Free Online E-Book, Science of the Heart

A Personal Note

When we make decisions based on what we think we should do, we unknowingly compromise our values and ignore our feelings, an indicator that we’re not listening to our heart. Most challenging, we allow people in our lives who expect us to do things contrary to what we like and to be someone we aren’t. We feel powerless to take the steps necessary to be who we truly are because the other side of that is a big risk, but at what cost? HeartMath Institute has the tools to help us learn to rely on our heart intelligence which in turn frees us to live a healthy, happy life.

Several years ago I found the HeartMath Institute, I am very grateful that I did. They offer education focused on heart-mind resonance which helped me to pay attention to how I felt when I chose to follow a certain path and to be open to heart intelligence. I found that by always putting that first, I make more heart aligned choices so I have complete autonomy. Our intuition or our heart always guides us in the right direction, however, we have to be willing and open to take that uncomfortable step.

About the HeartMath Institute

“We are passionate and dedicated people, steadfast in our commitment to provide solutions for activating the heart of humanity. HeartMath Institute empowers individuals, families, groups and organizations to enhance their life experiences using tools that enable them to better recognize and access their intuitive insight and heart intelligence.” Heartmath Institute

They’re located in Boulder Creek California, owned by Doc Childre, HeartMath founder who is a global authority on reducing stress, building resilience and optimizing personal effectiveness. He is the originator of the HeartMath® System, which entails practical, heart-based tools and technologies that people of all ages and walks of life can use to enhance health, performance and well-being. The HeartMath System is widely used by Fortune 500 companies, the military, hospitals, clinics, schools and thousands of adults and children.

It’s an amazing place that has pioneered in discovering the power of the heart/mind connection. If you’d like a copy of this ebook for yourself, there is a download link below the embedded e-book. Along with on-site programs, they also offer online programs for those who aren’t able to visit their California location.

About the E-Book

This free ebook, Science of the Heart, is an information resource authored by Rollin McCraty, Ph.D. a member of the HeartMath Institute. The video below explains the basis for their business and the training program they offer at their educational sites.

Science of the Heart

Powerful Deep Breathing, Au Revoir 2021

A great way to improve your health is to create an intention or lifestyle adjustment. An intention gives voice to a way of life enhancement that aligns with your current style of living.

Breathing is a perfect function to change. It is much more than inhaling and exhaling, there are a lot of things that happen within our body that react to the way we breathe. Just like the difference between living unconsciously or consciously, how we take a breath impacts our health. The first breath we take when we are born is diaphragmatic and that is how we should breathe our entire life, but as we become adults our breathing becomes shallow. Shallow breathing increases our heart rate, blood pressure and a variety of unhealthy lifestyle conditions. One dimensional breathing allows about two cups of air into your lungs, diaphragmatic breathing allows about two or three more liters or twice as much air into your system, reducing headaches, hypertension, insomnia and muscle tension.

Typical breathing patterns are reactive, quick and shallow. Modern day lifestyles that prompt shallow breathing puts the human body in a cyclical state of stress. If you make this small lifestyle change, you’ll feel more at peace and energetic and your overall health will improve. The best and most effective way to counteract short, fast breathing is to train yourself to draw deep breaths through your nose, from your belly. Deep breathing doesn’t eliminate challenges in your life, but it does naturally calm you so you can handle whatever you’re faced with.

How breathing works:

“The trachea, or windpipe, is like the trunk of the tree,” Hoyt said. “From there, the airways divide and divide, like branches of a tree. At the end of a tree’s branches are leaves; similarly, the ends of the bronchioles have alveoli also known as air sacs, where gas exchange takes place.”

In the air sacs, freshly inhaled oxygen is passed to the blood, which is then pumped through the body; the air sacs also absorb carbon dioxide, which is then removed from the body through exhalation.

The diaphragm, a thin muscle that separates the chest and abdominal cavities, tightens and pulls down as you breathe in, opening the chest cavity and allowing the lungs to expand. To breathe out, your diaphragm relaxes and moves upward, pushing air out. Dr. James Hoyt, Pulmonologist

A Deep Breathing Journey That Changed My Life

As the stress increased in my career, I developed a heart racing problem. As I became more anxious, it would trigger my heart and it would race throughout the day, at times it pounded so hard that it scared me. Then about 10 years ago I learned the difference between shallow and deep breathing. A group of entrepreneurs I was in learned how to breathe through our lungs and diaphragm, deep breaths in through our nose and how to force breathe the carbon dioxide out. This practice changed the way I breathe and has eliminated the heart racing, headaches, greatly reduced stress, brought mental clarity and its become a lifestyle routine that is a part of my better health regimen.

EBKids: Respiration inhale/ exhale jrespir021j4 390 by 300 pixels by Katherine D. Burgess 23rdof March 2006

The Teachers

Dr. Andrew Weil is a doctor who practices integrative medicine. I’ve learned him for years, he offers not only benefits but the simplicity of the deep breathing method for de-stressing and avoiding many health issues that come with shallow breathing. The deep breathing exercise that takes moments to learn is described at the end of the second video, the Tedx Talk by Max Strom.

Take a few moments to begin deeper breathing for your better health:

  • Choose a place to do your breathing exercise. It could be in your bed, on your living room floor, or in a comfortable chair
  • Don’t force it. This can make you feel more stressed
  • Try to do it at the same time once or twice a day
  • Wear comfortable clothes
  • Deep breathing will eventually become your way of breathing without thinking about it

The following benefits of diaphragmatic breathing have been medically reviewed by Debra Rose Wilson, Ph.D., MSN, R.N., IBCLC, AHN-BC, CHT — 

  • It helps you relax, lowering the harmful effects of the stress hormone cortisol on your body.
  • It lowers your heart rate Trusted Source.
  • It helps lower your blood pressure Trusted Source.
  • It helps you cope with the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
  • It improves your core muscle stability.
  • It improves your body’s ability to tolerate intense exercise.
  • It lowers your chances of injuring or wearing out your muscles.
  • It slows your rate of breathing so that it expends less energy.

One of the biggest benefits of diaphragmatic breathing is reducing stress.

Deep breathing is a natural, no cost practice that takes minutes to learn for a lifetime of better health.

HEALTH DISCLAIMER

This blog provides general information that discusses health and related subjects. The information and other content provided in this blog, or in any linked materials, are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice, nor is the information a substitute for professional medical expertise or treatment.

Happy New Year

Self-Care Has Never Been More Essential

“When we care for ourselves as our very own beloved—with naps, healthy food, clean sheets, a lovely cup of tea—we can begin to give in wildly generous ways to the world, from abundance. —Anne Lamott, author

Since 2020 there have been so many uncommon adversities that we’ve all had to deal with that self-care which was once dismissed as a luxury should now be considered a vital daily practice. It takes effort to feel tranquil, balanced and collected which happens when we create practices to care for ourselves. Self-care is a very personal and intentional practice of improving our physical and mental health.

I believe in leading by example, so I’ll share my recent journey of introducing self-care into my daily practices, hopefully it will inspire you. Since I’ve healed from my self-created back injury, I’ve taken time to reflect on how I was thinking and why I was filling my days with a rigid agenda and unreachable ideals. To change that I knew I had to take some serious steps. So, starting that week I began spending more time doing things I used to consider luxuries. Since then I’ve added an assortment of simple and doable self-care practices and so far I’m more aware, tranquil and really enjoy each day. I can now say without a doubt that I am happier than I’ve been in a very long time. Even though the chaos continues in the outside world, there are ways to soothe and pamper ourselves that I believe can only make us a better person for ourselves and those around us.

If your compassion does not include yourself, it is incomplete. Jack Kornfield

If you’re ready to begin your journey, start by carving time into each day to indulge your five senses with purposeful self-care. There is no wrong way in doing self-care, the list I created below are my ideas, you can create from this or create your own ways of pampering yourself. Caring for yourself doesn’t have to be expensive or complicated, this is just about finding simple ways to give attention to yourself. Practicing self-care is about doing something for yourself that evokes positive emotions. I sincerely believe that if we feel good and are at peace, we can bring that into everything we do. And if for no other reason, Adam Feldman says, “Self-care also helps us sharpen our mental and physical health through better self-esteem, stress management, and overall well-being.”

Luxury at Home – Nurture Yourself

  • Get plenty of sleep, when you can, turn off your alarm
  • Spend time with your pet(s)
  • Have a good cry
  • Take time when eating to enjoy the taste of the food, savor the joy of nourishing your body
  • Scented or unscented candles and flowers can make any room feel special
  • Set some time aside to read a funny story, watch videos or shows that make you laugh out loud
  • Enjoy a midday break, treat yourself to enjoyable refreshments
  • Make your shower or bath luxurious by using a special soap, scented lotion, include items to slough your skin, play music, use soft lighting, have live plants and super soft towels
  • Give yourself spa treatments, a manicure or pedicure, a facial treatment, a foot massage, a footbath, or a soothing body massage,
  • Spend some quiet time reading, meditating or writing
  • Take a leisurely walk
  • Read a book
  • Educate yourself on something you’re interested in
  • Declutter, add live plants, some pictures or colorful items to lift yourself
  • Take some time to appreciate yourself, compliment yourself, it’s a healthy and simple thing to do that will lift your spirits
  • Set time aside to do nothing
  • Make an indulgent meal, something that you might usually have for a special occasion
  • Plate your meal for presentation as you’d receive it in a fine dining restaurant
  • Use linen spray in a scent you love
  • Enjoy time in nature
  • Rub CBD oil where you may have aches
  • Put on comfortable Loungewear
  • Take a nap

True luxury is being able to own your time – to be able to take a walk, sit on your porch, read the paper, not take the call, not be compelled by obligation. Ashton Kutcher

The following lists are from Alastin Skin Care

The Psychological Benefits of Self-Care

  • Reduces feelings of anxiety and anger
  • Reduces instances and feelings of depression
  • Improves your thought life and direct it to more positive things
  • Increases your sense of optimism and hopefulness
  • Reduces negative thoughts and feelings
  • Changes your mood from bad to good
  • Helps you build stronger connections with yourself and others
  • Increases your self-awareness and ability to self-reflect
  • Helps you respond better to challenges
  • Increases your patience and tamp down on a short fuse
  • Increases your focus and productivity (so you can do all the things!

The Wellness Benefits of Self-Care

  • You’ll sleep better
  • You’ll strengthen your immune system
  • Your relationships will improve
  • Better finances
  • You’ll be able to think clearly and refocus
  • You’ll freely and copiously give more of yourself

“Practicing self-care can help you sleep better, improve focus, and strengthen relationships. That positive daily routine can support a happier, healthier outlook so you can enjoy the good times, too.” findyourwords.com

Thank you for reading my post, I sincerely appreciate your taking the time.

Will You Join Me – Home Cooking, a Benefit of Pandemic Coping

“At a scale not seen in over 50 years, America is cooking, a healthy move in the middle of a pandemic.” Hans Taparia/New York Times

The kitchen is my second favorite room in the house. I consider it a place where my creativity and love of delicious food unite to create a combination of ingredients to nourish myself and share great tasting food. Cooking and being in the kitchen gives me comfort and peace in such a strange and difficult time. My mother who created wonderful meals led the way for me, she was my teacher in the process of making food with love. While my mom passed away in 2013 she’s never left my side, whenever I cook she’s right there with me. I cannot imagine a more soul satisfying way to spend days at home then enjoying the process of making delicious, healthy meals that satisfy my intention to eat mindfully.

While there have been many negatives with COVID-19, there are a few benefits, one most prominent is the return to the core of family and cooking and serving real meals at home. Cooking at home isn’t only a means of satisfying our appetites, it is a cultural pillar of socialization that stems from the love of family, friends and the essential human bond of togetherness. This terrible situation has forced people to return to family closeness and better health.

When I was growing up, going out to eat was uncommon, our togetherness and the terrific food were matchless. Did you know that since the inception of the pandemic over 100,000 restaurants have closed, not just independently owned, but many major chains have had to close either some or all of their restaurants? My personal opinion is that eating out has become too common, as ordinary as filling a car with fuel. I see this pandemic as an opportunity for people who treat food as necessary to discover homemade food as a personal link to the care of their body as well as a fun and creative way to enjoy food.

A simple but lovely prayer that I found:

May this food that you provide
and that I prepare
bring nourishment to our bodies
and renewal to our souls.
Amen (Simon Carey Holt)

Cooking at home is a primary element to good health. A few people who have tried to promote the benefits of cooking at home made far less impact then COVID-19. A turn of events that has the potential to improve the overall health of many Americans who had previously relied on take out and restaurants in place of cooking at home. Around 30.3 million people in the US have type 2 diabetes and 84.1 million are prediabetic. making this pandemic a perfect storm to take the time to learn to cook and find ways to improve our health through fresh and healthy ingredients.

The need to home cook has never been higher, since the coronavirus has been most threatening to people with food-related chronic diseases. About 90 percent of those who become seriously ill due to the virus have an underlying condition — hypertension and diabetes being the most common. New York Times

Above and beyond the nutritional and health benefits is the connection with the ingredients that feed your body. We are evolving away from institutional, commercial food to fresh food. A better environment is created when meals are made and enjoyed at home and mental health benefits are considerable. We pay more attention to what goes in our meals and the way we feel when we eat. For instance, I’ve been slowly reducing the amount of sodium in my food to adding no salt recently. So, I’m ramping up the herbs and spices to make healthier food that is full of flavor and it’s a big success. I consider myself a home chef because I am able to create many meals without the use of a recipe, so I followed the chef standard of adding salt to everything, even sweets so this was a big change for me, but one that is driving a new creative path and a new relationship with the ingredients.

I recently watched a show where a group of people, a historian and archaeologists left the 21st century to immerse themselves in the simple and hard life on a farm in the Victorian era for a year. If you think cooking is a challenge now, just consider the life of someone who cooked using a charcoal fueled stove and oven, preparing food from scratch that they gathered from their garden where animals were butchered that they’d hand raised. That is the true spirit of home cooking embodied in a life lived naturally and self-sufficiently.

The act of cooking should be a spiritual practice that fuels the soul. Create a kitchen that is not only peaceful and beautiful but a sacred space. Here are some methods to connect the kitchen and preparation of food to the earth and all of life.

  • Declutter your kitchen, keep it clean
  • Keep in mind that this is a space where everyone will participate in the important rituals of treating their body and heart with special care
  • Make the meal cooking process an event, whether you’re cooking with someone or you’re on your own
  • Turn off and remove any electronic communication devices to increase your consciousness around the food you’re preparing
  • Be respectful of the room, of the food that is created and what the room represents, your loving care will be predominate
  • Organize the counters and cupboards for beauty and ease of use. What I had duplicates of or didn’t need, I donated. Whatever changes you make do it so you feel inspired such as adding candles, pots of herbs or flowers
  • Cook mindfully and with love paying attention to all of the dishes that you’re making. Always keep in mind that your energy effects everything around you including meal preparation

Finally, think about how you show up in the kitchen, just as you do in your relationships with people, be thoughtful and mindful of your relationship with the room and the process of preparing food. Fall into step with nature and the beauty of creating meals whether simple or complex. Enjoy and celebrate the food that you make. Let your imagination soar, with access to millions of recipes on the internet, anything is possible in the kitchen.

A Time for Mindfulness, The Sky Isn’t Falling, Maintain Serenity

Grocery shopping, usually an enjoyable experience for me was a journey into self-mastery. because I absorb and am naturally very sensitive to the energy of those around me. As I quietly walked through the store, the fear and anxiety were palpable. I witnessed out of control, panicked and worried people collecting multiple carts with several family members, pushing, shoving and racing through the store scooping large quantities of merchandise into their carts as if the world was coming to an end. While there was a temptation to find fault and judge, for my own self-protection I remained focused on what I was doing, stayed to myself and concentrated on departing when I was done.

The condition of the store (images below) was unthinkable. As the cashier was ringing me out, we chatted about the state of things, she said it is the “Chicken Little” story come to life.

“The moral of the Chicken Little story is to have courage, even when it feels like the sky is falling.

To make things worse, the media is exploding with a steady stream of inflated piffle and misinformation that frightens and upsets people. This only increases unnecessary fear that brings extreme psychological stress and out of control anxiety only increasing weakened immune systems. Fear spreading is the real danger, calm and common sense are the catalysts to avoid extreme situations that can and will take place if fear continues to dominate a very controllable circumstance.

EFFECTIVE MINDFULNESS Practices

Exercise such as:

  • Yoga, stretching, walking

Aromatherapy, use these scents to increase calm:

  • Lavender
  • Vetiver
  • Bergamot
  • Roman chamomile
  • Neroli
  • Frankincense
  • Sandalwood
  • Ylang ylang
  • Orange or orange blossom
  • Geranium

Take supplements to increase wellness:

  • ashwagandha,
  • omega-3
  • fatty acids,
  • green tea
  • lemon balm
  • valerian
  • kava kava
  • Reduce caffeine
  • Laugh
  • Eat and sleep well

Practice mindfulness through:

  • meditation
  • unplug, be present in the moment
  • watching your thoughts when they wander

Create a mini arts program for yourself:

  • play games, read a novel, relax with music

As with every difficult situation we are challenged by, It’s important to remember all we can do is our best, continue to live our lives and expect the best outcome. Whatever your spiritual practices, we can all contribute by withholding judgment, remain considerate, compassionate and understanding.

The truth is:

“The vast majority of cases are going to be mild, and people are going to recover just like they do from a cold or flu-like illness.”— Dr. Amesh Adalja

Stay well, be at peace; find the sacredness and joy in everyday life.

Food – the Power of Rituals and Purpose

This image is a stock Google image.

In many cultures meals are an event and a meaningful part of daily life because it is believed that there is much more to eating than satisfying hunger. In our modern world, we’ve forgotten that food is supposed to be an experience connecting us with each other and all of life. Meal preparation and eating should be an expression of love, paying attention and care. Giving that gift of love means preparing real food that is grown with the elements of nature; earth, water, air and sunshine.

I started cooking when I was a young girl. In my family, food has been a way to connect with each other. Making a meal has always been a time to celebrate life, have fun, enjoy the process of creating, then eating a magnificent meal, not just because of the ingredients but because it’s infused with love. My mom had no idea how to cook when she got married; she was an eager and willing student ready to try anything, we all learned so much from her. My sister, late brother and I all cook, we always talk about food, what we’ve made, how we made it, the way it tasted and why we made it. There is something very magical about a meal made with love and passion.

People have created mealtime rituals around the holidays and special occasions, but for the remainder of the year in most cases, meals are disjointed and forgettable. Adopting rituals around food makes meals more memorable, brings us into the present moment and helps us focus our intention.

Even if cooking isn’t at the top of your list for fun things to do, it can be when you add meaning to it. While adding meaning and ritual to food can be intimidating, according to William Doherty, PhD, an advocate of shared mealtimes, “a ritual is just an emotionally significant practice one undertakes routinely“.

Mealtime practices can be as simple as giving thanks for what you’re about to eat or celebrating the meal for no reason. Food made with the addition of ritual and meaning tastes so much better than something store-bought or thrown together to fill an empty stomach.

A few suggestions to make mealtime more meaningful and strengthen connections with family and friends:

  • A couple of my mealtime rituals include shopping for the food and coming up with a recipe for the meal.  For me, creating a meal is a conscious practice that I equate with my health and happiness.
  • No matter where you eat, unplug from technology, put away your cell phone, computer and turn off the TV so you can focus on the meal.
  • If you have children, put notes with their lunches so they’re reminded that you’re thinking of them or make their favorite food so they feel connected to their family.
  • Invite friends over to share in the mealtime experience, perhaps form a group with people who enjoy making meals and eating as much as you do.
  • Eat on a cleared space so it is a peaceful, undisturbed place to enjoy the meal.
  • Leave work issues and stressful subjects out of dinner conversation, tension and stress inhibits digestion.
  • Serve meals family style to give everyone a chance to connect with each other when passing dishes around the table.
  • Slow down, savor each bite, enjoy the food you’ve so lovingly made.
  • Share the preparation experience, it is much more fulfilling and enjoyable.
  • Create a pre-meal ritual such as taking a deep breath, expressing appreciation or saying a prayer.
  • When you’re mindfully cooking it will make meal preparation pleasurable instead of a chore, playing music adds a celebratory, festive feel to the creation process.
  • Create a theme around the meal such as French or Fifties Friday, Thai or Throwback Thursday, etc, whatever sparks your imagination.

Bringing meaning and ritual in food is more than technique and eating, it is being in the moment, respecting the ingredients, the planet, making people happy, learning to enjoy the process and finally how to bring good energy into the food.

Thank you for stopping by.

 

What We’ve Been Taught About Aging is Wrong

aging-reversal

Growing older is portrayed as if it is an unavoidable disease. What do you believe about aging and why?  Why do you believe that as you grow older you will become decrepit, diseased and feeble-minded?  We’ve been wrongly taught to believe that when we grow older we deteriorate. We’ve come to expect dementia, disease and physical weakness in our elder years.

From Dr. Bruce Lipton: “There is shocking new science proving that DNA does not control our life span; humorists, who keep us laughing at ourselves; spiritual teachers who emphasize the rich harvest of wisdom that we inherit in the second half of life; and social commentators who point out the beautiful gifts of community that engaged elders can create. Alternately personal and global practices are on the forward edge of the revolution that is transforming elderhood.”

To reverse long-held beliefs and the effects they’ve had, we can start with these very simple practices:

  • purposeful and conscious living
  • correction of diet
  • anti-oxidants
  • removal of toxins from the body
  • exercise
  • yoga
  • deep breathing techniques
  • meditation

I was very blessed to have had a beautiful mother who always lived agelessly. I’ve naturally lived the same way. I do not factor my age into the choices I make; I’ve never seen a reason to include it in the way I live. My birthdays are a celebration of my life never about what age my body is. A testament to living this way, in part, is my vibrant life and state of well-being.

Our bodies are not mindless machines, there is undeniable evidence to the contrary. Death rates from cancer and heart disease are lower among people who have a strong sense of purpose and well-being. What we believe and how we see our body shapes our world, externally and internally. Our state of health is first created in our mind and then shows up in our body. Our physical strength and level of intelligence doesn’t have to diminish because of the number of years we’ve been alive.

I am currently reading and suggest Deepak Chopra’s book, Ageless Body, Timeless Mind. It provides a wealth of information to help us live differently.  In it he talks about the new paradigm focus on quantum physics that began early in the 20th century and how by changing our way of believing of living in an older, not aging body we can have a more productive and better life.

From Dr. Christiane Northrup, practicing physician and author of, “Goddesses Never Age:

7 steps for getting older without aging

1. Reframe the term ‘aging.’ In the PBS special, Northrup describes a study by Dr. Ellen Langer in which two groups of men in their 70s and 80s were taken to a monastery and split into two groups. One was told to live in the present while the other was placed in a setting that re-created the era of their youth, the 1950s, and told to behave as if they were young again. Within one week, the group living as if they were younger not only looked a decade younger but also had test results that showed measurable physical improvements to their eyesight, hearing, memory, and muscle mass.

2. Change your cultural programming. Northrup says milestone birthdays can be a millstone. She cites one study showing that simply having positive attitudes about growing older and looking forward to things can add 7.5 years to your life. Plan for future activities to keep yourself on a positive path.

3. Stop participating in aging. Northrup recommends celebrating the wisdom that comes with growing older and banishing terms such as “anti-aging” or “having a senior moment” from your vocabulary.

4. Enjoy a sweet life while keeping your blood sugar stable. Growing older with vitality requires physical health as well as mental health. While Northrup doesn’t focus solely on a specific diet, she stresses the importance of paying attention to your blood sugar.

5. Don’t take life sitting down. Besides diet, we all know that exercise is important to staying healthy while growing older. Northrup emphasizes the importance of functional fitness, which means things like getting up to move to music to avoid sitting too long, maximizing exercise with interval training, and doing some basic exercises to improve balance.

6. Develop centenarian consciousness. Northrup reviewed research by Dr. Mario Martinez on healthy 100-plus-year-olds around the world that reveals the importance of being future-oriented, savoring life, and engaging in pleasurable, sustainable rituals such as a standing date with a friend, listening to music you love, or pursuing a creative passion.

7. Develop a subculture of agelessness. Staying connected to a group of like-minded people, which Northrup calls “tribes,” and nurturing those relationships helps women—and men, who tend to have more difficulty maintaining close friendships—stay physically and mentally healthy. As she says, “community equals immunity.”

The way we see aging will be forever changed when we alter our beliefs and commit to living an ageless, vibrant and exciting life. Thank you for stopping by, Namaste

Scientific Evidence that You can Help Heal Yourself

mindovermedicine

For years I’ve done research and written about ways to be involved with our state of health by implementing practices that are natural instead of being completely dependent on mainstream medicine.

Rather than relying on someone else to take our lives in their hands, we should participate in the healing process so we can enjoy our true state which is vital and healthy.

When we take steps on our behalf using natural and scientifically proven techniques with the support of a nurturing healthcare provider, we can reduce our reliance on pharmaceuticals and western medicine to live a healthful life.

Dr. Lissa Rankin was a conventional medicine doctor when she discovered that when we participate in our state of well-being, we can transform our health.  She has created her own mind, body practice, The Whole Health Institute.  It is well worth your time to listen to Lissa to learn practical and simple ways to be involved in your state of wellness.

You can learn more at http://lissarankin.com/, also be sure to check out her blog http://lissarankin.com/blog.

Creating Soul Sanctuaries – Shifting Your Awareness

No one else can choose your attitude.  Your perspective and choice of attitude give you the power to be in control.  That is the essence of freedom. Irene Dunlop

Creating your own soul sanctuary should be a vital part of the process in your journey to create a new lifestyle and change the direction of your focus from food to your personal growth. Shifting your thoughts and focus on unearthing the core of who you are and what your purpose in life is will begin the seeds of growth and healing within you.  When you begin to see yourself as a whole person rather than just the weight of your body or the food that  you eat. your life will change dramatically.

Three years ago I began my personal and spiritual transformation.  It changed my life forever. my focus shifted, my whole world changed.  How I perceived myself and who I was allowing myself to become was reflected in the people who came into my life   When you become clear on your direction and allow your authenticity to surface, you are aligning with your core.  When you open that space in your heart, things that you never imagined begin to happen.  People that are like who you truly are will come into your life.

Developing a healthy lifestyle has less to do with food and more to do with why you’re here, what your purpose in life is, what achieving great health is all about and rediscovering yourself. Whenever you embark on a new direction or focus in your life that is rooted in who you truly are, a major transformation will naturally occur.

Part of your “job” in adopting a new vision of yourself is to see yourself doing something that evokes your passion.  Something that creates energy and excitement to make a difference.  If your life revolves around the inspired part of yourself, the soul that whispers to you to create an abundant and joy-filled life, it will be  very easy to put food and eating in its place as a way to nourish and energize your spirit.

Have you ever done something that “took you away” or that you got so lost in time dissolved?  What was it?  Is it something that fills your heart and gives you peace? Creating a sanctuary within yourself allows the energy of the Universe to flow through you.  Rather then focus on mistakes, problems or contrast in your life, seek time to fill your soul with joy.  Be gentle with yourself, don’t get upset or frustrated when you miss the mark or don’t meet your own expectations, each day, each hour, each minute is an opportunity to start over.

Soul Blooming

The point of creating a healthy lifestyle is to turn your attention to all of your senses, mind, body and spirit.  Do you have or are you seeking spirituality?  Having faith and some form of spirituality in your life is so important.  Because when you have faith and a spiritual connection it can and will change the direction of your thoughts in a heartbeat.  It is more than positive thinking, it is an awareness of something greater than yourself allowing your soul to flourish.

As a flower blooms in spring to display its beauty to the world, as does your soul.  It is calling to you each and every day to be who you truly are.

From Deepak Chopra, the seven questions to discover your soul profile:

1. Who am I?

2. What do I want?

3. What’s my purpose in this life?

4. What sort of contribution do I want to make?

5. What are my unique skills?

6. Who are my heroes?

7. What is a meaningful relationship—what do I expect from one, and what do I give?

Can you feel it already? The transformation from a life focused on food and eating seems much less important than the creation of you.  It is a day by day, step by step process. Rather than hold expectations, hold none and allow yourself to develop at your own pace.  It is like a plant blooming, first the seed is planted, then watered to bring that seed to life.  Your energy will flow, your mind will become more creative, the love will flow from you to those in your life and the people who you meet.

Start your transformation by including meditation in your day.  I have created time in my day the first thing in the morning, it sets the tone for the day and gives you a feeling of harmony and peace as you prepare for the demands of the day.  If you’re a beginner, guided meditation is best to give your mind a diversion so you aren’t dealing with brain created thoughts that interfere with your natural stillness.  As you progress in meditation, your mind will begin to create visions of places and feelings that you want to experience.

Find a group that meets on a regular basis that will encourage your personal growth.  Meetup.com is a fantastic place to do that, I’ve joined a few groups myself, it’s changed my life.  If you join a group and find it isn’t what you expected, leave and find another.  Keep you in the forefront, be proactive on your own behalf. I know if you’re a parent, finding time for these things may seem difficult, if you are happy, relaxed, feeling positive and open to change, just think of the  message are you sending to your children.  While I don’t regret my past choices (if I knew better I would do better as Maya Angelou says), if I had made better choices for myself, things would have flowed easier.

Creating a soul sanctuary is making a determined choice to care for yourself.  A sanctuary is a place of peace and love so you can turn your attention and life to focus on the importance of creativity, happiness and joy.  Rather than seeking it in food, you will find it within yourself and what will spring forth from that fountain of love will surprise and delight you, you deserve it.

Peace and love.