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.

What the World Needs Now is the Power of Optimism

Rabbi Shmuley Boteach (in reference to Covid-19), “There must be room for faith and optimism at this time…the kind of faith that believes, as Moses commands in the Book of Deuteronomy, that “God will bless you in all that you do.” We must do. We must act. We must fight…”fear will weaken, rather than embolden, our resolve. It will undermine our health. Depression will sap our energy and make us partially give up. But faith, optimism and hope will compel us to do the right thing in a time when exercising wise judgment is the difference between life and death.

My fundamental character has always favored optimism over hopelessness so I concentrate on the good in my life. It isn’t always easy, but it feels better than hopelessness so whenever I’ve faced difficulties, catch myself complaining or focusing on the negative, I stop and reflect on all of the luxuries that I am surrounded by. No matter what the circumstances, optimism, faith and belief are the catalysts that have kept me strong knowing to keep going forward and that something will change.

Having a positive attitude isn’t and has never been about ignoring what someone is living through, it is about finding the light and remembering that this too shall pass as everything does. Not everyone around you will agree or may think you’re not seeing the world as you should, but if you think about it that, like everything else, is their perception of the world based on their experiences and how they feel.

It’s been eleven years since I stopped living a conventional, expected life and began the daily practice of living mindfully, intending to make the world a better place. Somewhere along the way I was introduced to the Optimist’s Creed. The words may seem “pollyanaish” but I believe that aligning with the author’s intent are a way to encourage positivity and raise my level of happiness.

I’ve discovered that being optimistic lifts the spirit, eliminates stress and worry that anyone’s health surely does not need. Being optimistic takes determination, grit and an attitude of faith, even if it is only the size of a mustard seed, it will make a difference in your daily life.

About the author of the Optimists Creed: Christian Larson was an American new thought leader and teacher (1874 – 1954), who changed the way people thought; this was his belief:

That all people have a tremendous latent power within them, which could be harnessed for success with the right mind and proper attitude.

To support his beliefs, in 1912 he wrote the following creed, something I thought I would share. I’ve observed this to a fashion, but now I intend to include these ideals in my daily practices, especially with all of the negativity and challenges surrounding us all.

 Sir Ernest Shackleton (an Irish Antarctic explorer who led three British expeditions to the Antarctic) said: ‘Optimism is true moral courage’. 

In an article about optimism, Dr. Jon Blakey, a coaching expert wrote that he believesit takes courage to be an optimist because it takes courage to fail. It takes courage to be wrong. It takes courage to be unlucky. It takes courage to have a go. Much easier to drift into the background and shelter in cynicism, negativity and despair.”

Bring Good Vibes with the Ancient Practice of Feng Shui

Whenever there are challenges I have no control of, I turn inward and to my surroundings. It lifts my soul and it changes the direction of my focus. My surroundings parallel how I want to feel using the practice of Feng Shui. Because I am naturally inclined to maintain an open flow, it makes sense for me.

I grew up in a clean clutter free home, so it was natural for me to apply the practices of Feng Shui, in fact I was quite excited when I discovered it. Over the years, I’ve learned to use Feng Shui no matter what the circumstances to echo the way I feel and how I want to experience the world around me.

Feng Shui is a simple common sense way to improve your environment, it’s not about decorating but is focused on natural energy flow and a clean, clutter-free home. It’s simple, fun and there’s a feeling of fresh energy everywhere once you’ve begun the transformation. The life-giving joy of Feng Shui is a great way to create an environment that has a favorable impact on you and your everyday life.

Feng Shui is a combination of an ancient art and science that goes back thousands of years. I know from first-hand experience that there is a significant change in the feeling and flow of energy when it is applied.

The philosophy of Feng Shui is a practice of looking at our living spaces and working environment and striking a balance with the natural world. The Chinese words “feng” and “shui” translate to mean “wind” and “water,” respectively. This concept derived from an ancient poem that talks about human life being connected and flowing with the environment around it. Anjie Cho

How to apply Feng Shui to any room

Step 1 – Commanding Positions That means the direction of the important furniture in each room. While your kitchen appliances have to remain where they are, you can rearrange other rooms to create a better flow. Never line anything up with a door or put your back to the door, simple and practical advice as you begin to choose new locations for your furniture. I suggest imagining it first before you move anything, consider the function and the outcome so you don’t have to move something heavy more than once.

Step 2 – Keep the house free of clutter – “Clutter is an energetic anchor that impedes the best things from unfolding in our lives,” Laura Benko Keeping a space devoid of clutter makes it feel light and easy , Feng Shui is not about a perfectly decorated home, but creating a happy, healthy space to enjoy your life.

Step 3 – Remove negative symbolism – Evaluate your space for any symbolic representation of anything showing up in your space that reflects any challenges and difficulties you’re been faced with, replace them with items of what you want to attract.

Step 4 – Maximize natural light – Natural light makes us happy and more positive, so the more of it the better. For this step, adding mirrors in room to reflect it will add light where it may not be as bright as you’d like it, the reflected light will lift the feeling of the room.

Step 5- Balance your work areas in the kitchen – While certain areas of the kitchen are unchangeable, organizing the work areas and other areas in the kitchen will make a big difference in the feeling of your space. As well you can change the color, any decor and improve the light. The time and effort to get that feeling are well worth it. I am just finishing making several major changes in the kitchen/dining space and it feels much better.

The experts in these videos on Feng Shui share other ideas and how to use the five elements in your space. Remember you can also use Feng Shui concepts outdoors as well, giving you a world of peace, joy and harmony.

To better understand and apply the elements by Ivy Marie Lim

For the right feng shui color palette for your home, Rodika Tchi

Furniture rearrangement and placement tips by Carol Hyder

Enjoy your journey and the increased energy flow for a happier, healthier life.

How the Universe Works: Cause, Effect and the Law of Karma

Any action becomes a cause of the events that will follow — the effects, and they in their turn become the causes for something else again. This understanding translates into a very simple formulation of Karma without any flavors of esoterism and religiousness. Chengeer Lee, Life Coach

Karma shapes and effects every aspect of our lives and of those around us. Every choice we take action on is the beginning of the law of cause and effect. Karma, the outcome, is a neutral energy that is neither good nor bad. It is the energy created by an action that is returned in the form of the outcome.

Our actions come from an initial thought or response, it is only when we act that the energy of cause and effect begins, Living a mindful and heart-centered life will change your karma. When your choices are made with purposeful intentions instead of hasty or impulsive reactions, you’ll remove the tendencies from past habitual behaviors that brought an outcome other than what you deserve.

The secret to understanding the way of the Universe;

The process of cause/effect and karma can serve as a way to understand the importance of the mind-heart connection. When you live mindfully, you’ll realize that every situation you’re in has the potential to gain wisdom from the experience. Karma is never meant to be a form of punishment or reciprocal pain and misery. When an unfavorable circumstance reoccurs each time you make a choice, that is the Universe’s way of showing you there’s something to learn from the experience to help you break the reactive/impulse pattern. This is why it is highly recommended that you avoid outside advice and suggestions which will only impede your progress.

For me, being in a state of peace when preparing myself to make important decisions is key. I clear away everything going on in my mind and focus on my innate wisdom and my instincts. I also disregard any distractions or unwanted advice by firmly holding in my mind what I know is the best outcome for me.

Life is a series of events and situations that are not in our control. How we respond to those circumstances that come before us, is. We can either react without thought or carefully respond. It helps to remember that there are a variety of situations that will naturally occur either way.

Every facet of your life, relationships, health, growing older and career all come from the energy that your choices determine. Empower yourself by going with your wisdom and instincts to enjoy the benefits of a heart aligned outcome.

Tips to Help You Consciously Choose:

  • Conscious choice begins with being present in the moment, sitting alone in stillness, considering your options and how you’re lining up with what is best for you
  • Think about how the choice/outcome you’re considering will effect your life and the lives of those around you
  • Don’t allow the advice or suggestions of others make your decision for you. You are the only one that will have to live with the result of your choices
  • Check your impulses at the door, from personal experience, reactionary urges have unfavorable and adverse consequences
  • Remember begin the actions of cause and effect responsibly, It is never anyone else’s fault or the way of the world that our lives end up going in the wrong direction
  • Carelessly made choices become habitual inevitably shaping the consequences of our actions over and over again. This habitual behavior arises from being in a clouded state of mind that colors our every action. When we apply consciousness to our life choices we are aligning ourselves with the way things actually are and seeing clearly the path we prefer

Every time you have the urge to react impulsively, take a breath, ask yourself if you’re absolutely sure and imagine the outcome of your choice. Everyone wants to live their lives with purpose and intention; peace and a better life are just a conscious choice away.

Becoming Vulnerable – to Have Healthier Friendships/Relationships

Relationships are complex, challenging and a source for growth. Going into any relationship in a state of unawareness, guarded and carrying baggage comes from making the same choices over and over again which only leads to heartbreak and turmoil. Stripping away habitual behaviors to become open and vulnerable is the only way to experience healthier, happier relationships.

Without vulnerability, relationships struggle. Vulnerability is, ‘Here I am – my frayed edges, my secrets, my fears, my affection. Be careful – they’re precious.’ In return, it invites, ‘Oh, I see you there. It’s okay, you’re safe. And here – here’s me.’ It builds trust, closeness and a sense of belonging. Relationships won’t thrive without it. Karen Young

Being vulnerable isn’t easy, exposing our most vulnerable self is a lot of work and doesn’t happen overnight, it is a process that happens as we build confidence and certainty that it’s okay to be ourselves and genuine around others.

If you view relationships as a way to become a better person instead of a way to fill a void or to make you happy, they will function better and differently and all of the relationship stumbling blocks most people experience will eventually fall away. This is effective for all relationships, not just those of a romantic nature, love and vulnerability aren’t limited to romance, in fact, they are the true nature of humanity.

Healthy relationships are always growing and changing allowing for introspection, personal growth and the ability to shift our way of being. The key to healthy relationships is that they be backed with consciously chosen meaningful intentions where everyone is always seen and heard and feels secure knowing that no matter what is said or discussed, there are no judgments, conditions or opinions that will diminish the heart of the connection between you.

First, we should be in a strong and wholesome relationship with ourselves, that will open the door for healthier relations. As we become vulnerable we will learn that our happiness and accountability in a relationship is our responsibility. then we will lift the burden of expecting anyone else to care for our happiness and feelings. Unfortunately, a majority of relationships are unconscious, revolving around feeling safe and relying on the other person to make us happy, that is what we’ve come to expect and what strains most relationships. Healthy relationships of any kind are grounded in consciousness, unquestioning trust, giving space to each person to be authentic and feeling completely accepted.

Vulnerable relationships are different asking that we be conscious, aware of our emotions, actions and words and that we are able to be ourselves. I recently read a quote that helped me put into words the way I approach relationships now, it was something like we must understand that relationships are not to make us happy but a part of our lives for us to learn and grow from.

Redefining a relationship isn’t easy, no matter how mindful we are. For me, the best way I’ve found not to conditionalize a relationship based on past experiences is to work on myself towards well-being and self-confidence and always remind myself this is a different person and situation. Because I live in awareness, I make sure to treat people as I want to be treated. Being aware and conscious is a great part of vulnerability and a constant effort meaning we can never slip into unconscious oblivion again. I can suggest trying what I’ve discovered, ask yourself questions like what will happen if say this or how would I feel if someone treated me this way before I say or do anything.

A major factor that changed the dynamics and the type of relationship I have with myself was when I chose to create boundaries such as not letting what others thought of me or my choices interfere with what I decided or how I thought of myself. I also took another big step toward being true to myself by reducing the number of people I was surrounded by. For me, that was a fairly significant move that led to a smaller circle of trusted friends. Becoming conscious and vulnerable is going to bring an obstacle course with everyone in your life, this is where you will experience the most change and weed out those people who aren’t on the same page with you.

Owning our story can be hard but not nearly as difficult as spending our lives running from it. Embracing our vulnerabilities is risky but not nearly as dangerous as giving up on love and belonging and joy—the experiences that make us the most vulnerable. Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.”― Brene Brown

Being vulnerable is tricky, we can’t configure or manipulate our authenticity in any way to be accepted by another. We have to be happy with ourselves and then do the work at remaining genuine to attract the healthy relationships we deserve. Another major step is to not allow the years of self-protection from pain and toxic behavior that caused us to shut down and close people out prevent our progress to being a happier person.

Finally, I’d like to close with a video I watched and another part of the process of developing healthy friendships/relationships, Frientimacy: The 3 Requirements of All Healthy Friendships by Shasta Nelson

Thank you for reading my post, always live your life with your mind and heart connection in the forefront.

When was the last time you played? The positive effects of play for adults

Of all of the personal development or self-help activities we can engage in, fun and play are probably the most underused and disregarded. Contrary to what people think, adults aren’t being lazy or thoughtless when we turn our attention to activities that are recreational and entertaining, we’re tapping into one of the greatest resources for our overall health.

For many adults, letting go of being serious and focused on adult responsibilities isn’t easy or in the forefront of importance. I promise anyone who incorporates play into their life on a regular basis will be much better prepared to handle whatever issues come your way.

Along with the emotional benefits, there are a variety of health benefits by adding play into your life. According to helpguide.com, play:

  • Relieves stress
  • Improves brain function
  • Stimulates the mind and boosts creativity
  • Improves relationships and your connections to others
  • Keeps you feeling young and energetic
  • Helps develop and improve social skills
  • Teaches cooperation with others
  • Heals emotional wounds
  • Boosts innovation

Jack Canfield, author of Chicken Soup for the Soul books, Entrepreneur, Motivational Speaker and Corporate Trainer shares his thoughts on the positive effects of fun and play.

For many years I allowed the seriousness of my responsibilities to control my way of being. Then the opportunity arose to make a significant change in my life away from the considerable and weighty issues I had to deal with. During that transition, I felt the need to liberate myself and embrace playfulness and the wonder of life, be curious and have fun. Now, I don’t think twice about being spontaneous and having fun. I’ve created a sense of harmony and balance by injecting play into my life, no matter what’s going on around me, I am always sure to incorporate laughter and enjoyment into my day.

Imagine a billion people pushing for play time, not in a frivolous way or a way that negates progress, but in a way that supplements and allows us to make even more progress. It’s time to put play back into our lives. Jared Keller

According to Dr. Stuart Brown, a play researcher and psychiatrist out of CA, adult play may actually increase our intellect.

“Of all animal species, humans are the biggest players of all. We are built to play and built through play. Most obviously, it is intensely pleasurable. It energizes and enlivens us. It eases our burdens.”

Here are some innovative ideas for you to pick and choose from that incorporates play into your everyday life.

make play a part of your day – from Genuisofplay.com

  • Use unscheduled time to be creative, to daydream, reflect and decompress
  • Appreciate playtime – whether it’s alone or with other adults or children
  • Smile and laugh often throughout the day
  • Try new things and experience the unexpected
  • Participate in a variety of arts/sports/activities whenever you can to expand your horizons
  • Make mental connections (e.g., “how else can I use this,” “what else can this do?”)
  • Sing and dance just for the fun of it
  • Spend time with the children in your life, observing them as they play, listening to their conversation, and following their train of thought
  • Cultivate a happy, joyful, positive attitude, full of gratitude for even the smallest, everyday things
  • Plan to make play part of your day, whether it is indoor or outdoor, solo or social, active or quiet

Finally, the human experience is spiritual, play is spiritual. Play is a time when we take a break from thinking, essentially connecting with all that is. It’s a great way to relax and enjoy life and move away from the grind of work and the pressures of everyday life. Laughter and play are necessary parts of life and a time to reflect on all of the things that make us happy to be alive.

It’s never too late to have a happy childhood.” ~ Wayne Dyer

Thank you for reading my post, I appreciate your time, namaste.

The Spirit of Aloha, More Than Hello or Goodbye

What I’ve done over the past several years when I am in a difficult or unusual situation is turn my attention to positive activities to reduce stress and to make my life more enjoyable.

While the world is in chaos, it is a great time to practice self-love, compassion and kindness. Years ago I discovered that the word Aloha means more than hello and goodbye it is a way of life philosophy:

“Aloha is a way of living and treating each other with love and respect. Its deep meaning starts by teaching ourselves to love our own beings first and afterwards to spread the love to others.

“When you live the Spirit of Aloha, you create positive feelings and thoughts, which are never gone. They exist in space, multiply and spread over to others.” (from the state of Hawaii website)

Live in a State of Love, Laura

Transitioning Your Thinking to Ageless Living (Part 1) – Your Body(free resources included)

I don’t know if I am unique, weird or just more conscious than I thought I was but my age isn’t and never has been a factor in the choices I make or the way I think, its been that way for as long as I can remember. In fact, for me celebrating a birthday isn’t about age, I celebrate my life and the accomplishments I’ve made. When I was at a crossroads in my life, I took a leap of faith and left a career that was income focused to create a life and career that is purposeful. Age was never a factor in the decision to transition, following my heart was. The level of energy I have now is much higher than I had throughout my first career. I am more creative, excited, driven and focused than I’ve ever been.

For me, this part of my life is based on a combination of living authentically, the wisdom I’ve gained and intentionality, certainly not the number of years I’ve been alive. A major factor for me is I know I was born to be a part of the transformation at a turning point in humanity. What is a major factor for you and the reason you’re on this planet? I would say a more important element than the number of years you’ve been alive.

Our bodies don’t betray us. And they needn’t deteriorate with every passing year. This is just a popular cultural belief system that is so common that when you look around, you see it everywhere. Christiane Northrup

Ageless Living – The Power to Create Our Experience of LIFE

My sister’s mother-in-law is 86, even though she has Kyphosis arthritis, she is active, lucid and smart. She lives on her own in her own home, she cleans and cooks and is socially active, does her own grocery shopping, hosts family parties and she drives. Is she an anomaly? She is aware of her age, but she doesn’t live it as if that determines her life, is what we believe and how we see ourselves the world we create? Is it possible to change by shifting the way we think and see ourselves?

Society defines growing older as becoming obsolete, ill and decrepit. My belief is that no one has to be inactive and unhealthy, rather we are at a superior point of creativity and have the freedom to live our lives as we want, living our truth. Let’s refuse to be irrelevant, as we grow older, choose to live your life agelessly, uniquely and fabulously without the predetermined mindset of how you are supposed to grow older.

Age audaciously as you live audaciously! Bruce Lipton, Developmental Biologist 

Food is Not Just For the Body, it is for our SouL

While the primary intention for most people today is to eat fresh, organic whole, natural food, that just isn’t enough.

Eating is life. We are bound to food to maintain our life and it is a pleasurable part of life that forges connections between people and cultures. I love to cook and eat, but I’ve transitioned the way I connect with food from an act of self-reward to supporting my life as a physical embodiment of all that is. What we eat goes beyond diets, stressed and emotional eating, food obsessions, insecurities and embarrassments about our body. No matter the size of our body, we are first and foremost a reflection of all that is divine. When we eat we must remember to be present, relaxed, in harmony with life and be in awareness of how the food we choose to eat affects our body, feelings, mind, 

View nutrition as a spiritual practice. We are charged with giving ourselves health and the ability to carry out our life purpose. Rather than giving our attention to food for all of the wrong reasons, we can remember that we are sacred beings placed on this earth to make a difference, we value and respect ourselves and choose wholesome food that helps us stay connected to the divine.

You’ll be surprised as I was when you eat mindfully. Your experience of food and eating will take on a whole new perspective. When I left dieting, scales, counting calories and carbs behind to being aware when I eat, I eat until I am content and the pleasure I experience is much more profound and I savor each bite with heightened awareness.

Over the past 10 years I’ve come to understand that eating isn’t just a function with a fork and food on a plate, it goes much deeper than that. A vital ingredient for mealtime is the spiritual context of the interconnectedness and sacredness of all things. We are much more than a human form with nutritional requirements, we are a soul wrapped in a body voyaging through life where matter and spirit unite.

DEEP, RESTFUL SLEEP A VITAL COMPONENT FOR LIVING LONGER

A vital component to a healthy and vital life is restful sleep. The lack of at least 6-8 hours of peaceful, undisturbed sleep disrupts the body’s innate balance, weakens your immune system and actually accelerates aging.

Eating the last meal of the day should happen before 7:30, I actually have my dinner before 6 to assure that my dinner meal or any food has processed and my body is completely relaxed and ready for a good night’s sleep. And the only physical activity before sleep could be an easy and relaxing walk.

If you have anything going on that may roam your mind and keep you awake, write your thoughts in a journal to get them out. Your mind must be free of whatever challenges your faced with to assure a healthy night’s sleep.

A dark room is essential to a restful night’s sleep. too much light or exposure to bright light at the wrong time can effect the body’s circadian clock. In order to assure that you have a deep, restful sleep, you should be in bed around 10 and awake by 6. If you’ve had a restful night’s sleep, you’ll feel energetic and ready for the day when you wake up, if you’ve had a poor night’s sleep you’ll feel tired and lackadaisical. Insufficient darkness throughout the night can lead to wakefulness throughout the night.

An undisturbed night’s sleep should be free of pharmaceuticals, alcohol, computers, television or any electronic devices that bring additional light to the room.

Studies have consistently shown that sleep deprivation or sleeping less than five hours a night can lead to major health problems, including high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, obesity, cancer, and ultimately an increased risk of mortality. (Everyday Health)

Fresh and essential Strategies to a strong and ABLE BODY

Scientists are learning more about our body’s functions that will surprise you. The more we know, the more we can increase our health and ignore the belief that we must become ill and diseased as we grow older. In order to care for our body, we must better understand how it operates.

Keep in mind that our body isn’t a static biological machine, it is in a constant state of change and is always renewing itself. Did you know that all of our organs communicate with each other to maintain health and keep our “well-oiled” machine running? Being run-down and doddering as we grow older is nothing more than a cultural belief and does not have to be our reality.

AGELESS LIFESTYLE PRACTICE – KNOWING OUR BODY’S FUNCTIONS

  • Avoid Disease: Avoid disease by rerouting the way you think and carefully select your lifestyle practices. Stay a step ahead of traditional aging by staying focused on having a fit, strong and flexible body. Rather than being active to reduce fat, maintain activity to avoid illness. Disease interferes with the precise way our body functions, as we learn of ways to avoid disease and work with our body’s intelligence to help support our healthy life, our body will respond with great health.
  • Fat Molecule Function: Your fat molecules are constantly sending messages through your body that it needs more to boost memory, when to stop eating and they alert our cells when disruption occurs. Do your research, learn how amazing your body is and what you can do to help it function properly.
  • Bone Structure: Fat and bone have extremely important functions, crucial in protecting our lives and the keys to overcoming modern day diseases.”As long as our bones are in optimal health, there is no manifestation of aging, our bones are both the gatekeeper and witness of aging.Dr. Gerard Karsenty
  • Your Bones – Did you know that our bones are in a constant state of natural erosion and rebuilding, keeping our bones healthy and strong, Through this process our entire skeleton is completely replaced every five years.
  • Natural Youthful State: The same cells called Osteoblasts that build and rebuild our bone structure, also keeps our body in a youthful state.
  • Nutritional Information and the Body’s Energy Balance: Leptin is a molecule in our fat cells that regulates our appetite. When we pay attention to our body’s messages we will know when we are hungry, when we should stop eating because our hunger has been satisfied. The leptin molecule travels to our brain that sends signals “enough food”, suppress appetite, when we listen to our body’s inner messages, we will eliminate the need for harmful diet medications, diets and food deprivation.
  • Inner Body Communication – Your cells eavesdrop on what your mind is saying, so it is up to you to change your self-dialogue from “I have inherited old age problems” to “I have a strong, vibrant, flexible and healthy body that serves me well each day.”

“Taking care of your body means, first and foremost, having a healthy belief system about what’s possible physically —especially as you move through time. Then you must engage in the physical activities necessary to maintain your physical self.” Dr. Christiane Northrup

Physical Activity

Several years ago, I got into a conversation with a gentleman about growing older, he told me of his uncle at 104 and his aunt, who was 102 still working their farm in Iowa, I was impressed, so I looked into a variety of physical activities other than exercise or going to a gym that we can all benefit from.

Physical activity can be housework, yard work, walking, riding a bike, swimming or skiing, Whatever physically challenging activity you choose will do. Even if it’s only a few minutes a day, doing something to move your body will be beneficial.

Aligning with Spirit is an important part of the equation of ageless living as well. Our bodies are divine expressions meant to embody our spirit. Hippocrates Health Institute

Diaphragmatic Breathing and the Benefits WHEN WE GROW OLDER

I am a diaphragmatic breather, I made the transition from shallow breathing about seven years ago while attending a meeting hosted by an experienced respiratory techniques teacher. My health has never been better; I always feel refreshed, the occasional heart palpitations I once experienced have completely vanished.

Did you know that through the process of becoming an adult we become shallow breathers? We forget how to the maintain deep, refreshing breaths that come with diaphragmatic breathing. Shallow breathing can lead to weakened muscles, stiff ribcages, poor oxygen supply and overall sluggishness preventing you from enjoying an active lifestyle. Diaphragmatic breathing slows your heart rate and lowers or stabilizes your blood pressure increases stamina, improves your mood and helps you sleep better.

How do you transition to diaphragmatic breathing from Harvard Health Publishing, Harvard Medical School:

  • Lie on your back on a flat surface (or in bed) with your knees bent. You can use a pillow under your head and your knees for support, if that’s more comfortable.
  • Place one hand on your upper chest and the other on your belly, just below your rib cage.
  • Breathe in slowly through your nose, letting the air in deeply, towards your lower belly. The hand on your chest should remain still, while the one on your belly should rise.
  • Tighten your abdominal muscles and let them fall inward as you exhale through pursed lips. The hand on your belly should move down to its original position.

You can also practice this sitting in a chair, with your knees bent and your shoulders, head, and neck relaxed. Practice for five to 10 minutes, several times a day if possible.

Free Resources ABOUT Enjoying life agelessly and Overturning the Effects of Aging

Marisa Peer is an English best-selling author, nutritionist, relationship therapist, hypnotherapist trainer and motivational speaker.

Dr. Deepak Chopra, an author and alternative-medicine advocate wrote this wonderful book on Ageless Body, Timeless Mind, here is the complimentary audio version for your listening pleasure.

A dynamic speaker and spiritual teacher, a podcast featuring Dr. Christiane Northrup on Ageless Living for Women

This is the first of a two part article to share methods and ideas that will help you bring awareness to the journey of growing older. Everyone is at the helm of their life choices, it is a matter of intention and applying the wisdom of mindful living.

Live every day as if it were your last, learn as if you would live forever. Mahatma Gandhi

Thank you for your continued support. Part 2 of Transitioning Your Thinking to Ageless Living, Your Behavior and Your Mind will be published in January of 2020.

Climate Change Grief, Honoring the Pain and Moving On

Climate crisis anxiety and related PTSD are very real and growing mental health issues affecting people of all ages, especially young people. Between unexpected climate-induced disasters, the media and scientific reports focusing on bleak situations of impending environmental catastrophes, people are experiencing increased feelings of distress, anguish and helplessness. It is natural to want to put our heads in the sand to avoid the stress, but a healthier way to live is to reduce the amount of time spent focused on the negative and address what we are feeling so we can move beyond the paralysis of fear.

Being fearful and anxious are natural reactions to the overwhelming issues we are faced with, grieving, pain and emotional anguish are a part of the process we must go through. But, like anything difficult we are faced with we have to find ways to deal with what we’re feeling so we can move into a place of purpose and create a practical, positive vision for the future, empowering ourselves to take effective action.

Part of that action is moving away from the mindset that the government or other agencies are going to correct the environmental wrongs, if we are honest with ourselves and take responsibility, climate change developed with human expansion and the industrial age so we are all accountable; the solutions are up to all of us.

Eco-psychologist Joanna Macy teaches useful frameworks for facing up to disturbing realities and finding capacity for action. First there is the gratitude stage, which focuses our attention on those aspects of life and the world that nourish us. Then there is a stage that honors the pain that we are experiencing. The third and fourth stages relate to exploring new possibilities and finding practical actions to take. (from theguardian.com)

Ways to contribute that I’ve found useful:

  • Sign environmental and wildlife petitions
  • We don’t run the A/C, the house does get warm, but its livable and ceiling fans keep us comfortable
  • Create a garden of native and edible plants
  • Use bird feeders to supplement what food isn’t there
  • Unplug appliances and electronics wherever and whenever possible
  • Use cloth grocery bags
  • Reuse whatever I can, reduce, then recycle
  • Significant reduction of food-waste and trash
  • Use nature friendly products
  • Monitor water and electricity usage
  • Combine trips to town
  • Use photography as a medium to convey conservation information
  • Grow native plants in my garden

My well-being and happiness practices:

How we feel and think makes a tremendous impact on our ability to be clear, deliberate, wise and sensible. I focus on a variety of ways to take care of myself so I am able to practice what I preach.

  • I pay attention to how I feel
  • Spiritual practices that allow me to attain internal peace
  • Stay in the moment
  • Practice deep breathing and meditation
  • Maintain a clutter free, beautiful environment
  • Get enough sleep
  • Be in the moment
  • Go out in nature for a walk
  • Listen to peaceful and relaxing music
  • Share any feelings of distress
  • Practice gratitude
  • Read about achievements and successes in conservation and sustainability
  • Instead of worrying, I search for solutions that I can apply

This man-made wetlands is just minutes from my home and one way I take solace that there are positive signs of progress. This is reclaimed water from my neighborhood, it supports a large variety of wildlife and native plants. Even though it seems minuscule, this is a part of my “solutions based program” because I feel uplifted by the efforts that the Game and Fish Dept. put into it to make this small area a part of the solution. Because of this area, my neighborhood does what we can to take steps to help keep the area as trash free as possible, do volunteer projects to help clean up public land, use chemical free cleaners and do whatever we can to honor and protect wildlife and nature areas.

 Climate change is the single biggest thing that humans have ever done on this planet. The one thing that needs to be bigger is our movement to stop it. – Bill McKibben

Moving on is beneficial not only for you, but for the planet. Healing takes time and is a step to be mindfully and heartfully whole again. Connecting your mind with your heart is a way to help yourself feel like what you’re doing matters.

How you can relieve the stress and feelings of helplessness:

  • Daily self care practices
  • Have good eating habits
  • Get plenty of exercise
  • Maintain healthy sleep
  • Take a walk in nature
  • Talk with someone who shares your ideals about how you feel
  • Remember one person can make a significant difference
  • Practice gratitude and appreciation
  • Reduce the amount of time spent on negative media
  • Seek help if you’re unable to resolve any internal issues

Create your own personal conservation program:

  • Promote change – sign petitions effecting the environment and sustainability
  • Reduce your use of fossil fuel
  • Be efficient – maintain your vehicle
  • Purchase Energy Star appliances
  • Weatherproof your home
  • Grow your own food
  • Use native plants and edibles throughout your garden
  • Reduce, reuse and then recycle
  • Offset your fuel consumption by donating to Green Projects – here is the link to help you find a project you’d like to fund: https://offset.climateneutralnow.org/
  • Use public transportation when possible, walk or ride a bike
  • Unplug electronics and appliances when not in use
  • Learn about what your local businesses are doing to improve their environmental practices
  • Speak with your local authorities about what they’re doing and find ways to participate

While people may believe that doing these things is small and insignificant, imagine the effect if millions of people practiced these steps every. So do your part, proudly, knowing that you’re contributing to the better good of our planet.

We have to believe that even the small actions we take are making a difference and helping the environment. Develop strong social connections with family, friends and your neighbors, that will propel you to want to promote positive solutions and encourage everyone around you to be mindful of the way they live.

In a world of more than seven billion people, each of us is a drop in the bucket. But with enough drops, we can fill any bucket. David Suzuki