A Time for Renewal

Easter is about new life, renewal and rebirth.

What can you say goodbye to, what can you release or what no longer serves you?

Use this time to renew your body, your mind and spirit. Getting out of old routines that prevent you from being the best you can be is essential as we move forward in spring. Take one step today to make tomorrow better.

Physical Needs:

Take a walk, a hike, go biking and explore. Do something active that makes your body stronger.

Emotional Needs:

Release the past, forgive someone who has hurt you, and stop being hard on yourself.

Spiritual Needs:

Listen to the sound of the wind, say a prayer, meditate. Connect to god or spirit.

Easter is a powerful day to begin anew. Take one step to make your life better.

How to Stay Happy and Healthy

I don’t know about you, but somedays I feel like I have been living off grid for the past year as the pandemic continues to rage across the nation. Staying in isolation, lack of social contacts and loss of travel have all taken a toll.

Just when I thought it couldn’t get any worse, the weather takes a horrible turn with over 10 days of below zero temperatures that stops me from taking my daily walks outside, one of the few things that I can still do to release the stress and tension of being pent up in isolation.

After releasing some frustration and surrendering to the fact that I am trapped indoors, I had to change my focus on how I could stay healthy and happy. For me, being outside in nature, walking on the ground, breathing in fresh air and seeing plants and wildlife, makes me feel alive, healthy, and happy. With the lack of what makes me feel well, I had to focus on new things that could also bring me a sense of healing. I quickly discovered that although I deeply missed being outdoors, that I could bring nature into my life in different ways. So I began a personal journey of how to stay healthy and happy while being confined indoors, which includes the following:

Bring nature into your house by filling your home with green plants and flowers.

Soak your feet in epsom salt. Add essential oils such as Juniper or Bergamot to get that connection with the earth.

Turn your bathroom into a personal spa. Take a warm shower using salt scrubs that are fused with essential oils. Turn on some relaxing music that helps you unwind.

Cook earthy grounding foods by using organic root vegetables. Make a healthy soup or stew.

Burn sage in your home. The combination of the sage and smoke not only clears your home’s energy, but also brings in the element of fire on cold wintery days.

Open the curtains and stand in the sunshine. We all need light to survive. The sun is a natural mood lifter for those of us stuck in the north or on dark winter days.

Light some candles as they create a feeling of warmth, spiritual connection and peace.

Nothing lasts forever. Although it feels as if the pandemic has lasted for an eternity, sometimes with little to no end in sight, the pandemic will eventually end and life will resume. Until then, I do my best to survive a cold and brutal winter and continue to connect with nature the best way that I can so that I stay healthy and happy. And you can too!

Follow Me

I have thoroughly enjoyed blogging about both my own journey, as well as that of other’s that I have met along the way over the past several years.

At this time, I have decided to stop posting on this site, but will continue blogging about health and wellness, healing, cooking, humor, travel and creative expression on my new website below.

I hope that my posts have brought a smile to your face, a giggle to your lips, or healing to your heart in some way. I look forward to continuing this journey with you, if you so choose. Blog posts are listed under “self-help” in the menu. Thank you all for being a part of my journey and I hope that many of you will continue to explore our everyday lives together.

https://consultingclouds.com/self-help/

Why You Need to Laugh

Laughing during a pandemic? Of course!

It is exactly at this time of emotional stress and physical isolation that we need to laugh the most. We are not laughing at the problem, or the global situation, but simply choosing to live in the moment and lighten our mood.

As a Certified Laughter Leader, I teach the health benefits of laughter. Not only does laughter fuel the body with much needed oxygen, but it also lifts the spirit and decreases negative emotions such as sadness or anger.

Laughter is a part of mindfulness and when we focus on what is good in our lives, what is going right or well, then we change our perspective. The theory behind laughter therapy is that laughter is truly the best medicine. Allowing yourself to let go and laugh by participating in some silly activities or just having fun, allows you to release physical and emotional stress and tension.

Life doesn’t change around you, but changes within you, when you make the decision to bring more laughter into your life. You may not feel like laughing, but giving yourself permission is the first step. If you watch children, they have a natural way of being joyful. Pets are another wonderful source of joy and happiness. Watching my cat chase a butterfly and running up and down the stairs provides me with brief moments of happiness.

Whatever you are doing, or wherever you are at this moment, think about a funny incident and give yourself permission to giggle, or spend the day giggling and releasing all of the yuck of the world.

Life will eventually change and become peaceful and safe again, but until then, find someone to laugh with, or laugh by yourself. It feels great and its healthy for you!

How to Heal Yourself

Theta Healing is a meditational process that creates physical, psychological and spiritual healing. Using a combination of psychotherapy and energy work, change can occur quickly in many areas of life including, health and wellness, relationships, career, recovery and spiritual direction.

Not everyone desires to work through a lengthy therapy process, or has the time. Theta healing works on changing negative or limiting beliefs that prevent you from being successful or from making the necessary changes that you want to make that prevent you from living your best life possible. Theta healing can create change quickly at a subconscious level.

Everyone’s path to healing is uniquely different and individual.  As a Certified Theta Healer and Licensed Professional Counselor, my passion is helping people to heal in the areas of health and wellness, relationship conflict, career change, grief and loss, and addictions and recovery.

 

 

Sweet Depression

I grew up on sugar.  The best part of our family meals were desserts.  Everyone looked forward to cakes, cookies, and pies.  Then as children we would go to the dentist and get our cavities filled and be rewarded with candy.  Life has changed since then.  It now has become known that sugar is toxic and highly addictive.

Research indicates that sugar is linked to diabetes, heart disease and even Alzheimer.  What appears to be safe and a treat, is actually dangerous to our health if consumed in large quantities.

Office parties, kids birthday’s and holidays are often filled with sugar.  Our lives seems to revolve around the tempting sweet stuff.  Like caffeine our bodies crave the fix, but the fix is temporary and often times makes us feel worse.  In my private practice as a counselor, I have heard personal stories of sugar causing depression, low energy and poor sleep which results in a higher sugar intake to feel energized.  Then the cycle is repeated and can last years or even a lifetime.

Low sugar intake is recommended for any diet and there are lots of natural sugars to use as a replacement including honey, molasses, coconut sugar, maple syrup and stevia.

The next time you reach for a candy bar or piece of cake, pay attention to how you feel physically, emotionally and mentally both before and after you it it.  If your body is intolerant of sugar you will notice low energy, depression and brain fog among other symptoms. If you are struggling with any of these symptoms take steps to reduce or eliminate sugar from your daily intake.  This may be difficult at first, but your body and mind will thank you.  Also ask yourself why you are eating sugar.

Life is meant to be sweet, but not too sweet…

 

 

Mountain Solid

Being forced into isolation, I was reminded of powerful and peaceful meditations by one of my favorite spiritual teachers, Thich Nhat Hanh, and thought it would helpful to share.

Mountain Solid

Breathing in, I see myself as a mountain

breathing out, I feel solid

Mountain, Solid

Remember that mountains can be dug into, blown up, or roads paved through them, but they remain strong and powerful.  Find strength peace in the moment.

The Sun Will Shine Again

At first the pandemic didn’t seem real.  I didn’t think that life was going to change to the level that it has.  A week or so later, I see anxiety on people’s faces and hear fear in their voices.  They are not alone as I find myself scared for myself, my family, my community, the country and the planet.

Never has there been a time when the entire entire world has experienced such global impact.  We cannot drive away from it, nor can we fly to another country to escape.  We are limited to being together at the time when we need being together the most.  We struggle to find food and supplies.

For me, as my world becomes smaller and smaller, I have been forced to go within, something I am often to busy to do, or simply avoid.  Now I find going within an essential part of my daily routine as my previous life no longer exists.  I no longer go out for coffee or lunch and running errands has come to a bare minim as I am restricted to my home.  Although keeping busy has always been a good distraction, now I am forced to find peace and solace in prayer and meditation.

I also know that like everything in life, this too will pass and the sun will continue to shine.  In the meantime, we need to dance through the storm, whether it is with others or alone.

You, me, us, we will all get through together.  The storm clouds will pass and the sun will shine again, just dance through the storm, dance through the storm, dance through the storm….

Killer Cabbage

Today I wanted to make some homemade cabbage soup and got in the car to go to the local grocery store, but then paused.  I sat in the car thinking, was it worth getting a cabbage to possibly get coronavirus and die?  The answer wasn’t as easy as you would think.  At first I thought, yes, I’m fine, I’m not going to catch anything, then I thought about, what if?

What if I came into contact with someone who was ill and I picked up the potentially deadly virus?  I struggled with the decision and then got upset.  I only wanted to make soup, nothing out of the ordinary, not go ski-diving or jump off a bridge, things that are considered risky.  I just wanted to make some healthy tasty soup, yet now the message I was hearing on the news was that a trip to the grocery store to get a cabbage could possibly kill me….

How to live life in uncertain and unpredictable times?  Not an easy thing to do.  I am following the CDC’s guidelines and trying to avoid large groups of people and staying at home for the most part, but sometime’s it’s not easy.  I turned the engine off and got out of my car.  I did not get the cabbage and sulked into my house, without a cabbage, feeling disappointed.

I also talked to my son down south yesterday.  He informed me that he didn’t have any toilet paper.  I finished our phone call and later thought, I didn’t ask him if he needed any toilet paper.  So I called back and asked him a question I thought I would never ask.  “Can I send you some toilet paper?”

As we all continue to adjust to the shortages and to isolation, we need to be responsible and take care of ourselves the best we can.  Life is not easy, but somehow we will all get through this together and rebuild our lives, our countries, and our economies.  Life will go on.

In the meantime, I go without cabbage soup and my son goes without toilet paper, yet we survive!

ISOLATION

How is isolating good for us?  For those of us who like to be social, isolation may be a welcome change in the beginning, but after a few days it may become difficult.

As our world continues to shut down over the days and weeks following the coronavirus, we all have to adjust to what is.

I work remotely, and find getting out during my days a necessary part of feeling healthy and connected, yet life is presenting with limitations as I try to adjust to a smaller world.  At first I found the changes uncomfortable, especially when I walked into my favorite cafe to write and found most of the tables had disappeared.  I then heard how limiting people into the cafe would help reduce the spread of germs.  After my initial disappointment, I realized I would have to resign to being at home more.

I now focus on how I can be productive and happy being isolated to such a small home and community.  Luckily for me, I love being creative.  I will make the most out of my time by writing, painting, cooking and doing all those things that I often complain I don’t have time for.

For me, its the initial adjustment of being alone more and being restricted from some of my favorite places, but I know this won’t last forever.  I also know that using this time to make long needed personal changes is what I need to do at this time.  Although I am blessed to have a wonderful husband to share my shrinking world with, those of you who don’t have a spouse or partner and find yourself alone, try to use this time to do what you have put off or have wanted to do for years.  Clean the house, take a hike, play with your pet, read a book, play drums, cook a favorite meal, learn to knit or dance like crazy!

Being alone and going within is a healthy and necessary part of personal growth.  Keeping everyone safe is necessary in a changing world, but it doesn’t mean isolation has to be bad.  Make the most out of it!  It won’t last forever.