Category Archives: Healthy Living

How To Reduce Chronic Inflammation

Many people think of inflammation as being skin redness, joint swelling after exercise, or even a pimple. And it is. But there’s a different kind of inflammation that is more insidious. This is chronic inflammation, or systemic inflammation. It’s a slow, silent attack on your body and health that never switches off. And worse, it’s the underlying cause of many serious chronic diseases in our lives. Luckily there are simple changes you can easily make to reduce the chronic inflammation in your cells.

chronic inflammation

 

You actually need some degree of inflammation in your body to stay healthy. However it’s more and more common for the inflammatory response to get out of hand.

Inflammation serves an important purpose but when it continues indefinitely it can become dangerous. You know your immune system is stuck in “high alert” when inflammation doesn’t recede. And this is where chronic disease develops.

 

Effects of Chronic Inflammation

 

Most of the common chronic illnesses today are thought to develop when the body is in a state of chronic (or systemic) inflammation. Osteoarthritis, autoimmune diseases, allergies, asthma, IBS, heart disease and even cancer are just some indicators of chronic inflammation.

Many things in life both contribute to and maintain chronic inflammation. Excess weight, lack of exercise, poor diet, excess alcohol, poor oral health and ongoing stress are just some factors that lead to it. Others such as pollution and toxins in our environment can also contribute.

 

Stress And Chronic Inflammation

 

For many people stress can be the major problem. Cortisol is an important part of your body’s stress response to perceived threats. So levels of the hormone cortisol rise in response to any stressful situation.  However, when stress of any type is ongoing the cortisol release mechanism doesn’t turn off. This results in persistent low grade inflammation. In some cases it can go on forever.

The first step to turn off the chronic inflammation response is to change your lifestyle. Simply switch to an anti-inflammatory diet for a significant impact.

 

Conditions Caused By Chronic Inflammation

 

  • Heart disease – stroke, hypertension
  • Diabetes
  • Lung issues – asthma, hay fever, COPD, chronic bronchitis, emphysema, breathing difficulties
  • Bone and joint disease – all forms of arthritis, osteoporosis
  • Depression – including feeling down, sleep problems, appetite loss
  • Cancer
  • Anger disorders, aggressive behaviour
  • Autoimmune – Crohn’s, Lupus, Type 1 Diabetes, colitis, IBD,
  • Neurological disorders –  Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, depression, Multiple Schlerosis,

 

Common Causes Of Inflammation

 

Excess Weight

Stacking on the kilos causes fat cells to grow. This leads to immune system distress and results in an inflammatory response within the fat cells.  Over time these cells become insulin-resistant which can lead to diabetes.

 

Chronic stress

Whether it’s a terrible job, unhappy marriage, sick parents, overfull diary or worry about your kids makes you anxious, they’re all chronic stressors. And chronic stress causes unchecked chronic inflammation.

 

Poor Air Quality

Chronic inflammation is one result of smog or any other form of pollution. Tobacco smoke is probably the worst form of air pollution.

 

Gut Health

The gut is integral to your immune system. Seventy percent of it is seated within the gut. Therefore bacteria balance is crucial to the regulation of inflammation. Beneficial bacteria suppress inflammation and harmful bacteria activate it. Boost the beneficial bacteria and reduce inflammation.

Certain foods contain inulin, a prebiotic which feeds beneficial gut bacteria and keeps your gut healthy. These include onions, raw asparagus, raw dandelion greens, raw banana, yoghurt, sour cream, and raw leeks.

Gut inflammation can initiate diseases like Crohn’s or rheumatoid arthritis.

Discover how to fight inflammation in your body.

Continue reading …

 

Disclaimer

 

All information and opinions presented here are for information purposes only. They are not intended as a substitute for professional advice offered during a consultation with your health care provider. Do not use this article to diagnose a health condition. Speak to your doctor if you think your condition may be serious or before discontinuing any prescribed medication. Please consult with your health care provider before following any of the treatment suggested on this site, particularly if you have an ongoing health issue.

 

End Of Year Release Ritual

END OF YEAR RELEASE RITUAL

 

2016 is coming to a close and it’s naturally time to reflect back on the year… and start to look forward to 2017. It’s been a heavy year of releasing for many people, a year of endings. As we enter the countdown to 2017 many of us are still holding things that no longer serve us. In order to make the quantum leap into the New Year and the new cycle filled with awakened potential it’s essential to release these in the next few weeks. A 2016 releasing ceremony is the perfect way to weeks to round off the energetic cycle of 2016 and make the transition into 2017.

release ritual

2016: End Of A Cycle

 

2016 is the final year in a nine year cycle of growth. As it winds down spend time to acknowledge how far you’ve come over the last 9 years; reflect on your lessons and new awareness; embrace wisdom gained and re-remembered and be GRATEFUL for all the joyous moments in your life.

Many people start off their New Year by making a list of resolutions. Many also don’t reach any of their goals. Often they make the same resolution year after year without achieving it!

Trying to set achievable goals to reach your dreams without first firming a solid foundation is like building a home over a sink-hole. Without firm footings it will collapse. The footings you need in order to create achievable goals are found by getting really clear about where you’re starting out from. The 2016  Releasing Ceremony does just that by highlighting both the journey you traveled and the lessons and achievements you encountered along way.

2016 has been a difficult year for many. It was filled with difficult challenges that provided great opportunity for personal development and spiritual growth. Many of these challenges revisited familiar life lessons. Lessons that repeat over and over, spiraling back upon themselves. Each revisit brings a variation of the core lesson providing the opportunity to reach a deeper awareness of both the lesson and yourself.

Coming at the end of a nine year cycle the lessons of 2016 are the culmination of this spiraling awareness and deepening consciousness. It’s essential to now finalise them or they will be carried into the new nine year cycle to be repeated yet again.

Bear in mind that the significant aspects of 2016 will be those that bring these nine year long lessons to culmination.

Are you enjoying this article? Read more to discover the 11 steps to create your own release ritual…

 

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Best Tips For Spring Health And Wellness

BEST TIPS FOR SPRING HEALTH AND WELLNESS

 

After a long cold, wet, winter we’re all quite ready to bid it farewell! Spring has blossomed bringing the reminder of youth, and the promise of new beginnings. We’re ready to shrug off winter, stretch and expand our energy up and outwards. Spring is the time of transformation and growth. Spring’s the time to renew your energy and change your life. These top tips for Spring health will launch your momentum to rise to your fullest Summer potential.

As the days warm and lengthen in Spring you’ll start to feel lighter, both emotionally and physically.

 

best tips for spring health and wellness

 

AWAKEN

Get outside. Play, socialize and have fun just as a child would. The sun is up earlier and staying later. Join him and get outside to watch the dawn. Even if you wake grumpy give yourself the opportunity to get out, feel the earth under your feet and soak in all the benefits of grounding.

 

MOVE

Instead of letting restlessness irritate you in spring use it to kick-start your exercise program.

Spring is a great time to overhaul – or begin – your exercise routine. Walk faster, join a dance class, try yoga or tai chi, even join a hiking group or cricket team. Honour your body by not overdoing it, and remember to keep hydrated or you’ll become fatigued very quickly.

 

RELEASE

If you want to bring the new into your life you must make space for it. Whether it’s a new spring wardrobe, new habits or new thought patterns, if you want it to create a new you, you need to de-clutter first. The first step is to release everything that no longer serves you.

Spring offers a great opportunity to clear the mind and get rid of thoughts that undermine our self-esteem or are toxic to relationships. Once you clear out old toxic thought patterns you can start planting positivity seeds to create a life you love.

LIKE THIS POST?  Continue…

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Gratitude. Generosity. Growth.

Is your life happy? Do you remember to enjoy the small things in life? Do you express your gratitude every day?

In order to live a healthy happy life requires you to address all aspects of your life and surroundings. You need to go much further than just getting fit or changing what you eat. Obviously fitness and diet develop the physical body. But they also develop the mental and emotional bodies to a degree through the endorphins released through exercise, and by creating a better chemical balance in the brain through good food choices.

gratitude generosity growth

 

The mind-body connection is well recognized and it’s known your emotional state affects how healthy your body is.

Holistic growth involves changing and improving on all levels – spiritually as well as physically and mentally. It requires you to be constantly aware and willing to make changes in attitudes, to practice mindfulness, to cultivate gratitude and to open your heart with generosity.

To develop your spirituality you don’t need to follow a religion although you can if you prefer. But you do need to develop a close and meaningful relationship with your essential inner self. You could go and undertake something quite life-changing such as Vipassana to achieve this, but often it’s by simply looking at the things in your life differently that you create the biggest impact, and you can do this in small ways every day.

Becoming connected to the world directly around you in a positive and meaningful way can create a snowballing effect that leads to big changes within. By developing and practicing this you also show love and care for yourselves. You can do this by:

  • showing love and care for the Earth in your own neighbourhood
  • appreciating the small gestures of those you cross paths with
  • acknowledging when things fall into place smoothly
  • actually noticing what is going on around you

The Key

The key to achieving these grass root changes is in the cultivation of gratitude, which results in you becoming more generous, which then leads to personal awareness and growth. What a great chain of events!

Gratitude is a funny thing. We are all taught to say please and thank you but not often how to feel and express gratitude for our life.

I remember teaching this basic social grace to my son when he was 3 years old. As he and his little friend were exchanging Christmas gifts the boys were told to “shake hands” to show gratitude and thanks. They looked at each other bewildered for a moment and then both started shaking their hands wildly in the air around themselves.

But gratitude is not just about saying thank you for a gift (whether you like it or not). It’s about finding joy in the detail of your life and bringing the focus of your life back to the minutiae around you.

It’s about bringing an awareness of the continual flow of life and a development of a sense of your connection to all, within.

It’s about recognizing all the blessings that are a part of each day, the blessings that often get lost in the daily humdrum.

Gratitude’s about finding joy in the detail of your life.

Gratitude is about learning to find joy in the detail of your life
Gratitude’s about finding joy in the detail of life

 

Living In The Moment

When exactly is it we first become focused on “keeping your eye on the prize”? I see this as the single most important attitude that undermines the practice of gratitude. We spend our life focused on achieving the promotion, the dream house, cool car, we follow fashion which changes so fast we constantly need more new garments, we work towards the next holiday, beautiful jewelry and on and on and on.

We’re driven by never-ending striving for what we need to achieve and own, our eyes constantly focused on what’s up ahead, the big prize.

When we live with this focus we miss the life around us, the little details of our everyday life…we fail to ever live in the moment.

Living in the moment is what we’ve been told to do in order to know, understand and improve ourselves, but we’re never in the space to achieve it.

By cultivating gratitude and forcing yourself to bring your focus back from what you desire or want to achieve you start to notice the small things around you, and to find ways to give back to the earth as well as to the people in your life.

By cultivating gratitude you also cultivate generosity.

Gratitude Journal

One way to begin cultivating gratitude is to start a gratitude journal.

 

Like to know more about keeping a gratitude journal and the benefits of gratitude?

Continue reading…

 

 

 

Disclaimer.

All information and opinions presented here are for information purposes only and are not intended as a substitute for professional advice offered during a consultation. Please consult with your health care provider before following any of the treatment suggested on this site, particularly if you have an ongoing health issue. 

 

Related articles

 

Clear Your Crap For Clarity And Control

So many people feel overwhelmed today, and stumble through their life trying to stay a-top the wave of obligation and busyness, without falling and crashing. Just staying up there requires energy and effort. Getting rid of stuff can help clear some space in your life and your head to make that balancing act just a little easier.

As life continues to speed up the feeling that we need to simplify, if only to stay on top and survive, is expanding and gaining importance. De-cluttering is often the first step towards a simpler life. The beauty of clearing out the junk in your life is that it’s not limited to just the old clothes you no longer wear but can be undertaken as a conscious project where you target clearing on every single level of your being.

Clear Your Crap

Everyone is familiar with spring cleaning but not so many set themselves up to undertake the “whole enchilada”, to declutter more than just their possessions. When you begin to view de-cluttering as a “life-cleanse” rather than as simply a bit of a clean-out you set yourself on a path for a cascade of dynamic life-changing effects.

Everyone has stuff in their life that no longer serves them, baggage that no longer supports them to be the best they can be. Sad to say this outdated stuff can even include people.

To do a full de-clutter of your life really takes some hard soul-searching. In order to totally renew ourselves on every level we need to clear not just belongings but also outdated or negative beliefs, debt, bad habits, people that who leave us feeling bad about ourselves, judgments and criticisms of self and others, or mental clutter.

For many of us holding onto excess possessions, thoughts, emotions or beliefs, has to do with our past experiences and what we learned as we grew up. Relationships, feelings of obligation, debt can all be tied tightly to emotions that are rooted deep in our early years, so they can sometimes be difficult to dislodge. Often we are not even conscious of where they arose from.

The process of life de-cluttering can seem a mammoth exercise. It can seem completely overwhelming and confusing. Where to actually begin could even stop you from starting.

But the same rules that apply to spring-cleaning also apply to making the total life clean out happen. Just as you start spring-cleaning in one room and work systematically through the whole house, so too do you start with one small part of your life and clear that first.

It is all about recognizing what needs to go and then breaking the huge challenge down into small steps that are easy to manage and succeed at.

The beliefs, habits, and possessions in our life can have a great hold on us and shifting them out of our life can be very challenging and difficult. Often by clearing out excess possessions in our life we create a ‘roll’ that then eases us into decluttering the trickier things.

By starting in our homes and removing the excess we open the way for a decluttering on all levels. We open the way for clarity and space not just in our surroundings but also in our mind, body and spirit. Once we declutter our possessions we can begin to recognize, examine and discard those more challenging things in our life, the mental clutter, debt, bad jobs, even relationships.

Often we can have a sense that we don’t really feel happy, or passionate about life. But we may not be able to pinpoint where the feeling stems from. Sometimes we have just become so caught up in living, juggling work, kids, friends, parents, money, plus all the other obligations of life, that we have lost sight of our own needs. The negatives in our life have been absorbed and become so ingrained that we don’t even notice them as being less than ideal anymore.

I like to think of these outdated rose-and-pearlparts of our life as the grain of sand in the oyster shell. The sand grain sits there irritating the poor oyster. But with work the oyster is able to transform it into a beautiful gem, a pearl. By opening up the shell of ourselves and working on the irritating grains of sand in our life we can transform problems into pearls.

 

When we de-clutter we learn to let go and create space. There is a saying that if we want something new in our life we need to first make a space for it to fit in. With our life becoming even fuller and more challenging every single day it seems imperative that we clear every aspect of it that we can. New things will always move into our life, it is the nature of living, but whether we have the space in our life to embrace the positive that waits to arrive depends on whether we are prepared to release the negative first.

As we declutter we gain a sense of lightness as each non-supportive thing leaves
us for good. These are heavy burdens and releasing them lifts the weight from our shoulders giving us a sense of freedom.

Whether the clutter in our life is physical, emotional, or mental it takes a good deal of effort to maintain our relationship with them. When we own less we need to devote less attention to stuff and so we gain the precious commodity of time.

To begin your declutter start by drawing up a plan. Don’t worry if everything isn’t included. Things that need to good will become apparent as you go ahead. Start simply with releasing the most obvious things. Break the process down into small steps and tackle one at a time, then move on to the next. Stop along the way to acknowledge what you have cleared and pause to notice if more stuff has arisen.

If you need help to get clarity about where to begin, or help to form a plan of action, or you know you’ll be able to do this if you just have the support to keep you on track, I am here to help.

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Disclaimer

All information and opinions presented here are for information purposes only and are not intended as a substitute for professional advice offered during a consultation. Please consult with your health care provider before following any of the treatment suggested on this site, particularly if you have an ongoing health issue.

Find Control In Your Life – Step By Small Step

Sometimes we get so set in our habits it becomes impossible to think about changing them even if doing so means taking back control in your life. Often the route to changing set habits seems too tough to even begin. That’s where process becomes vital. A plan that breaks down the insurmountable changes you need to make into small easy steps is invaluable as it makes those changes easily achievable.

When my son was in his first year of University he visited his Naturopath for some health issue. Hardly surprisingly the naturopath called him out on his eating habits, asking why he ate junk, specifically McDonalds, for his lunch when his Uni was surrounded by great little Asian cafes where he could go and get a big bowl of broccoli instead.

My son came home and told me he’d been told to eat broccoli for lunch. He laughed a lot, said “Yea right! As if (that’s ever going to happen)” and for him that was end of possiblity to change. Totally normal response from an eighteen year old I thought.

 

find clarity and control in your life

Telling a guy of this age to replace all his delicious (to him) foods with another food that he didn’t love, was like speaking to closed ears. For him the cost and the task were both simply too big. He wasn’t prepared to give up his foods because he loved them. He coudn’t find a good motivation as he wasn’t really convinced enough that his poor diet was contributing to his symptoms, in spite of what his naturopath and I told him. He didn’t see the benefit, better health, as big enough a compensation for the loss of a practice he loved.

So we talked, and I gently nagged, and he ended up agreeing once a week to try out the nearby cafes and let me know if there were any worth visiting. Plus I suggested he modified the instructions a little to make it easier and less of a chore.

The prospect of steamed broccoli for lunch five days a week didn’t cut it with him. But when I broke it down into small steps by suggesting he try it just once a week the task was immediately manageable. He no longer saw it as an imposition as he actually really liked the new foods offered.

When I modified it to something less extreme than a bowl of broccoli, and made the change smaller, it was far more appealing to him, and better than the junk food healthwise. In fact he came to enjoy the variety.

Changing habits is never easy to do especially when they are ones you really enjoy. When you focus on the deprivation that’s involved, of how much you’ll miss out on if you drop or change the habit, any benefits can become difficult to see, and without obvious benefits there’s no incentive for you to do it.

The other big problem that often stops you before we even start changing your habits is the actual logistics involved. Sometimes the organisation required to make change becomes so huge it seems insurmountable. While there must first be enough motivation for you to put in the effort, the steps to get there must be designed so it’s actually easy to manage them.

In my son’s case he not only thought he’d miss out on something he loved, but he also had to consider the issues or steps involved in deciding which café to go to before he’d commit to doing it – which ones he could afford, which would have quick service to fit into his lunch break, which menu looked better, and perhaps most importantly whether his friends would also change so he didn’t need to eat alone. The last of these was a ‘maker or a breaker’. If his friends had stayed with the junk food option the steps to change would have been insurmountable in his assessment and he would have dropped the idea before starting it.

One simple way to overcome the apparent looming difficulty of making change is to break the goal down.

I take the attitude that by changing just that one meal a week my son was 20 percent healthier than he was before. And it opened the way to eating healthier because once he started he found he enjoyed it as much as the junk. This made it easier to replace more and more meals with healthier options.

This is a tactic I often suggest to clients. Most of them love their coffee but often coffee contributes to their ill-health. If I ask them to stop drinking coffee they often agree reluctantly but don’t actually make any change, and sometimes even don’t tell me they still drink just as much.

But if they only have to cut their coffee back from say four cups a day to three the task is much more achievable, and they start to see benefits immediately. They’re already doing 25 percent better than they were, so are that much further towards their goal of good health.

Many times when you just don’t ‘feel the joy’ it’s normal to want to change your life. But if you are so busy focusing on the end point where your life would be totally happy, blissful and perfect, that place where you are in control of your life, the road to get there appears simply too long and difficult. The steps you need to take seem too big, especially if they involve juggling many other responsibilities in your life to manage.

Breaking everything into small steps is the easiest way to bring change, to allow you to take a gentler pathway to that goal you have. It also provides an easy confirmation that things are starting to change and you are achieving what it is you want.

When I want to make changes I first break the task down into small steps. Then to I go back through it and break it down again, taking it right down into tiny little steps. There are days when my steps might include one so basic as getting up and going outside. When I get there I can feel the satisfaction that I have been able to drag myself away from my work so I have a sense of achievement that reminds me “I can do this”.

The steps you take don’t have to be major in themself, they simply need to be defined and achievable. They reinforce your knowledge that you can make the change you need. Each and every one needs to be acknowledged right when it’s achieved. And most importantly each one will allow you that feeling that you again have some control in your life.

So what is it you want to change first? Take another look at where you can break it down into those tiny little, easily attainable steps. Then begin, one confident step at a time on the pathway towards your goal.

 

find control in your life

Disclaimer

All information and opinions presented here are for information purposes only and are not intended as a substitute for professional advice offered during a consultation. Please consult with your health care provider before following any of the treatment suggested on this site, particularly if you have an ongoing health issue.

 

Stay Well Through Autumn With Natural Remedies

As the gentle energy of Autumn settles around us, wrapping us in her hazy sunny days and crisp evenings it is time to prepare for the turning inward that naturally occurs as we approach winter.  Autumn is a time of benevolence, when the activity of summer has slowed, when pastimes become gentler and more leisurely, when we turn our attention within to our own thoughts and dreams.

stay well for winter

As the energies of Autumn contract and gather inwards, they cause us to also slow down in readiness for the stillness of the coming winter. The contemplative nature of the season allows time for inner reflection and awareness, providing a space to find clarity before setting plans and goals to initiate in the Spring.

In readiness for increased awareness and understanding, Autumn is a time to embrace peace and avoid engaging in personal dramas. This is the time to practice distancing yourself, to step back from conflict, judgement and other triggers in your life. This is the time to take a deep breath and count to ten before responding to potential conflicts.

 

Autumn Health

April is a time of transition for our whole body. As the evening air takes on a bite after the gentle warmth of the afternoon sun our bodies become more susceptible to health problems. Illnesses that have gone underground over the summer will re-appear and new flu and other infections appear.

If you don’t use this time to build your health and charge up your immune system, by June you may find yourself more susceptible to winter illness and less capable of throwing off any illness you develop.

 

Change Your Habits

By adjusting your lifestyle to best use the seasonal energies you can strengthen your whole system.

There are a number of ways to make changes all of which contribute to building your health.
Most people naturally change their foods as the weather cools as Summer salads make way for heavier meat and root vegetable stews and soups. But also adapting life practices including exercise, meditation and sleep so they are healthier offers enormous support through the colder months.

 

Sleep, Sleep, Sleep

One of the most important lifestyle changes to make for Autumnsleeping under the moon watermarked bought and Winter health is to recognize that your body needs much more sleep as it turns inward. Having about seven hours sleep every night is one of the best ways to protect yourself against winter illness. Your body doesn’t recover by sleeping in on the weekend after a sleep-deprived week and this does not support your health.

If you can’t get to sleep or stay asleep, speak to your natural health practitioner now, before Winter, for advice and treatment to change this pattern.

Push yourself to rest and take it easy. Develop great bedtime routines to maintain wellness and keep away ‘office illness’. These Seven Surefire Ways To Get a Good Night’s Sleep will get you started.

As Autumn settles in it is time to treat yourself with compassion. Be conscious this is the season to be gentle, and wrap yourself with TLC. If you are someone who is constantly there for everyone else, now is the time to turn that caring inwards and say ‘no’ to others.

It is only by first caring for your own needs that you can adequately care for those around you.

 

Autumn Exercise

Exercise is a great way to boost immune health.

Exercise increases oxygen levels in the blood. Oxygen levels in major cities are repeatedly measured at levels significantly below normal. When you consider that most people also breathe poorly, taking in less oxygen, and that many chronic diseases including cancer are associated with low oxygen levels, the importance of boosting oxygen intake becomes obvious.

Exercise makes you feel more alert, boosts your levels of endorphins to make you feel positive, as well as improving oxygen levels in every cell of your body. But during Autumn it is vital to tone down your exercise program to prevent your energy becoming depleted, as that adversely affects your immune system.

Yoga, t’ai chi or Qi Gong are very balancing and present the perfect exercise option for autumn. Deep breathing exercises and yoga stretching both serve your immune system as well as your respiratory organs through the winter. Brisk walking and bike riding are other great ways to exercise in Autumn.
Avoid heavy aerobic exercise outdoors in the cooler autumn months, as it may reduce vital energy and weaken your system.

autumn-colors

Susceptible Organs During Autumn

The lung and the colon are both organs of elimination and relate to your ability to “let go” on all levels. According to the teachings of Traditional Chinese Medicine if your immunity is weak these are the organs that will be affected during Autumn, with respiratory problems including coughs, breathing difficulties and sinus problems, or gut issues like constipation and/or diarrhoea.

These are the organs that are affected when you hold on to grief and sadness. If you are holding unresolved grief or sadenss they eventually affect the health and function of your lungs or large intestine, sending you the message that it is “time to let go”.

 

 

Continue reading to discover which foods to eat in Autumn, what supplements you need and what to do if you still get sick…

 

stay Well For Winter 4

Disclaimer

All information and opinions presented here are for information only and are not intended as a substitute for professional advice offered during a consultation. Please consult with your health care provider before trying any of the treatments suggested on this site.

Are you Happy? How Do You Rate?

Are you a happy person? Happiness is a matter of choice — not just luck.

How often have you thought of someone as simply having a happy disposition? The truth is that happiness doesn’t just fall into your lap, rather it is something you need to consciously work at. Chances are that person with the happy disposition consciously makes life choices to create that feeling, every day.

 

happy person

 

For some people this comes easier than for others, but everyone can choose to be happy and then to take the steps to make it happen. Just by changing habits in their life for ones that create more happiness they can shift themself towards the happier life they crave.

Happiness is not something that occurs all the time. Life is a series of ups and downs. Rather, being a happy person indicates that you are able to bring yourself back into that lighter state when you find yourself falling into darker moods.

 

Use this checklist to find out how happy you are.

Happy people:

  1. Nurture social relationships and spend time in-person with their friends
  2. Live minimally
  3. Tell the truth
  4. Don’t judge
  5. Don’t hold grudges
  6. Never make excuses
  7. Take the time to listen
  8. Speak well of others
  9. Choose their friends with care
  10. Set their personal boundaries
  11. Dream big
  12. Avoid social comparisons
  13. Treat everyone with kindness
  14. Accept others
  15. Exercise
  16. Don’t sweat the small stuff
  17. Accept what they cannot change
  18. Meditate or practice quiet reflection
  19. Avoid seeking approval from others
  20. Express gratitude for what they already have in their life
  21. Eat well
  22. Laugh and have a sense of fun
  23. Are busy but not rushed
  24. Give – but not until it hurts
  25. Surround themselves with other happy people

 

family and friends

 

So just how happy are you?

If you didn’t rate so highly try adopting some of the practices on this list.

Start with just one or two and do them until they become a natural way for you to act or think. Then gradually add some more. As you increase your happy practices it becomes easier to add more and more, and you will find you feel happy most of the time.

What makes you feel really deeply happy? Why not leave a reply below?

happy 570881_640

 

Disclaimer
All information and opinions presented here are for information purposes only and are not intended as a substitute for professional advice offered during a consultation. Please consult with your health care provider before following any of the treatment suggested on this site, particularly if you have an ongoing health issue.

 

New Moon Clarity: Discover Your Personal Insights For Lunar Manifestation

Often when you live a life based on good health you get focused on the physical – eating healthy food, getting enough exercise, or avoiding toxins. But  to achieve good health you need to takes steps on all levels, and the physical is only the starting place. It is equally important to manifest change on each of the levels of mind, body and spirit. The time of the New Moon is especially potent and the best time to birth anything new into your life. Creating a New Moon Ritual is a powerful way to stimulate new beginnings and change.

New Moon Rituals address all of three of three aspects of yourself, the mind, body and spirit. They help you to clarify desires, to form that desire into a goal, and to set an intention for achieving it.

new moon clarity 3

Once every month I remind my followers on Facebook that a New Moon is about to occur and I suggest they prepare their Lunar Manifestation List. Some of them do. But the response of many who have never done this before is “What the…?”

Unless you have been guided to this by someone you will most likely not know how to do it.

For years I have held amazing New Moon Red Tent Circles to coincide with the New Moon. They are the most wonderful supportive space for busy women to take some time out for just a few hours. They provide the space to tune into yourself and identify what’s not working in your life, what’s really p*ssing you off, and most importantly, where you need to make changes and exactly what you want to begin in your life.

It all happens with a group of women who offer unconditional support for you to gain understanding and clarity. All in the group can share without comment or advice from others, and can even vent if they need. Everyone usually gets amazing insights.

Within the circle you also have the opportunity for a some self-care and sometimes a little creative play (Recently we played with finger paint. I have never done this before and it was So. Much. Fun.)

Why I always hold these sessions at the New Moon

Simple!

Throughout history indigenous societies always honoured the time of the New Moon because it is the time when our intuition (those gut feelings you get) are at their strongest, especially for women.

Test this out for yourself. Keep track of what messages your subconscious sends to you in the few days around the New Moon. Often the messages come through your dreams. Take notice if you wake up suddenly knowing the answer to something that has been troubling you.

This is also the time when many, especially women, feel extra weary. Your body may feel heavy, sleepiness overcome you in the afternoon, you crave early nights or you may feel less like going out and socialising.

This is you telling yourself that it is the best time to slow down and go within. This is the best time to access the knowledge you already have for a better, happier life.

The time of greater awareness varies from one person to the next but usually is for a few days around the New Moon time. As the actual time of the New Moon varies from one place to another because each place is in a different time zone, you need to check for the exact time and date in your area. Remember to set your own location.

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Lunar Manifestation Lists

One of the things that always forms the closing of my New Moon Red Tent Sessions is the creation by each person of their Lunar Manifestation List.

It becomes too easy for us to roll along on our merry way, one week passing to the next until we suddenly notice that another whole year has passed us by.

Using the New Moon to set our Lunar Manifestation Intention List is simply a form of getting clear on your wishes for the month, like a monthly goal setting. But it is more than just ‘goal-setting’ as this one really comes from our heart.

Mix It Up

It’s important to wish for what you really do need in your life, or what you don’t need. Whatever you  decide to include on your list frame it with the intention of stimulating personal growth.

You may wish to change a bad habit, or a relationship you have outgrown or one you are now ready to welcome in. There may be a material possession you would love. You may need more self-nurturing. Perhaps you would like to undertake some form of service to others or to allow others to do things their way. It may even be to simply change the way you view a situation.

Whatever it is you wish to create can be added to your list.

Get specific

When I look back on my own lists I am struck by how often what I wrote came about.

For about 18 months I kept adding ‘New Car” to my list. But no new car appeared. Then one month I wrote down the make, the model and even the colour of the car I wanted. Six weeks later just that car was sitting in my driveway, and I got it for an awesome price too.

When I got really serious and was more specific about my list, my focus and my energy was directed towards achieving that goal, like an arrow.

Take Time

Don’t just dive in. The result will most likely be superficial. This is the time you need to get real. Spend the time to really tune in to your subconscious, your inner knowing, if you want to discover deep insights about how to change for the best.

You can simply sit and write your list but if you spend some time beforehand to really tune in to yourself you receive greater clarity about the deeper issues that are holding you back.Also you may find something you are ready to receive in your life that you were not yet aware of.

If you meditate this is an awesome way to tune in to your intuition.

If you prefer someone else to guide you through a meditation there are many guided visualisations available on Youtube. (I am creating a series of suitable guided meditations for the New Moon which will be available later this year.)

Keep things Simple

You don’t need to meditate, it’s not essential.

Simply taking some time to go somewhere quiet, somewhere you won’t be disturbed is enough. It may be a special space in your home or somewhere you love in nature. Wherever you choose just make certain you are somewhere you will not be interrupted. (For busy Mums it may even mean locking yourself in the toilet!) Just find somewhere quiet and peaceful.

New Moon Red Tent Ritual

Make sure you have pen (they can be coloured) and paper with you, the list needs to be written by hand. A journal is perfect for keeping your Lunar Manifestation Lists together if you would like to keep them to look back at later.

If you wish play some uplifting music, light a candle or do anything that has special meaning for you. But make sure it doesn’t intrude and draw your attention away from listening to your intuition.

When you are seated comfortably take a few moments to relax yourself. Start by loosening your toes and work your way up your body. Finally feel your shoulders drop, your jaw relax and your forehead un-crease.

Now take a few deep belly-breaths. As you breathe in imagine the Indigo Light of Intuition entering your body along with your breath and spreading through every cell of your body. As you breathe out feel the stress of your day and any negative thoughts you are holding leave your body along with your breath.

As you breathe the Indigo Light within on each breath feel yourself connect more deeply with your inner knowledge. Allow your breath to relax into a natural rhythm and sit for a while opening yourself to any thoughts or ideas that flow in.

Be creative.

If thoughts about what you need to do today are blocking out anything else then maybe what you need to manifest right now are some organizational techniques so you can get all that stuff out of your thoughts. Bringing in techniques such as this will free up lots of brain space for other things in your life. So put it on your list.

What you need may come to you as a a picture in your mind-eye, you may hear it, a clear thought or even just a sudden flash of insiration. Be open to receive.

Write your list in the present tense, as if it is already happening.

While you can’t wish for change in others, that it for them to determine themself. However you can wish for changes to yourself that may then affect them later.

Add up to ten things to your list. More becomes too many and lessens their impact. Less is fine, simply putting greater focus on what you do add, but you do need more than just one or two.

Each New Moon of the year is associated with a different part of your life and your list is more potent when you focus your wishes on that area of your life. This New Moon right at the start of Aquarius is about BIG Plans, and seeking freedom in your life. This moon also has a link with the past and might be the perfect time to discover a new way to renovate, restore or revitalise an old problem or relationship.

Finishing Your Ritual

Just one more step – speak the list out loud. Giving a voice to your intentions empowers them, and anchors them in the front of your awareness.

When you have finished, thank your Higher Self, your angels, or simply the universe, blow out the candle and you are done.

Lunar Manifestation Lists are not like affirmations. You don’t have to keep repeating them. Once you have done the ritual you can put the list away.

What you do with your list is up to you. Some women burn their list, others put them under their pillow, some even bury them. I keep my Lunar Manifestation Lists in a journal as I like to have the reminder later of the power of positive intent. Sometimes reading through them refocuses me when I feel I’m getting nowehere.

There is no time frame around when the things you have placed on your list manifest. Sometimes you may need to include them for month after month.  If you do your wish may need to be re-phrased (as I did with my car) or may not be right for you. Often when your intent is strong and you are focused you will find changes start to occur about two weeks later around the time of the next Full Moon.

I hope you decide to adopt this wonderful practice into your life. It literally only takes a few minutes and by regularly setting yourself this focus the benefits are huge.

Catherine Bullard trained as a Red tent Facilitator with Star Of Ishtar.

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Disclaimer
All information and opinions presented here are for information purposes only and are not intended as a substitute for professional advice offered during a consultation. Please consult with your health care provider before following any of the treatment suggested on this site, particularly if you have an ongoing health issue.

Set Your New Year Resolutions For Success With A Releasing Ritual

As the year slides to its close the energies of the New Year may have already begun to affect you. You may already be formulating goals and plans that you would like to birth in the year ahead. New Year resolutions may already be forming. You may even be plotting pathways to achieve those goals. You may be one of the many who want to get a jump on the New Year, to enter the New Year already clear about how you’ll achieve your goals for 2015. One way to set the founadtion for success with your goals is with a simple New Year Release Ritual.

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For the last few weeks I keep being surprised as I hear myself talking about things that will happen for me in 2015, ideas and plans I hadn’t even noticed were forming in my brain or my heart. But apparently these ideas were solidly there just waiting for me to notice.

Many of us have already formed plans even if we’re not conscious of them yet and you may find you are doing the same. This year you’re being urged to get real about what you want for yourself, to set a considered plan of action, and to get to it now.

It is way too easy, especially in these fast-paced times to allow your life to slip past. Days flow into weeks, into months, years and suddenly a decade has passed you by. Trying to look back and see the detail of your life pathway becomes more and more difficult as time moves on if you have neglected to mark points along the way.

 

Markers for Your Life

In times past traditions and ceremonies provided marking points in people’s lives. They provided moments in people’s consciousness when they paused, finding time to take stock of themselves and their life.

We still hold on to some of these traditions – 18th or 21st birthdays, weddings, funerals – but many milestones are no longer honoured or even remembered. Many of those we do still hold no longer require us to examine and consider ourself and how our life to date has evolved.

We no longer have many occasions where we pause and examine our progress in life, acknowledging our achievements and successes, appreciating our blessings, recognizing our lessons, and planning changes.

 

Set Strong Foundations For Goal Success

Trying to establish goals and resolutions to guide you along the pathway to achieving your dreams without first pausing and taking time to appraise the road you have just traveled is like building your home over a sink-hole. Without solid footings the structure of your life will simply collapse.

A Release Ritual is your opportunity to establish a firm base on which to build your future. It doesn’t take long to do and provides you with deep insights and clarity to steer you to better results.

As the energies of 2014 begin to unravel set aside time to draw together the threads of the year that has just passed. Find the space for yourself to weave them into a strong support that can carry you into 2015. Take time to examine your experience, the rainbow of coloured threads of your life, both the weak strands and the strong, threads of extreme beauty, and threads of fragility. Once you have examined the weave of your last year the signs that point to the new directions you need to follow next become apparent.

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Old Year Releasing Ritual

Begin your reflection by settling down in a quiet corner with a pen, paper or a journal, and a relaxing herbal tea or coffee. Light a candle to signal the start of your ritual if this has meaning for you.

Life has a habit of drawing you back to the same old lessons, over and over, spiraling round, often revisiting them under another guise, until you reach awareness and understanding of that particular lesson for your life. Each time you revisit the lesson gets louder, as if the universe is shouting so you will hear.

turquoise starTo save yourself treading these same old well-worn paths yet again next year, begin your release of the old year by writing down the illuminating life lessons you learnt in 2014. What were those ‘Aha’ moments? What great insights occurred?

turquoise starNext add the dreams that came true for you. It’s easy to forget what the dreams you once held even were once they have actually happened, and just as easy to forget how dearly you held them, hoping they would eventuate. Remember to include the small dreams as well as the huge ones. The small dreams of life often grow into the big important ones.

turquoise starWhat did you achieve in 2014? Remember to include the small glories not just the major ones. What did you learn you could do that you didn’t realise before?

Now you are ready to consider how you have grown in the last 365 days.

turquoise starHow have you changed? What have you learnt about yourself? What changed you? What is it you now know about yourself that you didn’t know before? Write them all down.

turquoise starWhat did you discover you had outgrown? What no longer serves you? What, or who, did you release from your life?

turquoise starHow did you surprise yourself – what did you do that you didn’t know you capable of? What have you done that swells you with pride? Was there something you were able to do that you have never managed before? Were you called to step up, and you did?

turquoise starWhat was there in this last year that was a source of grating disharmony? What can’t you tolerate any longer? By now you know what it is you just have to change in your life. Write it down.

turquoise starIf there’s anything you need to get off your chest about this last year, do it now. Rant if you need to. If you feel the urge to cry honour it, it will bring release and relief.

turquoise starNow finally, write down what it is you are grateful for, the gifts you received from 2014. Include every little thing. As well as the big stuff in my life I include small joys in my gratitude lists like my morning cup of tea, or the slightly creepy but endearing smile my gorgeous dog beams at me whenever I arrive home.

Finished?

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Closing Ritual

And now dear friend, you are ready to release the Old Year. You are now ready to face the year ahead. You are ready to set your resolutions, to clarify your dreams and your goals, to decide what is achievable for you, and to stride forth with purpose into the New Year.

Take some time now to close down your releasing ritual.

Close your eyes and breathe slowly and deeply through your nose, down into your abdomen. Hold briefly and then breathe out slowly through your mouth making a small sound as you do. As you breathe out give thanks for the past year, for all your experiences, your joys and pains, the lessons you have been given and the insights you have received.

Breathe in again, drawing in with your breath the green light of healing, deep into your abdomen. As you hold it briefly allow the green light to flow into every cell of your body until your whole body shines with its emerald green glow. Breathe out again, slowly. Sense any negativity you have been holding in the cells of your body, any disharmonies from your past year, flow from you with your breath. Feel your shoulders relax as the weight is taken off them. Feel your body sink into your chair.

Once more breathe in deep into your abdomen this time drawing in the golden light of possibility. Feel it flow freely through you bringing renewed energy to your body, clarity to your mind, and generosity and fulfillment to your heart.

As you slowly release your breath allow the energy of the past year to ride on it. Allow it to float away, knowing that you hold within you all the loving positive energy you have earned in the last twelve months. You will always have the knowledge and insights you have gained.

Take your time and when you feel ready open your eyes and welcome with joy the new energies of the coming year.

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