Sep 18 2017

Gratitude: The Wonder Drug for Depression

Category: Gratitude,Health & Wellness,Inspirational QuotesPatricia @ 4:03 pm

medicine cabinet

 

The essence of all you appreciate is constantly flowing into your reality. As a creator, you create with your thoughts. When you are thinking about what you like or enjoy, you are in the process of creating more of it. When you become more aware of the moments of your life, you engage your senses. You are grateful in the now moment. You appreciate the good that is happening now or you recall the pleasant memory of the past. When you are in this state of awareness, your brain is producing neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine.

When you are feeling grateful, an area of your brain stem region produces dopamine, which increases your enjoyment of what you are experiencing. In addition, when you are feeling gratitude toward others, it increases activity in social dopamine circuits. You enjoy people more and social interactions are more fun. Another area of your brain, the anterior cingulate cortex is busy producing serotonin. This neurotransmitter affects your mood; your appetite and digestion; your ability to sleep; your memory; and your sexual desire and function. Serotonin inhibits impulses so you are better able to control your bad habits. When you are depressed, you lose control. Anti-depressants such as Wellbutrin and Prozac boost the neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin.

In his book, The Upward Spiral, Dr. Alex Korb addresses the research which has found that gratitude is a powerful anti-depressant. He acknowledges that scientists don’t fully understand depression, but they know it relates to neurotransmitters produced in the brain.  Depression also relates to the prefrontal cortex, which is used for critical thinking and decision making. In addition, the limbic system is involved. This system includes the emotional center of the brain, the amygdala; and the hippocampus, which plays a role in the formation of new memories. Depression affects brain functions which inhibit our ability to heal.

Korb explains how we keep ourselves in a downward spiral when we focus on negative thoughts. Anxiety about the future and worry about things we don’t want reinforces the depressed brain. Remember, you must focus on the now moment, the only moment there is. Bad memories or self-criticism about past behavior are in the past. Let go! You must focus on what you want, not on what you don’t want! Why spend your valuable thought energy on creating negative circumstances which create negative emotions?

Pay attention. Focus on gratitude for your physical body. Acknowledge that it is constantly in your service, no matter how you treat it. Focus on gratitude for your loved ones and their presence in your life. Feel the love. Focus on gratitude for the experience of life. Appreciate your talents, skills and abilities. Know that you have within you everything you need to create the life you want. You can choose to focus on gratitude and benefit from the positive effects in your brain and your physical body. You can choose the upward movement. You can rewire yourself so that it’s easier to feel the positive emotions which produce positive results.

Melody Beattie says, “Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.”

Apparently, gratitude is a better anti-depressant than Prozac or Wellbutrin. And gratitude has no negative side effects!

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Jul 05 2017

Telomeres Are Telling on You

Category: Health & Wellness,Positive ThinkingPatricia @ 5:34 pm

ALT TAG

 

You may be guilty of killing your cells! Destroying the building blocks of your body! And you may be doing it without even knowing! Researchers have found that negative thoughts can lead to premature cell death. You don’t want your cells to die! Dead cells equal aging! The lifespan of a cell is dictated in part by a cellular structure called a telomere. The telomere protects your genetic data and helps cells to divide. But, every time a cell divides, the telomere gets shorter. After a while, it becomes too short and it is unable to divide. When this happens, the cell dies.

In addition to negative thoughts, it’s also been noted that hostile thoughts shorten these cellular structures. This leads to premature aging of cells, which means premature aging of you! A recent study published in Journal of Behavioral Medicine found that cynical men had a much higher risk of heart attack and stroke. When compared to less skeptical people, those who think cynical and hostile thoughts create a negative impact on their telomeres. This impact results in high levels of cardiovascular disease, metabolic disease, and depression. Hostile, cynical people die at a younger age.

Maybe you’re not hostile, but are you pessimistic? In research from 2014, investigators measured pessimism and telomere length in 490 men. Not surprisingly, more pessimistic men have shorter telomeres. And size matters! In another study, researchers found that pessimism could not only create poor health, it could cause an illness to progress at a far faster rate. When pessimists developed cancer or heart disease, they died sooner.

Perhaps you’re guilty of over analysis? Even though something may have happened years ago, you continue to analyze the situation. This miserable and purposeless rumination can kill you! Let it go! Forgive! Agonizing over the past creates anxiety and depression, which leads to production of high levels of cortisol, the stress hormone. You are shortening your telomeres, slowly killing them. And you know what happens next…

The good news is that you can take action to lengthen your telomeres and keep them functioning for a longer period of time. The actions are not difficult or demanding. You’ve probably heard it all before. I’ll remind you again. Control your stress. Sleep. Exercise regularly. Eat foods that are high in antioxidants, vitamin C and vitamin E. Practice mindful meditation. Think good thoughts. I’ll repeat. Think the thoughts that make you feel good. Hopeful thoughts. Loving thoughts. Forgiving thoughts. Focus on what you want. Focus on the positive. It’s not just about the lala woowoo everybody be happy now. It’s about your health and longevity. And you contribute to it. One way or another.

Your thoughts matter! Negativity. Cynicism. Hostility. Pessimism. Rumination. Stop. Just stop. Stop hurting yourself. Your thoughts influence your actions. Your thoughts influence your health. Your thoughts create your reality. Now you know better. Do better.

 

 

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Apr 24 2017

A Dose of Vitamin Earth

Category: Energy Body,Health & Wellness,ShamanismPatricia @ 1:58 pm

 

 

 

forest bath

 

Earth Day is the largest civic event in the world, celebrated simultaneously around the globe by people of all backgrounds, faiths and nationalities. If we don’t take care of the planet, she cannot take care of us. And we are all in this together!

We live in a very modern, technical society. We have come to believe that we are somehow different than our primitive ancestors…more advanced…more civilized. We have a different relationship with the natural world. We are disconnected from the source of our food. We spend most of our time indoors, cut off from the benefits of sunlight on our bodies and the earth beneath our feet. Do you realize that in the past 20 years, childhood has moved inside? The average American kid spends as little as 30 minutes each day in unstructured outdoor play.  They spend more than 7 hours each day in front of a television, video game or computer.

Physical bodies are bioelectric machines; they operate on electrical impulses. The heart and brain are obvious examples of this. Every movement of your body or thought in your mind is a vibrational frequency and an electrical transmission. Your body is meant to come in contact with the Earth. It is a grounding force.  When you are surrounded by electromagnetic waves, Wi-Fi and cell phone signals, positive electrons can build up in your body. Have you heard of free radicals? When we do something as simple as walking or sitting barefoot outside, we have direct contact with the Earth’s surface. This balances us in the form of a negative grounding charge.

Research shows that being grounded benefits the body in many ways. We need the Earth’s electrons for our well-being…just as our ancient ancestors did! We are a part of nature. We are connected with Mother Earth. These negative electrons benefit your body in many ways. In fact, they appear to be foundational for general health. When these negative electrons are deficient or missing, health problems can occur. It’s as if we need a little Vitamin Earth every day as a nutritional supplement! Sustained contact with the Earth’s natural subtle surface electric energy can reduce inflammation and pain.

In Japan, people are encouraged to participate in shintin yoku, or forest bathing. A study began in 1982 has shown that spending time with trees improves well-being, reduces stress and depression. This time in nature boosts the immune system. In fact, a walk in nature even boosted working memory much more than walks in urban environments.

There are definite physical and psychological benefits derived from the practice of communing with nature. It decreases anxiety and elevates your mood; it improves self-esteem. Studies have also found that natural beauty can elicit feelings of awe, which is one of the surest ways to experience a mental boost. Among people who work in an office, even a window with a view of nature is associated with lower stress and higher job satisfaction.

I encourage you to do a little “Earthing” to celebrate this Earth Day. Take some time to lay on the ground and feel the Earth beneath you, supporting you. Imagine growing roots out of the bottom of your feet and feel yourself securely planted in the ground. Stake your claim. When your roots are strong; when you feel supported…you are able to create an abundant life. You reap the fruits of your labor.

My message for Earth Day is this: We are one. We are connected. Spend some time with your Mother. Do something nice for her! She gives you everything you need, including life itself! When you honor the Earth, you honor your life. And you also honor your children and your children’s children. You make a statement that your action is a belief in the future. Come into right relationship with your true mother… Mother Earth, Mother Nature, Gaia, Pachamama, Parvati, Terra, the Cosmic Mother. Earth Day is something to celebrate Every Day. Go bathe yourself in the forest.

 

 

 

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Mar 09 2017

Do This. Live Longer.

Category: Health & Wellness,Positive ThinkingPatricia @ 1:33 pm

happy face

 

An optimistic outlook helps you live longer. Expecting good things brings good things. Positive thinking is a powerful medicine…with no negative side effects! A new study from the Harvard School of Public Health states that case. It was found that factors such as optimism, life satisfaction and happiness are associated with a reduced risk of cardio-vascular disease. This reduced risk is regardless of other factors such as smoking or weight or age.

Eric Kim, research fellow in the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences and co-lead author of the study said, “Our new findings suggest that we should make efforts to boost optimism, which has been shown to be associated with healthier behaviors and healthier ways of coping with life challenges.” It may be that higher optimism has a direct impact on our biological health. Apparently scientific studies show that more than any other factor, it is positive thinking that enhances longevity.

The science of happiness is increasingly suggesting a link between happiness and health. A study analyzed data from 2004 to 2012 from 70,000 women enrolled in the Nurses’ Health Study. Josh Richardson in an article in Prevent Disease reports that “The most optimistic women had a 16 percent lower risk of dying from cancer; 38 percent lower risk of dying from heart disease; 39 percent lower risk of dying from stroke; 38 percent lower risk of dying from respiratory disease; and 52 percent lower risk of dying from infection.”

It appears that optimism, happiness and good health go together hand-in-hand. Scientific studies have been finding that happiness can make our hearts healthier, our immune systems stronger, and our lives longer. Positive thoughts actually affect and enhance our cellular structure.

Do you want to live longer? Do you want to be healthier while you are living? And just what is optimism? The dictionary defines it as “a disposition or tendency to look on the more favorable side of events or conditions and to expect the most favorable outcome”. It’s about focus on what you want and the belief that it is possible. If you don’t believe it is possible, you don’t have faith in the outcome. Optimism is a state of having positive beliefs. It is based on confidence, enthusiasm and trust. Remember, a belief is simply a thought you think over and over.

You may be aware of some thoughts about optimism which are part of our culture. Thoughts like, “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” “There are plenty of fish in the sea.” And of course, “Look at the glass as half full instead of half empty.” I prefer to think of my glass as re-fillable!

You can write your own prescription for this “miracle” of longevity. Your optimism can be altered with a few simple interventions. Remember everything begins with a thought. And everything good begins with a good thought! Lao Tzu tells us, “Be careful what you water your dreams with. Water them with worry and fear and you will produce weeds that choke the life from your dream. Water them with optimism and solutions and you will cultivate success.”  Life is but a dream.

Give your attention to what you want by acknowledging and focusing on the positive things taking place in your everyday life. Be present in the now moment. Focus on your loved ones. Enjoy the beauty of nature. Watch a funny movie. Read an inspiring story. Become more aware of the moments of your life and engage your senses as you appreciate the good, exciting and notable events happening. The essence of all you appreciate is constantly flowing into your reality. When you pay attention, it becomes obvious.

What are you choosing to think about? Remember there is no one else in your head but you. You are creating the thoughts. And the thoughts are creating your reality. And apparently the thoughts you are thinking are also determining how long you’ll be around to think about things.
 

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Feb 21 2017

Hyperarousal is Not Sexy

Category: Health & Wellness,Self-Meditation & MindfulnessPatricia @ 2:31 pm

 

saber.1

Are you hyperaroused? That sounds kind of sexy, but it isn’t. Hyperarousal or acute stress response is your body’s response to fear. What are you afraid of? The world can be a very scary place. We all have fears. Some of them are real. Some are imaginary. But the mind doesn’t know the difference between what we perceive as reality and what we imagine. The body doesn’t know the difference either. The body perceives imaginary fear and responds with the same reaction as it would to a real threat. Although our bodies are amazing, they are primitive and fragile. In order to protect ourselves, we are genetically wired to perceive danger and impending threats to our physical well-being. We are wired to act according to our perceptions in order to maintain not only our own body, but the genetic heritage of future generations. And we are also wired to recover from the fear and return to a state of homeostasis. It is a beautiful system designed to insure the basic survival of the organism – you.

Perhaps you know hyperarousal by another name – the fight-flight syndrome. It is a physiological reaction that happens in response to a perceived attack or threat to survival. In primitive times, if you confronted a saber-tooth tiger or some other beast, you had two choices. You could run as fast as possible to get away from the danger. Or you could choose to find a weapon and put up a fight. Your body reacts to fear, perceived or real, with a discharge of the sympathetic nervous system, releasing norepinephrine and epinephrine to create a boost of energy and muscle response. Your body releases cortisol, which increases blood pressure and blood sugar. Estrogen and testosterone are released, along with the neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin.

While all these chemicals are flooding your body, your heart rate accelerates and your skin may flush or pale. Your stomach and upper intestinal tract slows down or stops. Digestion is put on hold. Sexual functions are not functioning. Your blood vessels constrict and your pupils dilate. You may suffer from a relaxation of your bladder or your anal sphincter. You could suffer the temporary loss of your hearing. Your peripheral vision may fail; you only have tunnel vision focusing on the object of your fear. You may experience shaking. Your awareness is intensified. This surge is responsible for the super-human strength of a mother who lifts a car off of her child or a hero who walks into danger to save another.

This ability serves us well, but it has a cost. When we are on guard against a threat, our body’s natural defenses wear down. When we suffer from frequent stress – or when we frequently perceive life as stressful – an essentially healthy response to stress can become distress. The fight-flight syndrome bypasses our rational mind and moves us into the primitive mode of survival. Everyone is a possible enemy. We overreact from a place of distorted thinking and fear is magnified. When we are stuck in survival mode, our consciousness is focused on fear, not love. We are overwhelmed with stress and lose the ability to relax as we deal with a series of emergencies. We become skilled worriers, a condition brilliantly described by Mark Twain who said, “I’ve experienced many terrible things in my life, a few of which actually happened.”

All external circumstances affect how the body reacts internally to stress. In our modern world, driving in heavy traffic on the freeway can create the conditions that illicit the same response as being face-to-face with that saber-tooth tiger. Watching the evening news can create a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease. It can instill fears about an imagined imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome. Fight has become anxiety. Flight has become depression. There is much evidence that a cumulative buildup of stress hormones can lead to disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome and high blood pressure. Disorders of the immune system can create autoimmune diseases such as lupus and allergies and a susceptibility to infection and chronic fatigue.

And all external circumstances also affect how the body recovers from stress; the rest-digest response, or the relaxation response. When we make the effort to change our external environment (our perceived reality) by getting out of toxic, harmful relationships or soul-crushing jobs, we take action to make our environment spiritually safer. When we choose to change our perceptions of our reality – viewing our difficulties as events which make us stronger, wiser and better – our attitudes and reactions change.

The relaxation response is a physiologic response which you can create whenever you want. When you’re walking or doing a repetitive exercise, focus on a positive word such as “love.”

Practicing yoga can quiet the mind. Focus on the breathing can trigger relaxation almost immediately. Singing, chanting or prayer is beneficial. Being mindful of your life experience can be a form of active meditation which elicits the relaxation response. Walking on the beach listening to the waves or watching the flickering flames of a fire can be as peaceful as focused meditation. The important thing is to practice going within whenever you have the opportunity. With practice, everything becomes easier and more automatic. Practice now so you’ll be ready when you need it. You don’t throw yourself off a boat in the middle of a stormy sea to learn how to swim. You learn to take care of yourself in quiet and calm waters, like a lake with no ripples. A quiet mind opens up your perceptions. It makes you more aware of what is happening around you. A quiet mind helps you to make positive choices. It helps you to stand in your own truth. It frees you. You are strong and prepared; ready to handle whatever comes your way.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Jan 10 2017

Getting To Be Healthy

Category: Health & Wellness,Meridian TappingPatricia @ 11:51 am

 

Joyful jump

Well-being makes you jump for joy!

 

Healing is not nearly as complex, difficult and mystical as we’ve been taught to believe. Healing doesn’t necessarily require outside help, prescription drugs or a doctor’s advice. Healing is an inside job. Healing happens when we minister to ourselves; when we attend to our needs. Consider this: healthy = heal-thy (self). In order to improve or repair our health, we must give ourselves time to mend. It is our own responsibility to nourish and nurture ourselves.

Healing doesn’t happen by itself. Change requires effort and commitment. Goals and plans may be difficult to achieve. But so what! Stop whining! This is your life! Your life has value. It is worth living up to the fullest potential. In order for optimal change or healing to happen, four essential elements need to be present.

 

 
1 – You need to decide that you deserve to heal. Whether the healing is physical or emotional; whether it is mental or spiritual, you deserve to heal. If you need, forgive yourself. You need to tell yourself that it is possible to change. You need to set an intention to get out of your own way. Often we sabotage ourselves and block the process of healing. First, accept that you are the only one who can grant yourself permission to heal.
2 – You need to become aware of the problem; to understand the cause of the problem. Once you become aware, you can not become unaware. You become more conscious of your behaviors; your actions and reactions. When you become aware, you are able to let go of blocks and limitations. If you don’t recognize that something is standing in your way, you continue to trip over it.
3 – You need to know what you don’t want. When you recognize what you don’t want, you are better able to gain clarity around what you do want. You are then able to focus on new possibilities and options. Your perceptions change. When you change your perceptions, you change your actions and behaviors.
4 – You need to release the old in order to realign yourself with the new intentions. What does that mean? Your thoughts, beliefs and actions carry an energetic vibration. Consider how you feel when you are fearful. That is an energetic vibration. Now consider how you feel when you are joyful. That is also an energetic vibration. Feel the difference? Using energy modalities such as Emotional Freedom Techniques and other meridian based therapies help to release the old energetic resonance and realign your energy system with the new intentions. I can help with this. I can teach you how to do it.

 

To be healthy is to be whole – spiritually, mentally, emotionally and physically. When you are healthy, you are in a state of balance and harmony. Many of us want to get healthy. We want less stress. We want to exercise more. We want to eat more nutritious food. We want to lose weight. We want to rest. We want to let go of toxic relationships. We want to take better care of ourselves. We want more fun; more love. Give yourself permission. Set the intention now. Getting healthy is a good thing. Getting to be healthy is even better.

 

 

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Nov 24 2016

Direct the Dream

 

3rd eye thought

 

Even if you don’t play golf, you have probably heard of Jack Nicklaus, the professional golfer who is nicknamed The Golden Bear. He is widely regarded as the greatest golfer of all time, having won a total of 18 major championships during the past 25 years.

And whether you play golf or not, you can benefit from one of the techniques Jack Nicklaus used to become such a great golfer. Obviously, Nicklaus has certain athletic abilities which he has refined and developed. He has done the physical work to become great. He has also done the mental work. Not only has he used his subconscious mind to stay focused and visualize the desired outcome, he has used his subconscious as a sports clinic. There is a story told about a dream he had when he was not performing well. When he analyzed the dream he figured out why his game was off. He had a dream where he was really owning the links; playing better than he had in a long while. After analysis, the champ realized that in the dream, he was gripping his club differently than he was doing in real life. He said, “I tried it the way I did in my dream and it worked. I feel kind of foolish admitting it, but it really happened in a dream.”

Your subconscious mind knows more than your conscious mind. You can trust it to guide and direct you. Besides, it’s going to do it even if you don’t trust it! Your subconscious mind is the 88% of your mind that is directing your motivation and behavior. It is also your goal-achieving machine. Your subconscious mind speaks to you in images. You can also speak to and direct your subconscious mind through images.

Dr. Denis Waitley has done studies where athletes are connected to a biofeedback machine during visualization. When they imagine going through a practice or performance, the studies show that the same muscles are engaged as if they were actually doing the exercise. Remember, the mind doesn’t know the difference between what you imagine and what you perceive as reality. Using hypnosis, guided imagery and visualization trains the mind to achieve automatic reactions and responses. When doing this, all senses are engaged. Effective visualization uses sight, sound, taste, touch and emotion. This can give an athlete (or anyone!!!) a renewed level of self- confidence.

The meditative state which is achieved by self-hypnosis allows one to give instructional self-talk to improve specific techniques or skills, athletic or otherwise. Well-known sports figures Kobe Bryant, LeBron James and Tiger Woods all have meditation practices. Tell yourself, “Keep your knees bent.” “Chin up.” “You can do it.” According to sports psychologist Antonis Hatzigeorgiadis, “The mind guides action. If we succeed in regulating our thoughts, then this will help our behavior.”

When Jack Nicklaus had his dream, he trusted himself and his own inner guidance. He acted on his inner wisdom. When you go within, (whether in the dream state, the meditative state, the hypnotic state, whatever you want to name it state) you transcend conscious thought. You achieve a heightened state of focused concentration, effortless calm and confidence. You let go of the outside reality as you know it. This state of mind keeps pressures and distractions from harming you. When you go within, you know everything. This is the beginning of dreaming and from this point you can direct the dream. Trust yourself. Believe in your dreams.

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Oct 17 2016

Plan Backwards

Category: Choices,Control,Health & Wellness,Motivation,Weight ManagementPatricia @ 11:39 am

plan-backwards

 

 

When we set a goal, we think about it as a future event, situation or experience. We set a date. It is something in the distance…a destination at the end of a journey. One way to move forward to meet a big goal is to plan backwards.

When your goal is complex or requires the passage of time for completion, you need to break it down into more “doable” goals. A doable goal requires less time to see the results. It’s important to recognize the successful completion of every step along the way to your success. Remember, there is no express elevator to achieving success. You have to take one step at a time. Recognizing your progress helps to motivate you to continue. You have the end in sight. Setting up step by step goals can also help you to be more aware and conscious of any changes or deviations that need to be made.

Let’s say you want to lose 20 pounds for an event that is three months away. Obviously, this is not a goal you can achieve in a weekend. In order to lose the 20 pounds, you need to start planning backwards to break the goal down into little, easily achievable goals. Imagine that you want to lose 2 pounds every week. This is a doable goal. To lose 2 pounds, you need to cut your caloric intake or increase your caloric burn. It requires 3500 extra calories to gain a pound, which means that it would take 7000 less calories to lose those 2 pounds. If you break that down, you see that you need to eliminate 1000 calories each day to achieve your goal. This is a doable goal. Many people eat 3 meals and at least 2 snacks every day. If you decrease your intake each time you eat by just 200 calories, you’ve done it! You have successfully taken a big, overwhelming goal and you divided it into very small, achievable goals. You are able to achieve a small goal multiple times during the day. When you check your weight after seven days, you are able to celebrate your success. If you did not lose the anticipated 2 pounds, you are able to make an adjustment to insure your success next week. You keep your end goal in mind.

When you commit to your success, you will be able to achieve your goal in just 10 weeks!!! You might want to consider beginning this goal right now. There will be no need for New Year’s resolutions. You will be happily dancing your way into the New Year weighing 20 pounds less than you do right now!

Planning backwards helps you to move forward for all kinds of big goals. Consider a big goal you may have. Perhaps you want to take that dream vacation or buy a new car. Begin saving today. If it’s a goal, you will find a way to take action. If you can’t find a way, than it is not a goal… it’s just a wish. And after time, it may become a regret.

Make a commitment to your goal. Take the first step to succeed in your plan. Keep your goal in mind and follow the steps backwards until you have reached the beginning, which is where you are right now. Get excited about what you plan to accomplish because without excitement and enthusiasm, you’ll lose sight of your plan and you won’t move forward. You can do it!

 

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Jul 18 2016

Adding Fuel to Your Fire

Category: HabitsPatricia @ 11:52 am

 

fire-jpg

 

You are unique in all the world. But…do you compare yourself to others? Do you watch reality TV shows like The Bachelorette or Keeping Up With the Kardashians? Are you keeping up? Or do you feel as if you have fallen behind? Do you have a fabulous wardrobe? Are you attending trendy events? Are you being pursued by a number of attractive, eligible bachelors? Maybe you’re tuning into home improvement shows or viewing outrageous real estate for sale? Do you look around your home and think, “What a dump!” STOP IT! Stop comparing yourself to others in a negative way! When you feel envious of other’s success, you can quickly decrease your own happiness. You can make yourself feel like a failure. Yes, you. STOP IT! When you feel the negative emotion of envy or jealousy, you lower your personal vibration. You actually put yourself in a vibrational place where you will attract what you don’t want …to fail. You will not attract that success you desire by thinking of yourself as less than others.

However, positive comparison is a different story. It can be helpful if you’re comparing yourself to another by admiring them rather than being jealous of their success. It’s a different vibration. When you admire, you are adjusting your vibration to match that of your successful friend. When you admire, you also imitate. Remember, imitation is the most sincere form of flattery. If your friend is being promoted, study his habits and behaviors at the office. What does he do to create that success? Is he responsible? Innovative? Helpful? Emulating him may help you. Or what about your friend who is the picture of perfect health? When you compare your habits to hers you may realize why. You may notice that she takes a walk every day at lunch while you sit at your desk and munch on snacks. Join her for a walk. If you want to be like her, do what she does.

Note the similarity or dissimilarity between your actions and the actions of others. If you want to have more of what they have, do more of what they do. Learn from them. They have something you want. How did they get it?

When you compare yourself to others in a healthy way it can fuel your determination to become more successful. This is one of the reasons why groups like Alcoholics Anonymous and Weight Watchers help so many people to achieve their goals. It is positive comparison.  We begin to think, “If they can do it, so can I!” We see that it is possible to achieve what others have achieved. We begin to change our beliefs about what is possible. We see better when we stand on the shoulders of those who have been there before us. Believing it is possible makes it so. When we compare ourselves to others in this way, we fuel the fires of our determination to do better; to be better.

And consider this…the images you watch on TV and in social media affect your view of your world and your place in it. They help to create your beliefs about your reality and it is not always a positive influence. If you really want to affect your reality, turn off the TV and all those outside communication devices. Or do a little research on the people you want to emulate. They may have lessons for you. And, most of all, I invite you to go within. The images are far more fascinating and beneficial to you. And your imagination is always the best source of fuel to feed your fire.

 

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Jul 05 2016

Afraid Of A Frog

Category: Fears & PhobiasPatricia @ 11:31 am

 

 

 

frog

 

Mark Twain was a wise man who gave advice in a colorful yet simple way. One thing many of us need advice about is how to conquer our fears. The little every day fears. The ones that creep into your head first thing in the morning when you wake. Those things left undone; or unsaid. Those tasks that you may not want to do. The ones that make you feel uncomfortable or doubtful. Or the ones that seem too big to handle. Maybe it’s something that needs to be done at home. Maybe it’s a work thing. Maybe it’s something you need to do for yourself. Most of us procrastinate because it scares us or overwhelms us. It’s just too hard to deal with it. We don’t know how to start. Mark Twain tells us, “Eat a live frog first thing every morning, and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.”

Eating a live frog is disgusting and YUCKY!!! I can’t imagine anyone enjoying that! But Twain was not being literal. The frog is your task. The yucky task. The one that needs your attention. But maybe the task is not yucky. Maybe it’s your thinking that is making it feel that way. Maybe the results of finishing the task are wonderful!

When you procrastinate eating your frog, you create a new set of problems. It’s impossible to concentrate on other things. You’re distracted. You can only think about the frog you need to eat later. Besides, when you put things off, you give yourself time to imagine every possible thing that could go wrong. You focus on the difficulty. You resent the time you need to spend on eating the frog. You want fast food! And now the frog seems bigger and more complicated. You may begin to resent the frog and everyone connected to it. You are focusing on what you don’t want!

When you eat the frog early in the day you gain a sense of accomplishment. You take care of what you want. You feel proud of yourself for having done that. It’s a great way to start the day feeling successful. Finishing that necessary task gives you the momentum you need to do other things. Everything is easy compared to the dreaded frog. Take care of the priority. Allow yourself to feel all the positive emotions connected to accomplishing the task. Confident, successful, happy. You may feel lighter after having let go of the burden you have been carrying.

Frogs can get very heavy and cumbersome. They can become difficult to handle and weigh you down. Have the courage to eat the frog. Even if it’s scary, get the yucky stuff over with and move on. Feel the satisfaction of having conquered your fears. And recognize that you always have the power and the control to focus on what you want, not on what you don’t want. And then enjoy the rest of the day!

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Jun 14 2016

Focus on the Inside

Category: Fears & PhobiasPatricia @ 10:29 am

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Sometimes in life outside events influence who we are and who we become. When we experience global or national tragedies, we are affected by the emotions of all those concerned. The truth is…we are one. And when some of us are hurt, all of us are hurt. There is a connection. A coherence.

This week, an act of violence was committed by one individual. Yet many souls were affected by it. A heart does not beat solely for the individual. It beats for all those who love that individual. And when that heart stops beating, everyone feels the pain; the loss; the empty place. It hurts us. We ask, “Why?” We feel helpless. What can we do to stop this violence? How do we stop the hate?

We may look to our elected officials. We ask for more laws. We fear. We look for those that are different. We create suspicion. We look outside of ourselves. We will never find peace by looking outside. We will never know harmony in the outside world of society, unless each individual is living in harmony with their inner world.

When tragedy strikes, people come together. Love reigns supreme. We help each other. We pray for each other. We focus on what we want. We focus on what is best for everyone concerned. Labels are eliminated. We are one people. Human Beings.

The truth is…we know how to stop the violence. We know better. We know how to stop the hate. It’s an inside job. And scientific research has proven it to be so.  More than 600 research studies conducted at more than 200 independent universities in 30 countries have demonstrated the profound benefits of practicing meditation. It has been demonstrated that the square root of one percent of a population practicing meditation in one place is sufficient to neutralize negative tendencies and promote positive trends throughout the whole population. This is known as the Maharishi Effect, first demonstrated by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi who introduced Transcendental Meditation.  This phenomenon is also known as the Field Effect in the science of Physics.

An experiment took place in the summer of 1994 in Washington DC. It was predicted in advance that there would be a decrease in violent crime by 20%. This prediction was sent to all the major news media and over 1400 scientists and politicians in the region. The Washington chief of police responded by saying that the only thing that would decrease crime by 20% would be 20 inches of snow. At the time, crime was rising by 10% per year. As the experiment started, the group of advanced meditators started growing gradually. By the end of the experiment, violent crimes were down by 23%. The chance that this close relationship between meditators and decrease in crime could have been due to a coincidence was less than one in 500 million.

Normally your attention is directed outside of yourself. The focus is away from “I am”. Instead you focus on the things you observe, do, or think. You lose yourself in the world around you. When you allow your mind to come to a state of true silence, where you don’t observe, do or think anything, the mind comes home. True silence is simply being you. If there is one formula for success in life (both material and spiritual) that all ancient cultures agree on, it is “Be yourself.”

Ancient wisdom tells us that simply being yourself is the way to a higher divine reality. When you create a higher divine reality for yourself, you influence the field of reality outside of yourself. When the world outside is going crazy, go inside. It’s the best thing for everybody. It’s the place where you are totally in control of your world.

 

 

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May 17 2016

FoMO? What’s missing?

Category: AddictionsPatricia @ 4:13 pm

homer fomo

 

Have you heard of FoMO? It means “Fear of Missing Out”. Perhaps you or someone you know suffers from this. I notice it all the time. Although it’s been around since time began, it’s become quite rampant in our society. We are actively programming our children to participate in the behavior. Remember, children learn what they live.

I’m sure you’re familiar with the term RSVP. You’ve most likely seen it on a formal invitation to a party or event. It is French for “Respondez Sil Vous Plait”, which translates to “please respond”. Its purpose is to allow the host to plan for the appropriate number of guests. It simply insures there is enough food and drink for everyone to enjoy; and a big enough space to accommodate the party. The proper thing to do is to respond with your intentions and to do it in a timely manner. It is the considerate and courteous thing to do. Lately, FoMO has taken its’ toll on RSVP! People hesitate to respond or make a commitment just in case something better comes along. We don’t want to miss out! We can’t commit until all options have been considered.

Dr. Dan Herman, who coined the term FoMO says “FoMO is experienced as a clearly fearful attitude towards the possibility of failing to exhaust available opportunities and missing the expected joy associated with succeeding in doing so. Simply put, it is concentration of attention on the empty half of the glass.”

With everyone equipped with a mobile device and access to social media such as Facebook and Instagram, we are immediately aware of all the options that are available to us. Communication is on a 24/7 basis. We worry that we don’t have the time or money to take advantages of the opportunities. FoMO has evolved in the past century because of several recent ideologies such as feminism and capitalism. We have the ability to choose based on our sense of self-worth. We are busy pursuing careers, family life and social activities. We actively pursue hobbies. We move around, relocating to new places, exploring new possibilities. We are quick to respond to opportunities and easily adopt to new technology, upgrading on a regular basis. Our lives are spent constantly on the lookout for new experiences and instant gratification.

Dr. Herman’s research shows that approximately 70% of all adults experience FoMO to various degrees. Coping well with FoMO can lead to positive behaviors which impact financial and social success. Almost 30% of FoMO sufferers cope well with it. They are able to use it in a positive manner. About 25% of those are somewhat unhappy with their lives but manage to function well. Sadly, a little over 15% of those are miserable; unable to cope effectively with the fear.

I’m a little afraid of FoMO. I think it can become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Remember, you always get what you are thinking about. You manifest what you focus upon. When you are busy trying to exhaust all options, you can miss out on everything! Life is happening in the now moment. FoMO creates paralysis about the future. It creates indecision and doubt. When you are driven by FoMO, you are unable to commit to anything or anyone. Every commitment means you are giving up something else…and maybe its better. Perseverance is non-existent. Life is completely out of control.

I recently had the experience of visiting with a friend. Although I know she was very happy to be present, she was anxious about what else was happening. She didn’t want to miss out! She needed to check her Facebook feed whenever she was prompted. She needed to read posts. She needed to post what she was doing. She needed to respond to text messages. She needed to keep track of the scores for her favorite team. She needed to read her email. What she needed to do was to relax and put the phone down!!!!!!  There is a lot of pressure to keep up. And there is no need to do so. I invite you to step away from the addiction to know about everything that is going on in the world. If you focus on what matters to you, you won’t be missing out on anything. If you focus on what is happening in your inner world… rather than the world outside of yourself… you will not miss out on anything.

There is an ad running now on TV where a family loses their internet service for a minute. Everyone exhibits stress. The young girl glumly states, “Something has just happened in the world and we have no idea what it was.” Most of the time when something is happening somewhere in the world, it doesn’t matter. All the time when something is happening in your world, it does matter. Pay attention. You are creating what you fear. You are missing out. You’re focusing on the empty half of the glass.

 

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Feb 08 2016

Self-Acceptance Feels Sexy

Category: SexualityPatricia @ 9:43 am

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Do you love and accept yourself? Some may answer with a resounding “yes!”, while others may hesitate. Maybe you could agree that you love yourself, but perhaps you’re not in agreement with the acceptance part. That one is a little more difficult for most of us. We think we could be better. Smarter. More attractive. Maybe you make some judgments about your physical appearance. You don’t like your weight or the condition of your body. Your legs are too short. Your belly is too fat. You’ve always been self-conscious about your nose. Maybe you’re just old. Or you judge your financial status, your career or something else that doesn’t measure up to your beliefs about who you “should” be.

We judge ourselves based on the images and information we receive from our family and our society. We are all programmed to be who we are. We decide how we measure up to others. We give ourselves a rating from 0 to 10. We determine if we are worthy enough to find a mate. Or to even get a date! We are reminded of it every year around Valentine’s Day. Do you realize that 80% of finding someone comes down to being your most attractive self? This means that if you are being the best you by taking care of yourself, being well-nourished and growing in your life, you will radiate joy. Being joyful is very attractive! The remaining 20% is simply putting yourself in places where you can meet the right people.

Our society encourages us to judge and compare ourselves to the overt sexual messages around us. Reality shows have been created where multiple contestants vie for the attention of one member of the opposite sex. You know the ones I’m referring to. Judgment and competition is encouraged. And rewarded. Sexual images abound on TV and in movies. Even puppets/Muppets are sex symbols. The Kardashian family has created an empire based on Kim’s sex tape. Sex is rampant in our society. Unfortunately, intimacy is not. We like to watch others and make judgments. We like to judge sexuality. We decide if someone is dressed “too sexy” or if they are “too fat” or “too thin” or “too young” or “too old” to even be considered sexy. If talking about our sexuality makes us anxious and fearful, how can we expect to be comfortable with enjoying it?

Sexuality can be a part of us where our acceptance of our self is a bit fuzzy. Lines are blurred. We have been programmed by many different images and stories. We have developed desires. What we learned at home or at our place of worship may conflict with the media images which fill our world. Your subconscious mind is in control of your fears and inhibitions. Your thoughts are reinforcing your beliefs which are creating your perceived limitations. Your past programming is responsible for your present pleasure. What excites you (or doesn’t); how you get excited (or fail to be aroused); who excites you and why, are all pieces of the puzzle.

In my practice of helping others to achieve health and well-being, I focus on encouraging and building self-love and self-acceptance. Self-confidence is a wonderful side effect of love and acceptance. Through the power of the subconscious mind, you can align with a new and improved version of your self. You can learn to let go of false beliefs. You can learn to love and accept all aspects of your magnificent self. That’s when true “sexy” happens! Are you ready to embark on a journey of discovery to find increased intimacy and pleasure? All you need to do is give yourself permission.

 

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Nov 24 2015

Give Thanks. Sleep Better.

Category: HabitsPatricia @ 10:36 am

sleeping dogs

The official celebration of gratitude that we call Thanksgiving is now upon us. As a society and a nation, we must believe gratitude to be very, very important. It is SO important that we proclaim a day just for the purpose of giving thanks. We set aside an entire day to focus on gratitude. But Thanksgiving Day has become more than that. Or maybe it’s become less. Now it’s a day of not only feasting, but feasting to the point of gluttony. On Thanksgiving Day, Americans eat more food than on any other day of the year! And now, the observance of the holiday also involves frustrating travel scenarios and hours of traffic; football games; “I Love Lucy” marathons on TV; and the beginning of the holiday shopping season. It seems that we have lost sight of Abraham Lincoln’s original intention. During the Civil War, in 1863, he proclaimed a national day of “Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens”. The dictionary defines thanksgiving as “the expression of gratitude, especially to God”.

When we are grateful, we raise our consciousness and increase our connection and mystical union, whether in or out of meditation or any other spiritual practice. Whether you believe in God or not, apparently, it would benefit all of us if we actually practiced gratitude every day of the year. Research has suggested that people who are more grateful are happier, less stressed and more satisfied with their lives and their relationships. Grateful people also appear to have higher levels of control of their environments, growth and purpose in life. They have more positive ways of coping and finding solutions to their problems. And this is something we can all benefit from – grateful people sleep better! Maybe it’s because of the happy thoughts before sleep. Thankful is defined as a state of being “pleased and relieved”.

Studies have shown that the longest lasting effects of any kind of gratitude practice are associated with the act of writing a gratitude journal. A gratitude journal doesn’t have to be a big deal. Simply make note of three things every day that you feel grateful about. Something as simple as “I am grateful for my health” or “I am grateful for the love of my family”, can help you to focus on what is really important in your life. Writing in a gratitude journal can make you more optimistic about the future. Studies show it can make you exercise more and live a more healthy lifestyle. It has been reported that those who consciously practice gratitude are more enthusiastic and more determined to make progress towards personal goals. “Counting your blessings” actually is a blessing itself!

Melody Beattie says, “Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow”.

Setting aside time to give thanks for one’s blessings is a practice that will serve you well. You don’t need anyone else to tell you that it’s officially time to do this. Do this every day. Get yourself a little book to keep by your bedside. Just before you go to sleep take a moment to reflect on your day. Consider the blessings you have received on that day and make note of them. Take a moment to acknowledge the good that is flowing into your life. Recognize the source. Celebrate the abundance of the life you are living. All is well.

 

 

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Nov 13 2015

Do It Now! And Do It Every Month!

Category: HabitsPatricia @ 4:04 pm

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What would you like to do? Is there a project you’ve wanted to start? Is there a place you want to explore? A book you want to read? A friend you want to visit? Why aren’t you doing it? What’s your excuse? What is standing in your way? Don’t tell me you don’t have the time. We all can make the time for something that is a priority to us. If it matters, it gets done. You always find time to eat, don’t you? Maybe you need to ask yourself why your wants and needs don’t matter.

It is my habit to invite you to try new things or change your point of view, but today I am going to challenge you instead. That’s right! A challenge. Like a dare. Or even a double dare. I want to challenge you to live a more joyful life. How do you do that? It’s really very simple. Each one of us likes to do, be and have what makes us happy. It’s different for each one of us. But each of us knows what those things are. We dream of them. But sometimes we will not get out of our own way to do the things we want to do! It takes effort. It takes planning. It takes focus. But I must remind you of why it is worth the effort, planning and focus. It brings joy. It brings joy. It brings joy.

Each month you can take an opportunity to make yourself a priority. You can go to the top of the list. You are more important than anyone or anything else. Can you do that? Once you give yourself permission to love yourself enough to make yourself a priority, decide how you will do that. Here’s the simple challenge…

Choose one activity every month that you would enjoy doing. You have unlimited choices here. Use your imagination. The only criteria is that you choose an activity that you enjoy. Now, get out your calendar and schedule it. Make the commitment. Put yourself on the calendar in the same way that you would add a dentist appointment or a business meeting or any other thing you may need to do. Set a date with yourself. Allow a certain amount of hours or days to enjoy your date. Your desires deserve equal time. You are very important to yourself.

Do this as a priority every month for the rest of your life. Write it down. Set the intention. Value yourself more and make an investment in a better you. There is no need to deny yourself or create limitations. Your desires exist for a reason; to push you to become better, stronger, wiser. More. Desire is the fuel of life. It is the fire in your belly that makes live worth living; the enthusiasm that gets you moving. Do it for yourself. And do it for others. Because when you are joyful, you bring more joy to the world.

Will you accept my challenge? Begin it before the New Year arrives and you bring out your old resolutions. Begin it now!

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Oct 21 2015

Pleasure Yourself … Make the World a Better Place!

Category: SexualityPatricia @ 4:43 pm

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Have you ever experienced some form of pleasure that literally made you moan and cry out…“Oh God!”? Okay, so there may have been a time when chocolate was involved… but more than likely the moment that came to mind was a sexual moment… a moment of physical ecstasy. Just thinking about it feels good, doesn’t it? Try as I might, I can not recall any sensation that compares with the wonder and the glory of the physical pleasure of orgasm.

Sex is a gift. An incredible gift to be savored, appreciated and shared often. It’s like a reward. A special bonus we receive for putting up with all the unpleasant physical things we may experience. We endure the pain of headaches, backaches and fibromyalgia. We cope with runny noses, stuffy noses and bloody noses. We leak, we drip, and we drool. As women, we get the added joy of PMS, menstruation, childbirth and menopause. We tolerate frequent urination, constipation and irritable bowel syndrome. Of course we’re irritable! We often have to deal with all manner of physical challenges in our daily lives. And we need a break.

I think the Grand Master of the Universe decided there should be some compensation for living with all our leaky, messy parts… so orgasmic pleasure was thrown into the mix of fluids and goo. In the excitement of it all, we share sweat and spit. Gushing stuff flows from our bodies. Although clean-up may be a bit of a chore, I don’t mind a little wet spot. I think it’s worth it, don’t you?

Our impulse for pleasure is never wrong. Pleasure is the way the body expresses well-being. We find pleasure by satisfying our senses in many ways. We enjoy the bounty of nature: the vibrant colors; the majestic beauty; the serenity. We are inspired and delighted by the emotional expression of art and music and create joy in the process of creating and appreciating it. We take pleasure in the flavors and textures of our favorite foods: sweet, savory, smooth, creamy, crisp and crunchy. We relish finger-licking, lip-smacking, melt-in-your mouth yummy. And we like to share.

Each of us finds pleasure in their own unique way, but I think it’s likely that most of us will agree that we find pleasure when we experience sex. Orgasmic pleasure transcends all others. It’s pretty special. It is mind-altering, knee-wobbling, breath-gasping joy made even more delicious because it is communion.

I read where researchers have proven that orgasm occurs in the mind as well as in the body. Were you aware that when orgasmic energy is created in the two hemispheres of the higher brain… it results in an altered state of consciousness? Physical bliss may actually create connection with the Divine. Maybe that’s why we cry out “Oh God!”

As physical beings, we are biologically programmed to pursue and receive sensual pleasure. We think sexy thoughts and our bodies respond with a flood of hormones.   Equipped with sensitive buttons, gearshift knobs and zones of delight, we are perfect machines built for pleasure. And pleasure continues to get better when we are comfortable with the operating system. In fact, you can actually pleasure yourself to a state of better health and well-being. Did you know that if you have 200 orgasms a year, you can reduce your physiological age by six years? How about that! Sex will not only put a smile on your face, it will give you a face-lift! Better than Botox!

Sex rewards us with a feeling of well-being in our body. We are filled with endorphins, our pleasure hormones. We feel really, really good! By delighting our senses, we are connected to joy and happiness. By experiencing bliss, we are creating health.

Is it selfish or hedonistic to focus on the pleasures of the healthy, physical body? Perhaps not. Each one of us is responsible for creating our own life and our own vision of joy and happiness. We will receive exactly what we are thinking about. Whenever we are focusing on something, we are creating it. As we focus on that which brings us well-being… as we focus on love and pleasure… we are actively creating a positive force in the Universe.

I think the world needs more love and pleasure. I think we need to focus on the good things. And I think the world definitely needs more of the “Oh, God!” moments, don’t you? I plan to do my part to create more joy! How about you? What are you waiting for? Go indulge in a glorious act of creation. Go create bliss. Do it enthusiastically. Do it often. Come together. You’ll be happier. The world will be a better place.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Oct 15 2015

Breathe More Eat Less

Category: Weight ManagementPatricia @ 1:25 pm

Patricia-El Mata

Studies show that just twenty minutes a day focused on calming thoughts is very beneficial. It decreases the risk of hypertension, reduces chronic pain, and can reverse the loss of brain cells that occur from prolonged stress. It even turns off the mechanisms that increase your appetite! Sitting, breathing and not thinking can actually help you to lose weight. Imagine that!

Your breathing is controlled by your subconscious mind, part of the sympathetic nervous system. You don’t have to think about breathing. It just happens. But that can be a problem. When you get stressed, your breathing changes. Your breath feels different. It becomes more shallow and faster. It moves from your lower belly to high in your chest. In the meantime, the stress is causing your adrenal glands to pump out the hormones needed to manage your anxiety. You are now in fight-flight reaction, ready to attack the saber-toothed tiger or run back into your cave. Your bloodstream is filled with the toxins of fear and your muscles are tense.

After that ordeal, you are hungry. Over time the adrenaline and cortisol hormones that are released create a buildup of belly fat. Isn’t it ironic that weight loss plans cause stress because they involve changes in behavior? And scheduling time for a workout adds even more stress? And then there is the stress of realizing that your pants are too tight! Why does this happen? Thousands of years ago, when people were faced with starvation, the stress would activate this fat trigger to keep us alive. Unfortunately, our bodies have not adapted their reactions to modern day life. They can’t tell the difference between life-or-death situations or traffic on the way to work. Whether it is physical, emotional or mental, conscious or subconscious stress, it releases cortisol into your body. Cortisol makes you gain weight and stops you from losing weight.

Breathing is not stressful! In fact, it is not only absolutely essential to life, it is enjoyable! Try it right now. Take a big deep breath. Inhale as fully as you possibly can. And then exhale fully. And again. Doesn’t that feel good?

Sitting comfortably and focusing on your breath is actually a form of meditation or self-hypnosis. It helps you to center yourself. You always benefit from going within and getting in touch with the human being who is you. Allowing this time to breathe in balance and harmony between body and mind is very beneficial for creative thinking and intuitive knowledge. You may not be able to devote twenty minutes every day to this practice, but surely you can give yourself at least five!

As the holiday season of over-indulgence begins, I suggest you become more mindful of your breathing. And also become more aware of how you are nourishing yourself. Take the time to start each meal with five deep breaths. Become mindful of the food; note the aroma, the colors and textures. Practice a moment of gratitude for the abundance of the earth. Set an intention about wellness and health. Breathe in the fullness of life. Breathe out any stress.

 

 

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Jun 29 2015

Five Monkeys & A Ladder

Category: HabitsPatricia @ 7:04 pm

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A paradigm is defined as a standard, perspective, or set of ideas. It is a model of the way things are. A paradigm is a way of looking at or thinking about something. It’s a belief system. When you change paradigms, you change how you think about something. You change your mind.

There are paradigms in the workplace, at home and in schools. Paradigms exist in different forms in different cultures and communities. Individuals are often unaware of how or why things are done a certain way. Each one of us makes the agreement to follow the paradigm with little or no conscious choice. We accept. How does that happen? How is a paradigm formed? Consider this story about a society of monkeys.

A group of scientists placed five monkeys in a cage. In the middle of the cage, they placed a ladder with bananas on the top of it. Every time a monkey went up the ladder to get a banana, the scientists sprayed the other monkeys with cold water. Individual monkeys considered the banana worth the risk. After all, they were not in danger of being sprayed. But every time a monkey went up the ladder, the others got angry. They knew they would be sprayed so they attacked the one on the ladder. Eventually, none of the five monkeys dared to go up the ladder regardless of the temptation of the bananas.

Scientists then decided to exchange one of the monkeys for a new monkey. Of course, the first thing this new monkey did was to go up the ladder. Immediately, the other monkeys beat him up. The new monkey was confused. After several beatings, he learned not to climb the ladder. Even though he didn’t know why the other monkeys acted that way, he accepted their behavior as normal.

After some time, a second monkey was substituted and the same thing occurred. This time the first new monkey eagerly participated in the beating of the second new monkey, even though he didn’t know why. Then a third monkey was exchanged and the same things happened. The fourth monkey was substituted and the beating was repeated. Finally the fifth monkey was replaced. This monkey was the last of the original group who knew the reason behind the beatings.

What was left was a group of five monkeys who shared a paradigm about ladders and beatings. They shared a belief that it was impossible to reach the bananas without punishment. They had been negatively programmed to behave in a certain manner. Even though this group of monkeys had never received a cold shower, each one of them had received a beating. Each one continued to beat up any monkey who attempted to climb the ladder.
If it was possible to ask the monkeys why they would beat up all those who attempted to go up the ladder, I bet the answer would be….“I don’t know – that’s how we do it here”.

Are you doing the same thing over and over? Are you beating yourself up? Or others? Do you know why you’re doing it? Was it a conscious choice your made? Was it something you determined or was it something you accepted? You can always change the way things are done. You can create a new paradigm that begins with a new thought. It’s okay to go to the top of the ladder and enjoy a banana! Tell the others there is no need to be afraid. There is an abundance of bananas – enough for everyone. There is no need to attack others. It won’t hurt you or anyone else when you make a conscious choice. Determine your own life experience rather than accept a paradigm that does not serve you.

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Jan 14 2014

Crossing Monkey Bars

Category: Pain ManagementPatricia @ 4:08 pm

“Letting go of a painful experience is much like crossing monkey bars. You have to let go at some point in order to move forward. “ ~ C.S. Lewis

monkey-bars

Do you deserve to be angry? Are there circumstances in your life that are unjust? Have you had an experience where you were treated badly? Maybe you deserve to be sad too! Or frustrated. Or disappointed. I’d like you to consider that even though circumstances may create a right to be angry, you also have a right to be happy instead. You deserve it.  Letting go of negative thoughts and the emotions they create is always in your best interest.

Do you realize that whoever you are angry with or whatever you are angry about is not experiencing the results of your wrath? But you are!!! When you’re angry with your boss, or spouse, or kid, or government…they don’t suffer what you suffer. When you think angry thoughts, your body suffers. You may grind your teeth or clench your fists. You may experience flushing, paling or sweating. However you feel your anger, it’s much like the fight/flight response of survival. Stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol flood through your body. Your amygdala, the part of the brain that deals with emotion, is going crazy. It wants to act! And it wants to act right now! Meanwhile, the frontal lobe which controls reasoning, is desperately pulsing to balance it out. This is why it’s a good idea to count to ten before acting!

If you constantly think you deserve to be angry, this state of response can start to cause damage. Your nervous system is overworked and can eventually become overexerted. You can potentially damage your heart, your liver and your kidney. Anger may also be accompanied by depression or anxiety. Chronic anger can create disease and early death.

“If you let go a little, you will have a little peace. If you let go a lot, you will have a lot of peace.” ~Ajahn Chah

I’d like to remind you that you deserve happiness and joy. You have a right to experience a life filled with the good stuff. Make a decision now to let go of the thoughts that create anger or any negative emotions. You are only hurting yourself. And that’s just not right. You deserve better.

 

 

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Jul 23 2013

An Angel Takes Flight

Category: AddictionsPatricia @ 5:39 pm

Pre-Flight

 

Jane made a splash. A big one. She was a flashy, splashy woman and I was honored to call her my friend. She had a mane of flaming red hair which at times reached to her waist and was her crowning glory – her trademark. Damn, it was as vibrant at 60 as it was at 16! It was one of Jane’s statements. At her best, tall, thin and statuesque with legs that went on forever, she could have stepped out of the pages of Vogue. But Jane wasn’t always at her best. But who among us, can say they are always at their best? She had some demons. We all do. Sadly, Jane’s demons had a thirst for alcohol.

Years may have passed between contacts, but time stood still in the space of sister-friends. We met in high-school and were semi-roommates during college in Boston. She lived in a studio apartment on the floor below me and the other sisters. Life happened. I met my husband and moved to California. Jane went to New York City to become a production director.  Visits were sporadic but the connection remained. In the past 8 years, it blossomed.

That connection is linked to a little cottage on the Connecticut shore – a symbol of childhood and roots with the past. I visited the cottage at the beginning of summer. Usually a time with the promise of long lazy days and starlit nights, now a time of ending.  It feels so wrong. Jane is gone. Tragically, she passed at the beginning of the year. We all knew it was coming. A freight train out of control, we didn’t know how to stop it. A little time bomb of pain in a bottle. Her beautiful body ravaged by the years of too much… There was a fall, an ambulance and life support. Then there was no more. We all knew Jane did not want to get old.

We gathered on East Dock to scatter her ashes where the current keeps the seaweed away. The site of many midnight skinny-dips and daytime dives, it is a childhood sacred space.  We remembered Jane perched on one of the pilings preparing to dive. Always in a bikini and wearing it well. Wind-blown hair. Graceful, elegant beauty. Summer in New England.  Her favorite season. Her favorite place. Her people. We set about our sad task of letting her go.

Annie placed the ribbon-wrapped box on the piling. We cried. When Jane’s ashes were tossed, for a very long moment, they appeared to be suspended in air – a farewell dive – an angel taking flight. There was form that rode the current of the air and then there was a splash. A big one. And for a moment, the bits of matter that remained of Jane’s form lay upon the sacred waters that she loved so much. And then she was gone. Gone from our sight but not gone. We are eternal. In Hafiz’s poem, God’s Bucket, we are told,

Your existence my dear, O love my dear, has been sealed and marked, “Too sacred,” “too sacred,” by the Beloved – to ever end!

Indeed God has written a thousand promises all over your heart that say,

Life, life, life; is far too sacred to ever end.”

Our spirit may be eternal, however, as physical beings, we leave behind physical things. The cottage and all its contents remains. Waiting to be re-claimed.  Along with the sister-friends, I visited Jane’s closet. I could remember her wearing these things as we visited on the porch or while she was throwing one of her extravagant, sumptuous dinner parties.   I was delighted to retrieve a few things, a little piece of her.  And when I wear them, she’s with me. We had a fine time in Palm Springs. We wore a pair of floral-patterned sheer pants with an ivory top and drank a martini.  I loved Jane. I loved her light and her shadow. She passed away too young after a life of raising hell and doing good, loving deeds.

As we travel the circle of life, we are never alone. Relationships are forever. Once you establish a relationship, it is an eternal relationship. In a lifetime, people come and go. Some stay to leave little footprints on your heart. Be mindful of the gift of their presence before they dance away.

God’s Bucket by Hafiz

If this world was not held in God’s’ bucket

How could an ocean stand upside down on its head and never lose a drop?

If your life was not contained in God’s cup

How could you be so brave and laugh, dance in the face of death?

Hafiz, there is a private chamber in the soul that knows a great secret of which no tongue can speak.

Your existence my dear, O love my dear, has been sealed and marked, “Too sacred,” “too sacred,” by the Beloved – to ever end!

Indeed God has written a thousand promises all over your heart that say,

Life, life, life; is far too sacred to ever end.

 

 

 

 

 

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