Light Bulb Moments

New York Times

Taking Compassionate Action

Turning Points — Wealthy America, please choose compassion over money!🙏❤️

 
“Turning points, while they often come from moments of darkness, can steer us in the direction of great light… or light-bulb moments.” – Richard Branson
No Fear Friday is a weekly campaign advocating Inclusiveness, Love, Possibility and Compassion. Please like and share if you feel it – follow us on Instagram, Twitter, Medium, Facebook – Namaste. 🙂 

Five for Fighting Anxiety

Photo Courtesy of Unsplash

“Anxiety – got me on the run
Anxiety – yeah, I just need someone
Anxiety – can’t get nothin’ done
Anxiety – spoils all the fun”

— Lyrics from the song ‘Anxiety’ by Pat Benatar

Practices for a less stressful and more glorious day.

We all have anxiety. How could we not? Anxiety has become the commonality in the fabric of our 21st century lives. Reading news headlines, raising our families, our work schedules and participation in a rapidly technologically advancing society  — has saturated our minds, making it difficult, or seemingly impossible, to relax and recharge.

We call it different things. Worry, stress, overwhelm, nerves, unease, uncertainty, tension — Anxiety has become an epidemic.

In December 2016, NBC News reported “One in six Americans take some kind of psychiatric drugs — mostly antidepressants,” That is more than 16% of Americans — a staggering number, alarming to adults and increasingly dangerous to our children.

This is a call to action, for the world, for America and especially for our children.

An anxiety disorder when medically diagnosed by a qualified medical doctor disorder should not be ignored, or downplayed, in the arena I’m addressing here. If you are experiencing or have experienced trauma or feelings of suicidal or harmful thoughts, please seek professional help or go to your local emergency room.

What I attempt to address in this article is our basic need to take better care of ourselves, our families — including our elders and our children.

We’ve become a society that doesn’t stop. We have an onslaught of medical and non medical people that try to manage our anxiety for us. They may even create, intentionally or unintentionally, additional anxiety for you — why? Well, because, it makes them feel a bit better themselves.

We can learn more effective ways to deal with anxiety, reduce our stress and increase our well-being. We frequently just don’t know how or practice to be resilient from an event or series of events that exceeded our immediate resources to effectively cope with them.

Everyone has moments of overwhelm, and situations where we need to ask for help — after all, this is part of living. And, I’m all for prescribing appropriate medications for clinical diagnosis of depression and other medical disorders —but I’m a huge advocate of using the knowledge we’ve had for thousands of years that is proven to be effective in lowering our heart rate, regulating blood pressure, increasing serotonin levels and increasing general wellbeing.

I can only speak from my experience on how I was able to overcome debilitating anxiety, high blood pressure and pre-diabetes — but I stand firm that these 5 for fighting anxiety hacks are always in my toolbox.

Five for fighting Anxiety.

  1. Meditation — I love to meditate in the morning when I first get up. This helps to set the tone for the day. I’m also very fond of meditation by a stream or at the beach. There are many forms of meditation — eyes closed, eyes open, singing, praying, walking meditations, writing and so on. Find the one that works best for you first, then try to work toward a more formal practice to achieve the most benefits.
  2. Exercise —  I belong to a gym and when I first get there I get on a bike or treadmill to warm up. Within the first 5-7 minutes I notice a distinct shift in my breathing and overall feeling of well-being. Begin small. It doesn’t matter what you do as long as that you do.
  3. Diet — By diet, I intend to bring attention to what we are eating and to eating effectively. Several small meals throughout the day assist in stabilizing our blood sugar levels and give us energy throughout the day. Increase fruits and veggies — reduce meats and white flour, eliminate most white sugars, and refined or prepared foods.
  4. Breathing — I can’t stress enough that breathing regulates our entire body. I’ve learned to reduce my heart rate and anxiety through simple breathing exercises. Take a long deep breath in for the count of five, then release it for the count of five. This is what I do and it works for me. A lot of training models have a different approach, usually longer inhales and holds. Explore breath work — you will totally be amazed.
  5. Visual and Sound Therapy — Our environments are important and have a tremendous impact on how we feel. I make sure my bedroom is clean and simple. Low lighting and a few books and odd items that make me feel peaceful are placed next to my bed. I enjoy white noise or nature sounds both for meditating or when I just want to bring the energy down a little bit in the house. Pandora Radio and Amazon Alexa are great for that! Also remember that outdoor in nature is the BEST therapy. Hike a mountain, stroll a beach, sit by a stream.

My wish for you today is a less stressful and more glorious day! Namaste. 🙂

Consciously Losing Control of Your Life

thrive

Image Courtesy of Unsplash

What are we truly capable of?

What would happen if we consciously chose to let go — to stop trying to control people, places, and things? I propose, ownership of our lives.

What if our perspective of business dealings and the modeling of our personal lives shifted from controlling to releasing? Focused on what we have to share with each other instead of taking from each other — imagine what we could accomplish. I bet, pretty big things.

Taught to go out and grab life by the horns, we have learned to be aggressive. Aggression, given the state of affairs in our world according to news headlines, health concerns, and continued exclusivity have served us, in my opinion — not so well.

Would taking charge of our thoughts and emotions offer a higher ROI? I would rather spend my effort and my time finding out that answer by working on opening my heart instead of controlling situations and other unforeseen forces.

For me, taking charge, it’s truest sense — is showing up. Showing up in our collective space with our personal space —both vulnerable and authentic. Vulnerability and authenticity does not imply weakness. It is inclusive of all our strength and dedicated attention on our own well-being, with genuine concern and care for the business at hand —the task — and of each other’s well-being.

It takes courage to show up as ourselves. Stephen Hawking, world renowned theoretical physicist has said that aggression would be the downfall of civilization. I certainly concur — but advocate, that we can change it by encouraging each other’s possibility while cultivating our own self worth.

In my book The Grace of Redefining Love, I suggest that we are each other’s motivation for possibility.

“Aggression insists on oppressive limitation so we can feel safe. None of it is real, none of it is true, and none of it is lasting. Authentic motivation comes from and through each others heart center. One of the most empowering realizations we can make is this. By encouraging each other’s possibility, we encourage our own.”

—excerpt from The Grace of Redefining Love.

Consciously choosing to lose control of our life means stepping into a situation that, could be one of crisis, yes, but more often than not, means stepping into our authentic selves. It means consistently returning, over and over again, to our heart center. Returning to a state of calm —now scientifically proven to lower blood pressure and expand our thinking —therefore, allowing us to be more effective.

Developing a personal practice for showing up can give us a fluid form to live by — to recode our lives so-to-speak. Mine calms me. It grounds me in the morning with an integrity of creating good.

My personal practice begins in the first 30 minutes upon waking. This is what really keeps me living on point for the day.

My practice consists of getting up and stretching. Then I may read a page or two of poetry or a verse from A Course in Miracles, or something else that promotes peace and well-being. Ready to enter the world I recite this mantra: Let me send love outward for miles — let me leave love wherever I place my feet. 

That’s how I like to roll.

We have so much to gain by learning to dance through life instead of controlling it. Feeling safe enough to include others in our creations engages empathy and compassion. Asking what it is they wish to build can only expedite our best possible probabilities. There really is enough to go around.

Namaste.

Self-Worth Through Service

self worth

Image Courtesy of Unsplash

5 Tips to Cultivate Core Care

Nature is the rehab of choice when in need of coming home to cultivate my confidence, self-value and values.

There is nothing like sitting on top of a sunbathed hot rock by a river to recharge and contemplate what has happened during the week or to find strength to move toward the next.

I bring a pen and journal with me — take in several deep breaths, close my eyes and listen. I listen to the water move, I listen to the trees bristle in the wind, and I asks the birds what song they have to sing for me today.

It could be a quick hike, a day at the beach, a trip to Saint-Tropez, or sitting in the park observing spring flowers, but honestly nature in some form does it for me every time.

Natural elements bring clarity. Nature aligns us with our inner thoughts, the ones that come from the place when we know — God is watching. In our stillness, we become the origin of I AM.

Self-worth means I am of service to something Divine. I am creating for the benefit of others. Self-worth, giving at its core, knows the value we bring wishes nothing in return. It is the joy we feel when we see someone else able to breath a little deeper due to our, or a collective, action.

I remind myself daily of purpose and reverence for a world much larger than I. In reverence, I feel connected with the planet, its people — and our Universe. In our connection — the question of self-doubt fades away — we become one with cosmic intent. And in our gratitude for the stuff we are made of — we know we are worthy.

I listen to the water move, I listen to the trees bristle in the wind, and I asks the birds what song they have to sing for me today.

How does our self-worth lead to well-being?

In our reverence for life — our thoughts soften into loving ones. Our softened self-love returns to itself within us. Our love speaks to our entire body — and in our pureness, we heal. With internal clarity we eat less and exercise more. We choose the energy we intake unto our body.

We recalibrate to a higher frequency, one that chooses to live awake and alive — choosing, moment to moment, from a menu of wellness that transform us into humans that habituate a life of well-being.

What can we integrate into our daily plan to cultivate self-worth?

  • Try stretching when you get out of bed, meditation, and reading transformation books.
  • Exercise. Find your sacred space in nature, and journal.
  • Practice gratitude first thing in the morning and last before drifting to sleep.
  • Help each other, your neighbor, your school, your children, and our aging community.
  • Get socially active and connect with others, support a cause you believe in.

OK, so you get the picture. Self-worth, value, self-esteem, self-confidence emerge from the inside out. Get deep with yourself. Don’t be afraid of what you’ll find — embrace it. Living a life valued from the inside out is so — worth it. 

Namaste.

We Are – Merging Worlds

“Wellness is an active, lifelong practice of making conscious choices toward a healthy and fulfilling life of pure potential – the integration of all dimensions of being including emotional, environmental, financial, intellectual, nutritional, occupational, physical, social, and spiritual into well-being.” ‪#‎MergingWorlds‬

Street Angel

homelessEarly one evening, I took exit 3 as usual. Descending off the highway ramp to Route 5, my eye caught the shape of a man. A man clothed in a beige coat with a cardboard sign, displaying the words “please help”. He was really not a man at all, but rather seemed like a boy. A twenty-one-ish year-old boy, a child of God, standing alone with uncertainty in his eyes and the tired look on his face we have all seen.

I followed the road, the laws of the road, and the neighboring vehicles —  the boy drifted from view, front to back, my right hand attempting to reach in my jean pocket, my left hand managing a brief wave. The opportunity passed. In the glance we shared between us, I wanted to turn around, maybe get back on the highway then off again, but those moments were gone. I couldn’t and I didn’t.

The best thing I could think of to do was start saying a prayer. “Dear God, I screwed that up, How can I help? Dear God, I send that boy love and peace and warmth to wrap around his heart tonight. I ask you to show me. How can I help?”

That boy, angel on the street, is somebody’s son, brother, uncle, and friend. Maybe a prayer is enough, maybe opening our hearts and our homes for some is appropriate, maybe dropping off a meal to someone who doesn’t have one is what they need, or a kind word, soothing.

Loose bills are stuffed in the dashboard compartment now. Namaste.

Food Opts for the Week

Food OptionsRoasting peppers can be a good way to add to our go-to meals options for the week. Slicing them up and roasting on a cookie sheet in a 350 degree oven with a little olive oil and salt and pepper makes for great flavor additions to sandwiches, sides, eggs, or rice and potato dishes. And great color! So bring in whatever is left over in your garden or local farmers market and prepare for the week!

Eat well!

Namaste 🙂