Just For Today

laughing monksHeal others through laughter and joy. Laughter is a natural medicine – it lifts our spirits and makes us feel happy. Laughter is contagious. It brings people together and helps us feel more alive and empowered. Laughter therapy aims to use the natural physiological process of laughter to help relieve physical or emotional stresses or discomfort.

 

“Laughter is the shortest distance between two people.” ~ Victor Borge

Just For Today … Practice Self-Compassion

fairys-and-mermaids-image-31000Practice self-compassion today by writing a letter to yourself acknowledging all of your positive characteristics and attributes.

We live in a society where we often feel as though we are in a state of constant competition in all areas of our lives:  work, relationships, hobbies, and in turn, we are often overly self-critical.  Practicing self-compassion can help us to restore feelings of self-worth and instill an inner peace to propel us in our actions.

“If your compassion does not include yourself, it is incomplete.”  ~ Jack Kornfield

JUST FOR TODAY … Go Through A Check-up From The Neck Up

praying at mosqueAlan Watts had a singular way of dispersing our illusory convictions about infinitely important dualities, such as belief vs. faith … or, money vs. wealth … or, productivity vs. presence … or, ego vs. true self … selfishness vs. gratitude … or, stimulation vs. wisdom … or, profit vs. purpose … or, the notions of hurrying and timing. In his essay “Does It Matter? Essays on Man’s Relation to Materiality (1970)”, Watts said:

“Just exactly what is the “good” to which we aspire through doing and eating things that are supposed to be good for us? This question is strictly taboo, for if it were seriously investigated the whole economy and social order would fall apart and have to be reorganized. It would be like the donkey finding out that the carrot dangled before him, to make him run, is hitched by a stick to his own collar. For the good to which we aspire exists only and always in the future. Because we cannot relate to the sensuous and material present we are most happy when good things are expected to happen, not when they are happening. We get such a kick out of looking forward to pleasures and rushing ahead to meet them that we can’t slow down enough to enjoy them when they come. We are therefore a civilization which suffers from chronic disappointment — a formidable swarm of spoiled children smashing their toys.”

He later addressed the last duality related to Timing thus: “there is indeed such a thing as “timing” — the art of mastering rhythm — but timing and hurrying are … mutually exclusive.”

Check in to yourself, BE PRESENT with what’s going on inside as you go into your day or relate to others …

“The prevalent sensation of oneself as a separate ego enclosed in a bag of skin is a hallucination which accords neither with Western science nor with the experimental philosophy-religions of the East.” ~ Alan Watts

 

Just for Today … Wonder

colorful scarfWonder

curiosity: a state in which you want to learn more about something

When you look with wonder at the stars
don’t wonder where I’ve been
or where you’ve been

When you look with wonder at the world
don’t wonder how I got here
or how you got here

When you look with wonder at the clouds
don’t wonder where I’ve drifted
or where you’ve floated

When you look with wonder at the seas
don’t wonder how many gulps I gasped
or how deep you may sink

When you look with wonder at yourself
don’t wonder how I see you
or how you might appear

Simply look with wonder.

Health ~ What Really Causes Depression?

BlondeGirlWithAdrenalFatigue-850x400Depression often has multiple causes, and these causes are generally intertwined — which means there is not just one way of dealing with it.

From what I’ve seen during 46 years of working with clients who are suffering from depression, medication has been the least effective treatment. In fact, many of my clients come to me because the medication isn’t working and is causing multiple detrimental side effects.

So what does cause depression, and what’s the best way to treat it? These are the five major causes of depression that I’ve discovered.

1. Emotional self-abandonment

The most common cause of depression is self-abandonment, both emotional and physical.

You are emotionally abandoning yourself when you stay focused up in your head — ignoring your feelings — rather than being present in your body, attending to your feelings.

You emotionally abandon yourself when you judge yourself, allowing your programmed ego mind to be in charge, rather than your present, loving self.

When you turn to addictions to avoid and numb your feelings, you are emotionally abandoning yourself, and you may be physically abandoning yourself — depending on the addiction.

When you blame others for your feelings and try to make another responsible for your happiness, safety and self-worth, you are emotionally abandoning yourself.

If you treated an actual child this way, he or she would likely be depressed. The same thing happens on the inner level with your inner child.

2. Physical self-abandonment

You abandon yourself physically when you:

Regularly eat sugar and processed foods

Overconsumption of sugar likely contributes to depression, and most processed foods turn to sugar in the body. You are physically abandoning yourself when you don’t eat fresh, clean organic food.

Don’t get enough sleep

It’s also well known that a lack of sleep causes depression. When you aren’t disciplined enough to get adequate sleep — or you’re putting too much caffeine or other stimulants in your body, preventing sleep — you are physically abandoning yourself.

Don’t get adequate exercise

Studies indicate that exercise itself is often enough to decrease depression. When you are not disciplined enough to get regular and adequate exercise, you are physically abandoning yourself.

Don’t drink enough water

A lack of adequate hydration can cause both anxiety and depression. You are physically abandoning yourself when you don’t drink enough water. Try to drink a half ounce of water per pound of body weight per day.

Expose yourself to toxins

Consistently exposing yourself to toxins, such as chlorinated drinking water, GMO products, pesticides, food additives, asbestos or household mold, is physically self-abandoning and can cause or add to depression.

3. Unhealed trauma

Severe depression can result from unhealed trauma from childhood abuse and neglect, or from unhealed traumatic events that occurred as an adult. You’re abandoning yourself when you don’t do all you can to get the help you need to heal trauma.

There are many excellent trauma therapies currently available to support you in healing trauma. When you allow fear or self-judgment to get in the way of healing trauma, depression may result.

4. Lack of connection with others

Loneliness is often a major cause of depression. Keeping yourself isolated from others, or not doing all you can to meet like-minded people, is unloving to yourself. We are social beings and sharing with others is vital to our well-being.

Being in a disconnected relationship can be as lonely as being alone — and sometimes even lonelier. If you are often lonely in your relationship, then you need to find a way to get the help you need to either improve your connection with your partner or leave the relationship.

5. Over-reactive microglia

Microglia are cells in our brain that are part of our immune system. In his book, Total Recovery, Dr. Gary Kaplan says all trauma to the body — whether it’s from self-abandonment, abuse, illness, surgery, junk food, chemical exposure or environmental toxins — has a cumulative effect on the microglia.

When trauma has accumulated in the microglia, a single triggering incident, such as a minor surgery, can cause the microglia to become over-reactive, which then causes depression and chronic pain. All of the causes listed above can be contributing factors in causing the microglia to up-regulate. In order to down-regulate the microglia, you need to focus on healing each of the above issues.

Instead of avoiding these issues with medication, why not learn how to heal them? The results might amaze you!

 

Just For Today … Be A Tech Mentor To Someone Older

mentoringIf you feel comfortable with technology, ask an elder in your life if there is a technology you can help them learn. If you do not feel comfortable with technology, reach out to a loved one and give them an opportunity to share some of their knowledge with you.

Seniors who feel like today’s technology has left them in the dust are hitching a ride with a philanthropic gaggle of students who, in their spare time, are helping older generations return to the fast lane with their iPods, iPads, smart phones and computers. A group of teenagers who never knew a world before computers launched Wired for Connections/Mentor Up … designed to help senior citizens understand the basics of modern-day devices.” Incredible stories are surfacing from these interactions. For example, the teens helped a 93-year-old man contact a Jewish friend he used to protect from bullying just before World War II and enabled a 69-year-old artist to find photographs of Monet’s garden in Paris which she has dreamed of seeing all her life. Sean Butler, the 16-year-old who initiated this program, insists: “I’ve learned more during these sessions than I’ve taught…for me, just talking with them and learning their stories is what draws me back every time.”

Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young.

~ Henry Ford

Perfect Pairing: Young People Teaching Seniors About Technology

–by DENNIS TAYLOR, syndicated from truthatlas.com, Oct 02, 2014

Featured photo: Sean Butler, 16-year-old sophomore at Carmel (Calif) High School, mentors Judy Dudley on how to use her smart phone. Photo by Dennis Taylor

CARMEL, CALIFORNIA – Seniors who feel like today’s technology has left them in the dust are hitching a ride with a philanthropic gaggle of students who, in their spare time, are helping older generations return to the fast lane with their iPods, iPads, smart phones and computers.

A group of teenagers who never knew a world before computers launched Wired for Connections/Mentor Up, a club at Carmel High School in California, designed to help senior citizens understand the basics of modern-day devices and bridge part of what they perceive as the intergenerational divide.

Sean Butler, a 16-year-old sophomore, initiated the program two years ago, offering to share his tech knowledge in 45-minute, one-on-one mentoring sessions with members of the nearby Carmel Foundation, a membership organization for people 55 and older dedicated to facilitating successful aging by providing a broad spectrum of interactive activities and services. The sessions are provided free to member of the Foundation, which was founded in 1950 and now has more than 3,000 members.

Carly Rudiger, 17, a junior at Carmel High in California, teaches Jenifer Bovey, 69, how to use her iPad. Photo by Dennis Taylor

Carly Rudiger, a 17-year-old junior, joined Butler at the beginning of this school year and took his concept to another level, creating a full-fledged club at Carmel High. The pair oversees a group of about 15 classmates who, in exchange for community service credits, volunteer regularly to share what they know with any member who signs up. The waiting list has close to 50 names.

“I was probably 5 years old the first time I sat down at a computer,” Butler said. “It didn’t take me long to start figuring things out because I wasn’t afraid to play. It’s easier to learn technology if you’re not afraid of it and what holds a lot of older people back is that they’re afraid they’re going to mess something up if they play around and experiment. They don’t realize that most of the time you can just undo what you just did and get back to the place that you want to be.”

Seniors register for the classes (usually held on Saturdays), bring their device, an iPhone, Android, iPad, laptop or virtually anything else they’d like to learn more about, and receive hands-on instruction from their young mentors.

“I don’t come with my own agenda,” Rudiger said. “They ask me questions how to do this or that and I try to help them understand as many of those things as possible during our 45-minute session. I try not to overwhelm them with too much information because they can come back for as many sessions as they want.”

Before entering the mentoring program, the Carmel High contingent goes through “sensitivity training,” which, among other things, includes activities designed to help them better understand their aging pupils.

“One thing we did, for example, was smear a pair of glasses with Vaseline, so we could get an idea of what it might be like to have the kind of vision problems that some older adults live with every day,” Rudiger said. “We also taped fingers together and put tape over fingertips to try to replicate problems they might have with their hands. It can be frustrating to watch how slowly some of them are when they try to type, but the sensitivity training taught us that typing can be very difficult if your fingertips are numb.”

The graying “students” say they tend to learn much more during one-on-one instruction than they do in group classes they have tried. The fresh-faced “mentors” engage with a generation of people they barely knew before.

“I mentored a 93-year-old guy one day who started telling me about a Jewish kid he knew back in high school, right before World War II,” Butler recounted. “I guess the kid got bullied a lot and this man used to protect him.”

“I helped him find an article about his old friend online, and his reaction was really cool. It was pretty amazing for him to discover what his old friend became, and that made it exciting for me. We even found an email address so he could reconnect with his friend after all these years, which made him very happy.”

Carole Bestor, a 69-year-old hairdresser from Pacific Grove, received an iPad from her husband as a gift, but never used it until she sat down with Rudiger for a pair of 45-minute sessions. Her eyes widened and sparkled as her mentor helped her discover the possibilities of the device.

“It was really exciting to learn how to use email. I’ve always been a person who sends a letter or a card through the mail, but now I can email my daughter and also my girlfriend, who I went to high school with,” she said. “But I think the most exciting thing I learned about was Pandora, a place on the Internet where I can listen to music by anybody I like. I listened to Adele and Jennifer Lopez today.”

Rudiger helped Bestor discover that her tablet has a camera and showed her how to use it. Together, they took a selfie. Bestor, an artist, then learned how to surf the Internet to find hundreds of photos of Monet’s garden in Paris, something she has longed to see all her life.

Judy Dudley, who declined to give her age, used part of her 45-minute session with Parker to get acquainted with “Siri,” the Apple Corporation’s “intelligent personal assistant and knowledge navigator” that uses a natural language user interface to answer questions, make recommendations, and perform other tasks by delegating requests to a set of Internet services. “Siri” (a Norwegian name meaning “beautiful woman who leads you to victory”) answers commands from a smart phone in a female voice.

“It’s amazing,” Dudley said. “I just got this (application), and my granddaughter showed me a little bit about it, but she told me I was going to need a lot of help. I took a class at the Apple Store, but it was very confusing. Then I found out I could come here. These kids who are mentoring us are much smarter than we are about this stuff. None of this is natural to me, but Sean grew up knowing it, and he’s taking me step-by-step, telling me exactly what to do, making it all very easy.”

Carmel resident Ellyn Gelson, 69, and her 79-year-old friend, Bill Roulette of Woodland Hills, brought a higher level of tech savvy into the same session (she has owned a computer since 1997 and once had a Palm Pilot; he still uses the first-generation iPad), but got a worthwhile education from Butler and 17-year-old Carmel High senior Caroline Lahti.

“I learned a lot of things today that I didn’t know before,” Roulette said. “I discovered how to access the app store, and how to maneuver around the different applications. I found out how to get rid of stuff I don’t want anymore. And these kids taught me how to use my iPad to email photos and also to Skype. I never realized I could do those things.”

The teenage mentors are two-time recipients of a $1,000 grant from the American Association of Retired Persons, which this year included an all-expense-paid trip for Butler and Rudiger to AARP headquarters in Washington, D.C.

“I can honestly say that I feel like I’ve learned more during these sessions than I’ve taught,” Rudiger said. “I mean, obviously they’re taking in all this information and hopefully applying it every day but, for me, just talking with them and learning their stories is what draws me back every time. I love having those conversations.”

 

Just For Today … Be Creative!

"A Muse" (1935) ~ Pablo Picasso
“A Muse” (1935) ~ Pablo Picasso

This week look for inspiration — to write or create in other ways — from another part of yourself.

We are more creative than we think. Picasso was once asked whether his ideas come to him “by chance or by design.” Picasso responded: “I don’t have a clue. Ideas are simply starting points … What I capture in spite of myself interests me more than my own ideas.”

Every child is an artist. The problem is staying an artist when you grow up.

~ Pablo Picasso

 

Just For Today … “Get a Life” ~ by Anna Quindlen

montage(5)
There are thousands of people out there with the same degree you have; when you get a job, there will be thousands of people doing what you want to do for a living. But you are the only person alive who has sole custody of your life. Your particular life. Your entire life. Not just your life at a desk, or your life on the bus, or in the car, or at the computer. Not just the life of your mind, but the life of your heart. Not just your bank account, but your soul.

People don’t talk about the soul very much anymore. It’s so much easier to write a résumé than to craft a spirit. But a résumé is cold comfort on a winter night, or when you’re sad, or broke, or lonely, or when you’ve gotten back the chest X ray and it doesn’t look so good, or when the doctor writes “prognosis, poor.”

You cannot be really first-rate at your work if your work is all you are.

So I suppose the best piece of advice I could give anyone is pretty simple: get a life. A real life, not a manic pursuit of the next promotion, the bigger paycheck, the larger house. Do you think you’d care so very much about those things if you developed an aneurysm one afternoon, or found a lump in your breast while in the shower?

Get a life in which you notice the smell of salt water pushing itself on a breeze over the dunes, a life in which you stop and watch how a red-tailed hawk circles over a pond and a stand of pines. Get a life in which you pay attention to the baby as she scowls with concentration when she tries to pick up a Cheerio with her thumb and first finger.

Turn off your cell phone. Turn off your regular phone, for that matter. Keep still. Be present.

Get a life in which you are not alone. Find people you love, and who love you. And remember that love is not leisure, it is work.

Get a life in which you are generous. Look around at the azaleas making fuchsia star bursts in spring; look at a full moon hanging silver in a black sky on a cold night. And realize that life is glorious, and that you have no business taking it for granted. Care so deeply about its goodness that you want to spread it around. Take the money you would have spent on beers in a bar and give it to charity. Work in a soup kitchen. Tutor a seventh-grader.

All of us want to do well. But if we do not do good, too, then doing well will never be enough.

 

Woman as Healer: Shamans, Midwives and Priestesses

silkscreened ladySince the beginning of human civilization women healers honored and observed the sacred cycles of nature, time, and spirit. Women healers served their communities through midwifery, spiritual healing, nutritional and herbal healing, massage, hands on healing, prayer, ritual, dance, song, music, toning, and dreaming. Wise women healers offered healing support for their communities through ceremony and nurturing care from birth to death, from “womb to tomb”.

The healing ways of women have been demonstrated in every culture around the globe by traditional women healers, herbalists, and midwives. Women have been practicing the arts of midwifery and healing for thousands of years. In earlier human culture, women healers were honored for their sacred feminine healing arts. In times of oppression, patriarchal religions have targeted women healers and midwives.

Women have always gathered together during times of hardship, illness, menstruation, and birthing. In traditional cultures around the globe, female healers are an integral part of the community, and arose out of the community of women, through gaining experience and respect. Traditional midwives learn their healing craft from elder women in the community, often a mother, grandmother, aunt, or neighbor, thus weaving a web of women’s wisdom that connects the community of women and holds together the whole tribe of men, women, and children.

The traditional female healer blends knowledge of herbs and midwifery with cultural and cosmological beliefs. The interweaving of art, science, and spirituality creates a holistic model of care that nurtures and empowers the body, mind, and spirit. There are women healers and midwives from every culture around the world. She is known as the village healer, priestess, herbalist, midwife, wise woman, or shaman. She is the South African sangoma, the Hispanic curandera, the South Asian dai and Dyamaju, the Mayan granny healer, the Appalachian granny midwife, the French sagefemme, the Japanese samba, and the Polish babka.

Midwifery is the healing art of being ‘with woman’ and healers of the sacred feminine are the true midwives. Women’s healing arts are founded upon a deep connection to nature and an honoring of the human body. Women’s sexuality is valued as a healing, empowering, vital, and integral power. It is time for all humans to awaken to the experience that we are co-creators of our life, reality, and universe. Each thought, feeling, action, intention, and prayer you make influences your world, your health, your body, your children, and your planet. We are all part of one world, one universal womb, one universal family, and each breath we take is a biodynamic interchange with the holographic matrix of living energy.

The time is now to spiral to the next stage of evolution, beyond procreation of humanity and nature vs. nurture. It is now the age of co-creation with nature, spirit, love, and consciousness for the birth of a new paradigm of healing, birthing, living, and learning.

 

Just For Today … Mindfulness

magical child
BE MINDFUL. Be mindful of your own daily ups and downs, the joys and pains, and how that it’s what makes up the circle of life.

As Mark Twain once said,”What is joy without sorrow? What is health without illness? You have to experience each if you are to appreciate the other. There is always going to be suffering. It’s how you look at your suffering, how you deal with it, that will define you.”

“The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.” — Kahil Gabran

 

DISCUSSION ~ CHAKRA SYSTEM ~ A Closer Look At The Chakras And How They Influence Your Life

meditating chakras_3Each of your Chakras has its own unique “personality”, each controlling a specific aspect of your life. So if you’re experiencing any form of physical or mental shortcomings, limitations or challenges in your life, there’s a high chance one of your Chakras is weak or closed.

But how do you tell which of your Chakras are strong, and which need repairing? Simple–take a good look at the circumstances in your life.

Use the guide below and evaluate yourself.

The Foot Chakra influences your unique life experience.

Location: Below the feet

The little known ‘Foot Chakra’ or Chakra 0 that supports you in standing and living your truth.

Energies: Earth, grounding, structure

You know your Foot Chakra is STRONG when you stand by your convictions and beliefs. You are grounded and focused on the tasks at hand, and get things done your way in a timely and efficient manner. You are able to manifest and attract to you what is needed, grounding your positive desires and affirmations and live a life of comfort.

You know your Foot Chakra is WEAK or CLOSED when you face difficulty manifesting the things you want in life. You have trouble accomplishing things and feel unsure of your convictions or directions. You suffer from lack of focus and drive, which may be stopping you from making decisions, facing up to challenges or generally moving forward with your life.

The Root Chakra influences your career and money mindset.

Location: Base of the spinePrimarily influences your career, money mindset and sense of belonging.

Energies: Earth, grounding, focusing, centering

You know your Root Chakra is STRONG when you love your career and get rewarded for being so good at it. Everybody envies you for your uncanny ability to make, save and invest money. You always have more than enough money to go on holiday and buy what you want, without feeling guilty afterwards. You always feel wanted and loved by your friends and family, and you feel good about yourself when you look in the mirror, both physically and emotionally.

You know your Root Chakra is WEAK or CLOSED when you’re stuck in an unfulfilling and unrewarding career, and you never seem to have enough money–which leaves you worried and in debt. Spending money is a harrowing experience for you, as you doubt your ability to budget effectively. You suffer from weight or body issues, which leave you feeling unworthy and uncomfortable in your own skin.

The Sacral Chakra influences your sexuality.

Location: Lower abdomen
The energy center of sexuality and pleasure.
Energies: Water, energizing, charging

You know your Sacral Chakra is STRONG when you see sex in a positive light, as a glorious, pleasurable and healthy activity. You enjoy passionate, frequent and long-lasting sex with your partner. Orgasms are mind-blowing, and you and your partner often orgasm at the same moment. You make time to have sex at least a few times a week, even if you’ve been married or attached to the same person for years. You are always able to attract the right partners–compatible people who nourish you, fill you with joy and make you a better person.

You know your Sacral Chakra is WEAK or CLOSED when the thought of sex conjures images of guilt and pain in your mind. You rarely have the time or inclination to have sex, and when you do, it’s lackluster. You and your partner rarely orgasm at the same time, and premature or delayed ejaculation may be a frequent problem. You struggle to see yourself as ‘sexy’, and sometimes wonder how anyone could desire you. Your partners are often wrong and incompatible for you, and you find yourself wondering if you’ll ever find “the one”.

The Personal Power Chakra influences your self-esteem.

Location: Above the navel
Influences your personal power and ability to channel
Energies: Fire, energizing, charging, lends energy

You know your Personal Power Chakra is STRONG when you are admired for your confidence and healthy self-esteem, both in your career and personal life. You’re never afraid to speak your mind, and you empower those around you to do the same. Your family, colleagues and community see you as a charismatic individual, determined to use your charisma and power for making the world a better place.

You know your Personal Power Chakra is WEAK or CLOSED when you struggle with self-esteem issues, and feelings of unworthiness. You tend to question yourself when faced with important decisions like whether to move to another city, change your career, get married to your partner or to have children. You feel like a victim in the world, and often feel powerless to circumstances and other people’s desires. You may also suffer from frequent stomach pains and stomach anxiety.

The Heart Chakra influences your relationships.

Location: Center of the chest
The Chakra for love, relationships and self-acceptance.
Energies: Water, calming, soothes, relaxes

You know your Heart Chakra is STRONG when you enjoy comfortable, loving and empathic relationships at home, at work and in your community. You get along with your family. Your friends see you as a reliable person. At work, you’re known as the one people can talk to. You feel a heartfelt sense of gratitude for how wonderful your life is, and feel compassion for all around you.

You know your Heart Chakra is WEAK or CLOSED when you tend to sabotage your relationships with distrust, anger, and a sense that you’ll lose your independence if you rely too much on others. You may struggle with commitment, experience frequent fights or misunderstandings with your loved ones, and always keep yourself “on guard” in case you get hurt by someone.

The Throat Chakra influences your self-expression.

Location: Throat
“The Chakra of your “true voice”
Energies: Water, calming, soothes, relaxes

You know your Throat Chakra is STRONG when you are good at voicing out your thoughts, ideas and emotions to those around you. You’re admired for your willpower and strong communication skills, and your conviction to speak the truth, even if it may be uncomfortable to some. Your career and personal life are enriched as a result.

You know your Throat Chakra is WEAK or CLOSED when you constantly feel like nobody cares about your opinions, and that you have nothing of value to say. You’re likely to be known as the ‘quiet one’ in your professional and social circles, and you frequently settle with following other people’s opinions. You often suffer from a blocked and sore throat.

The Intuitive Chakra influences your intuition.

Location: Center of the forehead
This Chakra acts as your inner compass
Energies: Air, meditative, intuition, promotes thought

You know your Intuitive Chakra is STRONG when you are able to make accurate intuitive decisions and evaluations about your career, your family and the intentions of other people. You often know things without knowing exactly how you know them, and you have a clear sense of direction and clarity in everything that you do. You have a vivid picture of where your life is headed, and the people around you are likely to rely on you for guidance and advice.

You know your Intuitive Chakra is WEAK or CLOSED if you feel lost and helpless when faced with decisions and judgment calls. You are indecisive, uncommitted and unconfident of the decisions you end up making, because you have a history of making the wrong ones. You feel spiritually lost, and your true purpose is unclear to you. You often get headaches and feel tension in your brow area.

The Crown Chakra influences your connection to source.

Location: Top of the head
The Chakra of divine consciousness.
Energies: Air, meditative, intuition, promotes thought

You know your Crown Chakra is STRONG when you perpetually feel connected to a higher power, be it God, Universal Consciousness or simply your higher self. As you go through your daily life, you are always reminded that you are being watched over, and you feel immense gratitude for the universal love and appreciation you feel towards yourself and others. Others describe you as “glowing”.

You know your Crown Chakra is WEAK or CLOSED when you feel little or no connection to a higher power, and always feel alone. You feel unworthy of spiritual help, and perhaps even angry that your higher power has abandoned you. You often suffer from migraines and tension headaches.

 

Just for Today … Innovate!

kitesINNOVATE.  A kite flies because of pressure dynamics in the air, but the string facilitates that condition. Cut the string and it will crash. In other words, constraints can be guides. Placing limitations on processes is not normally associated with innovation. However, as explained in this article, setting boundaries and playing within them can foster creative solutions to complex problems, encourage a sense of humility in acknowledging the things that one cannot do, and even drive one towards “perfection”.

There are no limitations to the mind except those we acknowledge.

 

Just For Today … Indulge Your Inner Child

aar3Channel your child-like self and ask a courageous question about the world! Share your question as a comment to this posting, or with your family and friends, and feel free to post their responses here, too.

Do animals like sheep and cows have accents? Why do we cry? Is new technology always good? The art of asking big questions often comes from brave little people who are innocent to the complexities of the answers. Sometimes, it takes a whole book and the world’s leading experts to respond to these simple yet profound inquiries about life, nature, and the cosmos …

“Joy in the universe, and keen curiosity about it all – that has been my religion.” — John Burroughs

 

 

Just For Today ~ Be Change

TO THE LIGHT Jose GonzalezBe proactive.  Look for solutions to the problems your community faces, rather than call on someone else to solve them.

For too long, too many of us have been entranced by heroes. Perhaps it’s our desire to not have to do the hard work, to rely on someone else to figure things out. But perhaps it’s time for us to face the truth of our situation — that we’re all in this together, that we all have a voice — and figure out how to mobilize the hearts and minds of everyone in our workplaces and communities.

“I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.”  — Mother Teresa

 

Just For Today … Focus on Personal Connection

be present
Nurture kindness through personal connection.  Try to bring awareness to those moments of disconnectedness. Or, alternately, why not designate an hour of your day to go ‘hands free’ instead?

Years ago, we didn’t have to try so hard to stay connected. People lived in neighborhoods, and there weren’t many strangers that didn’t ultimately become friends. We watched over one another with relationships built upon a foundation of shared interdependence, ensuring plenty of kindness to go around. Sadly though, through our own scientific progress, we now live in an age of ‘connected disconnection.’ Even the most basic of needs are provided by faceless entities. But, at what cost?

“We are all so much together, but we are all dying of loneliness.”  — Albert Schweitzer

 

This is how nurturing kindness through personal connection looks … how ’bout it?

JUST FOR TODAY … Sing!

Apple-world nature artwork by blankenho
Find a song that expresses how you feel about a loved one and share that song with them.

We all have a story.  When we listen, and listen well enough to take our  words and turn them into art, and sing it back to those with whom we interact, something happens. Alchemy through heightened communication … the spark of creative innovation … and it’s powerful.

“Music is what feelings sound like.”  — Georgia Cates

 

Just For Today ~ Take Up A Hobby

gatitodelfin

Take up a hobby. You need play time. Slowly make a point to began an activity that you’ve always found interesting – be it gardening, cooking, reading, or participating in some type of sport.

When thinking of ways to create a better and healthier lifestyle, oftentimes people tend to think in terms of cutting back on certain choices, be it eating desserts, drinking alcohol, or perhaps just sitting on the couch watching TV. But one area in life that has been almost cut out entirely is something that actually should have never been cast aside — having a hobby. Not only is it a fulfilling, sometimes creative outlet, but it is also beneficial to your overall health.

“Get interested in something. Shake yourself awake. Develop a hobby. Let the winds of enthusiasm sweep through you. Live today with gusto.” — Dale Carnegie

 

JUST FOR TODAY …

cat_cockatooExperiment in slowing down the pace of your life today.


Images flash at us from every direction — from our social media accounts to advertisements on the road, and we have little time to take in anything. Seeing is not the whole story of learning — it takes time to process what we see. When we give ourselves time, on any subject, not just art, a new world of detail and understanding opens up to our consciousness. And, that kind of patience in education — learning how to slow down — is an essential part of a good education.

Nothing really worth having comes quickly and easily; If it did, I doubt that we would ever grow.

JUST FOR TODAY … It’s About Hope

Blue Trees Path, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee
Blue Trees Path, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee

Instead of feeling overwhelmed by your circumstances, take a moment to invite the practice of hope into your day.

Hope is among the strongest human emotions. Research shows it’s good for our physical and emotional well being. And it’s often the ‘thread’ that pulls us through. Traditionally hope has been thought to be one of those things that you either have … or, you don’t. But, what if hope can be learned?  Psychology research reveals that yes, hope is a skill you can acquire. It is active—you can cultivate and nourish it. It is multifaceted—there are 14 distinct aspects, according to Researcher Anthony Scioli, a professor of psychology at Keene State College in New Hampshire and author of The Power of Hope. It is self-perpetuating—hopeful people tend to be more resilient, more trusting, more open, and more motivated than those less hopeful, so they are likely to receive more from the world, which in turn makes them more hopeful—which is why it’s so important.

“Hope is the thing with feathers. That perches in the soul.  And sings the tune without the words.  And never stops at all.”   – Emily Dickinson

 

JUST FOR TODAY ….

EVENING MEDITATION (30 mins.) ~ Just for Today … If we are a global village, everything you do affects others. This week notice how your dreams and actions affect other people. You can bring light if you choose to.

Stories about the human colonization of other worlds were popular in the 1950s, with a promise of material abundance, and much of the population of the Western world excited about the possibilities offered by new technologies and a beneficial, authoritative science. That humans could extend their reach to other worlds seemed inevitable progress. Today, the popular faith in science and technology has drained away, to be replaced by a widespread, if often unspoken, fear. We have opened the box and seen where our ambition leads, and though we might quickly close it again and look away, it is too late in the day for any kind of innocence. We must move past the delusions of society.

“All that we are is the result of what we have thought. The mind is everything. What we think we become.”  ~ The Buddha

Just For Today … Be Creative!

creativity
Creativity is not found just in the chosen few who exhibit artistic talent. It is a force that flows through every single one of us, allowing us to dream things up and make them happen. This week, look for an opportunity to use your hands and your creativity to make something you would normally buy.

Do you consider yourself creative? If you answer, “no,” you are in the majority; most people don’t think they are creative. It turns out, though, that you don’t have to be a great artist to be creative. Creativity is simply our ability to dream things up and make them happen. Cooking breakfast, planting a garden, even developing a business plan are all creative acts. Creative expression boosts serotonin levels, decreases anxiety, and opens the door to the inner world of our imaginations. It is here that we make meaning of our lives and that motivation takes root. The more creative we are, the more capacity we have to imagine what’s possible and make those visions real.

When did you stop singing? When did you stop dancing? When did you stop telling your story? When did you stop sitting in silence? Numerous studies show that activities like drawing and creative writing—even knitting—raise serotonin levels and decrease anxiety.

Creative expression opens the door to the inner world of our imaginations. It is here that we make meaning of our lives. It is here that motivation takes root. The more creative we are, the more capacity we have to imagine what’s possible and make those visions real.