HAPPY DAY!

It is the week of my sweet daughter’s birthday & it takes me back to the day she was born.I remember the hours and hours to then have my husband say, “Just hold on for another 30 minutes & then she will be born on your Dad’s birthday and my Mom’s!” At that moment, I remember vividly saying, “I don’t care!”

Now, I am truly grateful that our daughter gets to celebrate her birthday with two of her grandparents. It is a wonderful gift!! As our parents get older, we are grateful for the precious memories we all have together.

I would like to dedicate this post to them & the fun, precious memories we have of them together. FEEL the LOVE!!

Oh HAPPY DAYS!! Each day is a gift we truly treasure. HAPPY BIRTHDAY! LOVE YOU ALL.

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Your Story. Your Legacy.

Our stories, our words, our openings to others say a lot about our lives. It is interesting to begin a conversation with a complete stranger (grocery clerk, massage therapist, hair stylist, etc) and stories just seem to flow. People like to connect with one another. The trick is…what are you telling? What are you saying about your life? What message are you leaving with those you come in contact?

Another step further—What if you could not “say” anything.

img_0387img_3605We recently took a trip to Southern Utah and hiked among petroglyphs of the Anasazi people. It was fascinating to think about walking through handwriting of people thousands and thousands of years old. To see what was important to them—food, feet, animals, people with horn hats, stars, labyrinth patterns…fascinating! Again. No words, just symbols.

 

112246My cute daughter is doing a report on the Northwest Coast Indians and found out they were tribes of people with no specific written language and shared their history and stories through Totems. A Totem is kind of like a book you could read, but instead of using words it used symbols. Totem poles were used as a way of passing down stories.

I thought this was a very interesting idea that could bring up various feelings for people. Think about it!! If you were to create a “Totem” of your life, what would it look like? What would be the main images that you would include. What words (now that we have them) would you include? What message of your life? What symbols would you use?

I think this could be a very fun personal activity you could do to see what comes up from your soul. Think about it. Draw something out. If you like to carve wood–carve away! Maybe make a collage of visual images. Create something. I think a visual of your life’s journey may say something to you. Try it!!

MAKE YOUR OWN CREATIVE TOTEM.  Here are some ideas I came up with…

SONY DSCMaybe make a simple totem for your yard. Pick glass or ceramic beads and make a decorative story line that you know the meaning and symbolism behind.

 

img_0433This made me think of making a personal beaded bracelet that you could create that will symbolize different things within your life. Each bead represents something personal.

 

tumblr_o19gthtumm1v5h6m1o1_1280Maybe make a collage of highlights or things that remind you of your life. [example–pulled off google. Not sure of the source]

 

afb84d4942a1abb2bf4befed1785594dThis made me think of a crafty idea–if you know or enjoy quilting. Quilt symbols of your life and put them together.

 

2044Make symbols that mean something to you personally. Put them together to create a story.

 

 

d4239633957aced98ed266250f0942b1fd4adfbe71b055ee92pimgpsh_fullsize_distrIf you don’t feel too artistic you could always find various mandalas and color them to your own style and put meaning into them with specific colors meaning emotion, certain shapes to symbolize parts of your life, etc. Then you could stack and frame them or take a pic to always have close.   Mandala’s are a symbol, representing the search for completeness and self-unity.

 

Hope this post has given you some ideas to finding your deeper stories and unique ways to share them with yourself and those you love.

 

Happy creating!!  -H

 

Feed the GOOD

I literally read this on my dog’s bag of food, “Feed the Good” and it reminded me of a conversation I had yesterday. I was talking to a friend about the state of people around us and it seemed to have a constant theme—sadness. People are struggling to find the good in their lives, so I wanted to write a post that will have lots of GOOD things…POSITIVE things that will enrich any life.

If you or someone you know is feeling like they need a little something “good” then here is the prescription. I think there are enough people medicated on the seeming “feel good” prescriptions/medications, but there are real “feel good” things you can do without any side effects.

Take in HAPPY doses…

girl_blonde_nature_sitting_stone_69395_1920x1080NATURE: Get out in nature. Nature has so many healing benefits for the mind and body. Walking out in nature helps with depression, short-term memory, better vision, reduced inflammation, Stress, improved concentration, creativity, immune boost, improved mental health & some research has even found that spending time in nature (forests, in particular) may stimulate the production of anti-cancer proteins.

One study found that walks in the forest were specifically associated with decreased levels of anxiety and bad moods, and another found that outdoor walks could be “useful clinically as a supplement to existing treatments” for major depressive disorder. 

Another study found that people immersed in nature for four days — significantly more time than a lunchtime walk in the park — boosted their performance on a creative problem-solving test by 50%. 

In one early study, researchers worked to deplete participants’ ability to focus. Then some took a walk in nature, some took a walk through the city, and the rest just relaxed. When they returned, the nature group scored the best on a proofreading task.

When inflammation goes into overdrive, it’s associated in varying degrees with a wide range of ills including autoimmune disorders, inflammatory bowel disease, depression, and cancer. Spending time in nature may be one way to help keep it in check.In one study, students who spent time in the forest had lower levels of inflammation than those who spent time in the city.

[taken from business insider.com article http://www.businessinsider.com/scientific-benefits-of-nature-outdoors-2016-4/#1-improved-short-term-memory-1] Incredibly interesting, science filled article that shows the various pros of getting out in nature. There are so many benefits. Please read the whole article. AMAZING!

Articles on the effects of nature on your mood/brain. Lots of great information. https://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/07/22/how-nature-changes-the-brain/?_r=0

http://www.nationalgeographic.com/magazine/2016/01/call-to-wild/

Motivated by large-scale public health problems such as obesity, depression, and pervasive nearsightedness, all clearly associated with time spent indoors, Strayer and other scientists are looking with renewed interest at how nature affects our brains and bodies. Building on advances in neuroscience and psychology, they’ve begun to quantify what once seemed divine and mysterious. These measurements—of everything from stress hormones to heart rate to brain waves to protein markers—indicate that when we spend time in green space, “there is something profound going on,”

1129893324-music-gives-soul-to-the-universeMUSIC: Music can prevent anxiety-induced increases in heart rate and systolic blood pressure, and decrease cortisol levels — all biological markers of stress.     Music relieves pain: In a 2013 study, sixty people diagnosed with fibromyalgia — a disease characterized by severe musculoskeletal pain — were randomly assigned to listen to music once a day over a four-week period. In comparison to a control group, the group that listened to music experienced significant pain reduction and fewer depressive symptoms.     Music has been found to help immune function: Massachusetts General Hospital found that listening to Mozart’s piano sonatas helped relax critically ill patients by lowering stress hormone levels, but the music also decreased blood levels of interleukin-6 — a protein that has been implicated in higher mortality rates, diabetes and heart problems.     Music helps memory function: In a study published last year, adult students studying Hungarian were asked to speak, or speak in a rhythmic fashion, or sing phrases in the unfamiliar language. Afterwards, when asked to recall the foreign phrases, the singing group fared significantly better than the other two groups in recall accuracy. to see the full article from Huffington http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/02/02/music-and-health-rock-on_n_6573132.html

The power of music to affect memory is quite intriguing. Mozart’s music and baroque music, with a 60 beats per minute beat pattern, activates the left and right brain. The simultaneous left and right brain action maximizes learning and retention of information. The information being studied activates the left brain while the music activates the right brain. Also, activities which engage both sides of the brain at the same time, such as playing an instrument or singing, cause the brain to be more capable of processing information. [emedexpert.com]

Music enhances intelligence, learning and IQ: The idea that music makes you smarter received considerable attention from scientists and the media. Listening to music or playing an instrument can actually make you learn better. And research confirms this. Music has the power to enhance some kinds of higher brain function: Reading & literacy skills, Spacial-temporal reasoning, Math, Emotional intelligence and recall. [emedexpert]

Music helps you sleep: Relaxing classical music is safe, cheap and easy way to beat insomnia1. Many people who suffer from insomnia find that Bach music helps them. Researchers have shown that just 45 minutes of relaxing music before bedtime can make for a restful night.[emed]

Music helps with the blues: Music’s ability to “heal the soul” is the stuff of legend in every culture. Many people find that music lifts their spirits. Modern research tends to confirm music’s psychotherapeutic benefits5. Bright, cheerful music (e.g. Mozart, Vivaldi, bluegrass, Klezmer, Salsa, reggae) is the most obvious prescription for the blues. [emed]

There are many more benefits, but these are some of the strongest for well-being.

walking-music-to-help-you-stay-active-outdoors2PODCASTS: I LOVE podcasts!! Here are a few of my favorites from my personal picks…How She Really Does it with Koren Motekaitis (love her & the great people she talks to), Change Nation with Ariane, Dr Wayne Dyer. TedTalks are always great!       Now to find some other suggestions from other sources: Medibank suggests “The Health Podcast” podcast by ABC Radio National is full of fascinating information on a range of health topics – perfect for answering those “I wonder how that works” questions, and giving you something interesting to say at dinner parties. A couple from lovelifesurf.com The Moth–If you aren’t familiar with the Moth, it’s all about the love of a good story. Some are told by famous writers, actors, other luminaries and others are told by ordinary people like you and me. I often find myself laughing out loud in the middle of the street. For me, it’s another way to study the art of storytelling and how to do that well. RealtalkradiowithNicoleAntoinette–she aims to get to the truth behind the scenes and what’s really going on with the people she interviews (athletes, writers, entrepreneurs, parents, spiritual teachers, etc.) so we can all learn something and be inspired to move towards our goals.

There are so many podcasts out there with various topics. Find those that resonate with what you want to hear and enjoy!! Podcasts are good for long walks, working while being inspired, long commutes, etc. Always a good thing!

best-body-leaping-high-res-imageEXERCISE: There are so many types of exercise. Lately I have taken up urban rebounding (mini tramp) & have found there are SO many positive health benefits–who would have thought! Try different exercises and see what invigorates, gets you moving, gets you feeling good and always be willing to try different things. Variety truly is the spice that keeps you moving. Here are some reasons why exercise is so GOOD for you…If you don’t exercise, your muscles will become weak. Your heart and lungs won’t function efficiently. And your joints will be stiff and easily injured. Inactivity is as much of a health risk as smoking! Exercise helps prevent diseases, improves stamina, strengthens and tones, enhances flexibility, improves quality of life…[healthdiscovery.net]

television-watchin_2954124bMOVIES: Now there are a lot of good movies out there, but I am very drawn to movies that are uplifting, you can learn something and they make you feel good. Some of my favorites that may be harder to find & are a bit soul searching/feel good include: I Am done by Tom Shadyac (big time director of blockbuster hits who took a big life shift), Happy documentary, Awake in the Dream,  Wayne Dyer’s movie “The Shift”…so many good things.

women-drinking-teaNATURAL REMEDIES: Eczema: aloe, Greasy hair: don’t wash too often & a weekly vinegar rinse can be helpful, Warts: a few drops of tea tree oil directly on wart to help remove it in 7-10 days, Ear wax: [my husband suffers from this] prone to build-up, you can use a drop of olive oil in each ear to keep the ear clean, Hiccups: give your tongue a good pull or breathe into a paper bag [from bodyandsoul] Headaches: Chamomile tea helps relax, Many natural healers believe that a foot baths is powerful tool against headaches.
They reduce the pressure on the blood vessels in the head.If you add a few drops of peppermint or lavender in the bath, their flavor will further soothe and relieve the pain. Cold Sores: Garlic or rub with fresh garlic juice a few times a day Hair growth recipe:  http://www.healthyfoodmind.com/best-homemade-hair-growth-treatment/.    [healthyfoodmind.com]

dothatGOOD FOR THE SOUL: Read, have real conversations, meditate, watch inspirational videos, declutter, write/journal, listen to music, laugh, walk, enjoy your favorite drink, nap time, long baths or hot shower, quality time with those your love to be around, give a hug, being honest with yourself, self-love, forgive, love, enjoy & find beauty around you, serve someone in need, pray, sit quietly, just breathe! have something green around you (plant in your office, natural view from a window, etc), be grateful for the day, appreciate loved ones, sing, dance, move your body, try something new, slow down, practice gratitude, unplug, whistle, hum, smile.

 

I hope all these “GOOD” things will lift your spirit & help you include “GOOD” things into your day.

-Happy day. -H