Saturday, June 30, 2012

Half way health resolution status, continued...

Photo credit, Lifetime Art Impressions, LLC

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

Examiner article

The photo is one I took of myself in a dressing room, over one year ago, trying on a medium shirt that is obviously too tight. I can wear this shirt today!

I started my weight loss journey November 1, 2011. At this time I weighed 183 pounds. I had tried to lose weight many times before this but I had been unsuccessful with other attempts. This time I was trying to behave during the holidays so I chose to start watching my weight before Thanksgiving and Christmas set in on the calendar. If you've followed my column I was trying to lose 5 pounds per month and, for the most part this worked up until I went on a cruise in April when I began to gain a bit back.

I started a very expensive diet called Zingular the end of May. This seemed to help me get back on track although I'm not sure I would recommend it to others. I had to drink a lot of protein shakes and eat limited amounts of protein (meat) while taking a bunch of supplements and water for the most part but I did lose some extra weight. Besides a few 500 calorie meals on off days, I didn't get many calories during this diet, which is why I'm not recommending it to others. It did help me wrap my mind around my health again after vacation side-tracked my efforts.

To date, I weigh 156 pounds. I've lost 27 pounds over the past 8 months. Many people have lost much more in this amount of time but, I'm proud of my success thus far. I feel healthier and I've got a lot more energy!

I credit my success to my motivation to be healthier and by making sure I'm eating when I'm hungry and not for other reasons like boredom. I've still got a few more pounds to conquer but I'm happily over the hump of this journey.  I'm hopeful my tips will help you. If you've got any tips to share, drop me a note, I would love to know what is working or not working for you.

Friday, June 29, 2012

The ultimate expression is prayer, continued...

Lifetime Art Impressions, LLC photo & craft product

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

Examiner article

I've been thinking about and practicing the ritual of prayer a lot as of late. It has always been a part of my life but some days more than others. I believe creativity is the ultimate expression of the spirit and this directly intertwines with prayer. It is a powerful expression. I wanted to create something visual, a place where I can bottle my anxiety to protect my well-being and surrender it to God. This jar helps me visually process these feelings. I wanted it to look peaceful and be symbolic of a greater power. I used glass paint to render a praying angel on the inside of the jar because I do believe we have a team of celestial helpers who dwell with us. Prayer is a way to tap into this support system. It has been and continues to be a healthy outlet for me. It's my hope this Prayer Jar will help many others as it is symbolic of such a great outlet for holistic relief. This is an insert of the prayer I created that hangs on the outside of the jar:

I pray this illuminates my world, lights my path and welcomes celestial insight to create & embrace daily miracles in my life! 

What are your thoughts about prayer? Is it a support in your life? Leave me a note I'm curious.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Patricia Gallagher's spirit was present, continued...

Photo of the Gallagher family provided by Patricia Gallagher.
Click here to obtain background information to this blog post:
A private benefactor donated the funding to publish Patricia Gallagher’s book, No More Secrets, after discovering her story in the Phila Inquirer communicating their desire to help other families.
She described her book, “My book is about a family speaking out about depression, anxiety and attempted suicide.” 
Patricia talked about what helped her cope, “The love that I had for my family and them for me. The members of the 12 Step support group that I attended and My Team of Angels project. After a mention in Family Circle magazine, 15,000 sent four dollars to order a Team of Angels for the Overwhelmed pin and poem card. Being busy filling those orders created a family project and a family business that continues today – 14 years later.”
Click here to explore Patricia’s website Speaking About Depression.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Healthy community, continued...

Lifetime Art Impressions, LLC Photo

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

Examiner article

It is easy to blame our communities for issues but how many of us are actually involved in promoting positive change?

I think we can all up the bar in this area. I devote time to Safehouse Center, a domestic violence shelter, here in Washtenaw County that is focused on building strong local neighborhoods. It is a great cause. I need to step up my efforts at the VA Hospital though. I'm a volunteer in their No Vet Dies Alone program although I've let my schedule get in the way of supporting this cause. I went a few months ago to make sure I meet their new security requirements needed to continue this work but I haven't spent any time there since I'm now able to participate again. I'm going to make an effort to get this back into my routine this summer. It is important to me to find ways to help others in their time of need. It is about spreading the love and, by doing this, I'm helping to strengthen the community.

I want to reach out to local non-profit organizations through my business, Lifetime Art Impressions, LLC and offer discounted rates to promote creative healing in these environments. I hope to be active in this arena by the fall!

What are your thoughts about community? How are you improving yours? Drop me a note, I would love to promote your cause and inspiration in my column!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Breath is life, life is breath, continued...

Lifetime Art Impressions, LLC Photo

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

Examiner article

It really is amazing to me how something as simple as fully utilizing your lung capacity can change your life. I've been working on deep breathing for many months now. I suffer with asthma and I'm sure this has helped me. I'm know I'm not 100% yet but I'm out of the 90% group who only use 50% of their lung capacity as the article states.

I love how an idea will inspire me such as this article. I was thinking about the benefits of full breathing and then I attributed this concept to breathing more spirit into my own life, kind of like applying a spiritual diaphragm to my world, philosophically. Does this sound weird? Maybe but what was really interesting was, I was able to find an article that supported this concept. It validated my thoughts!

Tell me about your life, how does oxygen serve you beyond shallow breaths?

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Stella Vance and Dancing with Duality, continued...

Photo provided by Stella Vance

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

When I asked her to describe her book, she offered the below detail:

Dancing with Duality: Confessions of a Free Spirit

"Betrayed at the age of 21 by the first love of her life, Stella Vance embarks on a life of fearless adventure. She travels the world, adding notches to her lipstick case with lovers from all over the world, and surviving harrowing experiences, including abuse, addiction, abortion, date rape, and cult involvement. Along the way, Stella undergoes a spiritual transformation. Once awakened to the reality of nonduality, she gradually realizes that life is just a game, that death is just another dimension, and that 
nothing out there can really hurt her.

This inspiring page-turning memoir begins in the 1970s, with Stella as a Christian zealot. Subsequently questioning all religious dogma, Stella’s mystical quests leads her to delve deeply into the realms of dreams, psychic readings, astrology, tantric yoga, reincarnation and her own past lives, the entheogen ketamine, Indian holy men and women, revolving-door relationships, the seeker culture of southern California, and finally, the ultimate path of Advaita Vedanta. At the same time, she deals with anorexia and bulimia, addictions to cigarettes, marijuana, and alcohol, unwanted pregnancies, teaching in public schools, the death of several  loved ones, foreclosure, and emigrating to South America.

The life of Stella Vance embodies all the adventure, drama, romance, humor, and philosophy of a free spirit set loose in the ’70s and finding its way into the new millennium. Reading Dancing with Duality provides evidence that life is meant to provide entertainment, as well as to teach us how to be grateful, forgive, and heal from all its vagaries.

In the end, Stella’s free spirit journey takes her on the path to the ultimate freedom: freedom from the mind with all its fears, judgments, limiting beliefs, and worries.
She has received great feedback, “I received emails from readers, especially women, who said it changed their lives. I think they learned to forgive themselves and others, to lighten up. They also learned that life continues after death, as I relate several encounters I had with loved ones who had passed over. Many amazon reviewers also said that the book spurred them on in their own spiritual life and encouraged them in many ways.”

Stella offered advice for others trying to cope, “Take the time to find out who you are, who you really are, behind the human mask! Then you can handle anything that life throws your way. Learn to trust the Universe/Source/God or whatever you call it. Put your hardships in perspective: will any of it matter 100 years from now? Learn to love yourself and open your heart. Forgive everyone, including you, to free up blocked energy.

I love hearing from readers! Please email me at”

Saturday, June 16, 2012

What is a father, continued...

Lifetime Art Impressions, LLC Photo

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

Examiner article

I look at this old photo of my parents and it makes me wonder about their dreams when they were so young. My dad looks a bit cocky in this photo. He was attractive. Could he have imagined he would have 4 kids? Did he realize his impact, both good and bad, on our lives? He's been gone now for 4 years and I still miss him terribly.

As a child I both loved and despised him. He was an alcoholic and abusive to my mom in my early years. During my junior high years he turned Christian and never touched alcohol again. From these days forward I was inspired by his life. He earned his title as father.

When I divorced my husband (who was also an alcoholic) it devastated my father although he stepped up and spent a lot of time with my 2 young sons. He made up for the loss time of my childhood through the extra time he spent with my children.

I'm a better person because of my dad; I know he sees and feels my love in his spirit form today because I still feel his love.

Happy Father's Day dad, I love you!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Wheel of fortune in life, continued...

Lifetime Art Impressions, LLC photo

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

Examiner article

Even though I've had a bit of a week (loved ones making unhealthy choices, covered with poison ivy and I'm chasing payments to try to make ends meet etc.) I'm happy to be alive. I love the simplicity of my life. I love the flexibility. I'm extremely happy that I'm 25 pounds lighter than I was 7 1/2 months ago. So, even though my wheel of fortune is turned away from me in the moment, life is still pretty sweet. As it turns towards me, I'll get closer to my vision, I'll cross things off of my priority list and I'll better prepare for the tomorrows that turn downward in the moment.

Life is to wonderful to dwell on the bad stuff for too long; I've learned to realize, "This to shall pass!"

I hope you're able to fill your world with bliss especially when the Wheel of Fortune is not favoring you. If you can do this, during the highs, you'll reach the heavens!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Deborah Parker's this to shall pass philosophy, continued...

Photo provided by Deborah Parker

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

Deborah L. Parker shared more, “I wrote the primary parts of a motivational memoir during the first year of grieving the loss of my mother in March 2010. I gathered strength from our joint sojourns and the guiding spirit of this bond of life.  My best ideas come from long walks around the woods or near water. God’s majesty is so evident in the cycles of the seasons to the tiny details of grass. And, He speaks to me when I tune in to this beauty. 

My mother is my spiritual co-author and the power of nature provided the creative outlet for me with the metaphors and stories of Navigating Life's Roadways: Stories of Insight from My Odyssey and Inspiration for Your Journey, which was published July 2011.”

She continued, “Many readers can identify with the aspects of our mutual struggles and triumphs as we circumvent life. Sprinkled with humor, proverbs and scriptural references, I cement the take aways from the stories.  It can be purchased on or”

Deborah’s spirit has changed,The power of my mother's love has become so evident in a very spiritual way since her passing. She knew I wanted to write a book (dream of 20 years). My intuition has sharpened as I seek God's design for my life. When he says, ‘Move,’ I move, speaking to me first thing in the morning. In my book, I take readers along as I chronicle the insights from my determined single parent upbringing in the home of my wise grandparents on to college, an army reserve officer career to corporate manager, entrepreneur and now published author. I have travelled many paths since then that have provided hard yet hearty lessons. These setbacks and successes of my journey through family, career, health and relationship issues are poignantly narrated in this well-received book.”

Deborah’s mother is still a support, “Reflecting on her determination as a parent and how she lived her life has provided me motivation to keep her legacy alive. Going through her personal items has produced messages from her through clippings of poems to handwritten notes from her Bible studies. Pictures of family time, our travels and seeing her involved in her passion of gardening have helped me so much. We had mother daughter challenges, but I see those as part of the assignment to make me who I am in my strengths and my limitations. I also keep a few of her personal items close to me like having her coffee pot on my stove, all very spiritual. So writing was very cathartic and a friend had mentioned that grieving has such a range of emotions that it’s actually a good time to write while everything is fresh at the surface.”

Her advice to someone suffering bereavement, “Go through it, cry, be angry but ultimately put your loved one’s life in perspective.  Recognize the gifts they gave you whether they were all good or not. It will take time to sort out all of the emotions. Focus on their footprint and what they got to do in spite of how long or short their earthly time was.”

She is helping others, “I manage a motivational speaking, leadership and personal development workshop company, The DPJ Training Group, located in Northern Virginia, specializing in seminars on career, diversity, management and communications topics.

My mother’s grit as she raised my three siblings and me in the home of my maternal grandparents, Joseph and Pearl Parker, has all proven to be a blessing I couldn’t recognize at first. Their common sense approach to handling life’s challenges has also guided me.  My business, The DPJ Training Group, stands for Deborah, Pearl and Joseph, as I see their wisdom evident as my spiritual business associates.”

You can email Deborah, or contact her through her website,

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Allergic reactions to poison ivy, oak and sumac, continued...

Lifetime Art Impressions, LLC Photo

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

Examiner article

Yes, this is a current photo of my wrist broken out from weeding Poison Ivy from my yard. I have it on both arms, legs and my stomach. I'm working hard to fight through the breakout without spending the money at the doctor's office. I get this every year; it seems to be part of my welcome to the summer routine.

If you've watched the slideshow in the Examiner article, I've tested many ointments on the market. I do like the washes because they have a soothing menthol in them which seems to help. I keep a foaming bottle by my sink of Ivarest to use during the day and I keep a bottle of Tecnu, The Original, soap in my shower. In between I'm using a maximum strength anti-itch ointment. I recommend the 2% Diphenhydramine Hydrochloride as apposed to 1%. I'm using the Walgreen's store brand. The 1% ointments didn't seem to help as much. At night, I'm also taking Benadryl to help me sleep through the torturous itching spells.

One thing I've learned, it isn't just 3 leaf ivy that is poisonous as I've communicated in the article. All of the ivy in my yard is 5 leaf so "Beware."

Do you have any home remedies for a Poison Ivy rash? I would love to hear about them. I've been going into my pool often hoping the chlorine will help dry the rash up quicker!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Physical parallels spiritual existence, continued...

Lifetime Art Impressions, LLC Photo

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

The more I age the more I understand and realize the parallel of my physical and spiritual self. Although they coexist as part of me, they are individual realms that mirror one another.

I’ve written many times about my journey of weight loss, today I’m 22 pounds lighter than I was 6 months ago. And, as I work to melt this outer physical layer, I realize an improved mental and spiritual wellbeing. And, my mediation practice feels more natural within my exercise and healthy eating regimen. It really seems like I’m benefiting from a force that is literally out of this world. Things are finally falling into place for me and I’m crediting this to the new and happier feelings I’m experiencing from my weight loss. While my physical body is toning, spiritually I feel as though I’ve went through a makeover also and this feels better than I would have ever imagined.

What are your thoughts about this connection; do you believe our physical and spiritual worlds parallel in existence?  Leave me your thoughts.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Deirdre Clark-Collett and conversations with god, continued...

Photo of Deirdre provided by Deirdre

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

Deirdre Clark-Collett talked about hypnosis.

In her words, “Hypnosis has gotten a bad rap, but I believe in it, my clients believe in it and I have had great results. I believe that everyone who has purchased my book, has eventually joined the club.  I prefer the people purchase my book from me directly so I’m sure they get their free session. They can purchase a soft copy of my e-book. It is the easiest to read on mobile devices and to listen to the session.

She discussed what helped her persevere, “I attribute my success to God and my family. Truly. I am a better person because I am obedient to what God asks of me; treat others with love and respect and do not deny Him. My Pastor is on speed dial and he and I text and talk frequently. I personally could not go to a church where the Pastor did not know my name, where if I needed him I could not call him.

Also, I practice the principles of gratitude and obedience when it comes to my faith. If you focus on giving, you will receive more than you could have ever imagined. However, the key is changing your mind, so you can change your life. The most effective way to do this is through hypnosis, prayer and giving.”

Deirdre gave more detail about her Fabulous Life Club.

She described, “The club is designed to coach people to the lives of their dreams. It’s interactive; we have teleconferences, webinars, Skype sessions, one on ones, email exchange and workshops. We encourage video journals and updates from the members. I am currently looking for members because I am trying to get the show produced as a reality series (not fake reality but inspiring reality) or as a Web television show so that people can see what they can do, and it is not hard to change your life!”

You can contact Deirdre via email, or or phone her 888-682-5011 or 704 707 4860.  Leave a message and you’ll receive a returned call within 24 hrs. All information provided to her is confidential and will not be shared with anyone without written consent.

Yard work health facts, continued...

Lifetime Art Impressions, LLC Photo

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

Examiner article

Yes, as you can imagine, I've been spending a lot of time in the yard this week. I hate yard work, I need any motivation I can find to get my butt outside! My youngest son's birthday party will be at the end of the month therefore I'm working hard to get the outdoors in shape and, on the rainy days, I'm white gloving the house. I've been also working hard as of late May to get the 3 pounds I gained on my cruise in April plus the 1 1/2 pounds I gained being junky afterwards when I returned back off. It really is time to get back on track. Today, I can say, I've lost these 4 1/2 pounds plus an extra one so I'm on my path to health again.

I'm at the end of day 6 on an 8 day cycle of a new diet I'm trying so while my food intake is healthier, the work out I'm getting from the yard is icing on my diet cake (so to speak), mmm cake, that sounds really good!