Ride the waves

 

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In life we experience ups and downs, rocky and smooth times. People disappoint us or surprise us. New friends come into our lives while others leave. Loved ones pass away and new ones are born.

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All we can do is focus on the positive, appreciate today, enjoy the ones we have and be grateful.

imageAll we can do is live and ride the waves of life.

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You Are Magnificent!

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You are not your stories, you are not your past!

You are a magnificent being with unlimited potential.

imageEverything in life, good or bad, happens to bring you into something greater.

Love and embrace yourself for who you are.

Be present and available for every experience in your life.

-Panache Desai, Spiritual Teacher

 

Blue Mind

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If you are anything like me being near the ocean probably makes you feel calm and serene. I know that it’s the first place I go to when I feel stressed or melancholy. Being near the water always makes me feel at peace. Both the sight and the sound of it makes me feel happier.

7f3ea28b943b634fb66e5285bb3aa666I recently finished “Blue Mind,” a book written by Wallace J. Nichols. He is a marine biologist and conservationist. His book tries to answer questions about the connection between our brain and bodies of water. It looks into the reasons of why so many of us are drawn to the ocean, and how this scientifically connects to our health and happiness.IMG_6539

Nichols explores the scientific reasons for why we have such a deep connection with water. He says that there are cognitive and emotional benefits that we get every time we spend time by water. He began hosting “blue mind” seminars that are attracting neurologists and psychologists from around the world. He uses the term “Blue Mind” to describe a state of water-associated peace. It’s in contrast to what one neuroscientist calls a “Red Mind,” an edgy high, characterized by stress, anxiety, fear, and despair.

Here are some amazing facts, brain imagining shows that being near water floods the brain with feel-good hormones like dopamine and oxytocin. Levels of the stress hormone cortisol actually drop. Scientists also discovered that the brain prefers the color blue above all others and water increases our ability to focus.

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Our bodies consist of about 60 percent water and our brains, an incredible 75 percent! Nichols says when we see or hear water it triggers a response in our brains that we are in the right place. He says the ocean literally sucks the stress out of our bodies and out of our minds. I have to say, that is true for me. What about you?

The next time you want to relax why not try taking a soothing bath? Maybe you can go fishing, or swimming. How about a walk on the beach? You can also learn to surf, visit an aquarium or maybe place a water fountain in your backyard and just relax there.

Learning how beneficial it is for us to be around water makes a powerful argument for keeping our world’s waters clean, healthy, and free. Now go enjoy a delicious tall glass of water and relax. And while you are doing that be thankful that we have clean water to drink! Nearly two billion people around the world do not.

Think on that, and while you are thinking, here are some great ways to help.

http://www.ilovearc.org

http://www.projecthumanity.org/

http://www.buylifestraw.com/en/

An ageless life

“Getting older is inevitable, aging is optional.” Dr. Christiane Northrup, MD

232323232fp537;4_nu=3285_359_557_WSNRCG=345643799_32_nu0mrjDoes your age limit who you are? Remember the time when you couldn’t wait to celebrate your twenty first birthday?

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You proudly announced your age to anyone that would listen to you. It’s different when you hit your 30’s, 40’s and beyond. Many of us don’t really want to shout out our age. Although there are a handful of friends that say they feel empowered when they “own” their age.

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Next Friday is my birthday. I’ve always hated getting older, even in my twenties. Unlike those that feel empowered to “own” their age I want to forget it! Don’t get me wrong, I like celebrating my birthday. I especially love getting presents! Honestly, I think moving through time is an opportunity to increase our value and our confidence. I just don’t want to state my age out loud. In fact, I’ve decided not to from now on! That’s because the second someone asks your age and you tell them they put you in a box and label you.  Our culture is all about the war on aging. How do we stay young? But why fight getting older? Everyday we all get older.

As the years pass we experience life, the good and the bad. With those experiences we become more wise, sometimes we are left with both emotional and physical scars. We really begin to know ourselves. We start to evolve and look within ourselves instead of looking out. We realize that the world does not revolve around us and we look to better ourselves as human beings. We learn to let go of our ego. We care less about what people think of us and more about how we feel about ourselves. We seek spiritual guidance. We realize change is inevitable and learn to become more flexible.

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What I wanted in my twenties is not what makes me happy today.  I’m much closer to knowing what really matters in life now. I’m not there altogether yet, but I’m close. So it’s not that I don’t embrace getting older it’s just that announcing my age makes me feel like people put me in a box. “Oh she is 34, 38…oh she is 40..(none of them are my real age by the way.) A box of what I’m supposed to wear, where I’m supposed to be in life. How I’m supposed to act. I just want to be me. Take me as I am, don’t worry about my age. The essence of who I am will never change, no matter what age I am.

I’ve heard so many of my friends say “well, it’s all downhill from here…we aren’t as young as we used to be.” No we aren’t, but we don’t have to curl up and die! My parents often say ” well these are the last days of our lives”. I think why say that? Why think that way? It only brings you and others around you down. You are alive today, be in the present!

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Do something that makes you feel great! One of the best ways to feel younger is to sourround yourself with things and people that bring you joy. The best is yet to come. It’s not over until it’s over. Don’t dwell in your own hell. Own the pain you have gone through. It could be a divorce, or a broken friendship, or a loss. We have to let ourselves feel the pain in order to heal. How you deal with loss and pain creates how you age. Burning off or letting go of the pain is how you heal and stay ageless. Let it go and live. That is the only way to live your life happy.

It’s not something I’ve mastered but it’s something I try to practice. Leave it to God.

 

 

Relax with what you love

 

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We all need time to unwind, relax and refresh. In my family we have lots of different ways to do that. Sometimes we just relax and watch a movie together. Sometimes we play games, read, workout or create. By creating I mean writing, knitting, making jewelry (that’s my daughter’s looming skills) or we sketch and paint.

Cell phone pictures 1690My eight year old is already quite the little artist! We both share the same amazing art teacher who inspires our love of art. Sophia takes her time when it comes to choosing what she will create. She usually looks through pinterest or a book of art to choose her subject. Once she finds it, she relaxes and paints. It takes a couple of weeks but the end result is always amazing.

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Most importantly, the creative process is one of happiness, relaxation and according to her lots of fun.

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Find your way of relaxation, breathe, take in the beauty of a crisp new day. Pay attention to all the blessings in your life. Give thanks, say a small prayer. Keep this practice going every day if you can. Whenever we do something repeatedly we create a habit. Over time this will bring you peace and fill you up. You will find that you are a much happier person.

I hope you find your way to gratitude and happiness.

 

 

 

Finding peace

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I’ve been contemplating whether or not I should blog about the unrest in the Middle East. It seems so insignificant to call it an “unrest”. Children are being killed in this horrific situation. I want this blog to be about positive topics but I really feel it should also be about my authentic feelings. Right now, the situation in Gaza has my full attention, so I feel compelled to blog about it.

The way I feel about this situation is encompassed in one paragraph in a recent New Yorker article by Rashid Khalidi. “In this surreal, upside-down vision of the world, it almost seems as if it is the Israelis who are occupied by the Palestinians, and not the other way around. In this skewed universe, the inmates of an open-air prison are besieging a nuclear-armed power with one of the most sophisticated militaries in the world.”

Most of the people from Palestine are Muslim and in Israel they are mostly Jewish. I often ask myself why all the hatred? Are they fighting about whose God is bigger and better? Obviously not, it’s all about power, greed and ignorance. Nevertheless religion seems to have a big part in this situation. People are going back and forth insulting each other and taking sides. I have friends from all walks of life with various religious beliefs. We manage to live peacefully with each other and even celebrate our differences.

Getting back to religion, what does it mean to be a Muslim, a Jew or a Christian? What is the purpose of religion? These are some of the questions I ask myself, especially during this time of turmoil. I’ve thought a lot about how I see God. My thoughts have never been to judge who believes in what religion. I think about the miracle that is in this life. I think that it is a privilege to be who I am. I see God in everything. I choose to open the door to spirituality, to see God in all that is beautiful. The more I allow myself to keep my heart open, the more I tend to run into what I need to know. If I want something in my life books fall off the shelf on that topic. It’s as if God is telling me what I need to do. I try to follow my bliss, to do what makes me feel good. I know that being of service of some kind brings me peace and happiness.

I see humanity as a part of me. If I catch myself judging someone of a different background, race or religion I try to feel the connection I have with them and not focus at our differences. I think of all I have and feel grateful. I literally write a grateful list every day. I try to be present to everything in my life. I give my full attention. I try to bring passion to everything I do. I try to be accepting of people and inclusive. I try to see myself in other people’s situation. This is why it’s so difficult for me to see what is happening in Gaza. I wonder if those bombs would be thrown if we could just picture our children, our loved ones, ourselves in the receiving end. I think not.
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Maybe if we think of everyone as a collective ONE there would be less war, less hatred and less INHUMANITY.
John Lennon sings,
Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world…

You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will live as one.

IMAGINE.

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