Imagination and Guided Imagery

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Posted by Judy Moon

I love the beach.
I love the beach in September.
I especially love the beach at a certain remote Jersey shore town.
When I tell people where I am going on my annual September beach get away with my husband Joe they say, “I don’t know where that is” and I smile and say ” I know, that’s why I like it there.”

I was sitting on the front porch of our rental, sipping some Merlot, (we’ve established that I like red wine), looking at the stars and listening to what seemed like a symphony of crickets and I felt such a wave of serenity.

You make think, stars, crickets, so what…big deal!

Well, I live in a row home in South Philadelphia, I don’t even have a front porch so sitting on my front step or stoop as it’s called in my hood, listening to crickets – not so much.

I thought, “I wish I could scoop them all up and take them home with me and listen to them on my roof deck at night so I could feel that same serenity” and then I remembered – I can take them home – in my imagination!

Our subconscious mind doesn’t know the difference between what’s real and what we are imagining. If you get a hug or imagine getting a hug from someone that you love, all of the same feel good hormones are released. The same physiological responses occur. It is the foundation of guided Imagery. You can read more about guided imagery on WebMD.

So I am going to use my imagination to recreate the cricket symphony and serenity on my roof deck garden.

It will be just like I am sitting on the porch in… you really didn’t think I was going to give it away, did you?

Photo Credits // 1 Pinterest // 2 James Knowles // 3 Pinterest

Practicing Daily Quiet

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Posted by Gwyn MacDonald

Did you know that the number of truly quiet places on the planet are rapidly disappearing? Yes, they still exist, undisturbed in the dense heart of the rainforest or the icy tundra for example, but most of us aren’t planning a visit to these wilds any time soon. Our own small plots of paradise; the state park where we hike, the city park we saunter through on the way to work, our own backyards are often overwhelmed with the sound of cars, weed-wackers, extra loud music, the cell phone ring and the loud conversation that follows. None of these sounds on their own are “bad”, they are what they are. But they are often everywhere, all at once and relentless. Add in a television in every restaurant, pub and doctors’ office and the never ceasing, attention sucking smartphone alerts and you have some serious noise pollution going on in your head!

I say take a stand and stop the noise! Our brains and bodies need time out with no stimulation; to rejuvenate, to imagine, to ponder, to heal. Give yourself a dose of quiet (or as close as you can get, if you live in the city like me) as often as you can. Even just for a few minutes a day. No music, no TV, no phone or email, no talking. Just quiet. Just listen. Most likely you don’t live in a place where all you hear is the wind rushing or the birds talking, lucky you if you do! So if not, do your best to create quiet in your own living space. Just a little bit, as often as you can.

Let us know how you get your “daily quiet”. Shhh….. it’s good for you!

Photo Credits // 1 Pinterest // 2 Pinterest // 3 Dust Jacket // 4 Conde Nast Traveler // 5 Pinterest

Practicing Stillness & Finding the Right Path

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Posted by Debi Phillpotts

We all have busy lives on many levels. When you think of it we are like tiny components of one big mechanism churning our activities to the rhythm of the days flowing into the revolving change of seasons then rolling into the constant planetary shifts in our galaxy of infinite galaxies… Like one big wheel! Sometimes it feels as though we are spinning on the wheel hanging on for dear life, wanting the ride to stop even for just a minute. How do we find stillness? Stillness is a rarity for most of us. Often I use the wheel metaphor with clients overwhelmed with stress suggesting they sit in the middle of the wheel for clarity and stillness. In Buddhism, the wheel is used as a metaphor as rapid spiritual change with each spoke representing the Noble Eightfold Path of Buddha’s teachings:

Right beliefs
Right aspirations
Right speech
Right conduct
Right livelihood
Right effort
Right mindfulness
Right meditational attainment

The shape, a circle, represents the perfection of the teaching with the wheel being called the Dharmachakra or “wheel of law” Dharma = law chakra = wheel. The spokes represent the paths mentioned above and the rim holds the spokes, which refer to mindfulness, holding everything together. The hub stands for discipline or meditation where we find stillness. So maybe the next time you are feeling the need to get on the right path or even feeling out of your mind, think of the wheel and find your way to the hub in the middle where there is stillness, then you just might know the “right path” to take.

References: Dharmachakra from Wikipedia

Photo Credits // 1 Pxleyes // 2 Jing Reed // 3 Pinterest // 4 Pinterest

The Health Benefits of Coconut Water

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Posted by Judy Moon

It Started With a Hangover: Yes, that’s right, I said a hangover! There are beliefs out there that massage therapists are vegetarians, do yoga daily, meditate daily, don’t smoke or drink, don’t eat sugar. You get the picture.

Some of that is true. And a lot of that is true for me. However, I do like red wine. I actually love red wine. On an occasion where my love for it surpassed the need to stop drinking it, I woke up tired, headachy and dehydrated.

I went to my corner Walgreens looking for something that would quench a thirst like I had been in the Sahara desert for a month. I spotted the coconut water. I had read about it, heard some buzz about it and I bought one.

I was reborn! It was a miracle! I did some research on coconut water. Here’s what the Zico Coconut water website said – “ZICO is loaded with 5 electrolytes: sodium, magnesium, calcium, potassium and phosphorus. These work together to support your body with what it needs to stay hydrated and to help it perform at its best. ZICO contains as much potassium as a banana, which helps prevent cramping. Plus, ZICO is gluten-free, lactose-free and dairy-free.”

Whether you drink ZICO before a big meeting or after a hard workout, ZICO Pure Premium Coconut Water is full of natural Oomph—and it’s all from coconuts. And we think that whoops major butt.

Works for me! I should contact Zico and tell them to add – “works for hangovers” to their list.

I like all different brands and use coconut water in my green smoothies sometimes. I reach for it when I feel tired instead of drinking coffee. Give it a try when you need some “natural Ooomph” in your day.

Photo Credits // 1 Pinterest // 2 Vitamix // 3 Gnet // 4 Flickr // 5 Huffington Post