Archive for the ‘Talk Back!’ Category

Tip #4 to reduce holiday stress

Saturday, December 16th, 2017

#4-2A. drop the story- 12-12 upwork & blog

 

Tip #3 to reduce holiday stress

Monday, December 11th, 2017

#3 - 3A. expect miracle 12-14 upwork & blog

Tip #2 to reduce holiday stress

Sunday, December 10th, 2017

#2 SENT FB BOOST 12-8 Tw&Link12-9 blog 12-10-0A. Plop your money worries

Tip to reduce holiday stress

Saturday, December 9th, 2017

#1 SM 12-5 - 1A. sticky WAITRN-blog 12-9

Gregg Braden tells about the importance of feeling in affirmations

Wednesday, October 18th, 2017

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I’ve always had the experience that feeling affirmations, rather than just thinking them, is what gives them power. That’s why I was particularly excited when I read Gregg Braden’s The Spontaneous Healing of Belief.

In this book, Braden shares about his journey with a small group he had invited to accompany him to Tibet and their experience at an 800-year-old monastery hidden at the base of a mountain. Through their translator he asked the timeless-looking abbot the same question he had asked each monk and nun they had met throughout their pilgrimage.

“ ‘When we see your prayers,’ I began, ‘what are you really doing? When we see you tone and chant for 14 and 16 hours a day… when we see the bells, the bowls, the gongs, the chimes, the mudras and the mantras on the outside, what is happening to you on the inside?’

“As the translator shared the abbot’s reply, a powerful sensation ripped through my body, and I knew that this was the reason we’d come to this place. ‘You have never seen our prayers,’ he answered, ‘because a prayer cannot be seen.’ Adjusting his heavy wool robes, the abbot continued: ‘What you have seen is what we do to create the feeling in our bodies. Feeling is the prayer.’”

This is so key to growing younger and living a happy life. Feelings are the important grease that helps raise or lower your vibration. If you’re feeling good, your vibration is high and you attract more high vibration thoughts. If you’re feeling great, your vibration is even higher. If you’re feeling down in the dumps, your vibration is low and you attract more low vibration thoughts. Those are the negative villains that make life miserable.

Of course, when you’re feeling wretched, you don’t feel like saying positive affirmations. When you’re feeling that bleak and gloomy and it’s too much of a stretch to go for positive, just make the effort to get to neutral. Or don’t! Take the pressure off. Just relax, let go completely and trust in the Divine. Relaxing is actually a big step up from gloomy.

Many of us are wrapped up in the cares and concerns of everyday life and forget to pay attention to who we really are. And so our true nature as part of the Divine remains hidden within and our power and magnificence get buried beneath stress, worry and inaccurate perception.

Unforgiveness shovels some dirt on our core too – unforgiveness of others and especially ourselves. But forgiveness can’t be forced. We can’t make ourselves forgive someone, even when that someone is ourself. Forgiveness comes from a heightened consciousness, which we can cultivate by taking time to be still and allow the true Self to surface. Meditation is one way.

Our very nature is loving, kind and joyful. Connecting to our heart and loving ourself restores us to our original nature where we freely and unconditionally give and receive love. Tapping into the joys of the heart has the ability to heal the sorrow of the mind and body. The heart joys aren’t dependent on circumstance – they simply are, an essential part of the heart.

 

Your thoughts can make you sick

Monday, September 18th, 2017

It’s true. On the other hand, you can stay healthy and happy by choosing better-feeling thoughts.

This is not a theory of mine. It’s a fact supported by scientific research. In his book Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ, Dr. Daniel Goleman writes on the nature and importance of other kinds of intelligence – what he calls our emotional quotient, or E.Q. – and shares some cutting-edge findings in biology and brain science.

You’ve probably, at some time, allowed yourself to start worrying about something and – while fostering a fearful mental atmosphere – actually found yourself becoming physically ill. That’s because these negative thoughts are perceived by the most primitive part of our brain, the amygdala, as a real threat. The amygdala responds by triggering a rush of hormones, especially cortisol, to deal with a threatening situation. This is also called a stress response and stress is the number one factor that causes us to grow old and deteriorate.

The amygdala developed early in our evolution as a survival mechanism because if we weren’t constantly alert to danger, we might end up in the belly of a mountain lion or other wild animal. Or the guy with the club in the next cave might be after our food.

Although the amygdala’s hormones helped us survive with a flight or fight response, today these hormonal responses can damage our health. The ‘threat’ created by our thoughts and feelings isn’t typically an immediate threat to our lives, as was the case with our caveman ancestors. It’s not something we can deal with by running away or fighting the danger, the type of physical action that would use up the cortisol. Without taking action by fleeing or fighting, cortisol and other stress-triggered hormones stay in our system and can increase blood sugar, suppress our immune system and decrease bone formation.

And here’s the kicker: you can stimulate this emotional response with your thoughts! When you focus on something, you create emotions. If you find yourself thinking of something you dread or fear, your emotional response will trigger the amygdala just as if the thing you dread or fear were really happening. And if we’re constantly worrying we are continuously introducing more and more cortisol into our system – in effect our thoughts are stimulating a system that was meant to protect us, but in a way that actually harms us.

Can you recall a time when you heard a sound that frightened you? Maybe you were alone and a sound made you think someone was in the house with you. A few minutes later, with the lights on and an inspection of your surroundings you discover there’s no one there and no threat. There really never was a threat, but your heart is racing and you may feel breathless. Those physical responses were caused by what you thought.

The key is what Dr. Goleman terms emotional intelligence – the ability to be aware of your emotional responses and check those knee-jerk survival instincts before they trigger the physiological reactions.

And the really great news is that neuroscience studies show the circuitry that manages these emotional intelligence abilities is malleable throughout our lifetime. This malleable quality (neuroplasticity) means we can develop greater emotional intelligence – conscious response – at any age. We can build our emotional intelligence so that we can support our mental and physical wellbeing – and the wellbeing of those around us.

 

The Mind is so powerful, it can reverse aging

Thursday, July 13th, 2017

When you read the headline, did you believe it? A very small number of us think it’s true; the rest of us don’t. Many people think that aging can never be reversed and certainly not with positive thinking. The whole idea would be laughable if it weren’t for Professor Ellen Langer and her Counterclockwise Study conducted more than three decades ago.

The first woman to gain tenure in the Psychology Department at Harvard University, Dr. Langer has written extensively on the illusion of control, mindful aging, stress, decision making and health. But it is the ground-breaking experiment she organized and carried out in 1979 that rocked the world of psychology.

Dr. Langer designed her Counterclockwise Study to find out if turning back the clock psychologically could also turn it back physically. In other words, if we mentally become younger, will our bodies also become younger?

To explore this provocative question, Langer enrolled a group of men in their 70s and 80s to participate. The men were divided into two groups and each group was taken by bus to live for a week in a secluded location about two hours north of Boston.

The first group arrived and stepped into a virtual time-warp – back into the 1950s. They were instructed to live as though they were actually in that time – with Life and Saturday Evening Post magazines from that era, a black-and-white TV and old movies that had been new then. They listened to radio news from the ‘50s and discussed “current” events such as the launch of the first U.S. satellite, Castro’s victory ride into Havana, Nikita Khrushchev and the need for bomb shelters. Dr. Langer believed she could reconnect their minds with their younger and more vigorous selves by putting them in an environment connected with their own past lives.

The men also found themselves in a place that wasn’t adapted to their infirmities – no ramps or hand rails and they weren’t assisted with anything. Langer wanted them to be totally self-reliant during their stay. She insisted they carry their own suitcases, even if it meant scooting it along an inch at a time.

Dr. Langer almost abandoned the study as she observed, “When these people came to see if they could be in the study and they were walking down the hall to my office, they looked like they were on their last legs, so much so that I said to my students, ‘Why are we doing this? It’s too risky’.”

However, during that week, Langer and her team observed many changes in the participants. They were standing more erect, walking faster and some even decided they didn’t need their walking sticks.

After a week, they returned home and the second group of men arrived. These men, given a slightly different set of instructions, were told to simply spend the week remembering their experiences of the ‘50s and reminiscing.

During each week, on one evening the men sat by the radio, listening as Royal Orbit won the 1959 Preakness. For the second group it brought back a flood of memories; for the first group, it was a race being run for the first time.

None of the participants was told they were part of a study about aging. Before and after the experiment, both groups took a battery of cognitive and physical tests, and after just one week, the test results had changed significantly – for the better.

Langer points out in her book, Counterclockwise: Mindful Health and the Power of Possibility, published in 2009, “any positive results would be meaningful…old age is taken to be a one-way street to incapacitation.”  However, she and her team were amazed by the changes evidenced in the tests. Both groups were stronger and more flexible. Height, weight, gait, posture, hearing, vision – even their performance on intelligence tests had improved. Their joints were more flexible, their shoulders wider, their fingers not only more agile, but longer and less gnarled by arthritis.

Perhaps the most remarkable finding was that the men in the first group – those who acted as if they were actually back in the ‘50s showed significantly more improvement. After spending a week pretending to be younger, they seemed to have bodies that actually were younger.

The physiological results provided evidence for a simple but invaluable fact: the aging process is indeed less fixed than most people think. In Langer’s words, the study showed conclusively “that opening our minds to what’s possible, instead of clinging to accepted notions about what’s not, can lead to better health at any age.”

And to satisfy that part of your mind that still may be muttering some doubts, I’ll just share with you a part of what the American Psychological Association said in their citation to Dr. Langer when she received their Award for Distinguished Contributions to Psychology in the Public Interest. The award reads, in part, “…her pioneering work revealed the profound effects of increasing mindful behavior…and offers new hope to millions whose problems were previously seen as unalterable and inevitable. Ellen Langer has demonstrated repeatedly how our limits are of our own making.”

Change on the Inside and Let the Outside Stuff Happen

Sunday, May 28th, 2017

It’s humbling to watch my audience expand to include people struggling with stress and the blues in addition to those who want to grow younger. I really believe these mind/body/spirit habits can transform anyone’s life.

The result of the techniques I share is happiness, but the other day I got to wondering, “What the heck is happiness, anyway?”

Wikipedia says: “Happiness is a mental or emotional state of wellbeing defined by positive or pleasant emotions ranging from contentment to intense joy.”  Hmmm. Actually, I think we can sum it all up in two words: inside job. But how do we conjure up that inside state of positive or pleasant emotions? Many of us think we get there through the outside.

Scenario #1: If only she’d marry me, I’d be happy.

Then what happens?

She says yes, they get married and it’s divorceville in 8 or 10 years. Or 5 or 6 years. Or 2 or 3.

Scenario #2: If only I had a better job, I’d be happy.

Then what happens?

He gets a better job and before long, the old boss is gone and he now reports to the boss from hell.

Scenario #3: If only I had a whole lot of money, I’d be happy.

Then what happens?

A big windfall of money swoops in, the house is paid off, and oops, the brand new car tangled with a telephone pole and guess who’s in the hospital.

There goes happiness!

My point is that we can’t have sustained happiness inside based on events and situations that happen outside.

No matter how smart we are, no matter how rich we are, no matter how delighted we are with our current circumstances, stuff happens! And our reaction doesn’t just disturb our mental and emotional state, sometimes it gives us the blues. Worse yet, depression.

So how do we have happiness – even bubbling up joy – no matter what?

Well, for an inside job we need to change the inside, not the outside. In other words, let the outside stuff happen. It’s going to anyway.

We change on the inside through inside practices: techniques that we practice every day until they become habits, like observing our thoughts, prayer, meditation, positive affirmations, feeling and expressing gratitude, forgiving everyone, loving ourselves just as we are.

Once these daily practices become habits, then all hell can break loose and inside we’ll remain peaceful. Like in that 17th century haiku by a Japanese poet: “Barn’s burnt down – now I can see the moon.”

If you have any inside practices, please share them with our online community by commenting below. Thanks!!

Non-mindful chewing: A confession about my days in New York City

Saturday, April 22nd, 2017

“Chew your food,” we scolded our kids when they were growing up, “don’t swallow it whole.” Of course, their friends were standing around waiting for them to finish eating so they gobbled it down just a tiny bit slower.

Ever see somebody inhale their food? They don’t even sit down to eat. They’re always in a hurry and so busy, eating seems like a chore they need to do to quell the hunger pangs and they just gulp their food.

Uh… I have to confess I was one of them, especially when I lived in New York City and worked on Madison Avenue. They had those “convenient” places where you could stand up at a counter and eat while watching people walk by the window.

But now that I’ve been living in Taos, New Mexico, and researching how important eating mindfully with thorough chewing is to good digestion and how vital good digestion is to good health and growing younger, I’ve changed my way of eating.

There are 30 million people in the U.S. who suffer from digestive and colon problems and they could be greatly helped by paying attention not only to what they eat, but also how they eat.

The pace here is so much slower so I suspect your digestion is probably better than my friends’ back east. However, we all need reminders so here are some tips for improving your digestion or keeping it at optimum health.

 

  1. Pray before you eat. It reminds you to acknowledge your blessings and helps you pay attention to the process of eating. And gratitude is great for your health. Studies at HeartMath Institute, a global leader in research on the links among emotions, heart-brain communication and cognitive function, show that practicing the positive emotion of gratitude can actually improve your heart’s rhythmic functioning. Even a short prayer like my kids used to say works: “Rub-dub-dub. Thanks for the grub. Yay, God!” And if you don’t believe in God, then thank nature for providing you with the nourishment.

 

  1. Chew, chew, chew your food until it is liquid. You might be eating healthy, organic foods but if you’re not chewing it thoroughly, you might get only 5% or 10% of the nutrients. And if you don’t absorb all the nutrients, you could be starving your cells. When Mahatma Ghandi said, “Chew your drink and drink your food,” he meant that digestion begins in your mouth. Your saliva has an enzyme called amylase and when that enzyme mixes with food or beverage, the chemical process of digestion begins. If you don’t chew your food thoroughly, the stomach acids have to work much harder to break down large chunks of food and this can cause stomach distress and mal-absorption of the nutrients.

 

  1. Cut your food into small chunks and put your fork down between bites. This is something to practice in the beginning until thorough chewing becomes second nature.

 

  1. Chew your juice or smoothie. Freshly-made juice or smoothie, whether you make it or buy it, is a powerful ingredient for good health. Swishing it in your mouth before swallowing, especially the first mouthful, maximizes the nutrients you absorb.

 

  1. Be mindful when you eat. Practice being in the present moment. Just as chopping vegetables can be a meditation, so can eating if you totally focus on exactly what you’re doing at the moment. If your mind wanders, just gently bring it back.

 

  1. Rest a few minutes after eating. This is very important for good digestion.

 

Okay, so after reading this, you’re going to chew your next meal thoroughly. But what happens two days from now when you forget about it? Right now I’m chewing cashews to liquid before swallowing but will my busyness take over tomorrow and will I forget to chew well? Aha. That’s where those little sticky notes I’m always talking about come in. I’m going to print on a note: CHEW, CHEW, CHEW and place it on my dining table. That will be my reminder – it’s better than the old fashioned tying a string on my finger, which I don’t think anyone ever did anyway.

Here’s to your good digestion and good health!

Beware! I almost got scammed – twice!

Monday, March 13th, 2017

02-16-17 photo of scammer BAD numbers (2)

“Oh yeah… the grandparent scheme,” the FTC agent said to me when I called to report that I almost fell for a scam for over $3,000. In cash!

I’m smarter than that but I didn’t know then that the scammers have all kinds of tricks up their sleeves. They have a way to duplicate someone’s voice and can find a lot of info on social media, like whether your grandchild calls you Grandma or Nanna or Grandmother or another endearing name.

I got the call from one of my grandsons – or so I thought. Although I have 15 grandchildren and speak with them only occasionally, it sure sounded like the one grandson he said he was.

He told me he was in trouble because of a car accident and would I speak with Officer Williams for the whole story. The man got on the phone and here’s how the story went: my “grandson” had an accident and hit a rental car driven by some people from out of town who were furious. Although the rental car company said they would definitely reimburse them when it was all settled, the rental company wanted to be paid immediately. (The story is a little fuzzy now and my heart was beating so fast then, I may not have remembered all the details correctly.) They paid it and wanted cash from my grandson overnighted to their home in another state or they were going to press charges and my grandson could go to jail… something like that. The “officer” said he was doing my grandson a favor by asking them not to press charges. He gave me the address of where to send the money and gave me his personal cell phone number.

I said I couldn’t get my hands on that kind of cash so he explained how I should use two different credit cards and ask for cash advances at any nearby bank.  The grandson got back on the phone to say he was sorry and thank you. One thing I could have done but was too stressed to think of at the time was to ask for the name of his dog.

After I hung up, I called my grandson’s mother and left a message about the situation and asked her to call me. Then I called another one of my daughters and explained it all to her. She said absolutely do not send money – it’s a scam and a friend’s mother did send cash for a similar scheme because the voice had sounded just like her granddaughter. Then my other daughter called me back and said she had just spoken to her son who was at work and was amazed that “Grandma fell for that?!” I called the police who gave me the phone number for the FTC and I called and gave them all the details.

The other scam? Several months ago AARP Bulletin had printed area codes of scammers who call and get you to stay on the phone and rack up tons of dollars in fees. I cut out the numbers, marked it BAD and taped it to the back of my cell phone. Here are the area codes: 268, 284, 473, 649, 664, 767, 809, 829, 849 and 876.

When I got a call from a number in Jamaica, I turned my cell phone over, saw that it was one of the BAD area codes and hung up. (See photo.) Perhaps my experiences will alert you to be extra cautious. To file a complaint about a scam, go online to ftc.gov/complaint or call 877-382-4357.

I’d love if you’d comment below to share info with our online community on any scams you’re aware of.  Thanks.