
Shave Parmesan cheese with a vegetable peeler over the arugula and garnish with fresh lime wedges.

Other sides:
4 cans Zevia Natural Cola
Serve with 1 soda per person.

2. Chicken Strips Do-Over (Serves 4):

Even though Denny’s Chicken Strips dish is just an appetizer, it has more than a day’s worth of sugar on the Belly Fat Cure and 4 servings of carbs. My easy meal is perfect for game day—just be sure to pass out plenty of napkins. You get 3 pieces of chicken per serving and a great dip, all for 2/1 (2 grams of sugar/1 serving of carbs).

Chicken strips:
4 large chicken breasts
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 cup Scott’s Barbecue Sauce
Tabasco Pepper Sauce, to taste
2 Tsp. chili powder
1/2 Tsp. ground cayenne pepper

Blue-cheese dip:
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp. red-wine vinegar
1 Tsp. Dijon mustard
1/2 cup blue-cheese crumbles
1 Tsp. finely chopped shallots

Other sides:
4 celery sticks, cut into 4 pieces
Tabasco Pepper Sauce, for serving

For the chicken:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Layer a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Cut each chicken breast lengthwise into 3 even pieces, for a total of 12 pieces. Season as desired and put in the oven for 15–20 minutes or until done. Stir together the barbecue sauce, Tabasco, chili powder, and cayenne pepper. When the chicken is ready, brush barbecue mixture on both sides until coated, and place it back in the oven for 2 more minutes.

For the blue-cheese dip:
Mix the listed ingredients in a food processor until smooth.
Serve the chicken strips with a side of blue-cheese dip and celery—and be sure to leave the bottle of Tabasco on the table!

3. Outrageous Chocolate Brownies (Serves 16):

Eat a few of those Little Debbie brownies and there will be nothing little about your waistline! With 21 grams of sugar, there’s more sugar in 1 brownie that I recommend you eat in an entire day. My delicious brownie has a nice light texture and indulgently rich chocolate flavor. Enjoy as a tasty special-occasion dessert, or have it as often as you like. It has no sugar!

3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups Joseph’s Maltitol Sweetener syrup
1 1/2 Tsp. vanilla extract
3 eggs
3/4 cup flour
1/2 cup cocoa
1/2 Tsp. baking powder
1/2 Tsp. salt

Optional Glaze:
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 oz. unsweetened baking chocolate
1/4 cup maltitol sweetener syrup
2–5 packets Truvia, to taste

For the brownies:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter an 8 square pan. In a bowl, blend softened butter with maltitol syrup and vanilla. Add eggs and beat well. Combine flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt. Add to egg mixture and stir until well blended.
Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 40–45 minutes. Cool completely.

For the glaze:
Heat cream and chocolate over low heat and stir frequently until melted. Remove from heat and whisk in maltitol syrup until smooth. Add Truvia one packet at a time to taste. Pour glaze over the brownies and let set before cutting into 2 squares.

About Author
Hay House
Hay House was founded in 1984 by Louise L. Hay as a way to self-publish her first two books, Heal Your Body and You Can Heal Your Life (YCHYL), both of which became bestsellers and established Louise as a leader in the New Age mo Continue reading