Lessons learned from the movie Cinderella

We were happy to finally be able to go and see the movie, Cinderella. It was a beautiful portrayal of the classic fairytale and I highly recommend it. Here are some lessons I took away from this splendid movie. Enjoy.

Ella-with-her-mother-cinderella-2015-38055602-2048-1536Ella’s mother shares some beautiful wisdom with her daughter. Here is the wisdom bestowed upon beautiful Ella…

Have Courage and Be Kind. Ella has a sweet moment with her beloved mother where her mother shares this beautiful wisdom and tells her that it is a secret that will see her through all the trials that life can offer. Throughout the movie you see Cinderella struggle at times, to then hold herself high with the courage to go on.      It is a motto we can all use when moments get us down, struggles weigh heavy upon our day, we can remember to have courage in all we do and find kindness in any situation.

75Where there is kindness, there is goodness. You see this throughout the movie. Ella is always being kind and talking to the animals, the house help, her step-mother and step-sisters. She has a good heart and it shows in all she does.     I think we can all see this in our daily life, where we find kindness or when we are kind…goodness follows. If we are trying to do kind things within our lives, we will also find goodness within our lives. 

cinderella_glamour_19nov15_pr_b_810x540Save the Stag! [spoiler alert] This was one of my favorite scenes. There is a charming moment between the Prince and Ella when she confronts him in the forest. Ella had just rode up onto a stag in the woods & was taken by his greatness. She hears men on horseback nearby & tells the stag to run. Ella then comes between the stag and the Prince.  “You’ve nearly frightened the life out of him.” “Who?” asks the Prince. “The Stag,” replies Ella. “But we were hunting, you see. It’s what’s done.”said the Prince. “Just because it’s whats done, doesn’t mean its what should be done.” responds Ella.     It was a great scene and I found myself knowing that if I were in the same situation, I would have done and said the exact same thing.   JUST BECAUSE ITS WHAT’S DONE, DOESN’T MEAN IT’s WHAT SHOULD BE DONE!

CINDERELLAHave a little faith. “Even miracles take a little time.” -The Fairy Godmother     Ella’s mother always taught her to believe in magic and fairy godmothers, but at one point in the movie Ella has lost her faith in trying so hard to believe in the things her mother always taught her. At that moment a little magic showed up and a fairy godmother was there to help Ella have a little faith in knowing things would be better.     I think this is a great lesson for all of us—have faith no matter what the situation, the life outcome, if you are in debt, if you need courage, if you have lost hope, if we can remember to have a little faith, believe in something greater—great things will show up.

wallpaper-Cinderella-2015And where there is goodness, there is magic. I believe we all deserve a little magic. We are all made of the very stuff magic creates. We shine, we sparkle, we love, we are given magic every day.

cinderella-2015-movie-posters-photos03-e1417682045585-797x422Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words may never hurt me. “Names have power like magic spells”  In this movie Ella is called many terrible names by her step-sisters and step-mother—Cinderwench, Dirty-Ella, Cinder-Ella…through all the unkindness Ella has to learn to see the value within herself and not fall victim to their cruelty. She has to be who she is and find the beauty she holds within and allow it to be free.  You see her confidence when she spouts french words to her step-sisters and step-mother. You see her break free at the ball. You see her happy, singing, despite her circumstances.     I think this too is a great lesson, we are only victims, if we allow ourselves to be. Anyone can triumph over negative situations, if they allow themselves to break the bonds of another’s unkindness.

New-official-stills-cinderella-2015-37992763-800-450The gown. [spoiler alert] I loved the sentiment of the gown she wears to the ball. It started as a tattered, pink gown that was her mother’s, but the sweetness of it was that when her Fairy Godmother was going to give her a new dress, Ella asked that she create it from the dress she was wearing because it was her beloved mothers. Her Fairy Godmother changed the color, added some magic, but kept the lines and style much the same. Voila!! Beautiful ball gown with a touch of sweet sentiment.

C-050-35087RThey are all looking at you. The ball scene is the epitome of the most beautiful bell at the ball finally flying free from the chains that bound her. Her spirit soars and you see her shine like a princess. She is confident, beautiful and wearing glass slippers was icing on the cake of this exquisite scene. Beautiful.

best-new-romantic-movies-2015-including-paper-towns-and-the-longest-ride-CinderellaThere is a little magic in the mystery. The dance, the lost shoe, everyone wondering who the prince is dancing with, the prince chasing after the nameless beauty, time ticking away, the spell about to be broken. Anticipation and a little mystery in life can be a good thing. 

video-undefined-2461FB7700000578-359_636x358Envy is a bad little green pill to swallow. Throughout the movie you see the wicked Step-Mother envious of Ella and determined to make her life less pleasant. You really see the envy shine through when the glass slipper is found.      We all have moments of envy, jealous of another’s good fortune, but if we can remember that envy is like a bad little pill that brings more misery, just maybe we can walk away from the little green monster, focus on what we are grateful for and move beyond those emotions.   Cinderella does a beautiful job of moving beyond, focusing on her wonderful memories of the ball, the Prince and puts herself in a better place—beyond the spite and envy of another.

2461BCF900000578-2894943-It_fits_The_ugly_stepsisters_Anastasia_and_Drizella_are_played_b-a-55_1420245266062Don’t try to be someone that you are not. We all know the story that girls from all over the kingdom are determined to prove that the glass slipper is theirs, but in the end, it only fits the girl who is truly fit for it.    I think sometimes we can try to become something we are not—maybe take a job that doesn’t feel like a good fit, marry someone that doesn’t fit all our personal needs, have friends that don’t fit well with our lifestyle or future desires…everyone has moments where they try to fit into circumstances that are not right for their best life—be aware, don’t pretend, be true to what you need, what is the best fit for your best life.

Cinderella54de9bc5b2338Follow your heart. In the end the King wanted his son happy. He wanted him to follow his heart because the King knew that when one follows the heart–the best situation will happen—true happiness will follow.             I think if we could all remember to do this in our own life—happiness will surely follow.

dc6591060ae4522a259385c9aa4efd57Be true to You. Despite Cinderella’s circumstances, when the Prince’s men come calling to the home, Cinderella looks at her ratty dress in the mirror, holds her head high & walks proudly to meet the gentlemen. She does not care that she is like a servant girl, she is who she is & knows that she is equally as good as any other Princess out there. She introduces herself as “Cinderella.” You see the power that does not belittle her any longer. Even though she was teased by this name, it was who she was & she stood there proudly stating who she was.–There was a great quote (I cannot find it anywhere) when Cinderella looks at herself in the mirror. If anyone finds it–I would love to have it. Thanks.

Well, I thought it was a beautiful portrayal of a wonderful Disney classic. It had some great lessons and was visually breathtaking. If you see it, I hope you enjoy every moment.    -Peace to you.  H


Wow! is all I can say–Things I learned from Gregg Braden

Wow, I am sorry it has been so long since my last post. I caught some awful viral cold that took me down and I am still having a hard time getting up. At these moments when you feel so ill you are gently reminded how grateful you are when you feel healthy and strong. I think you are also humbled at how truly small you are in the grand picture of things. Wow!!

While I have been down I watched a great interview with Gregg Braden and was so inspired, blown away, mind expanded, awaken, challenged…and on and on in so many directions. I LOVE to learn & so when I hear great interviews like this, I have to share all I can. I hope you walk away from some of this great info. feeling the same way—challenged and inspired.

gregg-bradenScreen-Shot-2014-05-20-at-1.56.27-PMIn Search of ‘The Net of Indra or The Field of God of The One… 1800’s late–Scientists argued whether or not there was a field of energy. Those who believe called it the Ether field.
There was a Famous experiment in 1887, The Michaelson Morley experiment –the results suggested there was no “ether wind” so from 1887-1986 scientists got it wrong because of the perceptions from the experiment.
In 1987 the experiment was repeated under the offices of the US Air Force. The results were published in a nature journal under the title “special relativity”–a scientist named Silvertooth reenacted the Michelson Morley experiment with better equipment and the field was detected exactly as Michaelson and morely thought it would.
For over 100 years scientists believed everything is separate and then if something did occur that seemed connected–it was coincidence.
For 100 years now scientists have been looking for unified field theory– it has been elusive to many of the greatest minds in the world. One theory is the missing piece is consciousness. They are constantly looking for the smallest particle and trying to reach the greatest edge of the universe, but still have never reached either. John Wheeler suggested, we are participants in ongoing creation, which implies we may never find either. John Wheeler also found that the particles were influenced by human observation, so if the particles were being observed by someone they were different and danced and moved differently when they were observed and influenced by someone watching them. Gregg Braden loved these concepts because he feels it suggests that we are all artists creating our own canvas of life. We are the canvas, we are the art, we are the artists creating as we go in our thoughts and feelings, emotion, beliefs, expectations, dreams, desires… are the language that allows us to influence these particles, these quantum particles, the stuff of the universe, that makes life what it is.     The field that was proven in 1987 has three roles–Number one, the container that holds everything, nothing exists outside of the field. Number two, it’s the bridge between our inner experiences and the canvas of the world. Number three, the field is a mirror that shows us what we have claimed to be true through our thoughts feelings emotions beliefs etc. We can learn to look at it like a feedback mechanism of our greatest desires in our greatest fears and learn from them.
Scientists are still in search of validating this field.


blueheartInteresting twin photon experiment: scientists took one photon split it into two so it would be the exact same particle. They then separated the particles by 14 miles– 7 miles in one direction and seven in the other. The particles reacted the exact same way as if they were one. So even though they were physically separate they acted energetically as one. An example– they spun one of the particles magnetically at the exact precise same exact time the other one did the exact same thing. They call that quantum entanglement of the particles are entangled with each other even though they are physically separate.


hologram_hotstamping1Gregg then talked about The holographic principle–holograms and how we are supposed to be living in a hologram universe. Which means, that the smallest part mirrors the whole. An example of a hologram– bookmark that if you were cut it all up in to little, teeny pieces and then if you cut the smallest piece again, if it was a true hologram, you hold that piece in your hand and see the entire book mark as a whole. He suggested if you were to make a little tiny mark on those tiny, little pieces of the hologram, that little mark would then be on every other little piece.
He mentioned how this is very powerful with things like prayer, because the prayer is already with those you loved you just have to bring it about through your heart and concentrate on what you’re trying to say and share. Many people get too caught up in their concern of how they’re going to get there prayer to a loved one lets say in Afghanistan. Greg is suggesting the prayer is already there with them, you just have to almost awaken it. Heartbased experience.

Gregg-Braden-Images_photo_mediumGregg shared that after spending time with monks and shamans and many different spiritual indigenous people, he came to the conclusion of one theme–they do not communicate with this world through their minds, they communicate through their hearts. And to get into their hearts they share what is called The longest journey in the world…The 17 inch journey from the center of your mind to the center of our heart. They spent so much time learning how to get out of their minds and into their hearts.

braden-theworldwesee1Scientists just recently began to realize how this is important and what we know is this: in addition to the quantum field that connects everything and allows holograph and entanglement. There are other fields as well like the magnetic field of the earth and the magnetic field of the body. Even though we’ve been taught that the brain is the (master organ in the body) because it is the largest & creates the strongest electrical & most  magnetic fields in the body. The brain is amazing, but the master Organ is actually the heart. The heart forms in our body long before the brain does. The instructions are really coming from her heart. The heart is now scientifically acknowledged to be the strongest magnetic field generator in the body, as well as The strongest electrical field generator in the body–60x stronger than brain. About 5,000x stronger than the brain magnetically.

heavenParticles that are once joined and then separated physically remain connected energetically. [Wow hearing this one more time like this made me think of being connected to our creator and even though were physically separated–we are always divinely connected. What a beautiful thing]

heart-mosaicThat is why the language of the heart is so important.

Gregg Braden shared his stories of traveling to Tibet and living there for almost a month and visiting over 12 monasteries and nunneries. He was in a conversation with an Abbot of one of the monasteries. He asked the Abbot a question and waited for his response — what is the stuff that holds everything together the force that holds everything together—The response was “compassion”. Gregg was so surprised that he  thought it was a mistranslation, so he asked him again, the answer, again compassion.
The abbot said compassion is the experiences in our bodies and it is the force that holds everything in the universe together.
Gregg thought it was beautiful that this man sitting 17,000 above sea level, in a cold wet monastery, sitting on a stone slab could have such an answer. Gregg was enlightened to understand what key these people have been able to hold onto for thousands of years.

quantum-entanglement13 experiments of entanglement: done in the late 1990’s.
The first experiment: was performed by the Russian Academy of Sciences: they took a jar of photons the stuff that Atoms are made of. They measured them to see where they were in the jar and the results were not surprised they were completely random. They then did a very innovative move– they took some human DNA and placed it into the container. They wanted to see the effect. Well conventional wisdom said there shouldn’t be everything is separate, so why would DNA affect the photon?? However that’s not what the experiment showed. The experiment showed that the photons were actually influenced by the human DNA they began to line up around the human DNA.

The second experiment: Greg has a personal involvement in this experiment– right after 9/11 he was outside of the country in Australia. The first week he was back he was scheduled to do a conference and speak on these types of relationships in a conference in Los Angeles. Because of 9/11 no one showed up at the conference except the presenters. The presenters chose to present to themselves. He then shared the following experiment with the presenters: the US Army it’s amazing work in the late 1990s. They took DNA from a volunteer they swabbed their mouth to get white blood cells and then placed this living DNA into a device that can measure the DNA and how it responded to its environment. If the DNA in a container in one room and the volunteer in a different room, but quantum entanglement tells us they are still connected. They then showed the volunteer different videos to elicit emotion(ie humorous, war films). They saw the DNA respond exactly like the volunteer. Gregg shared this experiment with the presenters of the conference. Later that night at dinner a man came up to Gregg Braden and said I am the one who came up with that scientific experiment you just reported on. He was Dr. Cleve Baxter and he had designed the experiment for the army. Dr. Baxter said the army stopped at the DNA in one room and the volunteer in another but the scientists didn’t stop, they continued the experiment and took the DNA to Los Angeles and had the volunteer in Arizona. They used atomic clocks and found the same response was instantaneous between the DNA and the volunteer.

The third experiment was done at the Institute of Heartmath: they took a pure form of DNA & isolated the DNA and ask people who were trained in heart based experiences of what we would consider positive and negative emotions–positive emotions relaxed the DNA and elongated it, emotions were able to be expressed more fully. Negative emotions compressed and contracted the DNA, so it was unable to express fully.  This is the first time the scientists were actually able to document that human emotions can shape DNA

380709160c04b58c3128278cf4177b3778970But what we do know is this… every moment of every day we are having a conversation between our heart and our brain. Depending on those conversations prior to sending signals to the brain to release specific chemicals into the body. If I’m having a feeling of well-being then we will feel like it’s a safe world and our system responds creating more safety, our antiaging mechanisms kick in. If my heart feels threatened then stress chemicals will fill the body and there’s no room for the immunity, your antiaging goes in to fight or flight mode. It Is all based upon the quality of how I am feeling.
Our indigenous ancestors have always believed and now those at heartmath institute are now finding that when we feel specifically–appreciation, gratitude, care, or compassion this creates optimized well-being, a place of healing in our bodies. This signal between our heart & mind is a very low frequency signal. It is such a low-frequency it is almost the same frequency as where Whales communicate.

gregg-braden-quote_healing_020915Out of the horror of 9/11 some amazing scientific discoveries were made–our satellites positioned thousands of miles above the earth–every 30 minutes the satellites send a signal that tells us how strong The magnetic field of the earth really is. It ebbs and flows each day. On 9/11 there was a huge spike and the researchers had never seen a spike like this before or on both satellites. They were trying to figure out what on earth happened & this led the researchers to understand the collective heart based response, The human emotion that was outpouring in a particular time of that day. It was so powerful that it coupled with the magnetic field of the earth. It showed how everything is connected to the field. It took a tragedy to understand the connection, but what heartmath is trying to to decide is if they can utilize the same connection without tragedy.
Can heart based coherence bring people together in peace. Heartmath has a coalition has sensors throughout the world trying to decipher human emotions trying to see how to bring about human coherence throughout the world.

2012-11-24_1353769230Well, I hope you will have an open mind, look at the possibilities, have learned something new, and can leave this page a little better. Have a beautiful day. Peace to you.   -H

THANKS RASBANDS!! I wanted to share a special shout out to some good friends who made me feel very loved and connected in this world. Since I have been very sick, a special delivery was dropped on my door step. It was a basket full of LOVE and care. It was filled to the brim with sweet notes, favorite things to help battle colds, OJ, books, mags, a movie, a get well bear, natural oils….and so many sweet things to help me feel a little better. It was a loving gesture and very appreciated. Thanks Rasbands!! Love and appreciate you guys.


LIFE LOVES ME!!

life-loves-me-and-i-am-safeI recently started watching Hay House’s “Tales of every day Magic” mini movie series & watched a great interview with Louise Hay and Cheryl Richardson. My greatest take away…LIFE LOVES ME!! I love that.

Say it over and over at any given moment & you will feel a rush of joy. I smile every time I say it. Try it & see what happens. Here are a bunch of affirmations that “affirm” good things. enJOY!

8055385930_28bc7c71b4_zba3ffc7dd0b9235d268e87fa700b3bdd carry-kindness-affirmation morning-affirmations-4short-happiness-quotes-tumblr-i11hqdefaultl680913348b82acf3d400eec747aea9ad0708b4fce86905863057a6bec377483db1f50d809affirmation-10-1080x675Dreamerc24c714e039c69d2cb86b04091c0a3cbmedia_22887838images-311-1positive-quotes-good-sayings-worldUnknown

Hopefully you were able to find some good things within these words. Make them your own, so they may lift and inspire you daily & help affirm that LIFE LOVES YOU!! Peace to you.  -H


What is the point to suffering?

Suffering. What is it & why is it essential to our growth?? I just read a great metaphor that goes along with this idea…“Accepting suffering seems to go against our instincts, even if we vaguely understand that acceptance is the currency that will procure our freedom.  An ocean of ignorance, misunderstanding, and fear lies between our rejection of suffering and our acceptance of it. Crossing that ocean is the spiritual journey. It leads us from the shore of bewilderment to the shore of understanding, from fear to freedom.” -Elizabeth Lesser, The Seeker’s Guide

boat-on-oceanIsn’t that a beautiful image. To me it is like being caught in a thunderstorm upon the sea. Everywhere you look things are not clear, there is haze, there is pain, fear, there is misunderstanding. But all you can do is strive to go forward, to get through the storm. You go forward, through the suffering, through any struggle to see clearly what lies beyond. You finally make it out of the suffering and find a place of calm. I truly believe you must have a balance of suffering to instill an opening of growth.

Look at your own life—when you have suffered, what has been the outcome?? Did you feel you came out of the situation wiser? Did you follow your heart through the pain & in the end seemed to feel lighter? Did you find yourself in a moment of growth or reflection? I know for me personally, when the hardest days have hit, I was blessed to walk through it & feel stronger, to learn from the struggles & seek a higher direction. I look back and see how the suffering and struggles changed me & the lessons I learned along the way.

doodle-deepest-pain-654x846“Suffering occurs when your ideas about how things ought to be don’t match how they really are.” -Brad Warner

We go through life and have many moments and situations where we think things, ideas or people should match how we think things should be. When we place our own judgements, our own misconceptions, our own expectations upon things outside of ourselves, we are bound for suffering. ‘BOUND for SUFFERING’ this just hit me! When we expect things outside ourselves to be a certain way, we are almost setting ourselves up, we are tying & binding our heart to suffering.   This is a very personal hard lesson for me. I get stuck expecting people to do certain things, to treat me a certain way, to respect and understand me, but this is a pathway to my own suffering. I can’t expect anything of anyone, but myself.  This is an ongoing lesson for my life & I strive to grow in finding patience with this need. I have to be gentle and understand I am human!

28551-divine-love-is-for-everyone-it-is-not-selective-it-is-alwaysThe Buddha said, “The root of suffering is attachment.” 

I think we as humans are experts at the relationships of attachment. I think most of us grow up and become attached to expectations, the future, our jobs, our status, our title, where & what we need to be doing, what others think, what ‘happiness’ or ‘success’ equals….there are so many directions and attachments that can and will lead to suffering. I think when we are able to let go of the [FEAR] of material attachments, to external obligations, and take the time to connect with our real, deep-rooted roots[DIVINE LOVE]…then suffering will be nothing but the lessons we learn and the roads we have walked beyond.

chemin-du-coeur_ChooseLoveOverFearpain-and-suffering-have-come-into-your-life-but-remember-pain-sorrow-suffering-are-but-the-kiss-of-quote-1Suffering-is-optional-Counselling-Tasmania-Deborah-Hill-Spiritual-growth-Spirit-Mind-Body-Holistic-Counsellor-Coachtumblr_ngsfwk6SSx1sz8z7wo1_400b54bc6f71643e4e36d0768373fe84b98CharactercannotbedevelopedineaseandquietOnlythroughexperienceoftrialandsufferingcanthesoulbestrengthenedambitioninspiredands_zpse49bbf1820130522-181431Have a beautiful day. Peace to you. -H


The Soundtrack of your life. What are you playing?

music-finds-the-secret-places-of-the-soulI have always had a fascination with music, the soundtrack of our lives and the way it can affect us–good or bad.  I think my first real experience with the power and influence of music was when I was a teenager and my brother had been talking to me about taking his own life.  Of course, I was worried and did my best as a young teen to help, but in the end, he followed his personal need & took our family car off a cliff. Luckily, he survived, even though the car was totalled (a dime on the car floor was bent in half), he was thrown from the car into a snow bank & was able to walk out of the canyon alive. After a few days, he shared a scary story about the power of music. While he was driving down the canyon the song, “Devil Inside” came on & in this instant he steered the car off the cliff. I cannot say this song or the energy behind it had any possible cause, but I can tell you that my brother distinctly remembered this song playing & then taking the car off the cliff.

So, why am I sharing this story?? Because I have always believed good or bad—music can have a powerful affect & we need to be aware of what we are playing as the soundtracks of our lives.

Here is another alarming study to show the harm of harsh music (I shared this in my positive vs negative post) but incase you missed it: Sixteen-year-old David Merrell, a student at Nansemond River High School in Suffolk, Va., thought that the loud sounds of hard-rock music must have a bad effect on its devoted fans and came up with a way to test that damage.

Merrell got 72 mice and divided them into three groups: one to test a mouse’s response to hard rock, another to the music of Mozart and a control group that wouldn’t listen to any music at all, rock or classical.
The young vivisectionist got all the mice accustomed to living in aquariums in his basement, then started playing music 10 hours a day. Merrell put each mouse through a maze three times a week that originally had taken the mice an average of 10 minutes to complete.

Over time, the 24 control-group mice managed to cut about 5 minutes from their maze-completion time. The Mozart-listening mice cut their time back 8-and-a-half minutes.
But the hard-rock mice added 20 minutes to their time, making their average maze-running time 300 percent more than their original average.
Need we say more? Well maybe we do. Merrell told the Associated Press that he’d attempted the experiment the year before, allowing mice in the different groups to live together.
 “I had to cut my project short because all the hard-rock mice killed each other,” Merrell said. “None of the classical mice did that.” (taken from edu-cyberpg.com)

So, please be aware of the negative music that you may have within your life or in the lives of those you love.

100101951_zps319d376eSo here are some great discoveries, wonderful articles, good information about how music helps heal.

How music heals 

Music can produce direct biological changes, such as reducing heart rate, blood pressure and cortisol levels. There are so many proven positives to good music. Here are only some of them…Eases pain, anxiety, motivates, increases workout endurance, improves sleep quality, enhances blood vessel function, reduces stress, induces a meditative state, helps with depression, elevates mood, improves cognitive performance, helps people perform better in high-pressure situations, relaxes and more… (to read further details on the above benefits go to http://greatist.com/happiness/unexpected-health-benefits-music)

There is also preliminary evidence showing that listening to music can boost immune system function by decreasing stress hormones and increasing growth hormones. These changes should prime the body to be in a better state for recovering from and resisting illnesses, but the research is weak thus far and needs further investigation. -jamescleararticle

There are a range of studies that link music to happiness and pleasure in different ways. Despite the differences in the individual studies, the scientific consensus on the topic is that music does stimulate the same areas of the brain that trigger pleasure in other activities. A range of studies have found that listening to pleasurable music stimulates the mesocorticolimbic system in the brain, which is the same “pleasure center” that is triggered by humor, tasty food, and even cocaine. In this way, you could say that music is like a drug. If music makes you happy, then it might be possible that it is good for your health. -jamesclear.com (great article http://jamesclear.com/music-therapy)

One of the reasons why listening to music is so healing for us is due to the power of musical intervals.When we listen to all the intervals in the musical scale it is profoundly healing for our body and our mind. Listening to musical intervals is good for: Insomnia, Getting babies to sleep, Cancer, Joint Problems, Depression, Anxiety and most illnesses. -Positivehealth.com

Music Healing Mental Illness: Nowhere is this legacy more clear or important than in the movement to use music to treat mental illness. One in four(link is external) adults in the U.S. suffers from a mental illness in a given year, yet only 40 percent(link is external) receive treatment. The public health implications are considerable; mental health issues cost the world $2.5 trillion(link is external) annually in health care costs, loss of functioning and loss of life.     We now know through controlled treatment outcome studies that listening to and playing music is a potent treatment for mental health issues. Research demonstrates that adding music therapy to treatment improves symptoms and social functioning amongschizophrenics(link is external). Further, music therapy has demonstrated efficacy as an independent treatment for reducing depression(link is external)anxiety(link is external) and chronic pain(link is external).  -psychologytoday.com

In his book “Awakenings,” the British-American neurologist Oliver Sacks writes of patients who went from being catatonic to fully functional when music was added to their environment.  -WallStreetJournal article

Another article about “Alive Inside” documentary about patients with dementia, bipolar, schizo…and how music is a backdoor that awakens something inside. http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865611277/Alive-Inside-is-a-testament-to-the-healing-power-of-music.html?pg=all

open-door-gabriela-insuratelu“Music might provide an alternative entry point” to the brain, because it can unlock so many different doors into an injured or ill brain, said Dr. Gottfried Schlaug, a Harvard University neurologist. Pitch, harmony, melody, rhythm and emotion — all components of music — engage different regions of the brain. And many of those same regions are also important in speech, movement and social interaction. If a disease or trauma has disabled a brain region needed for such functions, music can sometimes get in through a back door and coax them out by another route, Schlaug says.

“In a sense, we’re using musical tools to particularly engage certain parts of the brain and then teach the brain new tricks — new tools — to overcome an impairment,” he says.

Reading: Research suggests that people with dyslexia, or difficulty reading, also fare poorly on tests of auditory processing. Their timing is also poor. They have difficulty filtering out unwanted background noise and “tuning in” to sounds — such as a teacher’s instruction — that they want to hear. Intensive music instruction has been found to improve those skills, and with them, some skills related to reading.

Movement: If you’re old enough, recall John Travolta walking down the street to the song “Stayin’ Alive” in the opening scene of “Saturday Night Fever.” Now imagine a patient with Parkinson’s disease, a degenerative brain condition that affects the initiation and smooth completion of movement. Here’s where music’s rhythmic qualities appear to get in the back door of a patient’s brain and provide a work-around to brain functions degraded by Parkinson’s. By engaging the network of regions that perceive and anticipate rhythm, music with a steady, predictable beat can be used to cue the brain’s motor regions to initiate walking.

Once off the dime, a Parkinson’s patient can use the music’s beat to maintain a steady, rhythmic gait, like John Travolta.

“It works well and it works instantaneously, and it’s hard to think of any medication that has this effect,” Schlaug says.

Neuroscientists suspect that music may work in much the same way for stutterers, who can experience difficulties initiating speech and maintaining a steady flow of words. Case studies have long observed that when stutterers sing, their halting speech patterns disappear. Music’s predictable beats may help them initiate speech and continue fluently.

Memory: The progressive degeneration of memory in Alzheimer’s disease cannot be reversed or slowed by any intervention. But music can temporarily unlock memories for patients who have lost their grip on nearly every other detail of their daily life and relationships.

Preemies’ weight gain: An Israeli study, published December in the journal Pediatrics, found that playing Mozart quietly in neonatal intensive care units supported the weight gain of premature infants by slowing their rate of energy expenditure. Babies exposed over two days to 30 minutes of music (drawn from, yes, an Israeli “Mozart for Baby” CD) slowed their metabolisms, helping to accelerate their growth.      -LATImes Article

music-and-focusA number of studies show that music therapy – the use of music for medical goals – can reduce pain. In a 2001 study on burn patients, whose burns must be frequently scraped to reduce dead tissue, researchers found that music therapy significantly reduced the excruciating pain. Patients undergoing colonoscopy also seem to feel less pain and need fewer sedative drugs if they listen to music during the procedure, according to several studies. Another study done at Glasgow Caledonian University found that people who were listening to their favorite music felt less pain and could stand pain for a longer period.       Deforia Lane, director of music therapy at the University Hospitals Ireland Cancer Center in Cleveland, has found an improvement in immune response among hospitalized children who played, sang, and created music compared to children who did not get music therapy.    Research conclusions have identified how the affect of music could replicate the effects of hormone replacement therapy in the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

Music that a person likes – but not music that is disliked – activates both the higher, thinking centers in the brain’s cortex, and, perhaps more important, also the “ancient circuitry, the motivation and reward system,” said experimental psychologist Robert Zatorre, a member of the team.  

The brain grows in response to musical training in the way a muscle responds to exercise. Researchers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston discovered that male musicians have larger brains than men who have not had extensive musical training.   -wakeup-world.com (to read the whole article–interesting http://wakeup-world.com/2013/10/08/9-healing-benefits-of-music/)

imagesStudies have proven that music can beneficially affect heart rate, blood pressure, respiration rate and shifts in emotions and energy levels. Even more interestingly, the research has proven that the healing power of music goes beyond humans and extends to the animal world. The mood enhancing capability of music has provided tranquil restorations to animals that have been previously abused or neglected. The animals connect with the tones and tempos as a source of relaxation, just as we connect with music in a similar manner.  -Massagetoday.com

Great article: Prescription with Pleasure: The Healing Power of Music http://health.howstuffworks.com/wellness/natural-medicine/alternative/prescription-with-pleasure-the-healing-power-of-music.htm

Well, I hope I have given you enough food for thought on this one. Feel your mind and your life with good things!!

Peace to you.  -H


A good dose of a happy life

happiness-quote-life-inspiration-motivation-picture-photo-artI recently heard a great analogy about what you put into your life…if you were allergic to something, what do you do? you avoid that opportunity to set yourself up for irritation or pain. If you are allergic to cats, do you find yourself going out of your way to be around them?? No. If you are allergic to melon, do you buy them, even during the summer months? No.

So, why then, do we set ourselves up to surround ourselves with people who are toxic, jobs that make us irritable, have friends that drain our energy, sign up for things we don’t enjoy? WHY, I ask you?? All I can say is, we need to STOP IT!!! and if you have never seen the below video (most likely you have, but in the tiny possibility you haven’t, I am putting it here) and if you have seen it–Enjoy another good laugh!! 

Now here is a little trick for you: Make a mental note or even a physical note of all the things, people, situations, addictions, thoughts, memories, relationships, etc. that drain your energy, suck up your happy life source, bring you down—things, people, places, situations you should avoid to make your life a little better. Make a list!! Now watch this video…

If you were allergic to something, you would avoid it!! You would want to avoid the discomfort. You would do all you could to steer clear of those things that brought you misery. So, I ask you again, WHY do you still find yourself filling your life with people, places, situations, addictions that bring the same misery to your life. You wouldn’t keep doing things that you are allergic to or that could be harmful, so evaluate the people in your life, the activities you participate in, the job you have, and fill your life with good things, not the toxic things. Think about it! Does it make sense? You don’t need serious doses of Benadryl, you need good doses of a healthy, happy life. Make it happen. You control what you allow into your life.

Cheers to a good, healthy dose of a happy life.  -Heather


Truly SEE what is wonderful

IMG_3693I have this sweet, old, aging dog who has lost his hearing and is losing his sight. He follows me around with his last sense of smell and a dim shadow that I know he catches once in awhile. It makes my heart break, but it also makes me see how grateful I am to still have him in my life. Each morning me and my dog Buddy, I call him my “Soul Buddy” stretch together in the downward dog yoga position at the top of my stairs. I gently touch his paw and he begins the stretch. It is a small, loving connection that we still have this loving bond. As I watch him maneuver the house I struggle to see him trip over an object that may not usually be in his natural path. I observe him barking even louder because his hearing is so faint. It is like he feels he is not being heard, so he needs to bark louder to ensure his voice. Although many things have changed for him, he still is able to find a warm sun spot, he still nuzzles his nose under my arm for a hug, he still does his very best to follow me & be my faithful companion & best friend.

As I watch him I am even more grateful for my own sight, my ability to see the details all around me. I watch him and admire his never ending, unconditional love for someone. I see his willing heart yearn to keep up when we go on a walk, even though his body is tired and ready to turn back. I see him sleep because he needs his rest.

What do I learn and see every day from my little Buddy…

Even though his life may be a struggle, he continues on, he does his best to keep up when things are tough, he loves without limits, he ventures outside & smells everything (because that is all he can do), he gives everything he has and then only asks… for a little love and a little rest.

Are you doing your best? Are you trying to SEE what is wonderful in your own life?? Are you pushing through the struggles? Are you venturing outside and smelling the roses, or taking in the beauty of a sunset? Are you loving those around you? Are you giving something of yourself? Are you doing a little better than yesterday? When you begin to truly SEE the wonderful things in your life, your life will begin to BE wonderful.

-Peace to you and my little Soul Buddy. xoxo


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