Deeper questions for growth

I gathered some good stuff to help us grow with deeper questions. If you are seeking inner personal truths, direction for your life or just want to make sure you know what you want, here is some great info.

MindfulHappiness-JournalWritingFrom Martha Beck article:

You’re about to change your life. The more honest you are, the more you’ll find yourself doing what you love, with people you love, in places you love. You’ll realize that nothing really true is ever unloving, and nothing unloving is ever really true. That wild creature, your true self, will come to meet you, then trust you, then guide you home, one day at a time. Honestly.

Her question:  Am I living my deepest truth right now? Journal it out.

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o-SOUL-QUESTIONS-facebookFrom a great article by Liz Kimball, Oprah

“You know who you are, and you know what you want.”  -Lao Tzu

You have ‘shoulds’ disguised as wants.

Journal her following questions to see what comes up.

I should _______________ today because _________________.

I should _______________ this month because ___________________.

I should _______________ this year because ________________________.

But when someone’s voice deadens and they tell me that they need to stay at their company 5 more years…or collaborate with the fanciest person they know because they feel like they should, I know I am having a conversation with a person whose shoulds have drowned out the voice of their own soul.

And that soul voice is the one in which I’m most rigorously interested in, because it contains directions for how you are meant to evolve.

“There is something in every one of you that waits and listens for the sound of the genuine in yourself. It is the only true guide you will ever have.”  -Howard Thurman

Her question:   Today, the genuine sounds like ______________________________.

Social Psychology researchers and developers of the Self-Concordance Model of achievement Dr. Kennon M. Sheldon and Dr. Andrew J. Elliott found not only that we are more likely to put sustained effort into self-concordant goals (goals that are aligned with who we are and that make our hearts sing) and therefore are more likely to attain them, but we also gain deeper well-being when we actually accomplish them.

Her question: What secret dream am I keeping close to my heart?

Your soul is oriented by evolution–not targets–and cares much less about the particulars of what you do and much more about fulfilling what in you is wanting to grow.

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8 questions from Deepak Chopra

Who am I?

What do I want?

What’s my purpose in this life?

What sort of contribution do I want to make?

What are my unique skills?

Who are my heroes?

What is a meaningful relationship–what do I expect from one, and what do I give?

What am I grateful for?

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Depositphotos_1855294_m-850x400Soul Questions:

What do you do or have done in your life that makes you happy?

What have you always wanted to do or try, but were afraid to?

What values do you hold most important in your life?

What are your greatest strengths and talents?

What books and movies are your drawn to? This is a good question because you can see the patterns of what you put into your life. I found a few years ago that I only wanted to watch movies that left me feeling good. Evaluate the things you are putting in & make sure they are uplifting and leave you positive.

What answers are you seeking for your life?

How would you describe yourself to someone? This question will help you see What beautiful things would you say? What things you may find hard to face about yourself.

What do you feel you attract into your life? Positive or Negative?

What makes you feel ALIVE? This is a good question because it makes you evaluate the things you do, the people you associate, the places you venture, the hobbies you have, your beliefs…what makes you feel alive?

Do you like change? Answer this one honestly. smile. smile. I have found change to be what you make it. I have moved and moved & faced change time and time again. I learned to embrace it & at times miss it. It is like anything. It is what you make it. Change helps you see new things, try new experiences, meet new people, find places within yourself that feel exhilarated by change. Seek to embrace it.

What drains your energy? What recharges your energy? Are there people, activities, job requirements, daily tasks, expectations, etc. that drain your energy? Begin to notice these things and make the necessary changes to rid your life of toxic energy & fill in the spaces with things that light you up.

 

light painting (3 of 5)Well, I don’t want to overwhelm you with so many great questions, so this is it for today. I think this is a great start. I will follow-up with more questions at a later date.

Have a beautiful day. Know you are blessed and loved.  Peace to you.  -H

Thanks. Gratitude & YOU

I just finished reading Pam Grout’s book, Thank & Grow Rich. It was a great read and I would highly recommend it. It is full of wonderful stories, ideas, activities and overall good!! I think if you can finish a book and it leaves you feeling better, learning something, and taking good things away from it…AWESOME!! So, with that, I wanted to share some of my favorite highlights (my literal highlighted points). Enjoy!! I am only going to put some because I do not want to spoil the book for you in any way. Read it and take the good from it!

THANKS PAM for your inspired book!!

woman-watching-sunset-1920x1200“When you get on the joy and gratitude frequency that I write about in this book, you radiate an energy that draws things into your life. The right people serendipitously walk across your path. The answer to a troubling question miraculously appears.

In Spain, they call this energy duende. If you tender (have) duende, it means there is something invisible that draws magic your way.”

 

maxresdefault-1“It wasn’t until I began counting my blessings that the other frequency was able to make contact, the still, small one that whispered kind truths…

The still, small voice reminded me that everything I see, everything I believe, is just a story I made up. It told me that, in Truth, I am spirit. I am light. All those voices, those wars going on in my head, are nothing but chunks of the collective consciousness that I can either believe an defend against or I can transmute with gratitude.     The real me, it told me, is kind, giving, in deep communication with all of creation. The real me is a true force for love.”

 

2“What could elicit more joy than realizing your assignment here on this big ball hurtling through space is to have fun, follow the GPS of your joy, and create the good, the holy, and the beautiful.”

 

988037-bigthumbnail“Rather than take steps to flee or change it, you have to first allow it. You have to bless it. You have to go so far as to call it good. Freedom and power come in choosing to bless with gratitude every single thing that shows up.”

 

8“Once you come into coherence with your real self, a sacred being with no beginning and no end, you can get on with creating beauty and expanding love. You can give up the grasping and the clawing, the pointless plans to protect your linear self.

You are not linear. You are light temporarily doing Sue or Bob or Priscilla. We have become so focused on this transitory, temporal self that we forgot who we really are. We forgot how powerful we are. We forgot our true mission–to expand the Kingdom of Light and Love.”

 

being-grateful-for-what-you-have-now-could-make-you-richer-in-the-future“Sh*t happens. And I would be the first to agree.     However, 99.9 percent of life, even during the sh*t storm, still operates in perfect working order, continues to run as efficiently as that annoying Energizer Bunny.

Right now, for example, my body is emitting two and a half tons of atmospheric pressure that keeps me from flying off into space. That is a friction’ miracle–99.9 percent of my life is a friction’ miracle.

Anyone who thinks life is nothing but an ordeal is clearly deluded. For the sake of argument, let’s take a count:

  1. The skirt you wanted to wear to work is wrinkled in the laundry basket.
  2. The freeway is crowded with bozos on their cell phones.
  3. Your boss doesn’t get you.

AND…

  1. You were created from stars.
  2. Free liquid falls from the sky–do you know how remarkable that is?
  3. You live on a planet with just the right amount of oxygen and…
  4. …just the right ratio of…
  5. …just the right gases.
  6. Each of your cells has thousands of mitochondria that create energy so you can give the finger to me and all the other optimists.

And I’m just getting started.

I’m not suggesting we play ostrich and stick our head in the sands of la-la land. But why devote so much of our lives to the one-tenth of one-percent that isn’t working? Deal with the wrinkled shirt and the boss… and… never forget that your body’s 100 trillion cells came from the division of one single cell.

And…that millions of new cells are being born every hour to replace the old ones. Without, I might add, any input on your part. Thousands of things have already gone right for you today….”

 

239933edc3385edfb8e5891059fbf2f0That is all I am going to share. There are some great quotes, statistics, stories. There is SO much more, but I did not want to “spoil” it. This gives you a tiny glimpse of her message. Take the time and take the good.

-Peace out and love to you my friend.  -H

 

 

Spring Cleaning for the Soul 2

woman-reading-in-hammockNEW TO YOU: Growth, Challenge, Change.

When most people decide they want or need to personally grow they look to those around them to learn from and then they also dive into the pages of good books. Reading has always been a well-spring for me personally. You can find educated people, people who have struggled and share their stories, adventurous people, people you can learn anything from. Books are a good starting point.

I also believe in just reaching out. If there is someone you want to learn something from–email them. The internet is a gift in that way, that you can connect with anyone. You know I have reached out to  Catherine Johnson(who did Mamma Mia (she was WONDERFUL), shared musical ideas with  Mika(never heard from him or his team), gone straight to book authors for ideas or museums for direction) Reach out. Learn. Grow.

ACTION: I have done my share of coaching classes, retreats, actual coaching of clients, but this tool I came across and thought you may benefit from. Its the ‘GROW’ tool:  This may help you in any life decision. Go for it!

“Don’t go through life, grow through life.” -E Butterworth

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largeBEAUTIFUL ON THE INSIDE & OUT.  Embrace and love your body. It is the most amazing thing you will ever own.

“You are an original, an individual, a masterpiece. Celebrate that; don’t let your uniqueness make you shy. Don’t be someone other than the wonder you are. Every star is important to the sky.”  -Douglas Pagels

ACTION: “When you look at yourself in a mirror, do you like what you see, or do you judge your body and use the word to tell yourself lies? If you believe that you are not attractive enough, then you believe a lie, and you are using the word against yourself, against the truth.”  -Migual Angel Ruiz

“Your body is your temple. Keep it pure and clean for the soul to reside in.” -BKS Iyengar

How do you take care of your body: 

Take time to exercise

Make sleep a priority–7 to 8 hours at least

Eat well and savor it

Listen to pain

Slow down

Keep a journal because it is therapeutic

Read because it is relaxing and is also a good escape

Have personal self time

Unplug

Talk to yourself in a positive manner

Positive affirmations

Play. Do things you truly enjoy doing

Learn something new because it not only stimulates your brain, but it invigorates your life

Dont forget to hydrate! You need at least 8 x 8oz glasses

 

3ekmbaSERVE

“We rise by lifting others.” -Robert Ingersoll. I LOVE this thought & it rings so true. Think about a time when you did something/anything for another person….YOU were lifted. My sweet daughter was running into the gas station to get me a drink & she always holds the door open for people who are coming and going. She lights up & one man gave a sweet gesture in return. She went up to the cashier to pay & he jumped in to pay. She lit up & he gave her a fist bump. She almost skipped out of the gas station & lit up as she shared the details of the story. Something so small (holding a door open) lit up his day and hers. We truly do rise by doing even little things for others.

“Spread LOVE everywhere you go. Let no one ever come to you without leaving HAPPIER.” -Mother Teresa

ACTION: 

Seek /create opportunities to serve.

Be the reason someone SMILES today.

Send someone an encouraging note.

Pay it forward. Be generous in opening a door, allowing someone to go in front of you in line, get your mom a drink. smile.

Ask God if there is some way you can serve another.

 

ed4a6334ee35d635282ee8e090e1f577PLAY. FIND JOY. BELIEVE in MAGIC…be young at heart

” The heart that LOVES is always young.” -unknown.    “To a young heart, everything is fun.” -Charles Dickens.    “The secret of genius is to carry the spirit of the child into old age.” -Aldus Huxley.

ACTION: 

READ: Take time to read your favorite classic stories.

TINKER: Figure out how something works.

PLAY: Skip, Explore, Create, Be silly, climb a tree, do bubbles, collect rainbows, daydream

HAVE A PICNIC: eat outside, something you loved as a child. (chicken nuggets, yogurt, cheese puffs, etc), fly a kite, play a lawn game, look at the clouds, lay on a blanket.

CREATE: Make a card or something hand made and gift it to someone. Be CREATIVE: Doodle, dress-up, make-believe, have theme days/parties, tell a tale w voices.

COOK: Learn something new & get messy.

IMAGINE: use your creativity & make something colorful, bright and imaginative.

GO OUTSIDE: throw rocks, paint a rock, skip down a path, make something from nature, take a picture, breathe in the fresh air, play in the dirt, shoot an arrow.

SMILE & LAUGH: tell jokes, watch a funny movie.

DANCE: be free to move & play your favorite tunes.

NAP: Take a nap & not care what time it is.

Be CURIOUS: want to learn about something–stop & ask. Read up on a topic or ask an expert. learn, grow.

WONDER: See the magic everywhere. Life is awesome!

 

8778035b1067fcd00d00070776aac23bREMEMBER YOU ARE LOVE

Spring Cleaning for the Soul

Hello. Happy March 1. It is the beginning of a beautiful month and a perfect time to ask yourself some great personal questions. Kind of a Spring Cleaning for your Soul.

My daughter just turned 14! ahhh! Time goes by so quickly. One thing I wanted to give her for her birthday was an inspirational book that I made full of quotes, activities, questions and ideas to help give her life VALUE. When we feel we have values in our life, our life is richer with purpose and reason. I thought I would put together some ideas that you can run with, think about and incorporate into your own life.

 

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I think understanding what your VALUES are in life is key. You may already live by certain values OR maybe you are not sure what they would be. Here is a good exercise to get you started. There are lots of value exercises out there, but here is one to get you started…I would suggest your circle the top 8-10 and then from there narrow down your top 3 or 4. Post them in a visible place to remind you.

values-checklist

 

 

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FAITH is another good thing to have within your life. “Surrender to what is. Let go of what was. Have faith in what will be.”  -Sonia Ricotti     I think as humans we have a very hard time letting go and allowing. Faith is a step that you take to show you believe in something bigger than yourself.

ACTION: As a little reminder: just step outside at night, look at the stars and know how truly small you are.

 

 

1909-steve-jobs-quote-have-the-courage-to-follow-your-heart-and

FOLLOW YOUR HEART  Your heart is like an inner compass, connected to all things good. When you are able to learn to listen and be guided by this inner compass, then you will be led to good things for your life. Each step in the journey of life is important & the best map is held within your heart. Follow it.  It is a divine treasure.

‘FEELINGS’ are a BIG indicator when following your heart. I learned this simple lesson & it was an ‘aha’ to my life. It is SO simple: If something (a decision, a conversation, an experience, etc FEELS ‘GOOD’ or ‘BAD’ then you follow that guidance. Everything you do will give you a feeling that is either good or bad. You cannot FEEL both at the same time. Follow that inner guidance at all times and your heart will make it feel so.

ACTION:  Make a list of things your heart desires for your life: a bucket list if you wish. This list will be great inspiration and will help you follow your dreams. Your deepest interests and aspirations for your life will come from the guidance of your heart.

 

 

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BE YOU   Be yourself no matter what anyone else thinks. God made you the way you are for beautiful reasons. He has given you gifts, strengths, talents & has made you unique.  Besides, an original is always worth more than a copy!   “Being the best is great, you’re the number one. Being unique is greater, you’re the only one.” -unknown

ACTION: Ask yourself these questions–What are some ways you can become or discover more about yourself? [take a personality test, write down things that make you happy/sad, etc]

What unique skills, strengths and abilities do you have? Write down what you feel you are good at. What awards or certificates have your received? What motivates you to do better? What strengths do you feel are you? What do you like to share with others? What do you enjoy doing in your spare time? What are some characteristics you admire in others?

 

 

blendinBE A LIGHT My favorite quote ever…speaks volumes about being a light. Love it.3abb3ea07eadb814b972960e9f70de91

ACTION: How to become someone that shines brightly from the inside out.

Have positive self-talk. How? Affirmations are a good start. Say positive things to yourself each day.  “I am happy to be me.”  “I am a vibrant being of love and light.” What I say to myself: “I am beautiful, healthy, fit and trim. I am love and light.”  No matter what–be kind to yourself. Don’t say things you would not say to a good friend.  Cultivate positive beliefs about yourself.

Self-love. Learning to love and respect yourself and your body takes practice.  Don’t compare yourself to anyone. Nourish your body with good foods and exercise. Have personal boundaries by surrounding yourself with positive influences, being able to say no and not allowing others to take away your power. Work really hard to not let others opinions matter so much. Be yourself.

Listen within. Follow your heart and your inner guidance. You are the only one that can feel what is right for your life. If you feel guided to do something, listen. Begin to tune in to the signals and guidance you get from within.

Know your personal values and live by them. When we violate the values that keep us in alignment, we violate the person that we truly are.

Don’t aim to please others . Don’t worry about how others view you . Learn all you can about yourself . Learn to appreciate who you are .  Be confident with who you are . Forgive yourself . Stop being negative about yourself . Find and do hobbies that you love . Learn from mistakes . Set goals and strive for what you want to accomplish

REMEMBER THIS: “Be the light that helps others see.”

 

Those are a few spring cleaning actions for the SOUL. I will write another one to accompany this, but I figured this is a good start for today.

FEEL GOOD.

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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

LOVE. LOVE. LOVE.

2dgfpaq6Since the month of LOVE is quickly approaching, I thought it would be a good idea to post about LOVE. Not just “Love YOU” sentiments or valentine hearts and kisses, the LOVE that begins with YOU.

I think on some level every single one of us have moments where we struggle with loving ourselves. You may be on one end of the spectrum where you just have moments of self-doubt or maybe you truly dislike many things and suffer through life. On any level, it begins with YOU. You truly cannot love others or give love without beginning with the person in the mirror.

I love how John Lennon puts it

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This made me want to find further information to prove that LOVE truly can conquer all fears and help us begin to love ourselves and others. We need to kick the fear, insecurities, shame, sadness, low energy feelings and begin to replace them with higher frequency thoughts and feelings. When we are able to begin to change FEAR (self-doubt, self-hatred, depression, envy, all the negative emotions) and replace them with LOVE (joy, happiness, self-love, trust, all the positive emotions) then things truly begin to change.

When we begin with ourselves LOVE and light will then radiate in all we do. We can then reach out and LOVE others. We can then have something to give to others. The beautiful circle begins.

THE SCIENCE BEHIND THIS:

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In a joint study with Stony Brook University, Rutgers University, and Albert Einstein College of Medicine, researchers performed brain scans of people in long-term relationships. The couples studied were in a loving partnership for an average of 21.4 years. The researchers found significant activation in the medial orbitofrontal cortex.1 That is part of the prefrontal cortex, the part of the brain involved in regulating behavior and decision-making.

If we take a look at the brain, we can break the brain up into three major parts. The first part or outside layer is the neocortex, or new layer. This is the last layer to evolve. Going deeper we find the limbic system or emotional brain. Then at the core we find the reptilian brain. This houses our automatic responses such as breathing and instinctual actions.

This small but mighty reptilian brain has the capability to shut down the neocortex and take over. It can literally take the part of the brain where love resides off line. When fear triggers the fight or flight response, brain activity is transfer from the prefrontal cortex in the neocortex to the inner reptilian brain. This can happen when we feel stress or anxiety. In fact, in some people without the behavioral modifying prefrontal cortex keeping their baser impulses in check, can find themselves over-eating, compulsively shopping, gambling, or even turning to drugs and alcohol.

But more importantly to this discussion, stress or fear can weaken the neuro-connections to love. In fact, research at Mount Sinai School of Medicine found that chronic stress or focusing on fear shrivel the connections to the prefrontal cortex.2 Therefor the concept that there is only fear or love is scientifically valid.

To make matters worse, fear is actually stronger than love. When fear pops up, it disconnects the brain from love. However, the good news is that the neuro-connections to love can be regrown. By letting go of fear and anxiety, you get the added bonus of the greater capacity for long-term love.  -Taken from dawnmaslar article

YOUR THOUGHTS: The principle is simple: Throughout your brain there is a collection of synapses separated by empty space called the synaptic cleft. Whenever you have a thought, one synapse shoots a chemical across the cleft to another synapse, thus building a bridge over which an electric signal can cross, carrying along its charge the relevant information you’re thinking about. It’s very similar to how nerves carry electric from the sensation in your toe all the way up to your brain where it’s actually “felt”. 
Here’s the kicker: Every time this electrical charge is triggered, the synapses grow closer together in order to decrease the distance the electrical charge has to cross. This is a microcosmic example of evolution, of adaptation. The brain is rewiring its own circuitry, physically changing itself, to make it easier and more likely that the proper synapses will share the chemical link and thus spark together–in essence, making it easier for the thought to trigger. Therefore, your first mystical scientific evidence: your thoughts reshape your brain, and thus are changing a physical construct of reality. Let that sink in for a moment before you continue, because that’s a seriously profound logic-bomb right there.   -curiousapes.com.   

So, what does that mean: You are strengthening your brain with either LOVE or FEAR. YOU decide every second of every day what you are allowing to grow through your thoughts. You are either nurturing thoughts of LOVE or FEAR.

 

lovevsfearIN CLOSING
It’s true that there are only two primary emotions, love and fear. But it’s more accurate to say that there is only love or fear, for we cannot feel these two emotions together, at exactly the same time. They’re opposites. If we’re in fear, we are not in a place of love. When we’re in a place of love, we cannot be in a place of fear. Can you think of a time when you’ve been in both love and fear? It’s impossible.

We have to make a decision to be in one place or the other. There is no neutrality in this. If you don’t actively choose love, you will find yourself in a place of either fear or one of its component feelings. Every moment offers the choice to choose one or the other. And we must continually make these choices, especially in difficult circumstances when our commitment to love, instead of fear, is challenged.   –Elisabeth Kubler-Ross & David Kessler from “Life Lessons: Two Experts on Death and Dying Teach Us About the Mysteries of Life and Living”

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Begin today to become more aware of what you are telling yourself and what you are living–LOVE or FEAR. It truly is one or the other. Look at it for yourself. You either FEEL good or bad in anything you do, say or feel. Be aware and begin to truly LOVE yourself. This will then begin the beautiful circle that will surround you and all those in it.

LOVE. LOVE. LOVE.LOVE. LOVE. LOVE.LOVE. LOVE. LOVE.LOVE. LOVE. LOVE.

-Peace and lots of LOVE to you today. -H

To thine own self be true

Over the years I have taken quite a few personality tests and find them very fun. My cute sister sent me one to take & so I enlisted my family to all take it. So fun!!

It is interesting to me that a test that asks various questions can give such accurate output. I announced to my daughter that my personality only makes up 1% of the population. She beamed and instantly piped up, “You are very unique then!” I smiled. Then I was actually shocked that when my daughter took it (she is 13) she had the exact same personality as me! She then felt very special too.

I think anything that makes you look at yourself and helps you to find your strengths, your weaknesses, your characteristics and personality, is a tool that will help you to better yourself overall.  So, I thought this post would be fun to find some tools that would help you to become true to thine own self. Because when you get to a higher personal level, then you will lift others up to theirs.

620-360-smiling-shy-womanPERSONALITY TEST(S): So, go to 16personalities.com and take the personality test. Over 52 million people already have, so there must be something productive. I thought it was great fun!! Enjoy. Make sure you take the test and then look at the detailed personality type (once you know yours). Have fun!

Strengths Finder is another test that I have taken. http://strengths.gallup.com/110440/About-StrengthsFinder-20.aspx

635957612716911605893600755_ponderingSELF CHECK: Give yourself a ‘self check’ Maybe every once in awhile you need to sit down & ask yourself where you have had success and failure on a personal level. Maybe you have shelved some personal goals that you need to pull out of the closet and work on. Maybe you have been hiding out from your deeper self and avoiding a more purposeful path. Maybe you are not taking care of yourself physically. Here are a few questions in various areas of your life to check in on–Maybe stick with the basics–how are you taking care of yourself (physically)?  [Are you getting enough sleep? Are you exercising, taking vitamins, eating well, drinking enough water, getting outside, etc]   how are you taking care of yourself emotionally? [Are you putting up personal boundaries? Are you sharing feelings? Do you feel heard? How is your self-talk, etc]     how are you doing on a spiritual level? [Are you doing something to feel connected to something greater than yourself?  Have you found a ritual like meditation or yoga to calm your mind? Are you taking time to restore yourself? Are you taking time in nature? Do you have a religious or spiritual practice?]  how are you doing with close relationships? [Are you communicating?  Do you feel any resentments or harsh feelings? Can you share your feelings whether they are good or bad? Do you feel lifted and built up by the relationships you have or do they drain you?  Do you feel connected?]   how are you doing with family? [Are you taking time with your kids? Do you feel like you “know” them to some degree? Do you feel present when you are with them or are you busy on your phone? Do you invest by asking questions, taking time & having special activities you do together? Have you asked them what they need from you? and then truly listen].

learnsomethingneweverydayLEARN SOMETHING NEW: There is no greater way to get to know yourself even better than trying new things and seeing what lights you up!! Even if you just learned something new each day (a few tiny, fun facts) you will feel like you are growing to some degree. Trust me, I have done this. OR you can give yourself a bigger goal of climbing the tallest mountain in your state or maybe you just want to begin with the indoor rock climbing facility down the street. I think when you open yourself up to trying new, different, challenging, out of your comfort zone type of things, there is only one thing you will feel—growth & challenge. You will be able to look at various things and say, “I love that!” or  “I don’t really care for that & I don’t need to try it again.”

636048450500681240-1046652568_yourself-loving-yourself-first-quotes-loving-yourself-first-quotes-03verw-quoteLEARN TO LOVE YOURSELF: This is often a hard one for all of us, but if you don’t take the time to truly try to go within and find the self love you need, you will always be missing something. Can you look in your bathroom mirror and tell yourself, “I love you.”  I did a womens retreat & had small groups of women pass around a mirror and try to say that to themselves. It was overwhelming to see how many women broke down in tears ashamed they could not look in the mirror and say that to themselves. It broke my heart. I think we all have varying levels of self love and sometimes we just need to take baby steps to a higher awareness of the love we have and need within. Begin by finding something you DO love about yourself. Focus on that. Maybe begin to take a fun picture of the style you are wearing or your amazing pedicure. Maybe you love your smile or the way you make others feel. Little steps will help you focus on the little things you like & that will lead to the bigger things that will fill you up with more self love.

e08121407a7375a791e3da09e7170598ENJOY THE JOURNEY: Here is a great article I came across that has some good personal questions and fun analogies about finding purpose. http://www.lifehack.org/articles/lifestyle/how-find-your-lifes-purpose-and-make-yourself-better-person.html

Best wishes in your quest to be true to thine own self. Have a beautiful day. -H