How to Get From Here to Where You Want to Be

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  It is impossible to get to where we want to be with the same ‘stinking  thinking’ that holds us where we are.  Each level of success comes with some kind  of personal breakthrough.  It takes a well thought out plan or strategy to get to where we desire to be, taking smaller steps is generally the best option in order to attain the desired result.

The mind is an amazing and powerful tool and 98 percent of people don’t  believe in themselves. Believing in yourself in the first step to getting what  you want. I mean TRULY believe that it’s possible to do anything you desire in  this world. Because it is.

If you want to change your life or your situation, start with yourself. Be  mindful of every word that comes out of your mouth, every thought you think,  every book you read, and how you spend your time.

If you can imagine HOW you want to be, then start being that person NOW. The change has to start somewhere. Today is the best time to start being the person you want to be and letting your inner light shine.

Here are a few steps you can actively start doing towards developing a  success mindset and changing your life for the better:

 

  • Create a vision board with pictures and write out steps that are required to achieve your dream.
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    start your day with 10 minutes of quiet meditation to stay clear about your goal.

  • read 30 minutes a day of personal growth and development
  • listen to inspiring audio whenever you can
  • consciously reject negative thoughts and focus on the prosperity you see in  the world around you. 
  • Motivate yourself with thoughts of prior successes in your life and review those experiences to determine what you achieved to get there and how wonderful it felt once you completed them.

By working on yourself first, you will develop the confidence you need to  believe in yourself and to go after your goals with clear intentions.

 

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That Part of Me (c) Angela H Penn 2013

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That Part of Me

 

Those songs lie neatly on the shelf,

Much like the pain I hide from myself,

 

We were wild and we were free,

Society was a mystery,

 

We were fearless and young,

Still knew how to have fun,

 

We envisioned a world better than we had known,

We claimed this new place as our own,

 

Then things became too intense,

Reality intervened at a great expense,

 

Now physically apart,

The strains of the heart,

 

Only accessible by phone calls and emails,

the exchange of music videos and fanciful tales,

 

And then everything ceased,

Only to find that you were deceased,

 

So I ask myself in a state of shock,

How do I live without my rock?

 

And who will NOW understand that part of me?

 

Although I mourn the loss of you, my dear sweet friend,

One day, we again will meet, for this is not the end,

 

Our mornings of laughter in which I did not sleep,

My jokes that made you laugh until you would weep,

 

The midnight jam sessions with you playing your bass and I singing by your side,

Your smile and glance that would feel me with pride,

 

I guess we both forsake the life we could have had but never made,

In my heart you will never ever fade,

 

My only wish that you must know

Is that I regret not being able to hold your hand and be there when you go.

 

But fate would not allow me to ease this ache.

that part of me is now at stake,

 

I leave you with this poem I wrote through hours of tears,

My heart will not forget those precious years.

 

And when my time comes to leave this plastic place,

Greet me at the garden of his good grace.

 

 

Turn off and Tune In

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    is it me or what?  The times they be a changing.  In the last month we all have been over exposed to death, sadness, unrest and at times anarchy, via the internet, FB and various media oulets.  It is time to turn off and tune in!  Turn off the television set, go off-line, get away from the mindless chatter that keeps us away from being centred and positive.
All of this negativity is not good for one’s soul and as much as we want to watch this and stay current our bodies and minds need rest, rejuvenation and self- care.

The atrocities of the world will always be there the next day and the day after, we will not miss much.  Let’s get off the train of doom and into the light of some positive activities, maybe get up and move, do some stretching, read an uplifting book, walk the dog, take a nap, whatever your body and mind are desiring from us.  Hug someone you love, play in the snow, go to a yoga class, paint, write, sing, take a mental health day, sculpt, plan a day with family and friends but do something that takes you away from all the pain in the world.

Spiritual Awakenings/ Enlightenments

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By request from my dear friend Elaine R.

 

From  Alchemy of the Goddess by Jeanette Amlie

Signs of Spiritual Awakening?

Midlife Crisis or Transformation? It is also amazing how many of the people I work with are women in their middle years. So often the instability of hormonal imbalance is a direct catalyst for the “pressure cooker” of repressed energy to begin to crack the vessel. Although this can certainly be a painful & scary time, that view can be transformed when one begins to see that there is meaning & potential benefit in the experience.
The list below is by no means comprehensive or definitive. Yet the reports of people who have been through this kind of experience share so many of these “symptoms” that it is difficult not to take notice.

  • Feeling as if you are in a pressure cooker or in intense energy.
  • Depression – or feeling like things are never going to get better.
  • Anxiety, panic and feelings of hysteria – often related to the ego sensing it’s imminent demise.
  • Diarrhea, constipation and Irritable Bowel Syndrome – The digestive system is directly linked to the autonomic nervous system and responds to fight, flight and freeze responses.
  • Heart pain and palpitations – the heart is literally “opening” through calcified layers of conditioning and repression. But get it checked if symptoms resemble a heart attack. Most often they will say you have a healthy heart, but it’s good to be reassured & take no chances!
  • Emotional ups and downs, weeping and sensitivity – emotions are the key to the heart which often expands significantly during conscious awakening.
  • Heightened sensitivity to surroundings including noise, electricity, food and other stimulus.
  • Hot or cold flashes – many symptoms can mock menopause.
  • Unusual aches and pains throughout different parts of your body.
  • Energy & sensations in lower back, sacrum & spine. Sexual energy & spiritual awakening often intermingle as the Kundalini energy may begin to move up the spine from the base of the nervous system in the perineum.
  • Migraines can sometimes be linked to old held trauma patterns as well as shifting or conflicting beliefs.
  • Temporary recurrence of old conditions from earlier in life as the body works to clear them.
  • Skin eruptions, acne, rashes, hives & boils – the skin is a major organ for eliminating toxins.
  • Blurred vision and eye irritation – related to “3rd Eye” 6th Chakra activity as well as the fire of kundalini.
  • Waking at night between 2 and 4 am – various theories for this common symptom, including our unconscious connection with greater knowing during these nocturnal hours than our conscious state often allows.
  • Night sweats and hot flashes – body literally burning off denser energies and toxins.
  • Extreme cold with inability to get warm – Often can follow a time of intense shifting & be a sign of possible dissociation when we are confronting old trauma patterns in order to release them.
  • Struggle to follow usual routines and activities – old coping skills & discipline not working.
  • Extreme fatigue and lethargy – possibly related to the body re-creating itself through tissue die-off and regeneration. Parasympathetic dominant activity of “rest and repair”.

 

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Upon reading this piece by Jeanette Amlie, I realized that some of these signs she refers to as a spiritual awakening can be also deemed as characteristics of Fibromyalgia.  One cannot limit what is referred to as a spiritual awakening as strictly menopausal in nature as there are just as many men that are attaining a level of spiritual awakening in the world as I type this.

  In my own personal experience I would describe ” a spiritual awakening” as a deeper awareness of myself and the world.  A time in which one sees things with more clarity and with a sense of inner peace.  One does not need to be experiencing menopausal type symptoms to be in this state.  I attribute much of my spiritual awakening to reaching a certain stage in my life in which I am seeking more personal fulfillment.  I am not one to find material possessions fulfilling nor do I seek affirmation from the outside world.  I am exploring more of myself regarding wants and needs.  Most of us will go through this stage at some point.  I prefer the term enlightenment as I have experienced many of those and enlightenment is an on-going process it does not manifest itself completely overnight.

 

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Some of the symptoms that Jeanette details I have questioned at times.  The waking at 2 am, the weeping ( which may be grief or loss of dreams, & failed expectations), the heightened sensitivity to surroundings including noise, and other stimuli along with feeling extremely cold and being unable to get warm.

Enlightenment can be more then what Amlie describes, an awareness of a situation, letting go of something that is no longer beneficial to our well – being, perhaps a trauma or bad memory.  It might be choosing to live in peace and walking away from adversity, choosing your battles more wisely.  Whatever you see it as being as it is a truly personal experience.

I challenge you the reader, to share your experiences with us so we can all attain a greater understanding of this period of change.

  

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PHOTOS: http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/

7 Steps to Complete Inner Peace

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    7 Steps to Complete Inner Peace

  

     Inner peace is one of the most valuable assets that we can cultivate.  Nobody can give us inner peace, but our own thoughts can rob us of our inner peace.   We can experience inner peace right now, exactly where we are.   One does not need to travel to a sacred temple to find it.  The most important criteria is to value the importance of inner peace.   If we truly want inner peace, we will strive to make it a reality.

 These are some suggestions for bringing more peace into your mind.

  1. Limit your time reading negative material and watching the news.

     It is true, that we can try to detach from this negativity.  But, in practise, we will make our progress easier if we don’t spend several hours ruminating over the problems of the world.  Once I limited, if not completely removed myself from watching the news and reading the newspapers I found my energy levels and outlook on life became more positive.

    It has become too easy to automatically switch on the TV or surf the internet when we have a few free minutes.   Take the opportunity to be still and enjoy a relaxed state of mind free of conflict and responsibilities.  As a writer I find when I turn off the television and the internet my mind tends to become more aware and more creative.

 

 2. Control of Negative Thought Processes:

    It is our thoughts that determine our state of mind and body.   If we constantly cling to negative and destructive thoughts, inner peace will always remain at a distance.   Begin by turning these thoughts around.  If you feel you failed at something look at what you learned in that situation.  Train yourself to think,  “I did the best I could” and forgive yourself as well.  This requires practise. – We cannot attain mastery of our thoughts overnight. But, at the same time we always have to remember that we are able to decide which thoughts to follow and which to reject.  You are NOT a helpless victim to your thoughts.

 Somewhere within us all, there does exist a supreme self who is eternally at peace.”

 ―    Elizabeth Gilbert,    Eat, Pray, Love

 

3. Simplify Your Life & Home:

 

    Learn to say “No”.   We can feel that we never have enough time to fulfill all our tasks. Take time to simplify your life; there are many things that we can do without, quite often we add unnecessary responsibilities to our schedule.  Do the most significant tasks, one at a time, and enjoy doing them. To experience inner peace, it is essential to avoid cluttering our life with unnecessary activities and worries.  Organize our activities and appointments in daytimers, use a filing system to find important documents.  We also may want to purge ourselves of things, perhaps clothing and items that we no longer use.

     I have learned many ways to maximize my time, such as running a few errands together.  I balance household responsibilities and time I need to ensure I stay healthy – going for walks with the dog to prevent back pain and keep chronic pain at bay with my free-lance writing and my coursework as a student.  Yet, I am still able to spend time with loved ones and friends.

   The things I do not desire to do I do less of.  It all comes down to priorities and what really matters now.  Will it matter if the laundry gets done tonight or another day?  So what if the sink is full of dishes that will wait until tomorrow.

 

4. Spend time to cultivate inner peace.

   Most weekdays we spend 8 hours a day at a job, surely we can find time to spend 15 minutes to cultivate inner peace?  No matter how much money we have, it will never  bring us inner peace.  I am able to sneak in at least an hour a day to do things alone that allow me to maintain a state of peace in my busy life.  I enter my office ( sanctuary) and listen to music, burn incense and listen to my waterfall and the world falls away.

    One can get creative with this one, so maybe you can’t find ten minutes a day for inner peace at home.  Maybe our lunch break at work might be a place we can slip away for ten minutes to meditate.  Some friends I know take a little drive after work and sit at the park for 15 minutes to unwind and meditate while others demand 30 minutes when they get home from work to be left alone.

 If all else fails listen to some  relaxing music in your car on your way to and from work.  This can be a great stress reliever as well..

 

5. Avoid Criticizing People:

    If we want inner peace, we need to be more accepting of others.  If we are indifferent to the feelings of others, then it is impossible to have inner peace for ourselves.  What we give out comes back.  If you offer a peaceful attitude to others you will find that this will be returned
tenfold.  Not everyone will return a peaceful attitude and those people that prefer not to, let them worry about it, that is their stuff.

 

6.  Let Go of Perfectionism:

 

We are not perfect nor is the world or anyone else.  Stop being so hard on yourself.  Nobody ever died from a messy living room.  It can be quite freeing to let go of having to do everything perfectly.  When we do this we also allow others to help us if we ask.

 

7.  One final point, stop worrying.  This serves no purpose; things are going to happen as they do.  We can convince ourselves we have all this control but we often don’t.

 

Peace

 

Namaste

 

 

 

 

REPOSTED FROM 2012.

My Generation

My generation used words such as please and thank you.  My generation said they were sorry when we made a mistake and thought of other people’s feelings as well as their own.  My generation was honest and loyal.  My generation smiled and said “Hello” and “Goodbye when we greeted a customer and we were also capable of counting change.  My generation got jobs in high school and were not financially dependent on our parents to pay our way in life.  My generation wasn’t afraid to do some physical work once in awhile.  My generation cared for their elderly or sick family members because that was what we were expected to do and our conscience told us to do.  My generation knew how to use a lawn mower, shovel a walk, and even the girls learned about car maintenance.  My generation did not wait for someone else to do it for them we took the initiative and learned many skills our young people do not have today.  We did not steal or lie to get something, WE WORKED for it!  We did not abuse, beat or manipulate people to get our way.  We did not know what getting something on credit was or what a pawnshop was.  Parents were to be respected and we had boundaries and consequences if we behaved badly.  We did not have the help kids have today with learning disabilities or places to help kids that were abused.  My generation did not depend on welfare or other programs paid for by the taxpayers to survive.  My generation treated all persons with respect, we did not mock or ridicule people that were different.  My generation knew what sex we were and dressed accordingly, we did not need tattoos or 15 piercings to feel important or to garner attention.  My generation did not have obesity problems in childhood because we moved as in playing games, running, etc.  In essence we were not lazy as we did not have the internet or video games. My generation did not think they should be paid top salaries out of university, we did not have our Mom’s filling out job applications for us or driving us to job interviews.  We were fearless and strong because there was no coddling for us.  We walked to school and we did not worry about some lunatic shooting at us there.

Guess what, we all survived and thrived quite fine. 

 I am not sure what happened to our world but I don’t like much of what I see.  Customer service is not existent and people have become increasingly rude to one another.  Frankly, I see  a great deal of talking about how we are suppose to be responsible and politically correct but the actions of many, is the complete opposite.

Let’s remember that the child you baby today will be the child looking after you in your old age or the one that won’t give a rat’s behind about you.  Scary proposition for some, but this is reality.

Singing Your Way to A Longer & Healthier Life

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44This past weekend my sister and I were at a local bar for their Saturday night karaoke get together.  Later that morning, when we arrived home I began researching the effects of singing and it’s relation to wellness.

This past week was Sing For Your Heart from December 8 th to the 15th in the UK.  Singing does not merely benefit our hearts but so much more as you will see in this piece.

While researching this topic I was able to locate some research studies that confirmed a few of my ideas on singing and improved health.  As a singer, I have noticed a sense of well being while I am singing and certainly stronger abdominal and back muscles but what I found out was even greater than I imagined.  I have used music to assist me in studying for exams on numerous occasions by creating lyrics with my course materials.  There is something to be said for using the part of the brain that remembers twenty year- old song lyrics.

You don’t have to be a great singer or even a rockstar to achieve the results that are contained in this blog.  What makes singing so appealing is that we can all do it and we can all benefit from doing so.

Clive Ballard, director of research at the Alzheimer’s Society and Professor of Age Related Diseases at King’s College, London,  said singing as an activity did seem to help people with dementia.

“People seem to enjoy doing something jointly with other people and there is a lot of evidence that being socially engaged is good for people with dementia.”

He said the part of the brain that worked with speech was different to the part that processed music, allowing those who had lost their speech to still enjoy their music. 

 

  

Sound therapist Jovita Wallace says “Sound vibrations massage your aura, going straight to what’s out of balance and fixing it.”
Singing the short-a sound, as in ahh, for 2-3 minutes will help banish the blues. It forces oxygen into the blood, which signals the brain to release mood-lifting endorphins.
To boost alertness, make the long-e sound, as in emit. It stimulates the pineal gland, which controls the body’s biological clock.
Singing the short-e sound, as in echo stimulates the thyroid gland, which secretes hormones that control the speed which digestion and other bodily processes occur.
Making the long-o sound as in ocean stimulates the pancreas, which regulates blood sugar.
To strengthen immunity, sing the double-o sound, as in tool. This activates the spleen, which regulates the production of infection fighting white blood cells. (1)

Scientists say singing boosts immune system.
– Singing strengthens the immune system, according to research by scientists at the University of Frankfurt in Germany, published in the latest edition of the US Journal of Behavioral Medicine. The scientists tested the blood of people who sang in a professional choir in the city, before and after a 60 minute rehearsal of Mozart’s Requiem.They found that concentrations of immunoglobin A – proteins in the immune system which function as antibodies – and hydrocortisone, an anti-stress hormone, increased significantly during the rehearsal. A week later, when they asked members of the choir to listen to a recording of the Requiem without singing, they found the composition of their blood did not change significantly. The researchers, who included Hans Guenther Bastian from the Institute of Musical Education at Frankfurt University, concluded singing not only strengthened the immune system but also notably improved the performer’s mood. (1)

  • Singing releases endorphins into your system and makes you feel energized and uplifted. People who sing are healthier than people who don’t.
  • Singing gives the lungs a workout,
  • Singing tones abdominal and intercostal muscles and the diaphragm, and stimulates circulation.
  • Singing makes us breathe more deeply than many forms of strenuous exercise, so we take in more oxygen, improve aerobic capacity and experience a release of muscle tension as well.” — Professor Graham Welch, Director of Educational Research, University of Surrey, Roehampton, UK

 

5 Reasons Singing Is Good for Your Health

April 17, 2011 12:00 AM  by Mehmet C. Oz, MD, and Michael F. Roizen, MD

The YOU Docs love good music (one of us, Mehmet, cranks up Springsteen in the operating room; the other, Mike, is a huge fan of both classical piano and Frankie Valli). But when it comes to singing, we don’t care whether you’re first soprano in the church choir or you just belt out off-key oldies in the shower with the door locked. Bursting into song lifts your health in ways that surprise even us (and might make the cast of Glee America’s healthiest people). The benefits should get you singing out even if you can’t carry a tune in a bucket.

1. Lowers your blood pressure. You may have heard the heartwarming news story about a woman in Boston whose blood pressure shot up just before knee-replacement surgery. When drugs alone weren’t enough, she began singing her favorite hymns, softly at first, then with more passion. Her blood pressure dropped enough for the procedure, which went off without a hitch. Now, we’re not suggesting you trade blood pressure treatments for a few verses of “Amazing Grace.” But try adding singing to your routine. It releases pent-up emotions, boosts relaxation, and reminds you of happy times, all of which help when stress and blood pressure spike.

2. Boosts your “cuddle” hormone. Yep, oxytocin, the same hormone that bonds moms and new babies and that makes you and your partner feel extra close after a romp in the hay, also surges after you croon a tune with your peeps

3. Allows you to breathe easier. If you or someone you know is coping with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), singing just twice a week could make breathing feel easier and life feel better. In fact, in England there are “singing for breathing” workshops. The benefits, said one person with the lung disease, “It makes me feel on top of the world . . . and it makes COPD a lot easier to live with.” Why wait for a workshop? Try crooning a tune or two on your own.

4. Helps you find serenity after cancer. Surviving cancer is a major milestone, but afterward, you still have to cope with the memories (tests, diagnosis, treatments) and quiet will-it-come-back worries. Vocalizing can help you blow off steam and stress. Turns out that singing actually calms the sympathetic nervous system (which tenses up when you do) and boosts activity in the parasympathetic nervous system (which makes you relax).

5. Rewires the brain after a stroke. Plenty of people who’ve survived a stroke but lost the ability to speak learn to communicate again by singing their thoughts. Singing activates areas on the right side of the brain, helping stroke survivors  to take over the job of speaking when areas on the left side no longer function. Called melodic intonation therapy (MIT), it’s used in some stroke rehab programs, and insurance may cover it. Ask about it if someone you love has speech difficulties from a stroke.

That’s not all singing can do. It also helps everyday health, increasing immunity, reducing stress for new moms, quieting snoring, easing anxiety in ways that may also ease irritable bowel syndrome, and simply making you feel happier. That’s a great return on something you can do in a choir, in your car, with your kids, in the shower, or even (you knew we were heading here) in a glee club. Here’s how to put the “glee factor” to work for you.  (2)

 

  Helen Astrid leading vocal coach and singer, confirms that regular exercising of the vocal cords can even prolong life, according to research done by The Helen Astrid Singing Academy in London. “It’s a great way to  keep in shape because you are exercising your lungs and heart. Not only  that, your body produces ‘feel good’ hormones called endorphins, which  rush around your body when you sing. It’s exactly the same when you eat a  bar of chocolate. The good news with singing is that you don’t gain any  calories! Not only can it increase lung capacity, it improves posture,  clears respiratory tubes and sinuses, and can increase mental alertness  through greater oxygenation. It even tones the muscles of your stomach  and back, that is if you’re singing correctly.”

After consulting some therapists and my psychology textbooks from university I also was able to confirm the following:

Singing can help boost confidence, cure depression, process negative feelings and improve relationships.  There is something to be said for the feeling one gets when people clap for you after you sing as well, 

When you’re happy, you’re likely healthier. It’s hard to be sad when you’re singing.

 

Sing To Your Heart’s Content

  Singing even helps you live longer according to the findings of a joint Harvard and Yale study which showed that choral singing increased the life expectancy of the population of New Haven, Connecticut. The report concluded that this was because singing promoted both a healthy heart and an enhanced mental state. Another study at the University of California has reported higher levels of immune system proteins in the saliva of choristers after performing a complex Beethoven masterwork. (3)

According to The perceived benefits of singing findings from preliminary surveys of a university college choral society :

Women were significantly more likely to experience benefits for well-being and relaxation, younger people were more likely to report social benefits, and those professing religious beliefs were more likely to experience spiritual benefits.  (4)

 

Researchers from McGill University in Montreal said it was the first time that the chemical – called dopamine – had been tested in response to music.  Dopamine increases in response to other stimuli such as food and money.  It is known to produce a feel-good state in response to certain tangible stimulants – from eating sweets to taking cocaine.  Dopamine is also associated with less tangible stimuli – such as being in love.  (6)

The Arts – Music and Singing – Music as a therapeutic medium has demonstrated to be efficacious for pain management (Trauger-Querry & Haghighi, 1999), in facilitating the resolution of grief (Bright, 1999), as a means of finding a personal identity (Smeijsters & van den Hurk, 1999), to improve the lives of people with communications problems related to cognitive impairment (O’Callaghan, 1999), and to enhance the quality of life for Alzheimers patients (Hanser, 1999). Recent longitudinal analysis of music-therapy related articles in the ‘Etude’ music magazine for the period 1883 to 1957 has also indicated consistent and adamant support for the (physical and psychological) health benefits of singing (Hunter, 1999) (1)

 

 

 

 

References:

1. Barbershop Harmony Society 2012.

2. 5 Reasons Singing Is Good for Your Health  April 17, 2011 12:00 AM  by Mehmet C. Oz, MD, and Michael F. Roizen, MD

3. Heart Research UK, Suite 12D, Joseph’s Well, Leeds LS3 1AB

4. The perceived benefits of singing findings from preliminary surveys of a university college choral society 2012. 

  1. S.M. Clift Centre for Health Education and Research, Canterbury Christ Church University College, Canterbury, Kent CT1 1QU, England
  1. G. Hancox  Department of Music, Canterbury Christ Church University College, Canterbury, Kent CT1 1QU, England

5.  http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/4448634.stm

How singing unlocks the brain

                        By Jane Elliott                                            BBC News Health reporter
 
6.   January 2011 Last updated at 13:04 ET  Music ‘releases mood-enhancing chemical in the brain’By Sonya McGilchrist Health reporter, BBC News