Monday, November 20, 2006

Holiday Stress

Most of us really love the holidays -- planning, preparing, spending time with family and friends. One of the things we don't seem to plan for is the stress. But planning ahead to have a stress free holiday season is one of the most important things we can do for ourselves.

I always find it is a great idea to make lists of what I want to accomplish. I choose what I can comfortably do in a day -- and mark off and appreciate what I have accomplished. More importantly though I visualize what I expect the holidays to be like and anticipate in the joy in advance.

Rather than rushing through card writing, really concentrate on your feelings and truly connect with the person you are writing to. Celebrate in your mind the past memories you have shared.

Don't let the holidays pass you by -- really enjoy them -- all the sights, sounds and fellowship.

Each day do something simple but relaxing just for you -- even if it is only five minutes to drink a cup of tea.

This year let's commit to having fun -- and getting through the holidays stress free.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Happiness is a Choice

Why is it that we always look for happiness outside of ourselves? We try all sorts of activities, change our appearance, read countless books, etc. all trying to find happiness in the world, rather than within.

Author, speaker and coach Alexandra Watson has a wonderful site on creating lasting happiness. She is known as the "happiness coach". Happiness is something that needs to be cultivated from within. Only then we will find lasting happiness in our lives.

Please visit her site at

Have a happy day!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Creative Visualization and Your Future

Daydreaming is really an art form. Children know it instinctively and believe that they can achieve anything that they concentrate on long enough. As adults, we forget the power of daydreaming, of letting loose and letting our minds create limitless possibilities for our lives. We’ve let life and responsibilities interfere with our hopes of who we’d someday like to become, what we’d someday like to create and what we’d someday like to accomplish. We’ve allowed ‘someday” to be pushed so far out of our minds that we no longer believe we can achieve those things we dreamed about so long ago. defines daydreaming as “a dreamlike musing or fantasy while awake, especially of the fulfillment of wishes or hopes”. Without the ‘fulfillment of wishes or hopes’ life has little meaning. Instead we go through the drudges of life thinking that someday we’ll have time for ourselves, time to do all of the things we’d like to do, time to become the person we’d like to be.

The problem is that we’re caught in the middle. We’ve left our daydreams behind forgetting that life should be a fun and fulfilling journey. We’ve postponed our ‘someday” to when we retire, and we’ve left our responsibilities behind. Except that responsibilities are never left behind. That’s life; there’s always something we’re supposed to do. And so, we’re stuck in the middle, living life, going through the motions, with little time spent on fulfilling those dreams that once had so much meaning.

That’s when creative visualization and meditation techniques need to step in. That’s when we need to focus our concentration on becoming the best we can be. It’s time to let our imaginations go, follow our dreams and start on a journey of fun, fulfillment and self-actualization. It’s time to live up to our full and complete potential.

So what is creative visualization? And how does it relate to meditation? Creative visualization is simply setting our minds free, daydreaming and letting our creative thoughts flow. It is allowing our imaginations to run wild, setting us on a course of action we might never have taken. It’s about attracting into our lives those things that our hearts truly desire whatever they may be. Meditation allows us to reach a dreamlike state by relaxing our minds and slowing our brain frequencies. Together creative visualization and meditation allow us to focus on a life of fulfillment, a life we have first created in our minds.

Shakti Gawain in her book Creative Visualization talks about the steps of creating anything you would like to manifest in your life. The process is a simple one, yet one that leads to happiness, joy and the knowledge that we’re living life on our own terms. She defines them as:

1. Set Your Goal
2. Create a Clear Idea or Picture
3. Focus on it Often
4. Give It Positive Energy

Picture a goal you’d like to create or an outcome you’d like to achieve. It could be something material, a change you’d like to make, becoming more spiritual, improving your relationships – anything at all. Then form a clear mental image of that desire in your mind, complete with emotions, pictures, colors and as much detail as your can muster. Think of it as happening now, here in the present, already manifest in your life.

Throughout the day think of your desire, daydream about it, and meditate on it. It doesn’t take long, a few minutes here and there several times a day. Perhaps a morning and evening meditation with several minutes of quiet attention paid to that special desire.

Picture yourself as already having that desire, as already being, doing or having what you’d like to create. Let negative thoughts simply pass through without giving them any credence. Just concentrate on the positive, feeling it, seeing it, enjoying it.

Before long, you’ll start noticing some wonderful changes in your life. Things you’ve thought about will materialize; you’ll feel lighter and more relaxed; you’ll start accomplishing things you’ve always wanted to; your heart’s desire will begin to come true. You’ll be on a path of your own choosing; moving closer and closer each day to becoming who you’ve always hoped you would someday be. After all, isn’t that worth dreaming about?

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Ginger to the Rescue

For those of us who suffer from motion sickness, traveling can be a real problem. It doesn’t matter whether we travel by automobile, train, plane or boat; the result is the same. Overwhelming feelings of nausea, dizziness, and headaches prevail. We may even throw up. Closing our eyes and holding our heads steady may help temporarily – that is until we make the slightest movement. It also doesn’t help that after we’ve had motion sickness a couple of times, we assume we will again so are already waiting for it to happen.

Trying to focus on a particular object without moving our heads may give some slight relief. Breathing in fresh air and concentrating on our breathing also offers a bit of relief. But even after we’ve arrived at our destination, the feelings linger. It may take hours for these feelings to completely disappear.

Fortunately there is a natural remedy that has been proven over and over again to eliminate these sickening feelings when we travel. It’s Mother Nature to the rescue again. Its official name is Zingiber officinale; we call it gingerroot. The underground stem is what is used in health remedies and cooking.

Here are some wonderful benefits of adding ginger to your diet:

· Relieves nausea
· Relieves motion sickness
· Relieves dizziness
· Soothes upset stomachs
· Works as an expectorant for respiratory infections
· Supports the cardiovascular system
· Reduces inflammation
· Neutralizes stomach acids
· Limits flatulence
· Relieves muscle strain
· Relieves cold and allergy symptoms
· Stimulates circulation
· Relieves diarrhea
· Soaking in it relieves athlete’s foot
· Freshens breath
· Relieves stress

Fresh ginger can be sliced, minced or crushed. Ginger is available in pill or capsule form, powdered, crystallized and pickled. One of the great benefits to the pills or capsules is the ease in which they can be taken anywhere. Simply slip them into your purse and you’re ready to go. Ginger tea can be made by steeping the ginger is very hot water or you can purchase it in packaged teabags. Drinking Ginger Ale is also beneficial as long as it is made with real ginger and not merely flavored.

If you know you are going to be traveling it is best to start taking ginger the day before. It should also be taken approximately two hours prior to your trip. Continue to take ginger throughout your journey, and you will find that your motion sickness is a thing of the past.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Daily Motivation

I envy people who decide to make a change and then completely follow through as if it were so easy. I wish I was one of those people, but I’m not. I need continuous reinforcement. Whenever I want to lose a couple of pounds, start a new habit, get rid of some bad feelings or make any changes, I need to spend some time each day really focusing on what I want.

Do you feel the same way? Do you want to exercise more, create healthy recipes, meditate, lose some weight or start some positive, healthy habit? If you’re like me, you may need to zero in on one or two key goals you’d like to achieve, and then do something each and every day to motivate yourself.

It could be as simple as listening to some upbeat music that puts you in the right mood. Or maybe a special quote or joke will put a smile on your face and put you in the zone to accomplish what you want to. Perhaps writing the reasons your goals are important to you and then reading them several times a day will keep you motivated.

For me, I use a few different ways to motivate myself. I meditate each day and visualize what I want to create. I see it as if it has already happened. I also keep a list of all of my goals in my organizer and review them daily paying specific attention to the ones I want to work on that day. Listening to motivating tapes or CDs while driving also works great for me. In fact, I rarely listen to the radio. I prefer spending my driving time learning or listening to something uplifting.

So if you’re like me and need that continuous reinforcement and daily motivation, maybe finding a couple of ways to get yourself going each day will help. Constantly keeping your goals in front of you and focusing on them each day really helps to get that momentum going.

And, after all, you deserve to accomplish all that you desire in your life.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Give Up The Dieting

Dieting is an obsession, a way of life for most of us. We feel that if we could just stick to a restricted plan for a given period of time, we will get to our goal weights and that will be the end of the story. We calculate how much we can lose each week and how long it will take to get to that desired weight. The reward at the end of the road is another special meal or dessert. Something sweet would be wonderful, and we are already dreaming about how it will taste.

One of the primary problems with dieting is that we are looking for a quick-fix, a one-time solution to a long-term problem. We try every kind of diet imaginable, find it isn’t right for us and go on to the next one. All the time we are feeling lousy about ourselves and our self-esteem is gone with the wind. Each time we start a new diet we are already in a failure mode. After all, we’ve gone off of every other diet we’ve been on.

Because we never think long-term, we are doomed to fail. This overwhelming desire for a simple “get it over with now” approach has cost us years. If we had just stuck it out, we’d be where we should be, right? If we had just gone ahead and stuck to the diet, any diet, we would be at our goal weight – and we’d be happy for life. Well, even if we did manage to obtain that goal there’s still the problem of maintaining it – that’s another story.

The problem isn’t only what we eat but our entire lifestyle. Addressing only one symptom won’t give us a cure to what is ailing us. The only way to truly achieve our desired weight, to overcome our lifelong battle with food and finally be able to look at ourselves in the mirror is a change in lifestyle. It isn’t just the food that’s ruining our lives. It is our attitude and our way of thinking about the “cure” to this addiction of overeating in our lives.

We need to stop dieting. We’ve got to start thinking healthy lifestyle instead. One of the problems with this is that we like our lifestyle of eating anything we choose. But if we keep eating what we’ve always eaten, we’ll keep getting what we’ve always gotten – heavier and heavier. We need to once and for all make that difficult but magnificent decision to change our lives, not just the food that we eat.

Committing to a lifetime of healthy eating might seem a bit mind-boggling at first. We’re not talking about never eating those wonderful foods that we love so much – the ones that got us into all this trouble in the first place. We’re talking about a healthy lifestyle, a commitment to ourselves to be the best we can be.

Wouldn’t it be great to get up in the morning without hating ourselves? Think of all the things we could do that our weight prevented us from doing before. Think of all the things we could try that we were too embarrassed to try before. And what about having a great feeling about ourselves instead of having self-esteem that’s been trampled into the ground.

Maybe it’s time we forego the diet. It’s time to let go of the past and move towards a great future. We’ve already given up enough years to this obsession. So let’s pursue a healthy lifestyle instead.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Let the Sun Shine

Not everyone is a morning person, raring to go bright-eyed as they wake up each morning. I must admit that I am a morning person, loving to accomplish lots of stuff before mid-morning. But I live with a bunch of night owls -- who much prefer doing things later in the day.

So what's a person to do? I find that leaving the windows open, regardless of the temperature really helps to perk up everyone's morning. If the sun is shining, what better way to wake up those sleep eyes than to have golden rays and beautiful colors glimmering outside your windows. Even if the sun doesn't shine brightly, the sounds of nature are just too good to ignore. Besides that, a cool morning breeze just feels wonderful.

When you wake up feeling great and enthused, your day is much more likely to follow suit.