Wednesday, September 29, 2010

A primal tool that can save you from most any crisis, continued...

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Examiner article

I took my son to the hospital for lung testing this month and we met an interesting pulmonary specialist during our visit. I wish I could share his name but I don't have it. He discussed thoroughly the benefits of breathing properly which causes the full use of the diaphragm. He spent his precious time teaching us the proper way and telling us the importance of practicing only a few minutes a day. In his words, "Before you know it, you'll be doing it correctly without thinking twice about it!"

I started following a basic 1/2 yoga CD daily which also practices a breathing technique. I've intertwined the 2 and, to my surprise, I'm beginning to see the shape of a 2 pack forming just under my ribs at the top of my stomach. Now, keep in mind, I'm not in shape and below the 2 pack hangs a very under-toned stomach so it looks a bit funny now. But, I feel like I'm starting to get in shape from the inside out which is really a different approach. It is helping to motivate me!

Can you offer any unique techniques to exercise? Share with me!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

The physical and spiritual side of dying, continued...

Click on the below article link to obtain background information to this blog post:

Examiner article

It is interesting to learn about Janice Ervin’s religious beliefs considering her extensive experience with death and her study of different religions, science and philosophies.

She shared several points on this subject.

•“There are countless etheric planes to accommodate the limitless levels of spiritual expansion and existence.
•Existence may appear random; however universal laws exist as a form of governance.
•The physical body, the mind, the emotional center and the spirit are linked and the effects of one facet flow to, and influence the other facets. So your personal power, your level or ability, parallels with your belief structure. Therefore, the intensity of your belief in your weakness, directly correlates to your lack of personal strength, or your capacity for individual power and action.
•From the moment you take your first steps on a spiritual path, your experience shifts. And as with any shift in awareness, all that surrounds you begins to alter as well. This can include the people in your life, the activities which bring you joy, and your outlook, moment by moment.
•All life is precious and serves a purpose, from the smallest insect to the greatest beast. To harm another is to alter its natural place in the universal mechanism.
•Mental states which do not bring joy, can experience a shift - be overcome - through the constant practice of meditation
•The consciousnesses of those who are discarnate remain connected to those who are incarnate through love.
•The Divine does not inflict pain for the purpose of learning. However man’s poor choices can cause him and others to experience pain.
•The body is a magnificent miracle of a machine; however, it is fragile and as such, subject to the illnesses, circumstances and conditions of this physical plane. It is not intended to last for eternity as there is great beauty and much to experience on other planes. Should it last an eternity, our overall awareness and connection to so much more would be stymied.
•The root of the Divine is a constant state of unconditional love. Love is Divine. Therefore, communication with those whom we love and miss, who are now of a discarnate form, is a natural experience. Unfortunately, superstition, religious dogma through the ages, and fear create walls which hamper and even block this natural process.
•Our thoughts, feelings and actions carry an energetic force and initiate ripples that span outward.
•Checking oneself to see whether the intent of their thoughts, feelings and actions stem from a loving, non-ego state can bring about shifts in personal awareness.
•One state of consciousness is no better than another – to think otherwise, is to implement judgment.
•There IS more to existence than only that which we only perceive through our five senses. Science finds evidence daily to support this statement.
•Existence is never ending.
•We are beings gifted with a choice willing consciousness. The words commonly utilized here are ‘free will’. However our free will choices are only as expansive as our awareness. For example, if you’ve never left your small town, your educational awareness for making choices will differ from a world traveled individual, in effect, hampering the purity of your free will options to a degree.
•We are not puppets living a pre-determined existence, with a greater being pulling the strings for the purpose of our learning and growth. I believe we have the ability to exert choice and control over our destiny. That does not say that there isn’t a level of determinism involved. But that determinism alters constantly, based upon man’s choices.

For example: A person may choose to drive to the store on a road directly into the path of a truck with broken breaks. As the truck is careening down the hill towards that innocent person, that individual may suddenly decide they want to pull into a fast food location to get a coke. They make this choice; pull off the road, and the truck careens past seconds later. The determinism is in the truck’s inability to stop, and therefore will collide with any physical obstacle in its path. The free will choices exacted by humans alters the physical results of the incident.
•Existence on this plane offers limitless opportunities for learning and evolvement of spirit.
•“Everything (DOES NOT) happen for a reason”, except in the broadest language of determinism. However, there is something to be gleaned from every experience, should we choose to search long enough and hard enough to find the wisdom. This belief is not offered flippantly or lightly. I understand that life experiences can be enormously painful…especially in cases involving the physical death of a loved one. But it can be these same situations that place the initiate on a path to a more expansive consciousness.
•Timeless, eternal existence is a reality.
•Through a blend of our free will choice and a strong energetic pull, we alter our state of existence between a discarnate form (out of physical body) and an incarnate form. (in physical body)
•There are unlimited levels of vibrational force on this physical earth plane, from that found in a quark, to a flower, to an animal to a human. On an overall level though, it is my current theory that all contains a modicum of Divine consciousness – a natural, innocent, pure loving force.
•All that exists is derived from one Divine, awakened, source, which increased in its vibrational force, sending forth fractions of it’s energy. Evolvement of that energetic force creates all that we know today. In the ‘all’ I refer not only to the animal and human life, I refer to the plant, mineral and even gaseous elements. I refer to the room, and the oxygen in the air.
•Since the Divine is in all, there are no incorrect paths of existence. Some ‘paths’ are more winding and scenic in nature – others more expedient and direct. Eventually, all lead to a heightened ability to love, greater expansion and personal transformation
•Personal transformations unite individuals in an appreciation for love as the root to forward progression.
•It is possible that if enough individuals undergo personal transformation, a wondrous global shift can occur.”
She continued, “These are only some of what I’ve deduced thus far. However, education is never ending. I am constantly filtering new thoughts and ideas through the meshing of my conclusions to ascertain whether there are flaws in the thought process or flaws in the conclusions I’ve assembled. Thus far, my deductions have held steady.”
As you can see, Janice has very strong views of existence both physically and spiritually. It always amazes me how someone comes full circle in their beliefs and how such beliefs are shaped as one matures. Janice was raised in the Catholic religion although her study and work has evolved her view into a much more sophisticated and open-minded perspective.
How have your beliefs about spirituality changed as you’ve grown. Fill me in on your progression. It is really interesting to me!

Friday, September 24, 2010

The virtual door of opportunities, continued...

Click on the below article link to obtain background information to this blog post:

Examiner article

With my purchasing background I've been someone who has used the Internet as a tool for sourcing for a very long time. But, on the social side, I had no clue what a blog was or the in's and out's of Facebook just 2 years ago. And, today I've got a couple of thousand friends and a blog that people actually read! I'm so grateful and I'm still in awe!

I'm really curious what you utilize the Internet for most. I've got my web business Lifetime Art Impressions, LLC and I'm active with my Examiner and Open To Hope columns and Facebook page but otherwise I use it for research, education and marketing. Of course, I can't forget my wasted but fun time playing Bejeweled. It is a time I like to allocate for useless activity:)

How has the Internet changed your daily endeavors? What sites are you active on (please no adult site links) Drop me a note!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Story of sadness, wonder and intrigue, continued...

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Examiner article

I chose Vincent Van Gogh for this article although many famous artists would have fit the profile. I once read that a person is most creative in their darkest hours, perhaps this is why these historical famous artists coped through such sadness. I think everyone has moments, hours and even days of weakness. Days when you are just to tired to fight the fight and you want to just bury your head under the covers and stay in the fetal position. But when days become weeks and weeks become months and you find yourself shutting down through self-sabotage you've crossed the line into a danger zone that is threatening your livelihood.

Depression is very serious and therefore if you're unable to find a glimmer of hope to hold onto while you're coping through the tough times, please reach out for help. You are human and as humans we need help. It is okay to admit this!

The purpose of the article is to help you find beauty and creativity in your life and to help you recognize your efforts even if they feel insignificant. As noted in the article, Van Gogh said, “Great things are not done by impulse, but by a series of small things brought together.” Give yourself credit where credit is due, even for the baby steps, and keep chugging along!

What are you're thoughts about depression? How do you cope through sadness? Share your outlets, it might help others who are struggling.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Her focus is so meaningful, continued...

Click on the below article link to obtain background information to this blog post:

Examiner article

Janice Ervin specializes in grief, the spiritual connection and as a Hospice & Vigil Service volunteer, she has been touched by many beautiful souls as their earthly journeys came to an end.

She shared one of many stories, “One sweet patient taught me a heightened sensitivity for the plight of those who have lost their independence, with no hope of it returning throughout the remainder of their lifetime. Mable was in an elderly care facility, and had lost the use of her hands because of a stroke. She was never again able to dress herself, or leave her bed to visit the restroom without asking for aid, or take a shower when she wanted. Can you imagine waking in the morning and suddenly not being able to get up, use the rest room, dress or eat until someone arrived to assist you? What if you wake early? What if you are hungry or thirsty in the middle of the night? I asked HOC what her favorite food was, and they told me she loved coffee ice cream. So the first time I visited, I surprised her with a quart. When I sat to help her eat, she begged me to let her feed herself. She only had on a pajama top which ended high on her thighs. As she struggled to eat, the ice cream melted and ran down her bare legs. It was a messy ordeal, but she loved every second of it. More ice cream found its way on the chair and her body than in her mouth, but for the first time in ages, she felt as if she exerted control over her life. I pondered the situation on my way home that night. The next time I visited, I stopped at 7-11, purchased a cup with an extra long, large straw, and some milk. I carted my blender into her room, made her a coffee shake, sat it in her lap, and wrapped her sweet hands around the cup. She was absolutely delighted. She was able to hold the cup, and enjoy the shake while we chatted and watched tv for hours.”

Anyone who spends anytime genuinely volunteering understands the intangible and heart filling rewards that come from reaching out to others in need. Janice’s story is such a testimony to this!

Have you researched the organizations where you can volunteer in your community? It is a worthwhile endeavor to invest your precious time! Leave a comment describing to me what makes your spirit soar! I love inspirational stories.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Ability without honor is useless, continued...

Click on the below article link to obtain background information to this blog post:

Examiner article

I’m not sure many of my coworkers who surrounded me in my 20 years of manufacturing had any idea that I could do more than just draw a stick person. What I didn’t know was the joy I was neglecting myself by retiring my oil pastels for most of my adult life and ignoring my ability.

Today I honor it and regardless if my art career stabilizes or I have to make a living working for someone else, I will continue to honor my creativity. It feels like it has made me whole again. I didn’t really stop and pay attention during my multi-tasking years to my need for more. It is really pretty sad but through forced change that I stressed over, it has come full circle for me. I so believe in the words of Marcus T. Cicero as quoted on Great, “Ability without honor is useless.”

Are you honoring your ability? Tell me about it.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Failure is part of the process of becoming successful, continued...

Click on the below article link to obtain background information to this blog post:

Examiner link

I’m someone who feels passionate about everything I focus on. I believe I can be successful at anything when I truly put my heart and soul into it. But, I have failed many times in the past (a divorce comes to mind among many other things). I’ve been humbled time and time again! Today, I feel very vulnerable to economic factors, to the public in regards to their opinion of my art and writings and to the transition of my career. I’m living on the edge and working to make ends meet which seem to get farther and farther apart. At times, after almost 2 years, I feel like my many failed attempts marketing my work validates my dream is just a vision in my head without merit.

But then I hear from someone who shared kind words about something I wrote or created; it touched them and helped sooth their pain in their time of need. This little pick me up is enough to fuel my passion and enable me to keep chugging along! I wish I could look into a crystal ball to see if my art venture turns into a successful career but without all of my hard work, these years at the grindstone, I’m not sure I would truly appreciate it when I finally get there. My dream is to become an established author and artist (while I'm alive, not in the aftermath of my death).

Just 2 years ago my dream was to become an author and artist and today I can say I’ve reached this goal. Although, I continue to reach higher.

What are your dreams? Has failure kept you from moving forward? Share with me!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

A spiritual theorist, continued...

Click on the below article link to obtain background information to this blog post:

Examiner article

It takes a special person to come to the side of a stranger who is transitioning from their physical being. Janice Ervin is a strong and compassionate angel here on earth! Because her message is so powerful, I will be spending the next few Sundays sharing her words with my readers. Unfortunately, my column is limited to only 400 words and this is far too small for all of the critical information Janice made available. Janice offered the following list about grief.
In her words,
1. “Grief is the normal process of reacting to a loss, on all levels of physical being. Bereavement is the period after a loss during which grief is experienced.
2. The emotions of grief ebb and flow. BE as you are. Allow yourself to experience the emotions of the moment – move with the ups and downs. Be angry or sad. Yell, pound a pillow, and cry when you feel the need – toxins are released through tears. And when the spirit moves you, don’t regret the healing joy found in laughter. Your loved one would wish no less for you.
3. Allow that grief is a sacred experience that doesn’t have an actual end time. It is organic to each individual, and a journey. It is not easily cured with medicine.
4. Grief evolves through the years – it is a process which unfolds the current loss into the future life.
5. Support plays an important role during the bereavement process, so share your process with others in a safe environment. Areas through which support can be found include family members, close friends and bereavement support groups.
6. In this fast paced world, the effects of grief on the physical body are often unrealized, overlooked and misunderstood.
a. Chemical changes taking place within the body affect levels of dehydration. Water makes up 83% of the blood and acts as a transport system delivering nutrients to the brain and eliminating toxins. During grief, chemical changes taking place within the body affect the levels of dehydration. It is therefore critically important to drink water, to replenish fluids and release toxins.
b. Replenish Magnesium and Calcium, as these levels are rapidly depleted during the grief process.
c. Eat a potato with its skin to increase your serotonin level. Omega 3 fatty acids in fish also raise serotonin.
d. Focus when possible on taking long slow breaths. To assist with this process, purchase a bottle of bubbles. Breath work forces the brain to cease it’s natural stress/alarm process, and translates as a chemical reaction that sends relaxation hormones through the body.
e. Progressive muscle relaxation forces the body to relax and increases blood flow.
f. Eat fresh fruits and vegetables to assist the adrenal function and because the stomach tends to be sensitive during grief
g. Assist the thyroid by insuring adequate intake of iodine.
h. Gentle exercise provides obvious benefits.”
If you follow my column and blog you know I suffered the loss of my Father through hospice. It was a trying process that really took a toll on me, both physically and mentally. Regardless if your loss was through hospice or not, the above list is essential to your wellbeing. Can you add anything? Drop a comment if this post resonated with you!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Yoga, use of balance, continued...

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Article link

I finally put in a Yoga DVD I received as a gift for Christmas this past year.

I'm sitting here typing this blog post with very sore muscles everywhere. The most prominent areas, my shoulders, arms, neck and even my jaw. I feel like I have whip-lash. I must have an extremely heavy head and I think I was clinching my teeth together while trying to attempt the poses:( During the session the instructor kept saying to smile. I wasn't to receptive to this but perhaps my jaw wouldn't be so sore had I given the smile bit a shot!

My doctor recommended I try it to correct my posture and to cure the hump I'm starting to develop at the top of my spine. I know it is good for me and I'll continue to attempt it. I'm sure with time I'll get better! Who would have thought yoga was so hard?

What are you doing to keep yourself in shape? Let me know.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Your soul sensory, continued...

Click on the below article link to obtain background information to the below article link:

Examiner article

It took me hours to find the words "soul sensory" to describe the tool that has and continues to enable the spiritual awakening that I feel is taking place in the transition of my life today. So far, it has been a 2 year process and every day when I open my eyes, I feel a bit closer to all of the pieces coming together and falling into place. I'm on a path that I could have never imagined, it is beyond any of my dreams.

I used to put in long days in the business world without much satisfaction. But today, I can work for hours to put words to my thoughts like, soul sensory, and I'm so fulfilled with the outcome. It empowers me and ignites my spirit. I hopeful my words are not from out in left field and you're able to relate to my thoughts.

Provide some feedback, good or bad, I'm grateful for the comments!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Hurricane Katrina gave me some valuable perspective, continued...

Click on the below article link to get the background information to this blog:

Examiner article

I am so amazed when someone changes their life dramatically by following their gut instinct, like Jenny Pavlovic did. I love it when the loop is closed and the person is gifted with true fulfillment by doing so! Jenny persevered through her fears, anxieties any of us would have had. A women traveling by herself to an area that is suffering tremendously after a natural disaster; Hurricane Katrina. Jenny found her way and found a beautiful dog, Kate, in the process. She has cared for and loved Kate back to health. Pretty amazing story!

Jenny is still trying to find Kate's owners. Please take a look at the book cover, read the article linked & watch the video to see if you recognize the dog. I've got my fingers crossed she'll find them!

Do you know anyone who has transitioned their life into a more fulfilling career? If so, please connect them with me if they are willing to share. I really love these stories!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Why the rush, continued...

Click on the below article link to obtain background information to this blog post:

Examiner article

I am someone who is pretty comfortable behind the wheel. I can get around in heavy Michigan traffic. Realizing this, I try my best to focus on the ever changing variables around me during my outings. I'm also proud to say I have signed Oprah's No phone zone contract. I do use my phone but I'm hands free now. I'm working to eliminate it all together. It is a distracting danger.

It is easy to show the impact of careless and rushed driving because safety is important to all of us and traffic statistics are black and white. But, take this concept and apply it to anything. You are not super-human. Anything you rush through, will be impacted by careless mistakes. Is it really worth the rush?

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Balance the mayhem, continued...

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Examiner article:

I often write about overcoming hardship and balancing your life because problems frequent us so often. I find it nice to offer a positive reminder to help myself and others to navigate through such hard times.

It seems I'm preaching the same message; don't avoid, accept change by feeling and releasing the moments (staying present), lean on your support circle for help, stay healthy, keep the faith and find your gratitude, look for silver linings and learn the lesson so you're sure you don't have to repeat the experience again.

What can you offer to this very important list? Help me to build a tool box we can all dig through and utilize during times of distress!