An Open Mind Opens Opportunities

I believe I always have had a relatively open mind throughout my life. Many times this ends up providing me much favor. At the same time there have been times I was probably too closed to new experiences and I learned some hard lessons or missed out on something that could have been great. I’m probably like most people in this regard.

In recent years I have practiced yoga. Kundalini yoga. It is the yoga of awareness. So here is an example of where I did need to keep an open mind. I know I certainly felt silly the first time or two that I contorted myself into a pose which looked goofy or chanted something that sounded like I was singing a jungle animal to sleep. But what the heck- everyone else in this room looks and sounds just as silly as I do, so they can’t judge me! And the instructor went to great lengths to be certified in this age old practice. And the fact that it goes back to ancient times in multiple civilizations must mean something. Plus yoga has been a tremendous spiritual and health practice for centuries for many people in multiple cultures. So keeping my mind open to the possibility that I may not know everything, I decided to do all that I was instructed to do and focus on my “third eye”. Okee-dokey.

After probably a few dozen yoga sessions by different instructors, I began to notice that I felt very relaxed immediately following the session. And even if I doubted the effectiveness on myself, I did feel relieved that the worst thing I was doing- even if not fully achieving a meditative state — was trying to free my mind of clutter that surely doesn’t matter– even if for only a few minutes. That’s got to be a great benefit right there! 

But like almost anything we choose to do again and again, it became a habit. Thankfully, a good habit. And I became curious enough to read more about this and how it compares to other forms of yoga. I also spoke to instructors about their experiences and what it does for others. And at long last, I’ve come to enjoy and even need this calming practice on a regular basis. I now realize that it was my open mind in the first place that was the key to one of the greatest gifts I could give myself. The gift of mindfulness. 

My practice of keeping an open mind to new experiences has brought other great gifts to me, such as natural wellness solutions and a wonderful nutrition and health coaching course of study. I know these things will benefit me for the rest of my life. 

Openmindedness has also allowed me to have a fun time mountain hiking and rock climbing. Honestly, I wasn’t too wild about either of these ideas before I heard them. I know some people were just MADE for this kind of activity. I don’t happen to be one of them! You wouldn’t even find me at a sporting goods store unless I was under some level of duress. But now that it is all said and done, I have tremendous gratitude that I went ahead with it. Hiking, climbing, sweating, getting dusty. The immense serenity I felt while along God’s mountainous creation…the incredible pictures I captured…and the feeling of accomplishment as I struggled crawling up rocks alongside healthy adults half my age. I would have missed out on all of that had I rejected this idea completely. So grateful for another valuable life lesson learned.

And so for the next adventure life has for me, I will keep my mind open, try my best and look forward to new exciting opportunities of learning or experiencing something wonderful! 

What experiences would you have missed out on had you not kept an open mind?… 

    
   

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Are You Making Yourself SICK?

Worry girl Worry guy

If you think you are a “worry wart”, chances are you are. And if so, YOU may be making YOURSELF sick!

Worry may seem like something natural, a characteristic we are born with, or a genetic thing that runs in our family. And we just live with it because it’s “who we are” and “what we do”, so of course we can’t change it. Well, the fact is, that is just not true!

Studies have shown how worrying is a habit. What?! Yes, a bad habit of course. And we are in control of this habit of worrying. The truth of it is anything we learn, we can unlearn. So just like you unconsciously picked up the poor habit of worrying or becoming anxious, you can condition yourself not to worry. This is NOT an easy task. Nothing so important ever is. But it is possible! And it is important to our overall health and well-being. Our attitudes, quality of relationships and longevity all depend on how we handle stress in our lives. And here are a few of the things I’ve learned along the way to help me keep serenity at the center of my life.

My best method of de-stressing, calming myself and keeping balance even when things are at their worst – starts in my head. I have to intentionally play a “tape” of good things, and positive thoughts so I can turn the bad talk about myself into loving language instead. The secret is to talk to myself as if I am someone who LOVES me (not always an easy task.) We are usually willing to put in the effort to comfort a loved one, but we don’t generally make the same effort to be our own best friend. That really is the key. We need to do this same loving act for ourselves when we need it. And if you believe in a universal force or higher power that is an all-loving entity, it is very helpful to imagine what gentle and loving things such a compassionate being would say to you.

And this may sound silly, but I just read how petting your beloved animal (for me, it’s a shiny, sweet, black cat named Maxwell) can help lower your blood pressure. And in particular, hearing the purrs of a cat may have physiological benefits. Read more about that here.

Another course of action I take is diffusing a wonderful blend of Spruce, Rosewood, Blue Tansy and Frankincense essential oils. This blend is called Balance and it is extremely calming. It smells of the aromatic earth. In addition to having this in my diffuser almost nightly, I occasionally put a few drops on bottoms of my feet, heart, wrists or neck. The scent works in a very real way to bring me to a place of peace. There is a very scientific system at work when inhaling essential oil aromatic scents. Click here to discover more about this. To find out how to obtain some incredible essential oils, leave a comments here and I’ll be in touch with you.

Another important action I take to help relieve stress or anxiety is reciting the words or the Serenity Prayer. And actually not just saying it, but truly thinking about the meaning of each of the words. You’ve heard it before: “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” The wisdom of that short prayer is really incredible. For instance, when I used to become enraged at “dumb drivers”, I began to realize that I can’t control their bad driving habits. So I would have to ask for help to accept that I am driving in a major metropolitan area, and traffic is what it is. If I want to take another route, I may. And that may work out or it may not. But that is all I’m in control of at that moment: my attitude and my actions. So the anger at bad drivers serves no good purpose for my health or well-being.

This concept is actually so simple. But we tend to complicate it or talk ourselves out of following through with this simple prayer. Sometimes it may seem as if we just WANT to be angry or frustrated. And we may fool ourselves into thinking that if we are angry enough, the bad drivers will stop. Or even worse yet, we may think that allowing our anger to come out is actually healing and healthy for us. But I believe the opposite is true. And the sooner we know that, the better off we will be. I am not suggesting we stuff our bad feelings down and refuse to address them. I am suggesting we change how we think about things, so that the bad feelings don’t hit us in the first place.

I believe it takes years or even a lifetime of practice before “letting go” of the little things can seem easy to do. I mean, if it took years to build up bad habits of anxiety, anger, frustration or stress, it may take just as long to turn it around to achieve peacefulness and serenity in the face of challenges. But every time we try it, the worst thing to happen is that WE’RE TRYING IT! So after practice, practice and more practice, it may eventually transform into a good habit we have developed.

Is my serenity something that came naturally with no effort, and no worries ever? Heck no! There is no magic here. But over the past few years in particular, I have very intentionally surrounded myself with positive audio tapes, affirmations, uplifting radio programming, inspirational books, positive people, my favorite hobbies, etc. All of this fills my spirit, my head and my consciousness with good ideas, strategies, and thoughts so that when I get depleted, I don’t run on empty. Bad things can happen when we are running on empty. I make very real efforts to keep myself positive when things are GOOD, so that it’s less of a challenge to stay positive when things go BAD. Believe me, it’s easy (and habitual) to go down the dark path of negative thinking, and have the “bad tape” play in our heads. I did this and still do. But now when that starts happening, I can turn it around in my favor. I’m not perfect at this by any means, but I am far better at it today than I used to be.

My prayer and wish for you is that you put some new habits into practice. And learn more about it from these experts: Dr. David Hamilton has great information about worrying here. And more great help found here.

I invite you to share your experiences. I would love to know what tips you have found valuable for minimizing stress in your life.

Top 10 Ways I Use Lemon Essential Oil in My Home

You’ve probably sought out a cleaner with a “lemon fresh” scent when looking for a household cleaning product or disinfectant in your home. And sure, the smell of fresh lemon is very nice. But do you realize the many extraordinary benefits that are brought to us by our good, natural, organic, sunshiny, inexpensive, happy little lemon friends?images809IM0JP

I have the highest grade lemon oil in my hands. It is cold-pressed from the rind. In fact, it requires 3,000 lemons to produce one kilo of this essential oil. And these lemons are sourced from Italy, where lemons thrive best and have been harvested for many generations. I mean, trust me, I’ve been to the Amalfi Coast and Sorrento…and it is a lemon wonderland for sure!

Please check out this list of uses I have found for lemon essential oil. And tell me what YOU use it for!

  1. I put a few drops in room temperature water in mornings. Room temperature is better for your digestion, and if you have sensitive teeth or stomach, like me, it serves a secondary purpose.
  2. Put two lemon drops (or sometimes lime) in a favorite guacamole recipe. Very flavorful, without the bother of cutting a lemon.
  3. A few drops in a diffuser is so calming and relaxing. It’s a mood lifter and helps me to bring a blissful scent into the room, and into my life.
  4. Trying a few drops in hot water or tea can reduce phlegm in your system or help sooth a sore throat.
  5. I put a few drops on a cotton ball and set it in the back of your fridge for a fresher scent.
  6. I combine a few drops of Lemon with other important therapeutic essential oils into a vegan gel capsule to help me fight off dreaded viruses and bacteria. It kept the flu away all winter!
  7. I combine it with distilled water into a spray bottle and wash my counter tops with it.
  8. Put a few drops in the dishwasher, right along with the dishwashing tablet, for extra clean and shiny dishes.
  9. I put a few drops in my washing machine to act as a good disinfectant to our dirtiest clothes or wash rags.
  10. I spray that lemon/water spray on my sink sponge to keep it from going gunky too soon. Smells fresh and clean every time!

I believe the cleaning companies take their cues from nature. But why not skip the dangerous synthetic chemicals that are often rejected by our bodies, and stick with the TOTALLY NATURAL chemical compound that was put here by our Creator? Our bodies and plants are both carbon based. We speak one another’s language! Our bodies thrive when we feed on earthly compounds! To learn more about the health benefits of lemons, click here: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/283476.php. And to bring doTERRA essential oil or any other amazing oil into your life, leave a comment here and I’ll be in touch with you.

Frankincense: The King of Oils

I didn’t know what I was missing in my life until I found Frankincense! Someone told me that the “main job of Frankincense essential oil is to repair cells”, and that it may be used on a myriad of problems our body has. And hey, it’s not called “The King of Oils” for nothing. I now use it around my eyes to help keep wrinkles from forming, behind my neck (along brain stem) to keep inflammation away from my eyes and brain, at bottoms of my feet to get into my bloodstream quickly and help reduce inflammation in my entire body (I have rheumatoid arthritis), and it’s also a key ingredient in vitamins I take daily to enhance every cell in my body, and make me even more receptive to additional healing oils. If there is any chance of having “toxic” cells in my body — and heaven knows we live in a society FULL of toxins — I would like for Frankincense to be in my body fighting off bad cells on my behalf.

For more information about Frankincense essential oil, email my though blog comments, and I’ll be in touch!

Am I Sleeping Too Much?

I love sleep and I know how important it is. So I do all I can to get enough of it. A full eight hours most nights. But why does it feel like it’s sometimes not enough?

I’ve had some concern about this over the months as I was feeling tired more than usual. And yes, I’ve been tested for thyroid levels, and those T3 and T4 that I’ve heard about. I’m good. I just want more sleep is all! I’m not having interrupted sleep. Well, not excessively so anyway. Just my cat who decides he needs to vocalize for about four minutes straight in the middle of the night. (What is that all about?) But other than that — and the occasional potty break I guess — I’m good. I sleep well.

So I took to the internet to see what could be up with me. I discovered if the average adult needs 7.5 – 8 hours of sleep, according to a WebMD article I read, then I guess I may just be on the longer end of that average. Some folks may need less. I decided to give myself a break and allow for 9 hours of sleep when I can. When I’m awake I usually function well. So I don’t think there is a serious issue here. And when I read how important it is to get good sleep for overall health, I decided I should be happy that I’m listening to my body and giving it what it needs.

Read more about the need for good sleep here: http://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/features/adult-sleep-needs-and-habits.

And don’t deny yourself what your body may be craving in a nice long slumber!