• 20 Ways to De-Stress in 5 minutes

    It doesn’t take long to get totally freaked out and stressed out of your mind, does it? I swear it happens to me at least once a week. I’m afraid I locked my keys in my car! My wallet’s gone! When these types of daily scares occur, relief usually comes fast once you realize everything’s okay.

    But when stressors gain a foothold due to frustrations and overwork on the job or at home, returning to your comfort zone may be a challenge. Walking in nature will help, as will meditation. But taking time for those leisurely de-stressing tactics is not always available.

    Luckily, you don’t need a lot of time to regain your composure. Here are 20 de-stressing tactics that each can be performed in 5 minutes or less … some in as little a few seconds!

    1. Breathe … Slow, deep breathing for only a few minutes can dramatically decrease tension.
    BONUS TIP: The scent of lavender is a proven de-stresser. Mist a Natural Lavender Room Spray for an instant boost of calm.

    2. Brush … Stroking your skin with a dry brush stimulates nerve endings, which activates the parasympathetic nervous system and triggers a more relaxed state.

    3. Chew … Chewing gum can seem like a nervous habit, but actually it can relax you. A 2008 study at Swinburne University in Melbourne, Australia, found that chewing reduces the stress hormone cortisol in saliva by 16% during mild stress and nearly 12% during moderate stress.
    BONUS TIP: Gum chewing after a meal also helps reduce acid levels in the esophagus and can help prevent acid reflux.

    4.Count … Counting numbers gives your mind something neutral to focus on. This diversion can often get you on a more serene track.

    5. Discard … Clutter is more common in the 21st century than ever before, and being buried in stuff increases our level of stress hormones. It can overload our senses and even impair our creativity.
  • Grounding Ourselves

    Grounding Ourselves

    As a human being living on earth, it is important to learn to ground yourself in relation to your earth mother.

    We often hear people telling us to ground ourselves, but we may not be sure what that means and how we might do it. Grounding ourselves is a way of bringing ourselves literally back to earth. Some of us are more prone than others to essentially leaving our bodies and not being firmly rooted in our bodies. There's nothing terribly wrong with this, but while we are living on the earth plane it is best to stay grounded in the body.

    One of the easiest ways to ground ourselves is to bring our attention to our breath as it enters and leaves our bodies. After about 10 breaths, we will probably find that we feel much more connected to our physical selves. We might then bring our awareness to the sensations in our bodies, moving from our head down to our feet, exploring and inquiring. Just a few minutes of this can bring us home to bodies and to the earth, and this is what it means to ground ourselves.
  • Thought of the Day

    Health doesn't always come from medicine. Most of the time it comes from peace of mind, peace in the heart, peace in the soul. It comes from laughter and love.
  • Changing Seasons

    We can celebrate the change of season and shift our own energy by setting some time aside to make the same changes we see in nature.

    In today's world, office jobs and supermarkets have made it possible to work and provide for ourselves and our families regardless of nature's cycles. While most of us no longer depend directly on nature's seasons for our livelihood, our bodies' clocks still know deep down that a change of season means a change in us too. If we don't acknowledge this, we may feel out of sync, as though we have lost our natural rhythm.

    These days, autumn is more likely to bring thoughts of going back to school than harvesting, but in both cases, the chill in the air tells us it's time to move inside and prepare for the future.

    We can consciously celebrate the change of season and shift our own energy by setting some time aside to make the same changes we see in nature. We can change the surrounding colors by putting away our bright summer clothes and filling our wardrobes and living areas with warm golds, reds, and browns. While plants begin to concentrate their energy deep in the roots and seeds, we can retreat to quieter, indoor pursuits, nurturing the seeds of new endeavors that need quiet concentration to grow. We can stoke our inner fires with our favorite coffee, tea, cocoa or red wine. We can savor the rich, hot comfort foods this season brings: potatoes, apple pies, pumpkin, squash, and corn.

    As animals begin growing their winter coats and preparing their dens for hibernation, we can dust off our favorite sweaters and jackets and bring blankets out of storage, creating coziness with throw rugs and heavier drapes. We can also light candles or fireplaces to bring a remnant of summer's fiery glow indoors.

    By making a conscious celebration of the change, we usher in the new season in a way that allows us to go with the flow, not fight against it. We sync ourselves up with the rhythm of nature and the universe and let it carry us forward,
  • Human Being, not Human Doing

  • Energy of a Home

    Everything and everybody that enters your home creates an energy and leaves a footprint.

    Our homes are filled with energy that we create, generate and allow to flourish. Many times our relationship with the pulse of our homes is rather passive - not paying particular attention to the energy that’s been established.

    It’s only when we regard our homes as unique entities that we begin to understand why it is necessary to take charge of the energy that fills our homes.

    Stagnant, inharmonious energy can find its way into our dwellings through previous occupants, builders, visitors, handymen, caretakers, delivery drivers and more. When we’re aware of all that can influence the energy of our spaces, we’re empowered to create harmonious homes that go far beyond meeting the need for shelter.

    Exercising care with regard to who and what we invite into our homes is one of the easiest ways to ensure the energy within remains loving and supportive. It’s not always possible to do so, but we can keep certain spaces off limits. Guests don’t need to enter private spaces like bedrooms, home offices or meditation areas. Rooms and property can be purified through cleansing or smudging.

    We offer a natural smudge spray that’s been charged with positive Reiki energy and blessings. It’s convenient to use, smoke free and truly elevates the feel of your space making it feel light, bright and peaceful.

    A home can appear beautiful and comfortable while still serving as a dwelling for lower vibrations. During remodeling or construction, Reiki or religious symbols and other positive imagery can be drawn or painted on surfaces that will later be covered by paint, wallpaper or flooring. Though hidden, the imagery can continue to attract good vibes and cleanse stagnant, old energy. Blessings can also be drawn in plain sight, where they remind us of how potently our home's energy can affect our own.
  • Steer Clear of these Common Beauty Product Additives!

    When it comes to skincare and personal products, list of ingredients to avoid seems to grow longer by the minute. But that’s only because experts and consumers are becoming educated to the impact of some ingredients listed on our beauty product labels.

    *Consider this a cheat sheet of common ingredients to avoid*

    Formaldehyde. Decades of research classifies formaldehyde as a known carcinogen.... and its unfortuantely still a fairly common ingredient in hair straightening products, nail polish, etc.

    Thankfully, some retailers (including Whole Foods, CVS, and Target) are starting to ban products that contain formaldehyde from their shelves. But there’s a catch!

    While formaldehyde has become a well-known toxic ingredient to avoid, many don’t know about the lesser known ingredients that release formaldehyde formulated into some cosmetics.

    It’s unlikely you’ll actually see the word “formaldehyde” on an ingredient label, but it may sneak onto on your product label under a totally different name.

    Formaldehyde "releasers". Bronopol, DMDM hydantoin, diazolidinyl urea, imidazolidinyl urea, and quaternium-15 are cosmetic preservatives that slowly form formaldehyde. Steer clear of these!

    Synthetic fragrances. Heads-up! When an ingredient label simply says “fragrance” or "parfum" it’s usually an umbrella term for hundreds of chemicals brands aren’t required by law to disclose. Crazy! This makes it a lot harder for consumers to discern what’s hazardous and what isn't.

    Phtalates. One such sneaky compound hiding under the “fragrance” umbrella - phtalates. They're used to help perfume stick to skin, as well as eyelash adhesive and nail polish. That’s bad news, because phtalates ar pretty significant endocrine disruptors. In some cases they facilitate early puberty in girls and boys, and reduced sperm count in men.
  • Age Gracefully Through Each Season

    As we cultivate our life, our beauty becomes as much about what we are creating and doing as it is about our appearance.

    We tend to associate youth with beauty, but the truth is that beauty transcends every age. Just as a deciduous tree is stunning in all its stages--from its full leafy green in the summer to its naked skeleton during winter and everything in between--human beings are beautiful throughout their life spans.

    The early years of our lives tend to be about learning and experiencing as much as we possibly can. We move through the world like sponges, absorbing the ideas of other people and the world. Like a tree in spring, we are waking up to the world. In this youthful phase of life, our physical strength, youth, and beauty help open doors and attract attention.

    Gradually, we begin to use the information we have gathered to form ideas and opinions of our own. As we cultivate our philosophy about life, our beauty becomes as much about what we are saying, doing, and creating as it is about our appearance. Like a tree in summer, we become full, expressive, beautiful, and productive.

    When the time comes for us to let go of the creations of our middle lives, we are like a tree in autumn dropping leaves, as we release our past attachments and preparing for a new phase of growth. Children move on, and careers shift or end. The lines on our faces, the stretch marks, and the grey hairs are beautiful testaments to the fullness of our experience.
  • Presence

    How to stay present to life
  • Nature in Your Neighborhood

    There is a plethora of nature in every neighborhood, one only needs to become still to see.

    Because both cities and tightly packed suburbs offer wildlife bountiful nooks and crannies in which to hide, it can be difficult to spot the animals that live in our midst. Many thrive among paved streets, sidewalks, buildings, parking lots, and high-rises. There are animals in abundance burrowing in the soil of center medians and tiny backyard gardens, making nests in the trees that line broad and busy avenues, and buzzing round the flowers that beautify our parks.

    To find these creatures, we only need to stop, look, and listen. Nature's drama is continually playing out on the window ledges where weary birds stop to roost, in the shadowy places where cautious nocturnal mammals wait for night's mantel to fall, and the fountains where playful waterfowl splash and frolic. In observing the animals that share our habitat, we become a part of their beautiful, complex, and exciting world.

    Season by season, cities offer diverse ecosystems for you to explore. If your search for urban and suburban wildlife is challenging, try to look at your community with an animal's eyes. Where there are shrubs and flowers, insects such as butterflies, ladybugs, beetles, and spiders can usually be found. The insects, in turn, attract the birds who feast upon them.

    Even the smallest green spaces are hosts to squirrels, rabbits, chipmunks, and moles. Decorative awnings offer falcons a place to raise their young. At night, a different community of animals wakens to the world. Raccoons, skunks, and possums emerge to examine our human leftovers for edibles. Even pets feel the call of the wild--it's not uncommon for well-fed cats in colorful collars to stalk the streets in search of prey. Signs of habitation, like nests or hives, and audible evidence, like chirps, will help you find them.
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