Lifestyle Solutions for a Happy Healthy You!

Archive for July, 2011

You make better decisions when you are not emotionally attached!

You make better decisions when you are not emotionally attached!
                                    
 

Years ago I attended a business meeting in which I heard a gentleman say that it is impossible to make a good business decision unless you are willing to walk away from the deal.  He went on to explain that it is difficult to make wise business decisions when you are heavily invested in a deal emotionally.  In fact, he said that the more emotion is involved, the less rational a person will be in their thinking process.  Therefore, if you want to be a good decision-maker, you must ask yourself to what extent you are emotionally involved in your current set of circumstances.  Maybe a couple of examples will help.
 
I once read a book called, Boundaries, in which the authors talk about how important healthy boundaries are to every relationship.  They also discuss the fact that proper boundaries are especially difficult in marriage and in raising children because so much emotion is involved in those relationships.  In one particular story the author explained that if a wife wanted her husband to do something on Saturday morning and he had already made other plans, he should be able to look and her and say, “I am sorry that I will not be able to do that because I have already made other plans.  However, if you would like to hire someone to help you do that project, it will be fine with me.”  I almost dropped the book – not because I disagreed so much with the author – but, because I could hardly imagine a husband saying that to his wife without there being a lot of emotion involved!   If I had been writing that chapter I would have suggested that it would be far better to make plans earlier in the week regarding what is going to happen on Saturday.  Waiting to make a decision until the last minute or in the “heat of the moment” is not wise and will almost always involve a good bit of emotion.  I realize the purpose of boundaries is to help us make good, strong, rational decisions rather than emotional ones, but when a family member is involved, it is usually going to be extremely difficult.
 
The medical community knows this well and does not allow surgeons to operate on someone in their own family because their judgment will be clouded by their emotional attachment.  They know that surgeons’ objectivity in the decision-making process will be affected and that they may not be able to think clearly if they operate on someone with whom they have a close relationship.
 
One morning years ago when I was a school principal, my daughter Rachael and I arrived at school early.  I instructed her to stay in the cafeteria where I knew she would be safe while I took care of a couple of items.  Several minutes later the vice principal (who also just happened to be her godparent) saw her in the cafeteria and asked her to go play outside on the playground.  Rachael, six years old at the time, was confused because she had just been given two different sets of instruction, but she obeyed the vice principal since he was the last to tell her what to do.
 
When I came back to the cafeteria, she was gone!  I looked for her and found her on the playground.  I asked why she disobeyed me and she would not give me an answer.  Then we had a whole new problem.  I couldn’t understand why she would not answer my simple question, but I could tell she was troubled about something.  Finally she said, “You told me that I could never say anything against someone else, so I can’t tell you!”  That really confused me because in my mind I wasn’t asking her to speak against someone else; I was simply asking her why she didn’t stay in the cafeteria like I had instructed her to do.  After some confusion and tears, I was finally able to pry out of her that the vice principal had told her to go outside.  Now I understood.
 
My point is that all of this came about because emotion was involved.  I had told Rachael one thing as her father and as the principal of the school, and the vice principal, whom she loved and respected, had told her something else.  She was confused because she did not want to disobey either of us.  Her emotions got the better of her, which led to hurt feelings and tears.  It became a great teaching moment for us as I was able to help her understand that it is okay to explain a situation to people in authority who have given you two different sets of instruction.  And, I am convinced that if it had not been for the fact that she was so emotionally close to the vice principal, she would have just said, “My father told me to stay inside.”  But, because emotion was involved, she was confused.
 
This is a situation that all of us must deal with every day.  When it comes to marriage, raising children, and dealing with family members, emotion will always be involved.  The same is true in a business deal that we believe is going to be our “ticket to freedom.”  We must remember to keep emotion separate from intellect in order to stay healthy and be wise.  I once saw a poem that said, “E over I will make you lie, but I over E will set you free!”  Of course, E stands for emotion and I stands for intellect.  That is the point I am trying to make. 
 
What decisions do you need to make this week?  If it is possible for you to separate your emotion from the decision, you will be in a much better position to make a wise choice regarding whatever situation you are facing.  It is working for me and I trust the same will be true of you!
 
Have a great week!  God bless you!
 
Robert A. Rohm, Ph.D. 
Personality Insights, Inc.

Copyright Personality Insights, Inc.  Reprinted with permission. You may subscribe to the  “Tip of the Week” for free at http://www.personalityinsights.com and receive Dr. Rohm’s weekly Tip every Monday morning.

8 Benefits of Spinach: The First Superfood

8 Benefits of Spinach: The First Superfood

Spinach was a powerfood even before there was the term powerfood.

We’re referring of course to Popeye the Sailor Man. “TOOT TOOT!” One can of the green stuff and he turned into muscle popping tornado of energy.

Even without Popeye’s recommendation, spinach contains more nutrients per calorie than any other food on the earth.

8 Benefits of Spinach:

1. Loaded with Vitamins: like A, K, D, and E and a host of trace minerals.

2. Good Source of Omega 3 Fatty Acids: the kind most of us need in North America.

3. Anti-Cancer and Anti-Inflammatory Antioxidants: Researchers have identified more than a dozen different flavonoid compounds in spinach that function as anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer agents. In a recent study on the relationship between risk of prostate cancer and vegetable intake (including such healthy vegetables as broccoli, cabbage, and brussel sprouts) only spinach showed evidence of significant protection against the occurrence of aggressive prostate cancer.

4. Alkalizes the Body: All those minerals helps to balance off the highly acid diet which most of us subject our bodies to and which drains our energy, increases obesity and a creates host of other health problems.

5. Nourishes the Eyes: The carotenoids found in spinach protect against eye diseases such as cataracts and macular degeneration.

6. Strengthens the Bones: One cup of fresh spinach (or 1/6 cup of cooked spinach) contains TWICE your daily vitamin K needs. This along with the calcium and magnesium in spinach is essential to maintain healthy bones.

7. Perfect for Green Smoothies and Salads: Organic pre-washed spinach is now readily available in most grocery stores. If you haven’t yet tried a green smoothie yet and think they might taste yucky then try one with the main ingredient as spinach. Spinach is so sweet, we guarantee you will be impressed. To see Diana make her own special brand of green smoothie click here: Diana’s Green Smoothie

8. Spinach is FRESH! Studies have shown that even the artificial light in the grocery store shining on those plastic tubs of spinach can actually help keep the leaves from spoiling. This indicates the spinach is still metabolically active and fresh.

Tips and Cautions:

Tip #1: Make sure you only choose organic spinach. Non-organic spinach is on the list of top foods with lots of chemical pesticides. You can assume that canned spinach is NOT organic. I can’t imagine anyone eating canned spinach anyway but since we mentioned Popeye I thought I had better mentions that. (Leesa agrees!)

Tip #2: Choose the GREENEST looking spinach you can find. Probably you would have anyway, but studies have shown that the greenest spinach has the most vitamin C.

Tip #3: Because spinach contains high levels of so many nutrients it also has significant levels of oxalic acid. This has been associated with kidney problems and interference with absorption of other minerals.

There is much debate whether the oxalates in spinach would have this kind of effect but just to be sure, if you have a pre-existing kidney problem, it’s better to consult your doctor before eating too much.

At Real Food For Life, we recommend that a person balance their body enough so that they can use their own bodies as a gauge on how much or little to eat of a particular food.

For example, I usually crave spinach but sometimes I just don’t want it in my body. I suspect that perhaps I have reached my limit for something, (like the oxalates) within the food.

This personalized approach to your nutrition is the easiest and ultimately the most powerful approach to nutritional choices. We explain this more in our “Three Secrets” report.

Recipes with Spinach:
Power Spinach Salad: You just HAVE TO know how to make a good spinach salad. This one is great.
Miso Soup with Spinach and Mushrooms: This is fast, tasty, and contains at least three powerfoods.
Diana’s Green Smoothie With a Difference: Watch video to learn how to make a green smoothie.

This article was co-authored with Randy Fritz

Related:
Eat Your Spinach
Go Gorgeous Greens
Brown Rice vs. White Rice

by Diana Herrington

Diana Herrington, now living in Northern Canada, turned a debilitating health crisis into a passion for helping others with healthy, sugar free, gluten free, eating and cooking. After testing and researching every possible healthy therapy on her delicate system she has developed simple powerful principles which she shares in her recent book Eating Green, Clean and Lean, and as host to Care2 groups: Healthy Living Network and Healthy Cooking. Check out her blog Real Food for Life or follow her on Twitter: http://twitter.com/DancinginLife.
 

5 Surprising Signs of an Unhealthy Heart

5 Surprising Signs of an Unhealthy Heart

We’ve all read the signs of a heart attack listed on posters in the hospital waiting room. But what if there were other, earlier signs that could alert you ahead of time that your heart was in trouble?

It turns out there are. Researchers have done a lot of work in recent years looking at the signs and symptoms patients experienced in the months or even years leading up to a heart attack. “The heart, together with the arteries that feed it, is one big muscle, and when it starts to fail the symptoms can show up in many parts of the body,” says cardiologist Jonathan Goldstein of St. Michael’s Medical Center in Newark, New Jersey. Here are five surprising clues that your heart needs checking out. Any of these signs — and particularly two or more together — is reason to call your doctor for a workup, says Goldstein.

1. Neck pain

Feel like you pulled a muscle in the side of your neck? Think again, especially if it doesn’t go away. Post-heart attack, some patients remember noticing that their neck hurt and felt tight, a symptom they attributed at the time to muscle strain. People commonly miss this symptom because they expect the more dramatic acute pain and numbness in the chest, shoulder, and arm. Women in particular are less likely to experience heart pain that way, and more likely to feel twinges of pain and a sensation of tightness running along the shoulder and down the neck, says Margie Latrella, an advanced practice nurse in the Women’s Cardiology Center in New Jersey and coauthor of Take Charge: A Woman’s Guide to a Healthier Heart (Dog Ear, 2009). The pain might also extend down the left side of the body, into the left shoulder and arm.

Why it happens: Nerves from damaged heart tissue send pain signals up and down the spinal cord to junctures with nerves that extend out into the neck and shoulder.

What distinguishes it: The pain feels like it’s radiating out in a line, rather than located in one very specific spot. And it doesn’t go away with ice, heat, or muscle massage.

. Sexual problems

Having trouble achieving or keeping erections is common in men with coronary artery disease, but they may not make the connection. One survey of European men being treated for cardiovascular disease found that two out of three had suffered from erectile dysfunction for months or years before they were diagnosed with heart trouble. Recent studies on the connection between ED and cardiovascular disease have been so convincing that doctors now consider it the standard of care to do a full cardiovascular workup when a man comes in complaining of ED, according to cardiologist Goldstein says. “In recent years there’s been pretty clear evidence that there’s a substantially increased risk of heart attack and death in patients with erectile dysfunction,” Goldstein says.

Why it happens: Just as arteries around the heart can narrow and harden, so can those that supply the penis. And because those arteries are smaller, they tend to show damage much sooner — as much as three to four years before the disease would otherwise be detected.

What distinguishes it: In this case, the cause isn’t going to be immediately distinguishable. If you or your partner has problems getting or maintaining an erection, that’s reason enough to visit your doctor to investigate cardiovascular disease as an underlying cause. “Today, any patient who comes in with ED is considered a cardiovascular patient until proven otherwise,” says Goldstein.

3. Dizziness, faintness, or shortness of breath

More than 40 percent of women in one study published in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association, reported having experienced shortness of breath in the days before a heart attack. You might feel like you can’t breathe, or you might feel dizzy or faint, as you would at high altitude. If you can’t catch your breath while walking upstairs, vacuuming, weeding the garden, or doing other activities that previously caused you no trouble, this is a reason to be on the alert.

Why it happens: Not enough blood is getting through the arteries to carry sufficient oxygen to the heart. The heart muscle pain of angina may also make it hurt to draw a deep breath. Coronary artery disease (CAD), in which plaque builds up and blocks the arteries that feed the heart, prevents the heart from getting enough oxygen. The sudden sensation of not being able to take a deep breath is often the first sign of angina, a type of heart muscle pain.

What distinguishes it: If shortness of breath is caused by lung disease, it usually comes on gradually as lung tissue is damaged by smoking or environmental factors. If heart or cardiovascular disease is the cause, the shortness of breath may come on much more suddenly with exertion and will go away when you rest.

4. Indigestion, nausea, or heartburn

Although most of us expect pain from any condition related to the heart to occur in the chest, it may actually occur in the abdomen instead. Some people, particularly women, experience the pain as heartburn or a sensation of over-fullness and choking. A bout of severe indigestion and nausea can be an early sign of heart attack, or myocardial infarction, particularly in women. In one study, women were more than twice as likely as men to experience vomiting, nausea, and indigestion for several months leading up to a heart attack.

Why it happens: Blockages of fatty deposits in an artery can reduce or cut off the blood supply to the heart, causing what feels like tightness, squeezing, or pain — most typically in the chest but sometimes in the abdomen instead. Depending on which part of your heart is affected, it sends pain signals lower into the body. Nausea and light-headedness can also be signs that a heart attack is in progress, so call your doctor right away if the feeling persists.

What distinguishes it: Like all types of angina, the abdominal pain associated with a heart problem is likely to worsen with exertion and get better with rest. Also, you’re likely to experience repeated episodes, rather than one prolonged episode as you would with normal indigestion or food poisoning.

5. Jaw and ear pain

Ongoing jaw pain is one of those mysterious and nagging symptoms that can have several causes but can sometimes be a clue to coronary artery disease (CAD) and impending heart attack. The pain may travel along the jaw all the way to the ear, and it can be hard to determine which it’s coming from, says cardiovascular nurse Margie Latrella. This is a symptom doctors have only recently begun to focus on, because many patients surveyed post-heart attack report that this is one of the only symptoms they noticed in the days and weeks leading up to the attack.

Why it happens: Damaged heart tissue sends pain signals up and down the spinal cord to junctures with nerves that radiate from the cervical vertebrae out along the jaw and up to the ear.

What distinguishes it: Unlike the jaw pain caused by temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ), tooth pain, or ear infection, the pain doesn’t feel like it’s in one isolated spot but rather like it’s radiating outward in a line. The pain may extend down to the shoulder and arm — particularly on the left side, and treatments such as massage, ice, and heat don’t affect it.

By Melanie Haiken, Caring.com senior editor

Gratitude: It Starts With a List

Gratitude: It Starts With a List

Gratitude: It Starts With a List

He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has. ~Epictetus

The most common and ancient advice you hear about developing a practice of gratitude is the idea of counting your blessings.  Every positivity book I have ever laid my hands on has a section that encourages making regular, even daily lists of the blessings in your life. Taken to the next step, this daily listing lives in a gratitude journal.

I have had an approach/avoidance relationship to my own little pink gratitude journal that is decorated with a paisley yellow bird. I chose it in one of my inspired moments with gratitude, determined to fill it up with what I promised myself would be my new consciousness of the blessings that fill my life. It is a small, pocket sized book that I began writing in February.

I feel a little embarrassed that there are still so many pages to fill in such a small book.  My original plan was to carry it with me in my purse, thinking I would stop throughout my day to jot down moments of gratitude.   Lately it sits on my night stand where I recollect feelings of gratitude before I sleep. The book is filling up more regularly now but as I move into this gratitude challenge, I know there is a real and important difference between listing the things I am grateful for and actually feeling them.

Learning how to recollect and experience the felt sense of moments of gratitude takes my full attention in a way that listing my blessings doesn’t. Tapping the soft space inside, where my heart holds the memory of being loved, of loving, of feeling well in myself is akin to feeling deeply blessed, which I think is where gratitude and love are one in the same.

Still, on the many moments when I have no idea how to get to that tender hearted place where I feel in every cell the blessings of my life- making a list is a noble start. It is the mental practice,  the promise kept of leaning towards the goodness that we all have in our lives.  Aldous Huxley  accurately noted that, “most human beings have an almost infinite capacity for taking things for granted.”

Making a commitment to a gratitude journal or even just scratching notes on the evening paper about our own good is how we begin to overcome this most common human deficiency that keeps us ever looking out there for what must be found inside.   If you have never done it before, try today to list five, or heck, even ten things that bless you. It can be as small as finding a parking place or as big as the beauty of an evening sunset. It can be a cold drink on a hot, sticky day or a moment of tenderness with someone you are trying to love. Do this one thing: write it down and acknowledge it.

(Leesa recommends a gratitude journal too!  It keeps her focused on all the good in her life…She’s written in one every day since 1994!  http://www.healthyhighway.org/GratitudeJournal.html)

By Wendy Strgar 

Wendy Strgar, founder and CEO of Good Clean Love, is a loveologist who writes and lectures on Making Love Sustainable, a green philosophy of relationships which teaches the importance of valuing the renewable resources of love, intimacy and family.  In her new book, Love that Works: A Guide to Enduring Intimacy,  she tackles the challenging issues of sustaining relationships and healthy intimacy with an authentic and disarming style and simple yet innovative adviceIt has been called “the essential guide for relationships.”  The book is available on ebook.  Wendy has been married for 27 years to her husband, a psychiatrist, and lives with their four children ages 13- 22 in the beautiful Pacific Northwest.

10 Foods That Promote Brain Health

10 Foods That Promote Brain Health

Who doesn’t want to become smarter? Who wants to look better or feel healthier? Many recent studies have shown how certain nutrients can positively affect the brain, specifically in areas of the brain related to cognitive processing or feelings and emotions. Generally speaking, you want to follow a healthy diet for your brain that will lead to strong blood flow, maintenance of mental sharpness and reduce the risk of heart disease and neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and dementia.

We know that foods play a great role in our brain, as concluded in several studies led by a phenomenal neuroscientist at UCLA, Gomez Pinilla.

According to one study, the super fats your brain needs most are omega-3 fatty acids. Your brain converts them into DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) which enhances neuronal communication and promotes neuronal growth.

Food and nutrients represent fuel to our bodies the same way that when we use our car we need to fill the gas tank. Unfortunately, we generally take better care of our cars than our bodies. Why is that? We are hearing frequently that consuming the right nutrients can help our health, aging process, and more efficient brain-body functioning.

With that said, I want to share with you ten foods you must keep in your diet to maintain brain health:

1. Apples: Eating an apple a day protects the brain from oxidative damage that causes neurodegenerative diseases such Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. This magical nutrient that acts as protection is quercetin, which is a phytonutrient.

2. Asparagus: Asparagus is rich in folic acid, which is essential for the metabolism of the long chain fatty acids in your brain.

3. Lean Beef: Lean beef is rich in vitamin B12, iron and zinc. These vitamins and minerals have been shown to maintain a healthy neural tissue.

4. Blueberries and strawberries: Studies show that people who eat berries improve their memory and their motor skills. In addition, their antioxidant properties can protect your brain from the oxidative process.

5. Dark chocolate: Dark chocolate offers incredible concentration powers. It is a very powerful antioxidant containing natural stimulants that increase the production of feel-good endorphins. Trick: you need to find dark chocolate with less than 10 grams of sugar per serving for optimal benefits.

6. Salmon: Salmon contains omega-3 fatty acids, which studies have shown to be essential for brain function.

7. Dried oregano: Certain spices have powerful antioxidant properties. In several studies, this powerful spice has shown to have 40 times more antioxidant properties than apples, 30 times more than potatoes, 12 times more than oranges, and 4 times more than that of blueberries or strawberries.

8. Walnuts: Walnuts are rich in protein and contain omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins E and B6 which all promote healthy neural tissue.

9. Whole grains: Whole grains deliver fiber and vitamin E that help promote cardiovascular health, which helps improve the circulation to the brain.

10. Yogurt: Yogurt and other dairy foods are filled with protein and vitamin B that are essential to improve the communication between nerve cells.

Make sure that from now on you select and plan a great menu that include these brain foods. Life is about choices and selecting the right nutrients can play a key role in your health.

Written by Michael Gonzalez-Wallace, who is the author of Super Body, Super Brain. You can read more from him at www.superbodysuperbrain.com or pick up his book Super Body, Super Brain.

Leesa recommends choosing organic and local as well as wild and grass raised (beef) when possible!

6 Ways to Strengthen Your Intuition

6 Ways to Strengthen Your Intuition

 You are driving home from work and you suddenly get the urge to go a different route. You follow the urge only later to hear on the radio that there was a major accident on your usual route. You think to yourself, “what good luck!”

You wake up in the morning and remember that you dreamed that a family member was ill. You call the person and find out that she is not well. You think, “what a coincidence!”

Was it really luck or a coincidence? Or is there something more going on? Absolutely…it was your intuition at work!

The dictionary definition of intuition is an immediate insight or understanding without conscious reasoning. Intuition or hunches are the whispers from your soul, offering you guidance and direction. Intuition is a powerful source of information, creativity, and inspiration. When you follow your intuitive voice life flows more easily, things seem to fall into place, and you will experience less stress.

Inventors, business people, law enforcement officers, healers, and many others use their intuition regularly to make decisions and to achieve success. Intuition can help you make decisions at work and in your personal life – especially when you don’t have time to gather all the pertinent information. It can help you avert difficulties and tune into potential problems on a project. Your intuitive voice can help you with simple choices (like which route to take home) and big decisions (like which job to take).

Everyone has intuitive potential – men and women. It is a natural talent that everyone possesses. It is not something special limited to only a few gifted individuals. As a child, you freely accessed your intuition. Unfortunately, over time you likely received negative feedback from your peers, teachers, or family. You likely began to doubt your intuitive voice and shut down this channel of information. The good news is that with a little patience and practice you can strengthen and hone your intuition to create a valuable guidance system.

The first and most important thing that you can do to develop your intuition is to acknowledge and honor the intuitive messages that you are currently getting. Your intuitive voice is still there, you just need to tune into it. Start paying attention to and trusting those little hunches or gut feelings that you have. If you did nothing more than start honoring your intuitive impulses, you would find a dramatic improvement in your intuitive abilities.

Intuitive messages can come as a sudden “knowing,” gut feelings, thoughts, images, emotions, or bodily sensations. It is important to pay attention to the way your intuitive messages generally show up for you. Think back to what it felt like when you got the sudden urge to take a different route home (or some other intuitive event). What did that feel like? Was it a feeling? A thought? An image? It is important to pay attention to the details of an event like this, because it will help you understand the way you receive intuitive messages. Once you know what your intuition feels like, it makes it easier to discern between intuition and other messages like fear or wishful thinking.

In addition, you can begin some specific exercises and practices to further enhance your intuitive abilities.

6 ways to strengthen your intuition:

Clearing your mind – It is easier to hear the whispers from the soul when your mind is quiet and open. Much of the time your mind is wandering and “going a mile a minute.” You likely have lots of thoughts running through your mind at any given moment. You probably spend much of your day multi-tasking. All of this “noise” makes it difficult to hear your intuitive voice. It is important to find some ways to quiet your mind. You can’t shut off your thoughts completely, but you can learn to slow them down. Let all the distracting thoughts flow out of your mind. Let them go. Picture your thoughts floating away on a cloud. Focus on your breathing and allow your mind and body to relax more with each breath. You might even try counting down from 10 to 1 and allow yourself to relax more with each count. Once your mind is clearer, you can then access your intuition.

Meditation – There are many forms of meditation and all are excellent ways to get centered and quiet the mind. Even a few minutes of meditation daily can increase your ability to hear your intuitive voice. Meditation is like priming the pump. As you get used to being in a meditative state, you will find that it is easier to hear the whispers from your soul and to distinguish these messages from other mental chatter. If you are new to meditation you might try sitting quietly and focusing your attention on a candle flame. When your awareness drifts (and it will), simply bring your attention gently back to the flame. You can also try focusing your attention on a short phrase or word (mantra) that you repeat over and over to yourself. Remember that the key is to gently bring your mind back to your focus point. Getting frustrated will only interfere with the process.

Imagery – You can use imagery to help you access intuitive answers to your questions. Imagine yourself in a quiet place in nature, surrounded by beauty and wonder. Make this image as vivid as possible by using all of your senses. Spend a few moments simply enjoying this place in your mind’s eye. Then, imagine a treasure chest nearby. You feel excited as you approach the chest because you know that the answer to your question is inside. Take a deep breath and imagine yourself opening the treasure chest. Don’t try to control this, let your intuitive mind guide you. Trust that whatever is inside the chest is your answer. You might receive a very clear answer or you might get a symbol that doesn’t make logical sense to you. Either way, it is exactly what you need. Trust that if the answer is not clear right away, it will become clear over time. Over the next few days, be open to feelings, songs, conversations, or any synchronistic events. Be patient! If you become frustrated or try to force an answer, you will block the flow of intuition.

Dreams – While you are sleeping and your conscious mind is at rest, your soul has the opportunity to bring intuitive information to you through your dreams. When you are working on a problem and looking for your intuitive guidance, take some time before you fall asleep to ask for an answer to come to you through your dreams. Be sure to keep a journal by your bed so that you can record your dreams the moment you wake up. Your answers may come symbolically and may need some interpretation. Look for the emotions and themes of your dreams and see if this sheds light on your problem. If the answer still is not clear, be patient and remain open. You may find more clarity with time.

Affirmations – You can use affirmations to focus your mind. It is best to use affirmations with some form of relaxation (such as deep breathing) in order to get the combined effects of a relaxed body and focused or centered mind. Affirmations are a terrific way to tap into the power of your subconscious mind to help you reach your conscious desires. Affirmations should be concise sentences stated in a positive way. When creating an affirmation remember to state what it is that you want, not what you don’t want. Another important guideline is to always use the present tense when creating your affirmations. The following are a few examples of affirmations to increase your intuitive abilities. I trust my intuition. My intuitive voice is consistently accurate. I access my intuition easily.

Practice – It is important to practice using your intuition. When you first start practicing you may want to begin with small issues that do not have a significant impact on your life. For example, try to guess who is calling before you pick up your phone. Guess which elevator will show up first when you are standing in front of a bank of elevators. Practicing with these simple issues will allow you to stay relaxed and focused without too much distraction from fear or other mental chatter. As you practice, you will get better at recognizing your intuitive impulses and you will gain confidence in using this skill. The more confident you feel about identifying your intuitive voice, the more you will trust it and be able to act on it.

As you practice using your intuition and build your skill, you will find that your intuitive voice is a precious resource – an indispensable gift. You can use this inner wisdom to guide you in all of your decisions at work, at home, and at play. The more you use and trust your intuition, the stronger it will get and the more confident you will feel about it. The whispers from your soul will always guide you to the path that is for your highest good.

By Kirsten Harrell, Intent.com

Intent.com provides content and community for who you aspire to be–personally, socially and globally.

 

You’ve Come a Long Way, Kombucha

You’ve Come a Long Way, Kombucha

You’ve Come a Long Way, Kombucha

Years ago I was told about a mushroom shaped fungus that people in the health food “know” were calling Kombucha, and using for medicinal purposes. At the time I was working with a pioneering medical doctor who insisted that we find some of this elixir and make it ourselves. Having the right connections brought this slimy little bugger to my kitchen where I placed it in a bowl of water with some sugar and bags of tea and let it do its thing. Not only did it ferment the water, but it grew another baby Kombucha, and therein lies the dilemma of making home brewed Kombucha, what to do with all the babies?

Needless to say, I spread the word to my friends and family, who, by now, knew my unorthodox interest in all things odd and alternative where food and medicine was concerned. At the time there was very little information as to how Kombucha worked, just that it was a great blood detoxifier that had emigrated from Russia and could heal a multitude of ills in a small amount of time. One unproven claim was that this odd looking mass of gelatin could heal cancer, which would only elicit a succession of raised eyebrows and unbelieving groans. Undeterred I continued to soak the Kombucha, drink the elixir, and give away the babies.

Having already spent years dancing around the media hype of the just-blossoming-health-food industry, I knew to take it all with a grain of sea salt and do my own research. Which usually means, to first try it out on myself in order to test the claims. The good doctor happily offered his body for additional research and for several months we soaked and sipped Kombucha until, seeing little or no results, we just could not take another sip of the vinegary solution. Alas, the last remaining baby was laid to rest in the woods and we all returned to drinking elixir from the green tea family.

Now, some 20 years later, and Kombucha appears to be one of the most popular health drinks on the market to the tune of $295 million dollars last year. Naturally, this means that the taste has to have greatly improved with the addition of cranberry, mango, ginger or berry flavors; but what hasn’t changed is that people still claim that they feel much better after drinking the Kombucha elixer. Even with that sharp vinegar taste devoted Kombucha fans find relief from a number of ailments, in particular digestive, intestinal issues.

But I make no claims here, only that if you are a Kombucha drinker you might like to know that you can make that four-something-a-bottle health soda into a delicious summer drink by adding:

  • a few ice cubes, and sparkling mineral water for a Kombucha Spritzer.
  • a few scoops of non-dairy ice cream for a delicious Kombucha Ice Cream Float.
  • 1-2 ounces of botanically infused Gin or requisite Vodka with a splash of flavored Kombucha for a liver bracing Kombucha Martini.

As the Irish are want to say when raising a glass or two, Slainte, “To Your Health!”

 by Delia Quigley

Delia Quigley is the Director of StillPoint Schoolhouse, where she teaches a holistic lifestyle based on her 28 years of study, experience and practice. She is the creator of the Body Rejuvenation Cleanse, Cooking the Basics, and Broken Bodies Yoga. Delia’s credentials include author, holistic health counselor, natural foods chef, yoga instructor, energy therapist and public speaker. Follow Delia’s blogs: brcleanse.blogspot.com and brokenbodiesyoga.wordpress.com. To view her website go to www.deliaquigley.com

Leesa’s favorite is GT Dave’s Multi~Green Organic Raw Kombucha!  Which is your favorite flavor?

Positivity Quest: A Summer of Gratitude

Positivity Quest: A Summer of Gratitude

Positivity Quest: A Summer of Gratitude

 

 

Gratitude is a quality similar to electricity: it must be produced and discharged and used up in order to exist at all. ~William Faulkner

Every positive psychology text you will ever find will name the practice of gratitude as one of the most direct routes to reframing your thinking and increasing the positive aspects of your life.  For instance, like love,  it is impossible to feel afraid while you feel grateful.  Your brain cannot hold those two disparate thoughts simultaneously. And yet, thinking grateful thoughts is a qualitatively different experience than the moments of grace when gratitude takes over your heart and transforms your perspective.

Like orgasm or forgiveness, I have learned enough about gratitude to know that you can’t force it.  All of these experiences share some fundamental characteristics – you can open to them, you can lean towards them in your thinking, you can invite a vulnerable space in your body to feel, but you can’t force the experience. Still paying attention to what we want to cultivate is the most powerful use of our mind’s eye and attention is often sufficient to make big changes.

So I am taking the summer gratitude challenge. Consider it an extension course of the positivity quest.  Every day I am going to practice holding my thoughts and leaning towards gratitude.  Maybe I will even wear a bracelet again to notice the times when I am not having grateful thoughts.  And every evening I will write about what I learned about gratitude and how it is changing my life.

I am excited for this next step of the positivity quest because I have a few mentors I have met through this endeavor who are living entirely blessed lives and the one thing that I believe to be most true about each of them is that gratitude, like love is the pulse that measures each beat of their lives.

Stay tuned and consider joining me on this summer of gratitude experiement.  It is the doorway to the goodness that is right in front of us.

(Leesa recommends a gratitude journal!  It keeps her focused on all the good in her life…She’s written in one every day since 1994!  http://www.healthyhighway.org/GratitudeJournal.html)

by Wendy Strgar

See more of Wendy’s Positivity Quest here.

Wendy Strgar, founder and CEO of Good Clean Love, is a loveologist who writes and lectures on Making Love Sustainable, a green philosophy of relationships which teaches the importance of valuing the renewable resources of love, intimacy and family.  In her new book, Love that Works: A Guide to Enduring Intimacy,  she tackles the challenging issues of sustaining relationships and healthy intimacy with an authentic and disarming style and simple yet innovative adviceIt has been called “the essential guide for relationships.”  The book is available on ebook.  Wendy has been married for 27 years to her husband, a psychiatrist, and lives with their four children ages 13- 22 in the beautiful Pacific Northwest.

 

Tag Cloud

%d bloggers like this: