Healthy Living Archives

June 12, 2006

Is your case really hopeless? Or did you make that part up?

Oh happy day! I turned on my computer this morning and scanned the news headlines, as I've become accustomed to doing. (Yes, I scanned the local paper, too. So I'm a news hog...)

Turns out there was some grand research released recently that tells us something we already new. I love it when that happens!

According to a statement from the Center for Consumer Insights at Yale (notice this study was done by marketing folks, not health folks), people are less likely to seek information about their health status if they believe their condition is untreatable.

Continue reading "Is your case really hopeless? Or did you make that part up?" »

Dredging up that old painful stuff (or not)

"Why would I want to pull up that old painful stuff?" If you recognize this as a real question from a real user of my Ultimate Stress Buster Kit, you're right on.

At my suggestion, she's been working her way through the booklet "Incubate Your Best Solution: How to Answer Perplexing Life Questions by Connecting with Your Inner Voice of Wisdom." And in her feedback to me during our last conversation, she offered up one of the most common reasons that people often block out the wisdom their subconscious mind is literally SHOUTING at them to pay attention to.

In my language now, not hers, she was just a little wary of what was going to be inside the magic envelope she was about to ask for.

Continue reading "Dredging up that old painful stuff (or not)" »

June 14, 2006

Did you get some extra sleep last weekend?

Did you get some extra rest last weekend? I know that most everyone has an agenda when it comes to holiday weekends. (This post originated on May 29, 2006. Due to technical difficulties, it's out of order.) This one is generally about paying tribute to our veterans and getting the garden planted. But I hope you saved some time for a few extra zzz's.

How come?

Easy. Everyone wants to lose weight, right? Well in case you missed it, there was a breaking news story last week (I read it on Yahoo! and the teenager in my life saw it on the morning news) that people who don't get enough sleep are more likely to be fat.

It's true!

Continue reading "Did you get some extra sleep last weekend?" »

June 18, 2006

Does eating naturally really cure illness?

Everybody's got an opinion on the healthy foods question, I suppose, and since someone just emailed me the question, I'm happy to offer my 2 cents.

Really happy, as it turns out, since contained in the answer is one of my pet peeves!

A number of factors are involved when we talk about healthy food choices. What does the reader mean by "eating naturally"? Since no one food plan seems to work for everyone, let's agree on basics like these:

Continue reading "Does eating naturally really cure illness?" »

June 19, 2006

Which is better - Natural Medicine or the Mainstream Approach?

Which is better, natural medicine or the mainstream approach? Another question that popped into my box last week. Let's make it easy and break this down into two questions.

Q-1. Is natural medicine better than the mainstream approach (Western, conventional, Allopathic)? My answer - no, not always and not for every situation.

Q-2. Is mainstream medicine (Western, conventional, Allopathic) better than the natural approach? My answer - no, not always and not for every situation.

You probably see where I'm going with this already...

Continue reading "Which is better - Natural Medicine or the Mainstream Approach?" »

June 20, 2006

Posture and Your Dog's Behavior

Did you ever wonder why your dog won't mind? Maybe it's your posture.

Last night, while over at a friend's house, we watched a couple of episodes of "The Dog Whisperer" on the National Geographic Channel (which I unfortunately don't get at my place).

Cesar Millan, the dog behavior expert, was incredible! It was absolutely fascinating to watch him as he took on the state and posture of the dog behavior he was exploring. He became the dog.

Continue reading "Posture and Your Dog's Behavior" »

June 21, 2006

Taking Time to Talk Turkey

Turkeys? Come on, Elizabeth. What do turkeys have with creating my healthy lifestyle?

Here's the story.

I was out in a friend's yard last evening about 9:30...

Continue reading "Taking Time to Talk Turkey" »

June 24, 2006

Healthy Living Myth #10: If my health insurance company doesn’t cover it, I must not need it

With today's entry, we'll begin to bust 10 common healthy living myths. Of course you're smarter than to believe this stuff yourself. These posts are for your friends ;-). (Be sure and share!)

One concern people have with health-enhancing strategies that aren't covered by their health insurance company is that the strategies might be unproven or dangerous. If the strategy was really valid, so the logic goes, it would have been tested, proved, and approved by the powers that be.

I'm certainly not going to suggest that you simply jump headfirst into any goofy-looking health program that comes down the pike. I won't even suggest that you jump in simply on the basis of the explanation making sense (though that may be a good start).

Continue reading "Healthy Living Myth #10: If my health insurance company doesn’t cover it, I must not need it" »

Healthy Living Myth #9: Good Food Tastes Bad

The countdown continues as we bust another Healthy Living myth. (Remember, I know you're smarter than this -- work with me a bit here for the sake of your friends.)

"Good food tastes bad." I suppose you've heard it, and I know I have. Here's the deal. Whole, minimally-processed foods do taste different from the pre-fab substitutes that many of us have switched to, at least occasionally, out of convenience.

Here's the question I really want answered. "Do those pre-fab substitutes really qualify as food?" To find out, I clicked over to my favorite source of technical information - the online dictionary. According to Webster, here's what it takes for a substance to qualify as food:

Continue reading "Healthy Living Myth #9: Good Food Tastes Bad" »

June 25, 2006

Healthy Living Myth #8: My Kids Won't Eat It

Tastes change as we mature. Certain foods that appeal to you as an adult no doubt were on banished from your kid-cool list years ago. Still, the myth about kids not being open to healthy foods is not unrelated to the previous, "Good Food Tastes Bad."

This myth really got my attention a few years ago when someone innocently enough said to me, "Of course kids don't like Chinese food! Everybody knows that!"

I just did a little checking. According to the US Government's World Fact Book (, ...

Continue reading "Healthy Living Myth #8: My Kids Won't Eat It" »

June 26, 2006

Healthy Living Myth #7 - Therapy Didn't Take

This myth is so popular that it occsionally shows up in the syndicated self-help column you'll find in your local newspaper. "I tried therapy. It didn't work. My case is hopeless."

Usually the person is talking about having visited a psychological counselor or social worker who couldn't "make" them forgive a perceived wrong, "make" them stop smoking, or "make" their spouse turn into a different person. Occasionally, you'll hear the same thing from a patient whose doctor or health care practitioner couldn't "make" them healthy.

Sometimes it's tinged with anger. Other times, the person is simply at their wit's end.

Though I think we can all relate to the frustration the person who unintentionally buys into this myth must face (I sure can), it's misplaced. Ultimately, though, the person is in for some extremely good news.

Continue reading "Healthy Living Myth #7 - Therapy Didn't Take" »

June 27, 2006

Beautiful Feeling

Hey! It's a break from the Top 10 list! For today, just sit back and listen to this awesome recording I came across on the Internet (just 2-1/2 minutes long). It's completely uplifting - and the title "Beautiful Feeling" says it all.

Play "Beautiful Feeling" by Elizabeth Eckert

For those of you who want to learn more about the artist, click on Elizabeth Eckert. Strange coincidence isn't it? Let me be very clear. This Elizabeth Eckert is a supremely talented musician - and she's definitely not me!

Listening to uplifting music like this is another excellent Healthy Living strategy. I recommend doing it as much as possible!

June 28, 2006

Healthy Living Myth #6 - They've got a pill for everything nowadays

It seems we fall into two camps, we humans. Some of us apply quite a bit of effort toward keeping ourselves healthy, doing what we can to avert future problems. I usually call this strategy, "making yourself an inhospitable host for disease." A simpler was to refer to this group would be "apple a day" people.

Others of us figure differently. "They've got a pill for everything nowadays," you'll hear them say. "So I'll just do what I want." We might refer to this group as "live for the moment" people. Others would call them hedonists, but that's not completely accurate, as I'll explain shortly.

I'll bet you expect I'm going to come right out and tell you that the first group (the apple-eaters) is right and the second is wrong. Guess again!

Continue reading "Healthy Living Myth #6 - They've got a pill for everything nowadays" »

June 30, 2006

My Energy's Low? How Could She Tell?

Another great question! I recently spoke with a gentleman who had been to an acupuncturist a couple of months ago. As he related the details of his first visit, he mentioned something that had puzzled him. The acupuncturist had said his "energy was low."

"What does that mean?" he asked. "And how could she tell?" What really intrigued him is that he had a feeling she was right on.

Let's answer the "how could she tell" part first. It's easier. Here's what I told him:

Continue reading "My Energy's Low? How Could She Tell?" »

July 2, 2006

Healthy Living Myth #5 - My health care provider is bad because he/she can't fix my problem

You know how it goes when you're sick or injured. In the first place, you're not in your most resourceful state. It's hard to think clearly. You may not understand your situation well. And generally, you're scared - about what this problem means for your future, your quality of life, your ability to work and provide for your family - perhaps even your life itself.

When something's seriously wrong, it's natural - and smart - to look for help. Depending on what the problem is and your available resources, you may start with your family doctor, the emergency room, or even another trusted practitioner like your chiropractor.

Presumably, they'll do the best they're able to help you out. But what happens when their best isn't good enough?

Continue reading "Healthy Living Myth #5 - My health care provider is bad because he/she can't fix my problem" »

July 3, 2006

Healthy Living Myth #4 - I have an active job - it's all the exercise I need

Having once done a summer job on a furniture moving crew, I understand the concept of active jobs. If you do something like that for a living, you certainly have a less sedentary lifestyle than your desk-bound contemporaries.

However an active job isn't quite the same thing as a balanced exercise program. A balanced exercise program consists of at least 3 parts.

Continue reading "Healthy Living Myth #4 - I have an active job - it's all the exercise I need" »

July 7, 2006

Healthy Living Myth #3 - I can't afford the (time, money, energy) it takes to live healthy

This healthy living myth is part myth, part truth. Life's a paradox, remember? Let's start with a story.

A number of years ago, I embarked on a little health kick. Part of the program (not all) was cleaning up my diet. I watched a number of things to see the effect they had on my system, and for a short time my choices were limited. Nonetheless, there were a number of tasty dishes I really enjoyed.

I met a friend for lunch at a restaurant that served really great healthy food. It was wonderful!

Continue reading "Healthy Living Myth #3 - I can't afford the (time, money, energy) it takes to live healthy" »

July 9, 2006

Healthy Living Myth #2 - Bad genes cause chronic disease patterns

This myth seems so obviously flawed that a second read of the title should blow its cover. But invariably it won't. People will still be convinced that bad genes cause their chronic disease. Not you, though, if I wager correctly!

Having said that, of course I acknowledge it's true that bad genes can play a part in chronic disease. They can predispose a person to being more vulnerable to a particular chronic disease than the neighbor. Sometimes they are largely responsible.

But even then, things aren't hopeless. Because science has demonstrated that we have some control, at least, over our genes.

Continue reading "Healthy Living Myth #2 - Bad genes cause chronic disease patterns" »

Trauma and Tattoos

It's in the news today. Trauma and tattoos. You may have seen the story as well - a recent trend in which persons who were involved in a recent large-scale natural disaster are having reminders of that event tattooed on their bodies.

The story says it's therapeutic for the survivors - as a way to make a statement about their involvement in the event, perhaps even putting it behind them. For some, the tattoo no doubt is therapeutic. But for others, I'm not so sure.

Yep, it's another paradox.

Continue reading "Trauma and Tattoos" »

July 10, 2006

No-Fault Health Insurance - A New Trend?

Some of you may remember that back a few years ago (in the dark ages when newsletters were copied on paper and only delivered to one's local area) I wrote a feature article on my bright idea about no-fault health insurance. I was half kidding.

But half not. See, it came to my attention that people occasionally behave as though there was a pill for every problem (see Healthy Living Myth #6). It occurred to me that not only was this ineffective for the person, but it was most probably driving up the cost of health insurance. (Since I pay this directly out of pocket, as do many of you, I'm quite aware of how the cost of health insurance escalates.)

Continue reading "No-Fault Health Insurance - A New Trend?" »

July 11, 2006

There are so many health promoting options - how do I pick?

This great question came in first thing this morning - the very first person to pick up her door prize at the housewarming party!

"I love alternative health options - they have changed my life. I have tried many and continue in this quest for optimum health. The choices are so numerous that I often take a scattered path ... perhaps using many more approaches than necessary... How do I choose the best options? How do I know if the options I choose are working?"

It is a great question, and one I've asked myself. I suppose she and I aren't the only ones, either.

Continue reading "There are so many health promoting options - how do I pick?" »

July 12, 2006

How to unblock that chi!

The question is chi: "If it's true that many health problems are caused (or partially caused) by blocked chi, could you explain chi and outline some beneficial ways to unblock chi?"

The answer: sure!

It's quite safe to agree that chi and health are intimately related. When your chi doesn't behave as it should, health is compromised. So while the exact language the reader used isn't the same language that I typically would, it is indeed a very relevant question.

What is chi? This is the Chinese-language term used to refer to what we would commonly call in English "life-force energy." The Japanese call it Ki and in India, it's Prana. You may wonder how it's possible to relate to such a strange-sounding word, but I promise that you know what life-force energy feels like.

Continue reading "How to unblock that chi!" »

July 13, 2006

Healthy Living Myth #1 - Eat Healthy and I'm Golden

This is truly a case of good news being taken a step too far. Of course healthy eating is important. Few people will argue that point. But I’m going to take this moment to speak against placing your major focus on eating healthy foods.

Healthy eating is simply not enough. A recent scientific study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (May 3, 2006) will even back me up. Scientists compared two groups of people – equivalent in nearly every way except for where they live.

One group lived in the United States and the other in the United Kingdom. The Brits were healthier. And even “a standard set of risk factors (smoking, drinking, and obesity) do not fully account” for the health differences the researchers found.

It’s easy enough to understand why people latch on to the healthy eating bandwagon so easily. 3 main reasons:

Continue reading "Healthy Living Myth #1 - Eat Healthy and I'm Golden" »

July 16, 2006

Knowing and Doing Are 2 Separate Steps

"I've got the insight, but nothing has changed." It was more of a comment than a question, yet the inquiry is clear enough. "What good does it do me to get a bunch of grand insights about my life if my outside world doesn't change as a result? Am I just wasting my time & energy?"

Now for a little background. This question came from someone who's currently working with my stress-buster kit and doing exactly as I suggested. She did her homework, and she did well! We're just not finished yet.

I'm sharing her inquiry mid-stream because it's a great illustration of the process successful people go through as they problem-solve their lives.

Continue reading "Knowing and Doing Are 2 Separate Steps" »

July 17, 2006

When people ignore what's wrong

Another great question! "I've been working on physical and emotional stuff of one sort of another for years. What happens to the people who don't face up to the challenge and make an effort to heal their lives?"

It's a great question and for once, I'm almost speechless. The answer seems so simple, but it's really not. First of all, I'd like to agree with the reader. From my perspective, it seems that more people wander around in pain than make an effort to resolve it.

You've got to wonder why, when there are so many health-enhancing options around to be explored.

Continue reading "When people ignore what's wrong" »

July 18, 2006

There's blue around me everywhere!

Next question: "Hey Elizabeth. I've been watching for signals around me just like you suggested. Well, guess what? Everything's blue. Could my answer be a color? What does blue mean, anyway?"

This reader is, as she said, doing exactly as I'd suggested. She's involved in an inquiry about a particular aspect of her life. And all of a sudden, she's become very aware of the color blue.

Could "blue" be part of the answer?

What should she do next?

Continue reading "There's blue around me everywhere!" »

July 19, 2006

Behavior change tips for your healthy lifestyle

"How do I change a behavior I don't want?" This is one of the most frequent healthy living questions people ask. It shows up over and over among my wellness coaching participants, usually in connection with a specific change the person wants to make. Like these -

  • I want to stop evening snacking.
  • I want to get to bed earlier in the evening.
  • I want to eat smaller portions when dining with friends.
  • I want to choose healthier foods when eating in a restaurant.
  • I want to exercise more.

Ready? Here we go with a few tips.

Continue reading "Behavior change tips for your healthy lifestyle" »

July 20, 2006

Healthy behavior change tips, part 2

When we left off yesterday, we'd introduced two behavior change tips for your healthy lifestyle:

  1. Find and resolve conflicts with what you say you want.
  2. Word your desired behavior in terms of what you "do want" rather than what you don't.

Now for two more!

Continue reading "Healthy behavior change tips, part 2" »

July 22, 2006

What is fun?

Interesting question, isn't it? "What is fun?" I suppose most of us think we should know what fun is, but try to put your finger on it and it turns out to be something like art. At the time of the experience, you know whether you're having a good time or not.

The reader then clarified that she's mostly talking about a situation where friends will suggest an activity, saying something like "come on, it'll be fun" -- and it doesn't turn out to be fun for her. Fun is different for everyone, and our reader wants to understand how to create genuine fun in her life. If you'll pardon the editorial comment, I'll agree this is a powerful goal!

To explore that, we'll look at two pieces that make up the experience of "fun."

Continue reading "What is fun?" »

July 24, 2006

How to resolve a values conflict

"I planned to do * Thing A *. Now my circumstances have changed. I'd still like to do it, but I'm not comfortable with overtaxing my finances. What to do?"

Great question! This one involves at least 3 of the 6 Wellness Opportunities we explore in the "Transform Stress Into Power" guide and develop further in the Ultimate Stress-Buster Kit.


What's a person to do?

Continue reading "How to resolve a values conflict" »

July 25, 2006

Didja get to the fair yet?

Hi. No question today. Just a little reminder, as I'm so fond of offering, to take a break and get outside to enjoy the summer.

In North Dakota where I live, it's state fair time. I'm fortunate enough to live in the community where the fair is hosted each year, so it's fairly easy to get in the spirit. But maybe it's something else where you live - concerts in the park (we have those, too), a trip to the lake with friends, symphony garden tour, kids' ball game, playing tourist at a historic site in your area - whatever you please.

So exactly how is this part of your healthy lifestyle?

Continue reading "Didja get to the fair yet?" »

July 28, 2006

How do I get my enthusiasm back?

Wow, this question really says it. "How do I get back the enthusiasm I once had for the project I'm supposed to be working on? In other words, I know I'm not in a productive state. How do I get back to being productive?"

Who among us can't relate to this one? I know I can. It's way too easy to become discouraged or overwhelmed -- especially when it seems we have a lot on our plate or a big challenge looming.

Now I'll tell you a truly inspiring secret. Through the process of formulating this question, the reader told me he figured out the answer himself. :-). Now that's powerful!

Want to hear what he said?

Continue reading "How do I get my enthusiasm back?" »

July 29, 2006

Outside my comfort zone - help!

"When changing old behaviors, how do I handle the physical reactions that come up - butterflies, sweaty palms, wanting to vomit, and so on?" Yep, it's another great reader question.

First of all, it's important to realize that these are very normal, common reactions when a person stretches the boundaries of their comfort zone. It's really not necessary, or even desirable, to make them go away entirely.

"But why, Elizabeth? I just hate those feelings! They're uncomfortable!"

Continue reading "Outside my comfort zone - help!" »

July 30, 2006

Tips for easier healthy choices

If we were running a "most popular question" contest, I'm sure this one would win: "How can I make it easier to follow through on the healthy choices I know I should be making?"

Several people have asked questions along this line, though they haven't all been worded quite this way.

Today's post suggests several tips for making your healthy choices easier to follow through on.

Continue reading "Tips for easier healthy choices" »

August 2, 2006

#1 tip to lose weight

Someone finally asked the big question! Here it is, "What would be your #1 suggestion to someone who needs to lose weight but doesn't seem to have the willpower to stop eating so much?"

Can you relate? Just raise your hand...

Continue reading "#1 tip to lose weight" »

August 3, 2006

Lunch from the garden

There's something ever-so-satisfying about picking lunch from your own garden.

Let me explain.

Here in North Dakota, where I live, people are very in touch with where their food comes from. It's an agricultural community, after all.

But for me, the city kid, this is just waaay cool!

Continue reading "Lunch from the garden" »

August 4, 2006

Help me tame my inner saboteur

"What can I do to befriend that part of me that undermines my goals (my inner saboteur) and get her on my team?"

Since this is archetypal language, I'll take just a quick moment to get us all on the same page. An archetype is a pattern we can all recognize - like "computer geek," "knight in shining armor," or "a natural mom." We have a relationship with each of these patterns we see in ourselves, yet they don't define us like a state does.

In this reader's case, she's recognized that there's a part of herself, her inner saboteur, that she has a relationship with. She wants to improve the quality of that relationship. Make sense?

Continue reading "Help me tame my inner saboteur" »

August 6, 2006

Consciousness & balance

After many weekends working recently, most of this one went to the yard. Here's the thing. You gotta balance out your life.

Ok, you know that.

Think of it this way: Yin, yang. Active, sedentary. Thinking, doing. Salt, sugar. Exercise, rest. Ultimately, your life will create the balance for you if you don't do it consciously on your own.

I know I advocate taking action when the time is right.

Continue reading "Consciousness & balance" »

August 7, 2006

Fertile soil: your garden & your health

In this bountiful harvest season, I've been hanging out on the organic gardening forums. They're really hopping, too!

Funny thing. Someone asks about a natural remedy for some problem or another. A bug, pest, or inadequate result. They're generally looking for something to spritz on or till in. Not bad ideas, it seems. But inevitably, someone more experienced chimes in with the "real dirt."

"Amend your soil at the beginning of the season," they'll say. "Work in lots of organic compost and the soil will be fertile. Fertile, healthy soil creates healthy, disease-resistant plants. You won't even need those fixes."

Sound familiar?

Continue reading "Fertile soil: your garden & your health" »

August 15, 2006

Veggies & Becoming a Flexitarian

"Eat Your Veggies!" Isn't that what your Mom used to say? But there was more. Milk for calcium, meat for protein, fruit to keep you -- well, you know -- lubed. :-)

Researchers tell us that the healthiest diets are primarily plant-based. But yet we might not want to go 100%. It's a bit of an effort to get all your essential nutrients on a full plant-based diet. There are also considerations like what's good for weight loss, availability, and simple preference.

So what's a person to do?

Think flexitarian. Yep, you heard me. Flexitarian.

Continue reading "Veggies & Becoming a Flexitarian" »

August 16, 2006

Message or the messenger?

Message or the messenger? Sometimes you have to choose.

The inspiration for this article came from a conversation I had yesterday with one of my bodywork clients. She's started up a new exercise program. Some of her friends know the instructor.

"Him?" they asked. "Why would you train with him?"

As we talked about the situation for a few moments, she explained.

Continue reading "Message or the messenger?" »

August 18, 2006

Ride the Bull or the Bull Rides You

Several days ago I had the pleasure of spending a few hours in a fine establishment which, as part of its entertainment package, offered patrons the opportunity to ride a mechanical bull. Having nothing better to do for the moment, I watched.

Remember the previous article message or the messenger? Here's another example. The delivery was made by an unlikely messenger, to be sure. But the message came through loud and clear.

After a few moments of watching various riders hop on and fall off, I was siezed with a flash of inspiration.

Continue reading "Ride the Bull or the Bull Rides You" »

August 21, 2006

Canned or fresh food - which is better? (Part 1)

Canned or fresh - which is better? If you're like most people, you'd probably jump at the chance to vote for fresh. It's common sense, isn't it? But since common sense isn't always accurate, I decided to do a little research.

The purpose behind my search: As you know, I'm the proud mom of Christopher, a delightful 19-year-old feline who also doubles as my receptionist. [One of my clients recently complained that every time he calls for an appointment, Chris answers "NROOOOOW!" :-) ]

Anyway, yesterday on one of the organic gardening forums, someone started a thread about how something in pop-top cans might be contributing to feline thyroid problems (which Chris has) and who knows what else in humans... That started the discussion rolling. Canned or fresh?

Continue reading "Canned or fresh food - which is better? (Part 1)" »

August 23, 2006

I know what to do next, I just don't like it

Not much of a question, is it? This comment came in the other day. Twice. From two different people.

"I know what I should be doing next. I just don't want to do it."

As you've no doubt observed, one of my most frequent health-promoting suggestions is to get yourself off the fence with respect to the stress-makers in your life. To identify those unanswered questions, come up with creative solutions, and get moving.

To do anything less is a quick recipe for health problems.

Continue reading "I know what to do next, I just don't like it" »

August 24, 2006

Hopelessness To Possibility: Resolve Stress Through The Power of Questions

One of the biggest sources of stress in your life may be completely hidden. It's there all right, but you can't see it. It's a vague sense of hopelessness. I'm not talking about major depression -- a medical condition you'll want to check out with your doctor.

Rather, a vague sense of hopelessness. Resignation. Apathy. A willingness to accept "facts" about your life that simply aren't so.

  • I'm stuck in this dead-end job, but what more can I expect in this town?
  • My relationship is stale, but I guess it's the best I can hope for.
  • The kids aren't doing as well in school as we'd hoped. I guess they're just slow.
  • With everything else going on, I can't find time to exercise. I'll just have to accept being out of shape.

Would a fly on the wall agree with you that each of the statements above is true? Of course not! You're talented, vivacious, smart, and motivated. Sometimes. But lately things have gotten overwhelming. It seems you don't have the energy left to go that extra mile.

Continue reading "Hopelessness To Possibility: Resolve Stress Through The Power of Questions" »

August 26, 2006

Hunches and Health - Harness the Healing Power of Intuition

Enough beating around the bush. Developing, accessing, and learning to trust your intuition is one of the best things you can do to enhance your health. Bottom line.

There are two ways of receiving this news, by the way. One group of you is saying, "Yeah! Finally she's coming right out and saying what we want to hear!"

The other says, "Oh, geez. Here we go. I'm only interested in hard science."

You're both right. Intuition is vitally important to your health; even so, it has its limitations.

Continue reading "Hunches and Health - Harness the Healing Power of Intuition" »

August 30, 2006

How do I shut off my mind?

"How do I shut off my mind? It would be nice to get some sleep!"

Have you ever laid awake at night replaying events of the day before? Or trying to plan what's going to happen tomorrow? Most of us have. If so, you'll be able to relate to this reader question.

In the article below, we'll explore 2 short-term tips and one long-term strategy for putting your restless mind at ease -- so you can get some rest!

Continue reading "How do I shut off my mind?" »

August 31, 2006

A Hundred And Ten Percent

How much would you give if your life was on the line? Go ahead. Ask the question. What is your life worth?

  • 50% effort?
  • 60% ?
  • 90% ?
  • 100% ?

Or maybe even 110% ?

Let me clarify. I'm not asking what effort you give away in the service of others. I'm asking what effort you give when the subject is y-o-u.

Continue reading "A Hundred And Ten Percent" »

September 1, 2006

Predicting the Future - A Sneaky Trick

How would you like to be able to predict the future? I can. Better yet, I can teach you -- in just one article -- a sneaky trick you can use to predict the future, too.

You can use this trick to predict a certain type of result in life - like how well your child will do in school this year, or how enthusiastic your spouse might be toward helping you with a project around the house, or the type of service you're likely to receive from the waitstaff at your favorite dining establishment.

These types of results become easy to predict, because you can easily influence them to go the way you want. With just a little effort. Through the use of what we'll call "The 4 a's."

Continue reading "Predicting the Future - A Sneaky Trick" »

September 5, 2006

Unlikely messenger - at the post office

It's all in how you look at it. United States Post Office version. Another example of the unusual way in which messages are delivered. [Ok, I know it's not exactly news that the post office might deliver a message, but this one's different!]

My mom's birthday was last week and, in an effort to wish her the best, I sent her a gift. So I thought.

See, by the time I got to the post office on the Saturday before, the customer service area was closed. Now I'm pretty resourceful when it comes to this sort of thing, so I weighed the package, affixed the required postage, and stuck it in the bin.

End of story. So I thought.

Continue reading "Unlikely messenger - at the post office" »

September 12, 2006

Healthy Living - for the Whole Family

Healthy living. It's not just about you, is it? Nope. It's a family affair.

Two headlines today caught my attention - both having to do with family health. That is, depending on who happens to make up your family! ;-)

As you read, consider this basic question. If it's true that each of us models healthy living with our day-to-day behavior, how are we doing? Not you personally. [You're reading this article, right? And other things like it? If so, you're ahead of the pack already!]

Not you, but the culture around us. How are we doing?

Continue reading "Healthy Living - for the Whole Family" »

September 18, 2006

Awareness - Just what the doctor ordered!

Awareness. Deep.

We certainly must agree that awareness is part of good health. After all, if you don't notice challenges and compromises to your system, you're not going to take the necessary steps to rectify them. And that could be very, very bad.

So while awareness isn't everything (what you do with the awareness is important, too!), it sure makes the Top 10 list.

Funny thing is ... it's so easy to just shut it off!

Continue reading "Awareness - Just what the doctor ordered!" »

September 19, 2006

I didn't change anything. How did this happen?

Awareness, remember? We've been talking about it the last couple of days. This is an awareness question that relates to health:

"I didn't change anything. How did this happen?"

The inspiration for today's article comes from a comment I overheard about a favorite plant that had died. And I acknowledge that you might "pick a bone" with me about distinguishing between plant health (which might be considered off-topic to some) and human health.

Never fear. The same comment comes up over and over in my treatment room. Not to mention that the principles behind plant health and human health, holistically speaking, are quite similar.

So whether it's your back or that purple-leaf sand cherry out back, this type of awareness matters.

Continue reading "I didn't change anything. How did this happen?" »

September 20, 2006

Denial. Not you, of course.

We've been talking about awareness. Specifically, about increasing it with the goal of enhanced health.

Of course, there are certain things that get in the way of awareness. We've already talked about focus versus distraction. And about how the human quality of adaptability can backfire. And about how easy it is to get in a rut without realizing it.

Well, how about this one? Denial.

Surely you're not in denial, are you?

Continue reading "Denial. Not you, of course." »

September 26, 2006

"Denial has no survival value"

So here I am, after having written a week's worth of short articles on the value of awareness in maintaining health here on the Healthy Living DIY blog ...

And having written a somewhat longer article about a specific type of lapsed awareness that leaves individuals vulnerable to illness and our nation open to international resentment (read Commitment, Charity, and America-Bashing.)

And I'm listening to a CD set (The Bulletproof Mind) by LtCol Dave Grossman. He's addressing a group of law enforcement officers about how the body responds to extreme stress. And Grossman says, ...

Continue reading ""Denial has no survival value"" »

October 2, 2006

Failed Communication and Guns

According to the news, our country has just experienced the third fatal school shooting within a week. I know this not because it's on the news show I've been watching, but because it showed up on Yahoo several hours ago.

This raises a few interesting questions.

  1. What could possibly be behind such a rash of shootings?
  2. Why is the news media relatively uninterested in this last shooting that killed 3 little Amish girls at a school in Pennsylvania?
  3. If you were the violent type, why would you pick a bone with the Amish? This one really gets my goat, so to speak, because the Amish themselves are a pretty quiet and peaceful people. They basically farm and mind their own business.
  4. How is this a healthy living topic?

So what do you think? I hope you'll comment at the end of this post.

But first, some discussion:

Continue reading "Failed Communication and Guns" »

October 4, 2006

Expect Your Best Results

Do you consistently expect your best results? Do you intend them, hope for them, believe yourself entitled to them, or believe you deserve them?

The English language can get complicated, can't it?

Yet while it's obvious to most of us that we draw to us what we expect (the law of attraction we spoke about a short while ago in the healthy living forum), it can be challenging to manage expectation, hope, belief, entitlement, and the sense that we're deserving of what we want.

Let's explore!

Continue reading "Expect Your Best Results" »

October 15, 2006

Awareness and Commitment - A Healing Combination

Have you ever felt really frustrated about your health situation? A new client had felt poorly for years. Headaches, back problems, neck pain, the works. Now a ray of hope has come into her life. After her first therapy session, she'd felt somewhat better.


And at the beginning of the section session, she told me, "If I am able to develop some kind of holistic wellness here, I'm going to be so angry with myself!"



Before we go any rurther, I want to tell you that this is an extremely motivated and committed client. I expect her to do well. So why the anger?

Continue reading "Awareness and Commitment - A Healing Combination" »

October 16, 2006

The Bully in Your Life

Who, or what, is the bully in your life? How are you planning to deal with 'im (or her)?

Over the past week or so, one of the discussion groups that I'm a part of has been having quite a go-around about a member's child who's being bullied at school. I should point out that the child is 7 and the bully sounds unusually aggressive. Intervention is in order, and mom is stepping up to the plate big time. So despite the stress of it, this child is in good hands.

However, the whole discussion got me thinking about the role of bullies in our lives.

Continue reading "The Bully in Your Life" »

October 17, 2006

Bully B-Gone, Part 2

Did you ever notice that there are certain people a bully won't go near? Whether we're talking about human bullies or selective events (like illness), some people seem to be more vulnerable than others.

* One person attracts partner after partner who berates her. Another attracts none.
* One person is plagued by "unlucky" events. Another seems to live under a cloud of protection
* One person attracts illness after illness. Another attracts none.

And so on.

What's the difference? And how can you be more like the guy behind door #2?

Continue reading "Bully B-Gone, Part 2" »

October 18, 2006

Bullies Test Your Boundaries

How do you deal with a bully? This is the third article in our series and, since I've been getting some interesting comments back, we'll go a little deeper.

A lot of times people take bully attacks (whether the human kind or the life circumstance kind - like illness, financial trouble, or accidents) personally. They think the bully has it in for them because they are inferior in some way.

Sometimes people also think that the ultimate antidote to being bullied is aggression.

Two very common misconceptions. Are you ready to see things in a new light?

Continue reading "Bullies Test Your Boundaries" »

October 20, 2006

Feelings and Your Inner Bully

Repeat after me, "When my life is in order, I feel good." One of the surest ways to recognize that things are going well in your life is a sense of peace, fulfillment, and well-being. In other words, feeling good.

Other side of the coin is this.

When you feel less than your best, it's a signal that something in your life needs attention. Sometimes the solution will be simple - like fixing lunch when you're hungry. Other times are "simply perplexing." You don't feel your best and the solution isn't so easy to find.

Continue reading "Feelings and Your Inner Bully" »

October 23, 2006

Bully, Victim, and Personal Power

Where there is a bully, there is a victim. It's how things work. Kind of like peanut butter and jelly!

Nobody wants to be a victim - right?

Well, just yesterday a comment came in from a reader who was perceptive enough to recognize that our culture tends to give victims a lot of attention. And that sometimes people get stuck in a pattern of seeking that attention.

Which means that my assumption above is incorrect. Some people absolutely thrive on staying stuck in the role of the victim. At least they act as though they do. So here we are with another perplexing question.

Where does the personal power lie -- with the bully -- the victim -- or somewhere in between?

Continue reading "Bully, Victim, and Personal Power" »

Banish the Bully - Who's Responsible?

One thing we can universally agree on is this. Nobody wants to be bullied (not even bullies!) Nobody wants to have his or her hand forced by circumstances, events or people outside his realm of influence.

Of course it happens.

So here's today's question. When it does - when a person, event, or circumstance arrives in your life that treats you unfairly without your consent - who is responsible for dealing with it? You? Or the Authorities?

Continue reading "Banish the Bully - Who's Responsible?" »

October 25, 2006

How to walk away from a bully

In the past several articles, I've made one particular suggestion a number of times. That suggestion was, when faced with a bully, to draw a line of acceptable behavior in the sand. Should that line be crossed and your respect or safety be threatened, walk away.

Regardless of who or what the bully may be -- a kid on the playground, an illness, a co-worker, a soon-to-be-ex-spouse, a limiting belief that holds you hostage -- in order to gain power over it, you must be willing to walk away.

And in order to do that, you'll need to know two little secrets.

Continue reading "How to walk away from a bully" »

October 26, 2006

Finding an elusive bully

I anticipate a couple of problems with the bully thread at this point. We'll take them up in the next two articles.

For today: Finding an elusive bully.

Here's the scenario. You're "stuck" in your life. You're frustrated that you can't get past a particular obstacle. You're discouraged because it seems like no matter what you do in this particular area of your life, you meet failure. Things just aren't working!

So what's really going on here? Are you doomed? Cursed? Stupid? Riddled with bad luck?

Nope. It's our friend the bully. But this time, he's wearing the dreaded shield of invisibility.

Wanna tease him out of his corner? Let's look at what's really going on here.

Continue reading "Finding an elusive bully" »

October 28, 2006

Bully In Your Face

Great advice, "walk away from the bully." It works, too. Most of the time.

Other times, the bully is literally "in your face" and you can't walk away. This is a much more troubling situation. But it happens.

Let's explore it just a bit. At the very least, you'll have a basis for distinguishing when this is NOT going on -- fortunately most of the time -- and empower yourself to make a healthy choice before things escalate.

Continue reading "Bully In Your Face" »

November 1, 2006

Bully or Victim. Where's the real question?

Quiz time: Over the past couple of weeks, we've had a series of articles about what topic?

Think for a moment and answer the question in your own mind. Then click through and you'll see how I answer it. You'll also see why I wrote the articles from the perspective I did.

And, I'll give you some tips on extracting the same kind of information I just did in this series -- to answer the infinite number of very personal questions that come up in your own life from day to day.

Continue reading "Bully or Victim. Where's the real question?" »

November 6, 2006

Stress and your immune system

Stress affects your immune system. We've bullied our bully topic considerably over the past few weeks. And still there are a few important points yet to make.

When you, as a human being, are under the influence of a bully, what kind of state does that cause in your body physiology? We've already talked about your being cast in the role of the victim. But let's take it one step further.

What happens in your body?

Continue reading "Stress and your immune system" »

November 8, 2006

Stress and Your Collapsing Life

Our minds can be the world's greatest stress-factories, can't they? Over the years, I've become aware of one particular type of thinking that gets us into trouble with amazing consistency.

The best way I can describe it is "collapsing your categories."

By way of explanation, we'll look at two short examples.

Continue reading "Stress and Your Collapsing Life" »

November 10, 2006

Communication and Health: Getting Heard

Communication is grand, isn't it? And since your actions, your state, and your posture often speak for you, sometimes you can get away without actually doing much when it comes to getting your point across.

Other times, it's not so easy. You feel like you're shouting from the rooftops, but it seems nobody's listening. Since there are times when your health -- your very life -- depends on your ability to communicate clearly, we're going to take on one little piece of the puzzle today.

There's a common misconception floating around out there about getting heard. Here it is. When you shout from the rooftops but nobody listens, it's "their" fault for not hearing you.

Too bad it's not true, because in a way, things would be so much easier. You'd never have to work on your message, your congruence, your authority, or your presentation style. You wouldn't have to persist when the going gets rough. You could simply blame "them" for not listening.

But guess what? It's not "their" fault.

Continue reading "Communication and Health: Getting Heard" »

November 13, 2006

Belief: Don't just think you can - Know it!

"Whether you think you can or whether you think you can't, you're right." Henry Ford

Thanks to everyone who stopped by the Holiday Showcase in Minot over the weekend. It was great seeing you! Gonna be near Fargo next weekend? Be sure to find the Wellness Images booth and say "hi."

Do you find the same thing as I do? I learn so much from visiting with people who drop in and out of my life. Today, I thought I'd share a story from one of the people who stopped by my booth yesterday. Hint: It has something to do with the quote at the top of this page!

Continue reading "Belief: Don't just think you can - Know it!" »

November 15, 2006

Expectation: When it's a Great Friend

Several years ago I was a therapist participant in a research study exploring the effectiveness of neuromuscular therapy on chronic severe headaches. One of our participants was a young woman of 23 who'd had unrelenting head pain since she'd hit her head falling out of a wagon at age 5.

Her first session with me produced what was arguably one of the worst therapeutic outcomes I've ever generated in a single therapy session. Yet the new strategy we used during her second session reduced her head pain, by her description, about 50%. It was the first positive change she had seen in 18 years. (During the course of the study, she improved even more.)

What inspired her to come back for that second session? Not just to be physically present, but to arrive relaxed and receptive enough that we were able to turn the tides and produce a positive outcome?

Continue reading "Expectation: When it's a Great Friend" »

November 21, 2006

Appreciation Exchange - A healthy holiday tradition

Happy Thanksgiving to all my American friends & neighbors.

In visiting with folks over the past couple of weeks about their holiday plans, I've noticed a particular theme surface quite a bit. It's this. Despite these folks' looking forward to the holiday, there is often a bit of trepidation about the whole "getting together with family" thing.

People look forward to the time with family, seeing the grandkids, and enjoying the holiday together. At the same time, there's a little concern. Will my sister and I get along? Will mom yell at everyone? How will we handle the in-laws? And a dizzying array of unique "blended family" issues.

What about a quick de-stressing tip to lighten up the day? Or any holiday gathering, for that matter. Let's call it an "appreciation exchange."

Continue reading "Appreciation Exchange - A healthy holiday tradition" »

November 27, 2006

Expectation: Its Darker Side

Last week, we explored the positive side of expectation. We looked at a situation in which one person expected the best, another expected the worst, and they were both rewarded with the fruits of their belief. Belief is very powerful.

But belief alone is not enough to produce success in life. And that leads us to the darker side of the phenomenon of expectation.

You don't need me to tell you that sometimes, our expectations are not fulfilled. We've all been there. In fact, unfulfilled expectation is at the root of many of our major disappointments in life.

What's the difference, then, between the belief that causes miracles and the misguided expectations that lead to disappointment, anger, frustration, and hopelessness?

Continue reading "Expectation: Its Darker Side" »

November 28, 2006

Expectation Crushers: Avoid these and life works better

Yesterday, we spoke about two big expectation crushers that sometimes get people in trouble in life. What I mean by "in trouble" is stressed, disappointed, angry, and frustrated. Who wants that? Yesterday's news:

Expectation crusher #1: Expecting gain without action.
Expectation crusher #2: Mind reading. Or... He just should know!

Today, we've got two more.

Continue reading "Expectation Crushers: Avoid these and life works better" »

November 29, 2006

Expect this, and you're destined for disappointment

With holiday expectations creeping up the scale once again, it's a great time to consider ways to keep inflated expectations in check.

We're walking a fine line here, of course. You want to hold the possibility open for the best outcome you can imagine -- maybe even more! We spoke last week about the role of positive expectation in achieving desired results.

Yet "fairy tale" expectations with no foothold in reality often contribute to frustration, anger, and disappointment. So far in our series, we've explored 4 common expectation crushers:

Expectation crusher #1: Expecting gain without action.
Expectation crusher #2: Mind reading. Or... He just should know!
Expectation crusher #3: Expecting behavior the person isn't capable of.
Expectation crusher #4: Doing the same thing again and expecting different results.

Today, we'll look at one more biggie.

Continue reading "Expect this, and you're destined for disappointment" »

December 10, 2006

Is change painful?

It seems that the human brain is wired to perceive change as painful. At least that's what I'm told (waiting for the reference -- when it comes, I'll let you know.)

Hard science aside, the perception is sound. Why else would we be faced with the dilemma of
"doing the same thing and expecting different results?" It's got to be a conflict in the area of change.

But is it really a fear of change? After all, if you don't like the results you're getting right now, aren't you actually striving for a change? Perhaps it's not so much a fear of change, then, but something else.

Continue reading "Is change painful?" »

December 11, 2006

Good Friends - How to Empower Them

"What am I going to do about my friends?"

When someone begins my Wellness Coaching program, this is one of the first questions they often ask. You see, sometimes people "bond" over unhealthy behavior. So the person taking that first, brave step to unhinge that behavior wants to know how to move their life forward and still deal with their old friends.

  • "How can I keep them from sabotaging my progress?"
  • "How can I share what I've learned so they can move along, too?"
  • "What if they aren't interested -- do I have to drop them from my life?"

They're great questions.

Let's start the answer with a short story about what not to do.

Continue reading "Good Friends - How to Empower Them" »

December 12, 2006

Life change and your default position

Let's continue our series on creating change in your life. You do want things to go more smoothly, don't you? At least in some area of your life.

Even if 99% of your life is as good as things get, aren't you at least intrigued about upping the ante in that remaining 1%? Most of us are.

Why is it, then, that among a group of people who say they want to take things to the next level, our default position often comes through as "why it won't work." "Couldn't possibly work." "Completely impossible."


In fact, my experience shows that people actually seek out the slightest little piece to find fault with, so they can feel justified in discarding the whole idea. Even if it's exactly what they're looking for.

Case in point...

Continue reading "Life change and your default position" »

December 13, 2006

Willingness, Willfulness, and Hard Knocks

So you want to change your life. Or maybe it's life that wants to change you. Either way.

There are two basic ways to go. You can change willingly, or you can try and hold your ground. If you choose option #2, you'll get a neat bonus. A free pass to the School of Hard Knocks.

A number of years ago, I earned my Shodan rank (first degree black belt) in Koei-Kan Karate-Do. Koei-Kan doesn't exist as a "belt mill" or a recreational activity. It's a martial art. Anyone walking around with one of their belts has earned it.

This true story, based two events that occurred as I prepared for my test, illustrates the results of resisting inevitable change just beautifully!

Continue reading "Willingness, Willfulness, and Hard Knocks" »

December 21, 2006

What do you want for Christmas?

What do you want any day of the year?

If you grew up in a home where scarcity was the rule, perhaps the phrase "you can't have everything you want" rings a bell. If you grew up in a home where it was considered noble to sacrifice your desires, you may recognize the same phrase. Sometimes, I'll even wager it was tinged with "so who do you think you are that you deserve to have what you want?"

If this type of thinking has a place in your past, have you considered lately whether it's affecting your future? Unless you've taken steps to change your thinking, I'd be willing to assert with confidence that your desires are not being met right now.


Because you're operating from a "rule" that says you can't have what you want -- regardless of what it is! If this is true for you, you may find that it's challenging to even acknowledge what you do want.

(Since you believe that whatever it is will be permanently out of reach, it's less painful to pretend you only want what you already have ... which by definition cannot be what you really want. You can't have that, remember?)

Guess what? No matter what, unless you change that rule, you are virtually guaranteed to sabotage your chances of creating the life you say you desire.

Let's look a little deeper.

Continue reading "What do you want for Christmas?" »

January 7, 2007

Peer Pressure - Ever A Good Thing?

Peer pressure. If you've ever been, had, or talked with a kid, you know all about it.

  • Your kid surely wouldn't have taken the gum on his own -- but a friend dared him.
  • He wouldn't have skipped class, but all his friends were doing it.
  • She wouldn't have gone a party where alcohol was served, but the coolest guys were going to be there.

Peer pressure can get us in trouble, no doubt.

But can it ever be a good thing?

Continue reading "Peer Pressure - Ever A Good Thing?" »

January 10, 2007

Are Your Kids Making You Fat?

You know what it means to eat healthy. You know the health consequences of poor food choices -- from obesity to heart disease to an inefficient immune system. And the beneficial consequences of healthier choices -- more energy, better general health, and a slimmer trimmer you.

If you're the parent of a young child (17 or under), you may think that your nutritional awareness influences what your child eats. And indeed it may. But this month, the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine published a study that reveals a surprising new twist on that theory.

It may just be that the presence of a child in your home influences you to eat less well than you otherwise would. In other words, your kids may be making you fat.

Continue reading "Are Your Kids Making You Fat?" »

January 12, 2007

101 Reasons not to Run With The Pack

For our new readers: "Run With The Pack" refers to a group of participants joining up to do Healthy Living projects this winter. And it starts January 15th.

Check it out here: Run With The Pack. If you're interested in creating positive change in your life over the next few months, we'd love to have you join us.

That is, unless you've got one of the following 4 (ok, the 101 part was an exaggeration) great reasons!

Continue reading "101 Reasons not to Run With The Pack" »

January 14, 2007

Stress and Procrastination

Stress and procrastination. What's the connection? If we could figure it out, then we'd have one more way to improve your health. Let's go for it!

When you procrastinate, you end up with a life filled with half-done and un-done tasks. Looking around, you see mountains of paper waiting to be sorted, home improvement projects to be finished, laundry to be folded, grass to be mowed, bills to be paid, and so on. Speaking of bills, you likely pay them late, leading to extra fees. You don't get around to exercising. You put off doctor appointments. And on it goes.

Furthermore, you probably feel guilty about the whole mess!

It's a recipe for stress, wouldn't you say?

Well, how about we look at one (just one) key factor that -- if you could impact it -- would offer a great opportunity for getting a handle on your procrastination? Are you in?

Continue reading "Stress and Procrastination" »

January 17, 2007

Winter Blues? Look to Nature.

Sometime around the middle of January, winter can start to become a big drag. The holidays are over and it just seems like forever until spring's going to roll around.

Spring. You know, when you get back outdoors again for your favorite fair-weather activities -- gardening, sports, sipping lemonade under a big umbrella, or whatever may tickle your fancy.

But it seems so far away. What to do?

Continue reading "Winter Blues? Look to Nature." »

January 21, 2007

Stress: What does it mean to you?

Stress. It's become such a buzz-word in our society that we use it all day without really even thinking about the myriad of meanings we might attach to it.

Not too long ago, a reader wrote in and asked about this. Clearly, he didn't take the term "stress" for granted. Rather, he was curious about where I was coming from and wanted to learn more. Which I greatly appreciate!

In the next few articles, we'll take a quick look at the stress in your life. Today, let's start by identifying what stress means to you. Take this little quiz!

Continue reading "Stress: What does it mean to you?" »

January 23, 2007

Stress, Headaches, and Upset Tummies

Headaches and Upset Tummies. What might they have in common? Well, for one thing, stress. Just lately I've received reader questions on both these topics. And as luck would have it, I thought of a relevant case history that ties them both together.

Stress. Society uses the word as a catch-all these days. And so, I acknowledge, do I. How you handle stress is all tied up in energy -- and that energy creates your state of health.

My hope is that today's case history will help some of you consider avenues for exploring your own health questions that you may not have considered before.

Continue reading "Stress, Headaches, and Upset Tummies" »

January 24, 2007

Commitment and Clara's Breakthrough

Remember Clara? We spoke about her yesterday.

  • About how she'd had chronic tension-type headaches for years and years.
  • About how we'd (the therapy team) done all the usual things to change her posture.
  • About how none of those things had gotten the results we wanted.
  • And about how she ultimately enjoyed a huge improvement in her condition.

What set her up for a breakthrough? And how can you bring that same kind of breakthrough into your next healthy living project?

Continue reading "Commitment and Clara's Breakthrough" »

January 28, 2007

Stress and Personal Conflicts

Stress and personal conflicts. A few days ago, we began a conversation about What Stress Means to You. The initial question came from a reader who wondered how, in my view, stress and energy medicine come together.

Today, I'd like to explain. We'll start with one of the 6 Wellness Opportunities I introduce to all my Healthy Living Update subscribers in the Transform Stress Into Power guide and expand on in Challenging The Shaman (part of the Ultimate Stress-Buster Kit). Resolve personal conflicts and power struggles.

Specifically, we're going to look at personal conflicts of one specific type. Conflicts within yourself. My opinion and observation is that this type of personal conflict results in more icky results in life than all the other types of stress combined.


Continue reading "Stress and Personal Conflicts" »

February 2, 2007

Conflict, Resolution, Relaxation

Cut to scene from an average American home -- Tuesday, 7:00 pm: Dinner's finished, kids are fussing about their homework, mom and dad are frazzled. Everybody's stressed from a hectic day. The place is in chaos.

Bring up the sound: "I'm stressed out! I'm not doing anything tonight. Gonna put my feet up on the couch and watch some TV. I've had it!" (Mom talking.)

"Me, too! Time to relax." (complete agreement from Dad).

And so it goes. Stress to relaxation -- right?

Not quite. This isn't relaxation, it's numbness. Once they come to, they'll be just as stressed as they were when they knocked themselves out with the self-medication of the TV set (or Internet browsing, or any other diversion).

They forgot a step.

Continue reading "Conflict, Resolution, Relaxation" »

February 3, 2007

Healing States: Engagement

"You tell me, you're the psychic."

I listened as Caroline Myss told of the comment that inspired her to take her career as a medical intuitive in a different direction. I'll share the story with you in just a moment. But I'll tell you right now that there was more behind Caroline's response to that comment than taking offense at a participant's careless quip.

The comment spoke volumes about the participant's frame of reference toward her own health and healing process. Simply, she was not engaged.

As a practitioner in a health care field myself, a state of engagement is easy to recognize. A person comes in with a particular goal in mind. As we pursue that goal, the engaged person offers feedback, asks questions, and shares relevant bits of their life story. The disengaged person -- figuratively and sometimes even literally -- settles in for a nap.

A short while ago, we explored the healing state of commitment. Today, we'll begin our look at engagement.

Continue reading "Healing States: Engagement" »

February 14, 2007

Influence a Result ...

... or control an outcome. The participants in any of my wellness coaching activities know I'm big on producing measurable results. But influcencing a result and controlling an outcome are two different bananas. One is possible, the other generally is not.

It's useful to appreciate the difference. I have an excellent, though I'll warn you right now sad, opportunity to illustrate with a situation that just occurred in my own life. I was able to influence a result. But ultimately, I could not control the outcome.

In this article, we'll explore several views on the factors that affect a health outcome -- and then I'll share my story.

Continue reading "Influence a Result ..." »

February 21, 2007

Healing States: Courage

Courage. Another essential state for healing.

A short while ago, we began a series of articles exploring different states that are helpful for healing, starting with the state of engagement. Today we'll explore the state we call courage.

The word courage comes from the Latin root word for heart. In today's modern French language, the word "coeur" means heart. When a person acts courageously, we may say that they have a lot of heart.

You might wonder what courage has to do with healing, but it's really simple. One of the main reasons people get in trouble in any area of life (including the area of health and well-being) is that they fall prey to the emotion of fear.

Continue reading "Healing States: Courage" »

February 27, 2007

What to do when you mess up

I messed up this week. I guess we all do it once in a while. And I just did. I'm posting the comment here so that ... just to be clear ... you get that I get that in the end, we're all just human.

Someone in my world made a careless mistake. Was it intentionally wasteful and disrespectful? Honestly, I don't know. What I do know is it looked that way to me at the time. And these are, unfortunately, two very sensitive issues for me. The careless actions were essentially "against" nearly everything that I'm "for."

How did I respond?

Continue reading "What to do when you mess up" »

Healing States: Receptivity

Next on our tour of healing states is the state of receptivity. We've spoken about this before, yet I look around and see the same old situations over and over. So let's touch on it once again.

It's been said that the most dangerous words in the English language are "I already know that." It's also been said that we don't get ourselves in trouble so much from what we don't know, but from what we don't know we don't know.

Great wisdom in those words!

If you've read my previous post on "What to do when you mess up," you'll know that I recently over-reacted to someone else's careless mistake. At the root of the careless mistake was a lack of receptivity. The person acted as though something was true, when in fact they were way off the mark.

The catch? Despite having absolutely no experience in the life domain in question, the person assumed they knew exactly what needed to be done. Instead of stopping to ask a question or seek guidance, they barged ahead -- and straight into trouble.

I'm sure I've done the same thing at some point. And so, probably, have you. We're human.

Yet ...

Continue reading "Healing States: Receptivity" »

March 3, 2007

Beliefs in the way of your progress?

"I live with my girlfriend. We live in her house, with her furniture. I'm not quite sure why she stays with me. My car's a junker. It gets me around most of the time, but sometimes it breaks down and I'm stuck riding my bike. My girlfriend's dog barely tolerates me. I really don't have any friends. I've got a good job, but for the life of me, I can't figure out why I got hired."

This was the self-description of a fellow attendee at a personal development seminar I participated in several years ago. He didn't appear angry or frustrated... Simply resigned to what he believed he deserved in life.

The man we'd just listened to went on to explain to the group exactly why he felt his life had taken on the shape it was in right now:

Continue reading "Beliefs in the way of your progress?" »

March 7, 2007

Picking Perfect Produce

It's seed starting time in my neck of the woods. Just last weekend, the Eckert dining room table became host to several trays of germinating (I hope) seeds. We'll have tomatoes, cukes, and peppers, two kinds of basil, some annual flowers, and presumably a few other things popping up before long. Still others will go in when the soil warms up enough to direct sow.

How about you?

Since we're a healthy living community, we can get into some real nuts and bolts from time to time. And since, as the old adage says, "you are what you eat," why not stop a moment and think about where "you" are coming from?

If you've seen the current Time magazine, you probably noticed that their cover story this week explores just this topic: "Forget organic. Eat local." (What a coincidence!)

Continue reading "Picking Perfect Produce" »

March 13, 2007

Healing States: Resistance

During the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, I came home one evening and turned on a cable news show to catch up on the events of the day. There, in full living color, was Dr. Phil. Live from the Houston Astrodome. He'd flown in to see if he could be of some help to the people stranded there.

As Dr. Phil spoke with the news reporter, he answered the question I'd been wondering about myself for several days. He said he'd spoken with a number of people, and had asked many of them the question, "When you heard a category 5 hurricane was headed toward your home, why didn't you leave?"

He received two main answers. For some of the people, the main issue was money. These were the people who lived check to check. The hurricane hit at the end of the month, and they simply couldn't rustle up the extra cash to take their family on the road for an indefinite period of time and pay for it.

We expected that first answer from some. But the other one? Well, you tell me.

Continue reading "Healing States: Resistance" »

March 14, 2007

Lose Weight? Or Lighten Up?

You may not be surprised to hear that one of the more popular "first projects" among our wellness coaching participants features a weight loss goal. Unfortunately, when stated that way, the goal is rarely achieved.

This article explores what happens when you place your attention on what you want -- or what you don't want. We'll briefly consider why the goal of losing weight so rarely works. And how a simple trick of language can make things ever so much more successful!

It all depends on where you place your attention.

Continue reading "Lose Weight? Or Lighten Up?" »

March 20, 2007

Spring Cleaning for Your Mind

Sometime within the next 24 hours, we will officially be in spring! Yippee! Spring can't come too soon in my neck of the woods. And, like you, I've got a whole list of spring fix-ups I'm just itching to get to. Starting in the garden.

When you think of spring cleaning, I'll bet you have some of the same images as I do. Pitching clutter, sparkling up windows, moving furniture to clean behind it, picking up sticks in the yard. Mom used to even wash the walls!

So what's the point of all this madness?

Here's how I see it. In order to make room for the abundance of the new active season, we need to remove all the clutter, debris, and dinginess we've somehow accumulated over the winter. Not intentionally, of course. Somehow, each winter it just seems to happen. So we get that big burst of spring energy and start fresh.

It's a lovely health-affirming practice.

What if you were to continue the practice with your mind?

Continue reading "Spring Cleaning for Your Mind" »

March 26, 2007

Reason or Excuse?

Excuses. Or great reasons? That's where we left off in the previous article.

How do you know the difference?

First of all, we'll look at reasons. A reason explains why you did what you did:

I fixed lunch because I was hungry.
I took a nap because I was tired.
I threw out the leafy green kale because it was spoiled.

Explaining why you did what you did. Simple.

Within the category of reasons is a sub-group we call excuses. Here's what makes excuses special:

Continue reading "Reason or Excuse?" »

March 27, 2007

Brand New Excuse!

In the previous article, we explored the distinction between a reason and an excuse. To review, a reason explains why you took an action. An excuse is a special type of reason that attempts to explain, rationalize, or justify why you did take an action you believe you should not have OR why you didn't take an action you believe you should / could have.

Today, we're going to explore one particular excuse that trips people up in life nearly as often as the 21 you learned to get past in Word Cures: How to Keep Stupid Excuses From Sabotaging Your Health. This one didn't come up in my research for the Word Cures book. For one good reason. While it does affect health (often in a very big way), it is most commonly recognized in the context of another slice of life.

In other words, this one is Brand New!

Continue reading "Brand New Excuse!" »

March 28, 2007

Arrogance and Discretionary Time

We're all busy, right? Some of us are busy doing the things we expect will move our lives forward. Others are treading water. Regardless, we all perceive ourselves as busy. Old news. We've talked about busy-ness a gazillion times already.

And yet ... what if there was another way to look at it?

As I read this week's chapter of Rich Dad, Poor Dad (to post on the healthy living book club), one particular idea of Mr. Kiyosaki's really struck me.

(You know Robert Kiyosaki, right? Despite having been ill-prepared by his family of origin for a life of wealth, he nevertheless overcame that barrier by finding a wealth-building mentor to teach him the tricks of the trade. At the ripe old age of 9. Declared himself financially independent -- and retired -- at 47.)

"Arrogant people rarely read or buy tapes. Why should they? They are the center of the universe." (Robert Kiyosaki. Rich Dad, Poor Dad. pg. 169)

Now that's good!

It got me thinking about the three major options we have for allocating discretionary time.

Continue reading "Arrogance and Discretionary Time" »

April 4, 2007

What's in Your Garden?

Spring fever is at an all-time pitch. The calendar says it's spring. The sun's shining on my almost-created garden beds. The seeds I started a few weeks ago are looking forward to their new homes. But it's still too cold outside!

What's a backyard gardener to do, but extol the virtues of growing your own food? I hope that by the end of this short article I will have convinced you to consider planting something edible this spring. Even one little plant. How cool would that be?

Here are my top 3 reasons why...

Continue reading "What's in Your Garden?" »

April 10, 2007

Nappy-time. Ahhh.

Sleepy? Then you're sure to enjoy this article ... on the up-side and down-side of taking naps!

First the down side. If you've read Word Cures, you've already got my 2 cents on sleeping away your productivity. It's no great secret that people get unbelievably tired in the face of an activity they don't want to do.

Example: You work hard all day. You come home tired. Maybe you enjoyed the workday, or maybe it "drained" you. You keep telling yourself you're going to read that book on investing or get to the gym to exercise or clean up the family room. After work. One day. Honest.

But somehow by the time you get home, well, you know. Zzzzzzz. Now what was I saying? Zzzzzzz. Oh yeah. You're just too tired. Maybe a little nap would help. Zzzzzzz. On second thought, maybe you'd better just save that task until tomorrow. Zzzzzzzz.

Been there?

Sure you have.

But take heart. Napping has another side.

Continue reading "Nappy-time. Ahhh." »

April 12, 2007

Stress and Intuition

Stress and intuition. The connection is so clear! But apparently not to everyone, as evidenced by the questions and befuddled looks I've been receiving lately about the Intuition Infusion.

So let's explore.

Stress comes from what?

  1. Disorder and chaos
  2. Overcommitment of personal resources (time, talent, money, energy)
  3. Personal conflicts and power struggles, especially self-induced ones
  4. Failure to recognize and respond to changing circumstances
  5. Failure to keep your word
  6. Squelched creativity & self-expression

What do all six of these underlying causes have in common? Hint: it's the context. All six underlying stress-makers occur inside of one common context. Context means the setting, environment, or conditions in which something occurs.

So what is the common context for each of these six occurrences? Let's dig a little deeper and see.

Continue reading "Stress and Intuition" »

April 17, 2007

Spirit of Place

Spirit of Place. One of the first places that comes to mind when I think of a public place with a striking personality is the Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest, part of the Nantahala National Forest in western North Carolina.

Ever been there? I have, and I'll tell you about it in just a moment. But even if you've never been to that specific place, you've probably been someplace like it.

  • Acadia National Park on the Atlantic coast of Maine.
  • The native pueblos of the American Southwest.
  • Yellowstone Park.
  • The wilderness areas of northern Scotland.
  • Your local casino or watering hole.
  • ...Just to name a few...

What do all those places have in common? Spirit of Place. What the Romans called Genius loci: "the unique, distinctive and cherished aspects of a place," according to Wikipedia.

Spirit of Place changes how you feel. It changes how you are. It's an effortless and automatic way to enhance (or detract from) your quality of life. Which is the reason for this article.

If you're tired of struggling to feel good, you're really going to enjoy this!

Continue reading "Spirit of Place" »

April 20, 2007

Hijacked By Your Feelings?

You know what you want next in life. You've got a sure-fire plan worked out to bridge the gap between where you are and what you want. Now if you could just get yourself to follow the plan, everything would be wonderful!

Sounds simple enough, doesn't it?

But in life, sometimes simple and easy don't match up. Occasionally, you've got to look at things a whole new way before you'll be willing to take those simple steps. Especially if -- in that particular area of your life -- you're used to making your choices based on feelings.

Now don't get me wrong. Feelings are valuable. They have great protective value in keeping you alive and ticking. And none of us can deny the incentive provided by the promise of warm, fuzzy feelings ahead.

But the people who make most of their choices based on what feels good and comfy in the moment? Those are some of the most unhappy people I know.

Fortunately, there's a clear alternative. The alternative option is practiced regularly by some of the most successful people I know. Which team would you like to be on?

If you side with the successful dudes & dudinas, then keep reading.

Continue reading "Hijacked By Your Feelings?" »

April 26, 2007

Stress & Dirt. Honest.

This one's science. Honest.

They inject some cute little laboratory animals with the bacteria m. vaccae, commonly found in soil. One group gets it, the other group doesn't.

Then they put the cute little laboratory animals into a stressful situation they have no control over. The cute little animals who got the friendly bacteria first handled the stress better than the ones who didn't.

End of story.

How does this affect you?

Continue reading "Stress & Dirt. Honest." »

April 30, 2007

Plan it or dive in?

If you've participated in one of our Wellness Coaching projects, you know I'm sort of a fiend for planning. Honestly it has a lot to be said for it.

In fact, when you sign up as a first-timer for our Wellness Team, right there in your binder is a CD on project planning. I'll also bug you to ship off a project plan for feedback. Just so we know you're on track.

I'm a planning fanatic!

And for good reason. One of the biggest things I see that keeps people from accomplishing all they could in life is lack of planning. They think about the things they'd do if they ever got around to it. But they get stuck on working out how to pull it off. So I push planning big time.


I've also seen people get stuck on the other side of the coin. Don't you just love a good paradox?

Continue reading "Plan it or dive in?" »

May 13, 2007

What is Wellness?

Real question asked by the real person, "What's wellness coaching?" Situation: holistic expo in Fargo last weekend. Real person stopped by my booth and struck up a conversation.

The underlying question, though, is this, "What is wellness?"

Once you know how I answer that question, the coaching part is pretty self-explanatory. A running coach helps you tweak your running, a tennis coach helps you tweak your tennis, a wellness coach helps you tweak your welless. Right? Right.

"What is wellness?"

Well, one of the reasons it's such a great question is that there are so many different opinions and answers. In fact, I'd venture that nearly anyone promoting wellness has a slightly different take on it. So it's very smart to ask about theirs before you jump in to their program.

For me, wellness is nearly synonymous with healthy living. It's about consistently making choices you feel good about in every area of your life. To not do that is to slowly, surely, and insideously create frustration, dissatisfaction, stress, and ultimately ill health.

Most people I know would agree with that. And yet, ...

Continue reading "What is Wellness?" »

May 14, 2007

Wellness, Part 2

In this second article on the question, "What is wellness?" we'll briefly explore two wellness models you see around a lot today.

One quite popular model shows up all over -- and appears to be particularly often used by various universities. It was developed by Dr. Bill Hettler of the National Wellness Institute (which does not appear to have any government affiliation).

This "Six Dimensional Wellnss Model" focuses on domains of experience. In other words, this model encourages you to look at all the different aspects of your life and assess your wellness in each area. The main idea here is building a well-balanced life.

Continue reading "Wellness, Part 2" »

May 20, 2007

Into the Mind of an Expert

You're striving for a brand-new result in some very important area of your life. Of course you are! If we didn't set up these little games for ourselves, life would be dull and boring.

Take just a moment to identify what it might be. Just perhaps...

  • Beefier organic veggies from your garden; healthier foods than you can get from the store.
  • Success at a new business venture; financial freedom.
  • Or the ever-popular ... losing weight! (You know I like to call it lightening up, don't you?)

Here's the deal. You already know what you think. The way you think has gotten you to the exact place where you are in your life at this moment. Surrounded by junk food, financially depleted, and possibly a little chunkier than you'd prefer to be.

What you need -- in order to take you to the next level in the area you're focused on -- includes three things. Information, support, and a new way of thinking. Fortunately, those three things are often quite easy to come buy. You can get them, often at no cost whatsoever, from the same place. With an investment of just minutes a day and absolutely no cash outlay, you can transform a whole area of your life.


It's easy. Just...

Continue reading "Into the Mind of an Expert" »

May 29, 2007

Responsibility or Blame?

Responsibility or blame? Hearing vs. listening? Will we ever get it right?

This weekend, I had a great opportunity to eavesdrop in on a conversation about certain principles of organic gardening. They correspond almost perfectly with some principles we work with every day in the holistic health field. We'll explore them in the next article.

But first, I want to make sure you can hear me.

See, over in the gardening conversation, something also happened that's often replicated in our (holistic health) world. Some people confused responsibility with blame. Because they didn't get the distinction, they were confused and offended by the information the person who started the conversation intended to convey.

It's too bad. They listened, but they couldn't hear. Not only did they get their feathers ruffled unnecessarily, but ...

Continue reading "Responsibility or Blame?" »

June 1, 2007

Health and the Disease Triangle

An article in the current issue of Organic Gardening magazine caught my attention. Yes, I'm avidly producing a garden this spring. But that's not the first thing that popped into my mind as I read.

What I found really fascinating is that they were talking about a principle I've considered many times over the years -- in relation to human health. Oooh. This is interesting!

I did a little Internet research, and there it was. The same principle. "The Disease Triangle." Without wandering off onto the little path of "if the gardening people get this, how come the human health paradigm is so slow to pick it up," let's get right down to details!

See, this has really interesting implications, not just in the garden, but for your personal health and well-being.

Continue reading "Health and the Disease Triangle" »

June 7, 2007

Healthy Environment - Healthy You

Healthy environment - healthy you. It's often as simple as that. (The idea's simple at least!)

In our last two articles, we spoke first about looking around your life for areas where you can make a difference in what happens. No point wasting energy in an area where you can't make a dent. But if there's a good chance your action or intent can influence the positive result you desire, then you might as well dive in and get hopping.

Then we went on to explore three aspects of plant health that have interesting implications when we look at our own health and well-being: susceptibility of the host, the presence of a pathogen, and the condition of the environment. Today, we'll delve a little deeper into the mysteries of health and environment, for our plant friends as well as ourselves.

Our goal is to identify areas where our positive action or intent can influence the nearly universal desire to be truly healthy and feel good.

Continue reading "Healthy Environment - Healthy You" »

June 15, 2007

Tips for an Endless Summer

"Where did the time go?"

I've thought it and I'll bet you have too. And doesn't it just seem like summer flies past so much faster than winter does? :-) Of course that's perception. And perception can be shifted.

How would you like your summers to linger on and on? They can, of course, at least in the privacy of your own mind. The trick is simple and extremely inexpensive.

Ready to create your own endless summer?

It isn't really the passing of time that bothers us, you know. After all, aren't we eager for time to hurry up before an event we're excited about? Of course! People even get antsy waiting for retirement -- which if you think about it blows the whole "upset about the passing of time" conversation right out of the water.

It isn't really the passing of time that's the problem. It's the feeling that the time hasn't been used to its fullest advantage.

So let's get our brain cells clicking and use this summer well!

Continue reading "Tips for an Endless Summer" »

June 20, 2007

Stress, Aging, and Mental Alertness

Want to think clearly into old age? Science has just come up with another great reason to address your stress now.

As health care in our society steadily improves, people are getting much more interested in identifying behaviors that can help them really enjoy that ripe old age they're likely to attain. Among the people I speak with day to day, one of their fears about aging is the fear of losing their mental alertness or sharpness.

For good reason. Who wants to spend their later years dottering around confused?

Well, science has good new for us today. Seems a group of scientists at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies has just identified a relationship between chronic everyday stress and the brain degeneration pattern that occurs in Alzheimer's disease.

Continue reading "Stress, Aging, and Mental Alertness" »

July 3, 2007

Food Independence for Newbies: 3 Tips

Happy Independence Day to all of my US readers! One of my most appreciated freedoms living in this country at the present time is the many options we still have regarding where our food comes from. Citizens of many other regions can say the same. We're all fortunate.

I suppose it can't go without saying that food choices are an integral part of anybody's healthy living plan. In fact, if we were to spell out a "gold standard" for healthy food choices, here are the basics that many of us would like to begin with:

1. Eat a variety of foods
2. Produced locally, in the same region you live in
3. Grown in fertile soil
4. With no chemical herbicides or chemical fertilizers involved
5. Freshly harvested or naturally preserved
6. By someone whose lifestyle and growing practices you are familiar with

It's a tall order, but a worthwhile goal to work toward. Most of us won't make that goal tomorrow, but this isn't a black and white issue. If last year you met the "gold standard" goal 10% of the time and this year you make 20%, then you're moving in the right direction.

But what if you're a complete newbie? Someone whose best sense of healthy cooking is a box of Hamburger Helper prepared at home? What if the list I just made comes as a complete surprise? What if you just picked up Kevin Trudeau's "More Natural Cures..." book and heard him say: "Do not eat any food produced or sold by a publicly traded corporation or a "brand name" product?" (Pg. 268)

Where is a motivated newbie supposed to start?

Here are 3 simple tips you can use right now to get moving in a healthier direction:

Continue reading "Food Independence for Newbies: 3 Tips" »

July 10, 2007

Healthy Choices 1: Can They Be Bought?

Healthy choices: Can they be bought? It looks like the City of New York is about to find out.

Just in case you missed it, New York mayor Michael Bloomberg is about to roll out a pilot program that offers cash rewards for making healthy lifestyle choices. You know, holding a job, keeping a doctor appointment, things like that.

The idea is to help people break out of a cycle of setbacks that can lead to continued poverty. It's a worthy goal. Who among us hasn't experienced, at least for a brief moment, that sense of hopeless resignation that our lives are plummeting out of control in a direction we don't like? Wouldn't it be great to have access to a "reset" button at moments like that?

And yet, the program's detractors offer a very interesting argument.

Continue reading "Healthy Choices 1: Can They Be Bought?" »

July 19, 2007

Healthy Choices 2: Kids & Nutrition Rewards

In the last article, I mentioned a trial program by NY Mayor Bloomberg where they plan to offer financial rewards for those making certain healthy lifestyle choices. I had a reservation when I first read about this program, wondering if the promise of modest financial gain would really have any long-term benefit on people's desire for a healthy lifestyle.

[By the way, I've heard about certain health-centric businesses offering large-scale financial benefits for long-term healthy behavior among their employees. Different situation, ok?]

Well, I kept my reservation in the "incubation" zone until I read about some research data that had just come in about similar programs offered to school children. According to the article, the US Federal Government will spend more than $1 billion this year alone on nutrition education.

Just how well can we expect this investment of our tax dollars to pay off?

Continue reading "Healthy Choices 2: Kids & Nutrition Rewards" »

July 25, 2007

Healthy Choices 3: The USDA gives its 2 cents

If we want to choose healthy options, and most of us do...

If we know what those options are, and generally we could figure that out...

Then why don't we do it more frequently? You want to know. I want to know. And so does the United States Department of Agriculture (especially when it comes to healthier food choices).

The USDA did some checking around and figures that most of us believe healthier choices would be good for us. We thrive on books, magazines, and programs offering healthy advice. But according to their research, as a population, we're not consistently acting on what we know.

In their words, "Although we may intend to have a healthy diet, other preferences often beguile us into food choices that may eventually harm our health."

Why? According to a June 2007 article, there are 6 main reasons:

Continue reading "Healthy Choices 3: The USDA gives its 2 cents" »

August 2, 2007

Healthy Choices 4: It's Not All About the Food

When you think of making healthy choices, what's the first type of choice that comes to mind? If you're like most people, your brain will automatically make a beeline for the section on food.

And that's good. The state of our nutrition has a lot to do with how we feel, plus our energy level, resilience, and general state of health. We know that already. And we've talked about it in the previous three articles.


Making good choices about what to eat simply isn't the whole healthy enchilada!

Perhaps you saw this news a few weeks ago or perhaps not. A major research study published in the July 18, 2007 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association explores the issue of whether or not certain "best practice dietary recommendations" reduce recurrence of breast cancer or not.

The verdict is in.

Continue reading "Healthy Choices 4: It's Not All About the Food" »

August 8, 2007

Healthy Satisfaction: 3 Tips

If you're at all into the weight loss thing (we call it "lightening up" around here), then I know you're interested in making the most of that feeling of satisfaction that let's you know it's time to stop eating.

If you're at all into enjoying your life to the fullest, then I know you're also into recognizing life's most satisfying moments.

If you're into managing stress well, notice this: satisfaction signals your physiology that it's ok to relax!

Satisfaction can be gained legitimately by identifying those things you really thrive on and bringing more of them into your life. Without the benefit of true satisfaction, many people find themselves doing quick fix after quick fix in an attempt to make up for the emptiness and loss they somehow always seem to feel inside.

How well do you know yourself? Have you taken the time to identify what really pleases you?

Check out these 3 tips for a more satisfying life:

Continue reading "Healthy Satisfaction: 3 Tips" »

August 15, 2007

Results and Why You Get Them

Results. Every day, no matter what we do, they just keep showing up.

Sometimes we like them. Sometimes we don't. But either way, those results just keep pouring in.

Many of you know me as a pretty results-based person. Just like our little friend Yoda, who says, "Try not. Do or do not, there is no try."

It may surprise you to hear me suggest that the results you achieve on any given project or endeavor may not be all that important. But that's what we're up to today. Recoginzing that there is another factor so much more valuable that seeing its truth can render nearly any apparent failure inconsequential.

Here's the cool part. The best way to really identify this other factor is to rack up a huge lack of the results you were looking for. In other words, to bomb out, blow it, or "apparently" fail.

(The only real failure is when you quit. If you've really failed, you won't get this. Might as well go take a nap. However if you've "apparently" failed -- but not given up -- then you're still in the game and I'm talking to you!)

It's true. And that other factor is ...

Continue reading "Results and Why You Get Them" »

August 24, 2007

What are you missing -- Because you're too busy?

One day last week, a coaching participant and I were on one of our regularly scheduled calls when she made a particularly enlightened observation! Not unusual for her, by the way. :-) I told her it was likely to show up as an article soon, and today's the day!

Before you read any further (or decide not to), I have a couple of very simple questions for you:

  1. Are you completely 100% satisfied with absolutely every area of your life as it is today? So satisfied that you have no further goals or intentions for the future? So satisfied that if things in every area of your life were to continue exactly as they are today for the rest of your life, you would be just delighted?

  2. Are you confident enough in the problem-solving skills you have right now that if life were to hand you a big surprise (say, a mudslide wipes out your home), you'd need no further outside input to rebuild the foundation you've set for yourself today?

If so, then here's about how I imagine your life looks:

  • Your retirement is fully funded.

  • You enjoy perfect health.

  • You wake each morning fully rested and excited to meet the new day.

  • Your work (and yes, you surely do something) stimulates, interests, and challenges you.

  • Your personal relationships are deep and fulfilling.

  • You delegate or defer low-priority tasks, and those that are better done by someone else.

  • You are supremely skilled at walking that razor's edge between focus on high-priority tasks and opening yourself to new information and feedback.

If this is you, then congratulations! You've probably already had the insight I'm about to reveal.

On the other hand, if there's any little tweak that might better your situation, then you could be very interested in "Jane's" enlightened observation.

Continue reading "What are you missing -- Because you're too busy?" »

August 30, 2007

An Important Part of Healthy Living

Last week, we spoke about busy-ness. One of the most important pieces of healthy living, I believe, is knowing when to stop even your most productive, most virtuous busy-ness and...


Which is what I hope you'll consider taking up as your mission on this last "official" weekend of summer 2007. If your friends and relations are surprised by this new twist in your behavior (as you're oh-so-busily collecting Vitamin D with your feet up on a lawn chair), tell 'em you're just following the sensible healthy living guidelines recommended by your wellness coach!

Here's to a blissful & carefree weekend!

September 3, 2007

Perspective and Our Ally the Fly

Perspective. This topic came up in a coaching session just last week. Then it came up again on a gardening forum I participate in. Well, that started me thinking. My friend the fly sometimes gets misunderstood. He's such a helpful guy, too! Maybe it would be good to spend some time getting aquainted...

If I had to look back over my entire education in energy medicine, both the book learning and most especially the experiential part, there is one distinction that without question made the biggest impact on my learning process -- and on my own personal health. It was the process of gaining an appreciation for the health-enhancing value of learning to choose perspective on the events of a person's life.

Understanding the value of perspective with respect to health can be a challenge to grasp. It's even more of a challenge to apply. In my case (maybe I'm slow), it took several years of really reaching for the brass ring, aided by a long string of mostly-compassionate, patient teachers gently and not-so-gently nudging me along one little step at a time. We will only be able to just scratch the surface in a short article such as this one.

Before we go any further, I'd like to make one thing very clear. I am not "for," do not advocate, and do not condone any of the following:

  • Rape
  • Murder
  • Marital infidelity
  • Robbery
  • Coersion
  • Gang or Mob involvement
  • Rudeness
  • Insensitivity to another person's values or culture
  • Invalidating another person's essence or being
  • Abusive neglect
  • Unprovoked personal or group attack
  • Acts of terrorism
  • Or any other action or practice that causes or enhances unnecessary human suffering.

I also do not know why parents sometimes have to bury their children or grandchildren, why natural disasters strike, why innocent children get cancer, or the "why" behind other occurrences of that nature.

What I do know is that whether or not I like it, with or without my approval, all of these things happen. They happen to us, us humans. And until or unless we can gain a measure of control over our emotions in the aftermath, actions or events like these can control -- even ruin -- our lives. In addition to rendering us incapable of productive activity -- sometimes for many years, they can cause us to lose focus while driving (causing accidents), disable our immune systems (leaving us open to disease), and cause bodily pain and discomfort (sometimes to the point of complete disability). I have seen all of these things occur.

For me, this matter of perception and empowerment is the single most preventable cause of human suffering that I can impact. I know it is possible to gain control over those emotions and reclaim our lives.

In this process, our ally is the humble fly.

Continue reading "Perspective and Our Ally the Fly" »

September 13, 2007

Self-Esteem and Your Word

"I can't do what I said I was going to do because of my low self-esteem."

Occasionally someone says this right out. But more often, their belief is hiding between the lines -- in the message behind the words the person actually uses. Nonetheless, this belief is out there and it's out there big.

The person really, truly believes that if he (or she, but let's just stick with he for now) were to miraculously be granted a higher dose of self-esteem, he would begin making better choices on his own behalf. That other people would begin to treat him differently. That his whole life would turn around!

I apologize right now for my frankness. But I have beat around the bush with this fallacy long enough. It's time to be very, very clear. If you have a Word Cures book, take it out right now and turn to page 123. Re-read the chapter. You'll see how it applies here.

The person is right about a couple of things. The potential is there for other people to treat him better, for him to treat himself better, and for his whole life to turn around. It's true! And, yes, it's hooked in to his self-esteem. But not in the way he thinks.

Here's the thing.

He can re-build his self-esteem himself. So can you. And I'm going to tell you how to do it right now.

Continue reading "Self-Esteem and Your Word" »

September 19, 2007

Time and Energy

Who has extra time these days? Nobody, of course. Anyone who can't find enough to do in this 24/7 society is a very rare duck.

In fact, a good number of us appear chronically overwhelmed and overscheduled. If you ask what's going on, most will tell you, "I just don't have enough time!"

I don't think lack of time is the real issue, though. We all have access to time in equal quantity. Yet it's fair to say that if you look around, people use the time they have very differently.

Some people juggle kids, jobs, school, meetings, work-outs, and healthy meals with apparent ease. Others struggle to drag out of bed to the office and back.

What's the difference? Hint: it isn't time.

Continue reading "Time and Energy" »

September 26, 2007

Intuitive Mind; Logical Mind

Have you ever been stuck ... really stuck ... for the solution to a problem? Someplace in your life where creativity and originality would really make a difference? Like these:

  • What to get that special someone for Christmas.
  • The best title for your new book.
  • The best subject for your new book.
  • How to dramatically increase your income.
  • How to keep your tomatoes from freezing overnight when it gets cold.
  • Inventing the lightbulb. (Wait ... someone did that already. And it might just help with your tomato problem.)
  • What's in the way of healing your back pain.
  • What's in the way of healing any other symptom that bothers you.
  • And so on...

When you're stuck for a solution, and I think it happens to each of us occasionally, then you'll want to tap into your intuitive mind. You may not have thought about this before, but your mind provides ready access to both intuitive and logical thinking. Logical thinking is great when you're trying to balance your checkbook or remember how to defrag your C: drive.

But it's a terrible hindrance when it comes to problem-solving!

Continue reading "Intuitive Mind; Logical Mind" »

October 3, 2007

You deserve more fun!

One day last week, I had a really interesting conversation with a client. We were talking about the phenomenon of "taking care of others at the expense of care for yourself."

[Actually, I've had this conversation with several clients lately... That's one reason I know it's such a common thing -- at least among the people I meet.]

"Doesn't have to be a big expensive deal," I said. "Sometimes just sitting down with a cup of tea is a nice thing to do for yourself."

"Oh, I sit plenty," she said. But that wasn't the end of her story.

Continue reading "You deserve more fun!" »

October 10, 2007

Afraid to Hope; Afraid to Dream

Fear. It's one of our biggest "stops" in life. Fear deserves our full attention, at least for a quick moment.


Because you can get past most fears you can see. It's those seemingly irrational fears that lurk in the background that keep us stuck. It's worth our while to identify fears that may be stopping us in our proverbial tracks.

How many people, when asked what they want, can't wrap their minds around what that might be? For any number of supposed reasons. Doesn't really matter.

The common theme is this:

Because I believe I can't get what I really want, I prefer not to think about it. I've resigned myself to accept what I think I can get.

Now think about it. Does that sound like an empowered vision for your life?

Continue reading "Afraid to Hope; Afraid to Dream" »

October 17, 2007


Exhausted? We're about to explore 7 signs that everyday life could be undermining your health. They'll be brief. And we'd might as well start with the most obvious.

Sign #1: You're tired, exhausted, drained.

This sign is so obvious that you may have noticed it briefly, then tried to ignore it. You figure it'll go away, you'll feel better tomorrow, the sun will come out. Or you figure there's nothing to be done about it, so why bother?

But here's why it's worth your while to bother. When you feel exhausted, it means that your energy is literally draining out of your body. Life-force energy. Vitality. Aliveness.

Enhancing life-force energy brings more aliveness and vitality into your experience here. Allowing it to run down the drain simply isn't a good idea! It leaves you vulnerable to all kinds of opportunistic conditions and situations you'd surely rather avoid.

Continue reading "Exhausted?" »

October 23, 2007

You Hurt. Pain.

You Hurt. Second in our series of 7 clues that everyday life may be undermining your health is this common problem. Something hurts.

We may be talking about physical pain. We may be talking about emotional pain. Or perhaps you experience both.

Pain is an obvious signal that something is wrong. It can be tricky, though. Pain is a symptom of the problem, not the problem itself. "Pain the symptom" can be distant from its cause.

And there is the complication! The root cause of a pain problem can be extremely tricky to identify.

Continue reading "You Hurt. Pain." »

October 31, 2007

How's That BMI?

What's in a BMI? It's short for Body Mass Index, a measure of the relationship between your weight and your height. And it just happens to be the 3rd in our series of 7 little hints that everyday life may be undermining your health: "Your Body Mass Index is above or below the normal range for your height."

We're not talking about a self esteem issue here. I sincerely hope you have accepted yourself as a worthwhile person regardless of your various physical characteristics -- height, weight, hair color, and so on. However unlike being a little taller or shorter than average, unlike being the single blonde in a sea of brunettes -- being above or significantly below the normal weight for your height can impact your vulnerability to disease.

Heart disease, some cancers, sleep disorders, stroke, diabetes, and arthritis have all been linked to maintaining too high a body mass. When you carry around those extra pounds, you stress your joints as well as your heart. Maintaining a regular exercise program becomes much more difficult. The hormonal make-up of your body changes (fat tissue leads to excess estrogen and also is linked with inflammation, a precursor to disease). Further, the lack of physical conditioning that often comes with overweight makes you a vulnerable mark for becoming the victim of violent crime -- you simply don't have what it takes to run away.

Despite the well-publicized effects of our nation's obesity epidemic, people sometimes overlook the obvious when the subject is very personal (i.e. when it's about them). Let's interject a little real-life story so you can get what I mean.

Continue reading "How's That BMI?" »

November 6, 2007

Young for Your Age?

Ever notice the person who looks "young" for their age? You know they're an adult, but beyond that is anyone's guess.

From the stories they tell, you gather they were around "when." Yet when you think back to how many years ago "when" was, you about have to do a double take. The person simply doesn't look old enough to have been present for the story they just told.

You've probably met people like that, and so have I.

And then there are the others. You know. The ones who tell you "I was born in the early 60's" and you thought they were ten years older. Oooh. Regretfully, this second group is the subject of sign #4 that everyday life could be undermining your health: "You look or feel "old" for your age."

Continue reading "Young for Your Age?" »

November 13, 2007

Your Healthy Immune System

Another sign that things are going right in your world (# 5 of 7 signs in our series) is that you easily resist getting sick. Everyone around you can be coughing and hacking, yet your immune system is up to the task of keeping you healthy. It's a good thing!

On the other hand, if you're the person who gets every little bug, listen up. This means something. One of the things it means is that your immune system isn't doing as good a job for you as you might like.

Now sometimes people figure, well, who cares? It's too much trouble to do the things I'd need to do to make a change. I can deal with a cold once in a while. And you probably can. But what about the bigger guns -- cancer for instance? Let's think about this some more.

Continue reading "Your Healthy Immune System" »

November 27, 2007

Who's in the driver's seat of your life?

Who's in the driver's seat of your life? Today's article marks the completion (for now) of our series on clues that everyday life might be undermining your health. If you've been counting, I originally announced 7 signs and today's article is the 6th. Let's just keep the last one a secret for now and focus on today, ok?

So who's in the driver's seat of your life, anyway? If you are a normal, healthy adult and your answer to this question is anyone other than you, then listen up. Chances are you think of yourself as being more at the effect of others than at the wheel yourself. Another way to put this is that...

Continue reading "Who's in the driver's seat of your life?" »

December 4, 2007

Awareness and Everyday Life

Awareness and everyday life. We've just completed a series of 6 short articles on different signs that everyday life may be undermining your health. Today, we'll tie all six signs together under one heading: awareness.

Why would I have written a series of articles identifying 6 things that, when they aren't going well in a person's life, should be obvious signs that something's off? Well...

Continue reading "Awareness and Everyday Life" »

December 13, 2007

Healthy Paradoxes: It's All About the Food

Healthy Paradoxes. What's a paradox but a statement (in this case a pair of statements) that appears to contradict itself. Check out this pair:

When it comes to creating health, it's all about the food; When it comes to creating health, food is secondary to what goes on in your mind.

The paradox is that both parts have some truth.

I just returned from the Acres USA Eco-Farming conference. It was awesome! So at the moment, I'm way into maximizing the nutritional value of what we eat -- after all, those were the conference sessions I attended.

I think it's fairly safe to say that the average "Joe" really can't create optimal health without doing something proactive to get the best nutrients into his body that he can find. Think about it. One guy lives on cardboard white bread and candy bars and the other guy loves leafy greens, squash, and blueberries. Who's gonna have the better building blocks?

And yet...

Continue reading "Healthy Paradoxes: It's All About the Food" »

December 19, 2007

Healthy Paradoxes: Feeling and Action

It's another healthy paradox! Remember from last time that a paradox is a statement (or pair of statements) that appears to conflict with itself.

Today's paradox is this one: Feelings are at the same time your best friend and your worst saboteur. On the one hand, they can alert you to subtleties of your environment and your experience that you'd most likely never notice in any other way.

In his book The Feeling of What Happens, Dr. Antonio DaMasio says that feelings "are poised at the very threshold that separates being from knowing.” As you go through the rest of this day, notice how many times you become aware of something important as a result of a feeling:

  • I feel chilly: maybe the furnace went out.

  • I feel exhausted: I've really let myself get over-committed.

  • I feel restless: things aren't going well on the job.

  • I feel alarmed: we're in immediate danger.

Feelings are often the first signal that something's slightly amiss. Pay attention, and we often have the opportunity to react quickly to prevent trouble. Ignore your feelings, and it could very literally cost you your life.

And yet ...

Continue reading "Healthy Paradoxes: Feeling and Action" »

December 26, 2007

Healthy paradoxes: Perfection!

I hope y'all had a really great holiday. In fact, I hope it was perfect!

Which brings us around to another healthy paradox. Perfection.

Ironic, isn't it, that many of us see our supposed faults all too clearly. Too short, too tall. Too blonde, too brunette. Too talented at one thing, not talented enough at the other. Too yin, too yang. Too lax, too ... well, perhaps too perfectionistic!

And yet when someone else points out one of those very self-same supposed shortcomings, we'll fight to the death to convince them (and ourselves) that it doesn't exist. Funny!

Try this on for size: The truth is you are perfect. Furthermore, everyone you know is perfect! Now there's some food for thought!

Continue reading "Healthy paradoxes: Perfection!" »

December 31, 2007

New Year: One Simple Tip

Happy New Year! This is the time of year you'll see a bunch of "Top 10" lists for how to improve your life in the new year. Well, I object. How can you stay focused on ten things? Instead, my suggestion is this:

Pick one.

Sure, you can do other things throughout the year. Of course you will. But keep your focus narrow and you can achieve spectacular results!

Of course, you'll want to focus on your most important objective. Think you already know what it is? Don't be too sure. Try this simple exercise before you decide.

Continue reading "New Year: One Simple Tip" »

January 7, 2008

Self Help Books and Your Goals

It's a new year and, like most everyone, you probably appreciate the fresh start. I know I do.

Isn't it just the grandest feeling to say -- metaphorically at least --

"I declare whatever I did in the past complete! I celebrate my successes with pride. Wherever I attempted and fell short is history. Today is a new day, a new year, and I'm starting fresh! With new enthusiasm for my new life!"

Yeah, baby! And guess what -- that's exactly what your new goal does.

Yet ... enthusiasm alone will rarely carry the day. You and I both know that even though you may have fallen short on a few things in the past, you were doing your best at the time. Being your best "you," and making the best choices you could with the information you had available. Don't we always?

Considering that, it's probably occurred to you that in order to take the shortest path to your heart's desire, accessing new resources might be wise. For many of us, one of the first resources we think of is a book. A self-help book! As the author of several self-help books, of course, I'm thrilled.

Yet I'll be willing to bet that you haven't gotten this far without cracking a self-help book or two already. And here you are. Still moving toward that goal and not quite there yet. While even a poorly-written book can open your mind to a wealth of new ideas, the very cream of the self-help crop is still going to have its limitations. Let's see why.

Continue reading "Self Help Books and Your Goals" »

January 9, 2008

Wellness Coaching: Top 10 Reasons to Start

In case you missed yesterday's announcement, you can sign up now for the Word Cures coaching group that begins January 15th.

Top 10 Reasons to join the Word Cures coaching group:

1. You're feeling the stress in your life ... from "something" that nags in the back of your mind. Like you "could" be putting action behind it, yet it never seems to get done. For example:

2. You want to get in shape. This is the #1 most popular reason people get involved. One of my favorite revelations among participants with this goal is that ... sometimes ... it's not about the food. In fact, one person created a project plan to include more fun in her life and ended up "losing" 17 pounds. (Ok, that was in the plan, too.)

Sign up here.

3. To tweak your home environment. Our #2 most popular project plan has got to be cleaning up the house. Some people de-clutter and others re-cecorate. My favorite story here is the woman who told her sister she was going to re-do the whole house in just 3 months. "Right," her sister said, rolling her eyes. According to this participant, the look on her sister's face was priceless when she saw they'd (she and her husband worked as a team) actually pulled it off!

Continue reading "Wellness Coaching: Top 10 Reasons to Start" »

January 10, 2008

Intuitive Brainstorming

Do you Squidoo?

I just posted my very first Squidoo lens. (Sound like a proud beginner?) Check it out and get 4 Tips for accessing your inner wisdom now:

(Why? To answer your own deepest questions and create a more meaningful, satisfying life!)

January 13, 2008

Travel Insights - Get Inspired!

If you've ever had one stressed-out day too many (and who hasn't?), you know what it feels like to crave a break.

No worries. That break might be just what the doctor ordered. Better yet, you could bring home a life-changing insight.

We've got all the ammo you need to convince your boss (or yourself) that your vacation plans are absolutely brilliant! Check out my new Travel Insights lens on Squidoo.

January 16, 2008

Road Closed! Did you see the sign?

Symptoms, symptoms everywhere! But what do they mean? Lately, this topic has come up a lot with some of the people I've been talking with. How about you? Got any puzzling symptoms in your life? What do you make of them?

I usually figure it this way. A symptom shows up in your life. It could be anything you don't like: pain, illness, relationship concerns, financial issues, etc. Often, that symptom is a signal to stop and assess. To look back a step or two and see what the set-up was. What environment produced that symptom. So as to effect a deeper "cure."

Pretty easy to follow this far, isn't it? But unfortunately, here's where things get tricky.

Often, your symptom is like a "road closed" sign. It's as though there's a bridge out ahead and you have a choice to make. Do you stop dead in your tracks, get out of the car, and manually re-build the bridge to take your same familiar route for the next leg of this journey? Or do you divert and take a different road?

Continue reading "Road Closed! Did you see the sign?" »

January 20, 2008

Resolve Stress

Resolve Stress: my next Squidoo page.

You've probably noticed by now that I'm not so big on "stress management." Might as well take care of the problem and be done with it, I always say. So here's where I go into that a bit deeper. Complete with tips!

The Resolve Stress lens has some cool interactive modules. Check it out and play around!

One thing that looks really interesting to me is the book list, where you can move your personal favorites up or down on the list. See, if a bunch of people start doing that, we'll come up with a "community favorite" list. Won't that be fun? So come on, check it out!

January 23, 2008

Healthy Living Word Cures Style

It's been a flurry of writing and editing around here this week. I've just today posted a new article on the main Word Cures website. It discusses healthy living, Word Cures style.

You see, I've realized I use that phrase a lot. But so do lots of other people. And I'm not altogether sure we mean the same things.

Healthy Living, Word Cures style, isn't so much about factors like food choices and exercise habits as it is inclusive of them. In a nutshell, it means consistently making everyday choices that serve your best interests.

Discover a couple of common pitfalls and some options to resolve them. Read the full article here: What is healthy living?

At the end of the article, you'll also find a handy Quick Link list to some other cool healthy living stuff you can get involved with on the web.

January 31, 2008

Manifesting Abundance

Manifesting Abundance. Strange topic for a healthy living article? Not the way I see it.

Abundance can occur in any area of your life: abundant health, abundant relationships, abundant finances (the area most people probably thought of first), or abundant ... well, you name it! So the way I see it, abundance is good for health.

Imagine my delight, then, to have found a web page that explores -- in quite a bit of detail -- the "scientific logic" behind the process of manifesting abundance. I hope you'll find it as interesting as I did.

Continue reading "Manifesting Abundance" »

February 6, 2008

Bookmark that Feeling!

Bookmarks have been on my mind lately for several reasons. Turns out that both literally and metaphorically, they can save you (and me) a lot of time. And in the process, help us become more efficient, creating time and energy to spend on all that fun stuff we say we want to do!

Starting at the practical-yet-mundane level, there's the computer bookmark. You know, those virtual systems that have sprung up in the last couple of years to allow you to save favorite articles for reference rather than having to print them out. Saves on physical clutter.

(Raise your hand if you're in favor of less clutter!)

I'm talking about those little icons you'll find at the end of each of these blog posts, as well as elsewhere around the web. Like, furl and Digg.

Now even as we speak, it turns out I'm having computer issues. Seems my trusted friend latched onto something the anti-virus and anti-spyware software couldn't beat. So I've been marginally concerned about preserving the data stored on my hard drive. But guess what? I haven't had to worry about losing my bookmarked articles. They're stored somewhere else!

Cool, huh?

Then there's the "feeling" bookmark. This came out of a conversation I had just yesterday with one of this quarter's wellness coaching participants.

Continue reading "Bookmark that Feeling!" »

February 13, 2008

Healthy Heart Energy: 4 Tips

In honor of good St. Valentine, let's explore heart energy and its value in creating health. From the perspective of energy medicine, heart energy is the center of your universe. Your heart connects the physical "doing" parts of you with the mental "thinking" parts of you.

The heart, as you perhaps already know, is related to the expression of love. You can love other people, your pets, the environment, or even a cause you're deeply committed to. You can receive love from as many sources. One excellent way of validating a decision or choice has to do with a palpable feeling around your heart center -- when your inner wisdom leads you to a self-affirming choice, you may actually feel your heart soften.

Dr. Dean Ornish, who some years ago made medical headlines by developing a program to reverse heart disease, was very well aware of this phenomenon. While he first publicized the now-obvious physical changes he encouraged in his patients (things like eating more vegetables, getting some exercise, and not smoking), he later came "clean" with another amazing revelation.

In his book, Love and Survival (1998), Dr. Ornish says that one day he was reflecting on the well-accepted fact that heart patients tend to be more hard-driving than the rest of the population -- to the point of hostility. And he had the insight to ask himself, "I wonder what makes them so hostile?"

Continue reading "Healthy Heart Energy: 4 Tips" »

February 21, 2008

Stress Management and Leaky Tires

Today's article is going to be quick, because I'm about to take my hopefully un-leaky tires on the road in a few minutes to head out for a holistic fair in Minneapolis this weekend. (At the Earl Brown Center -- stop by and say "hi" if you're in the areas!)

Anyway, I just wanted to share a little analogy you might find helpful in distinguishing the difference between Stress Management (a temporary quick fix which is, of course, sometimes necessary) and Resolving Stress (which hopefully gets to the bottom of things so you can move on.

Stress management is kind of like putting a shot of air into a leaky tire...

Continue reading "Stress Management and Leaky Tires" »

March 5, 2008

Thinking and Creative Inspiration

"The trouble with people is they don't think!"

If I heard my mom say this once growing up, I heard it a thousand times. And I know for sure she was quoting someone else ... so probably at least a few more folks out there were raised to the same tune.

Thinking has a lot to be said for it, doesn't it? You can think through the solution to a problem, think about the potential consequences of your actions before you take them, or think about what you wish you would have said instead of sticking your foot in your mouth with your co-worker yesterday afternoon.

Thinking is a great thing! But it's not everything. Consider these 3 powerful add-ons to optimize your thinking experience and get better results. ;-)

Continue reading "Thinking and Creative Inspiration" »

March 13, 2008

Headaches and Posture Case History

Yesterday I had the pleasure of speaking with a small group of massage therapy students about one of my favorite topics -- how day-to-day "vibes" can manifest in the body as a health challenge. We spend a lot of time here talking about how to manage those "vibes," but I thought you might enjoy eavesdropping on one of the clearest cases I've ever run into that illustrates how they can make their way into the body and cause seemingly far-reaching symptoms.

Before we begin, a word about compensation. Your body is very smart. When it is served up a little insult (which happens a lot), it figures, "no big deal - I can handle this." And it sets up a compensation system. The compensation often turns into a chain of little bitty changes that your body figures it can deal with pretty easily. However eventually, if the insult goes on long enough without getting resolved, a weak link in the compensation chain sometimes shows up. Something that, despite its best efforts, your body actually can't deal with well.

We call that something a symptom.

"Karen's" symptom was chronic headaches. At age 50 (more or less), she'd been dealing with them for a good 30 years.

Continue reading "Headaches and Posture Case History" »

March 19, 2008

Healthy Traditional Diets

Why would a dentist from Cleveland, Ohio care much about nutrition? Dr. Weston A Price, back in the 1930's and 40's, was one of a number of dentists of his era who observed an increase in tooth decay and changes in facial structure that they thought might be related to changes in their patients' diets.

More and more processed foods were becoming available in the marketplace, and people were beginning to choose them. Dr. Price and some of his contemporaries theorized that this might be part of the reason for the changes they saw.

To research his theory, Dr. Price traveled to a number of remote areas of the world. At that time, the people in these remote regions were still eating the traditional foods of their ancestors. He had a unique window of opportunity to document his findings, in words and with photographs.

Dr. Price went to many different regions, where the foods consumed were quite diverse. For example, he traveled to Switzerland, to Africa, and to Alaska. The native foods available in these regions were obviously quite different. Yet his observations were consistent. People eating their traditional diets were healthy and vibrant, full-faced, and presented little tooth decay, despite not having access to modern-day dental care.

When he went down the road to observe people of the same genetic lineage eating a more "modern" diet of processed foods, his findings were consistent as well. Within the course of a single generation, health and vitality had decreased, facial structure had changed, and there was a marked increase in tooth decay.

What could explain these findings?

Continue reading "Healthy Traditional Diets" »

March 27, 2008

I Can't Improve My Life Today Because...

Those darned great reasons. We've discussed them before. Yet it bears repeating because, well, let's just say that I even find myself wrapped in them from time to time. It takes practice.

So you're happily cruising along in your life and *bam* it happens. Something unexpected. "No big deal," you figure. "I can handle that." And usually you could. But not this time. Why not? Well, you've got your reasons!

Here's the thing. We know how to recognize the big ones. I'm tired, Don't have the time, Don't have the money. Blah, blah, blah.

But what about the sneaky little variations that slip in using different language? Or into a part of your life where you aren't trained to watch for trouble? Or even when the first great reason that pops into your mind is more of a habitual answer than the real deal?

What then?

Well, check out these 3 "deeper" possibilities:

Continue reading "I Can't Improve My Life Today Because..." »

April 1, 2008

Chain Reactions and Your Body

Sometimes we all get a bit confused about the difference between where a symptom shows up and what caused it. I know I do myself. So in explaining this difference to a bodywork client the other day, I came up with a little story, which I'll title "Cat and Catastrophe."

Cat and Catastrophe

Imagine you're driving down the main street of your town. Unexpectedly, a cat runs out in front of your car. You, being an alert driver and also a cat-lover, react quickly to avoid catastrophe. You stop on a dime. Fluffy goes on to see another day and stake a claim on her remaining 8 lives.


Somewhere behind you, you hear a loud "thwak."

You stopped quickly and Fluffy was spared. Yet someone behind you wasn't able to react as efficiently. Somewhere down the chain, there was a failure to compensate. Catastrophe occurred! Just not at the site of the initial problem.

Continue reading "Chain Reactions and Your Body" »

April 8, 2008

Stress: Day to Day

We all know the medical consequences of stress by now, right? Heart disease, inefficient immunity leading to more colds & bugs (perhaps even cancer), obesity, etc. Let's face it, stress plays a role in nearly every known chronic or degenerative condition.

But to a stressed-out person, those facts mean very little. It's the truth! And there's a very simple reason. The potential consequences, if they should occur, will show up in the future. Where the stress is here NOW. To a stressed-out person, NOW is much more relevant than something that might happen in ten years. Or fifteen. Or maybe never (if I repent from my stress-laden lifestyle after this crisis has passed).

So let's think about this differently. How does stress affect your quality of life today? And how might your quality of life be measurably better tomorrow if you got a handle on that stress tonight?

Continue reading "Stress: Day to Day" »

April 16, 2008

Beat Time Stress. Today.

One thing I think we can all agree on is we've got a lot going on. And for most of us, dealing with time can be extremely stressful.

Can be.

Doesn't have to.

Let's consider your plan for a single day. We'll call it "today."

How will you arrive at the end of "today" with a feeling of satisfaction that you moved your life toward the fulfillment of your goals in the best way possible ... and enjoyed yourself doing it? That you enhanced rather than depleted your precious life-force energy? And that you made the world around you just a little bit brighter?

Enhance your relationship with time using these 3 tips:

Continue reading "Beat Time Stress. Today." »

April 30, 2008

No time to eat healthy?

"Eating healthy is a great idea. In theory. But who has time?"

This same comment has come up several times in the past couple of weeks -- so I thought we might like to toss it around. I'm thinking a couple of posts. Today we'll cover two of the most common kinds of faulty logic that might lead people to that conclusion. Next time two more. And the time after that, a quick & solid look at how to make things happen to feed yourself well.

Now first of all, let's set the record straight. All logic that might lead people to hedge in the kitchen is not faulty! With all the conflicting information available in the marketplace about what is or isn't a healthy food choice, it's easy to just become so confused that you throw up your hands and head for the drive-through.

So let's say that's not the problem. You actually have taken the time to come to an informed conclusion about what to eat and how to prepare it. You just don't ever seem to be able to pull it off! The question is why?

Continue reading "No time to eat healthy?" »

May 7, 2008

Preparing Healthful Meals, Part 2

In the previous article, we left off talking about the resistance that some of us have to preparing healthful meals. I think most people meet up with this stuff in our lives from time to time. I know I do.

Just last night, for example, I was out late at a meeting. It was around 8 pm as I headed home for dinner. That little voice in the back of my head started right in. "Why not just run in the drive through. It's been forever since you've done that. You can get away with it once in a while, you know. Go on. It'll be easier & quicker than finding something at home."

You've got a voice like that too, I assume. Its arguments may be different than mine are, but regardless, things occasionally come up. Fortunately, last night the other side chimed in next. It reminded me that I'd be much better off choosing something at home, which I did.

It's helpful if you know your own vulnerabilities ahead of time. That way you can develop strategies for dealing with them. Mine usually run toward the "quicker and easier" variety, as you've just heard. One of my strategies is to keep a serving of something cooked and easy to thaw in the freezer for "emergencies." Last night I raided my stash.

The other common piece of logic we identified last time was the one that goes "cooking is too much work; it's best left to others." Since I actually like cooking that one doesn't usually grab me. We've each got our favorites!

Today we'll explore two more common ways people talk themselves out of preparing the kind of delicious, fresh, healthful meals that could otherwise bring nutrition and enjoyment into our lives!

Continue reading "Preparing Healthful Meals, Part 2" »

May 10, 2008

Are You Paralyzed? (Part 1)

Meet Jane, an average young woman in her late 30's. Jane has two kids, a husband, and a demanding job. She's a great mom, a reliable employee, and a devoted wife. There's really only one place that Jane consistently falls short of her expectations for herself, and that's when it comes to her personal life.

As an example, there's that pile of mail and papers on the kitchen counter. (We'll talk about the pile of mail as though it's for real -- it is -- yet in the privacy of your own mind, feel free to consider it a metaphor for all the other things that Jane is allowing to "pile up" in her life as well.)

As the family comes home for the evening, everyone's rushed and tired. The mail and papers get plopped on the counter on the way in the door. Periodically someone sifts through to pull out the bills, but otherwise it pretty much goes untouched. When the pile gets too big to manage, it moves. To the floor in the home office. To an even bigger pile.

Continue reading "Are You Paralyzed? (Part 1)" »

May 12, 2008

Are You Paralyzed, Part 2

Today we're continuing the story of Jane and her energy-draining "Pile Paralysis." If you missed Part 1, you can read it here:

Are You Paralyzed, Part 1

Jane had a "big pile" of stuff next to her front door. Instead of cleaning it up as planned, she put it off. Indefinitely. The longer it sat there, the greater Jane's resistance to moving it. "The pile" was becoming an elephant in Jane's mind. The longer it sat there, the worse she felt.

"So why would a smart, responsible, loving person like Jane allow her life to be sidelined by a dinky little pile of papers?"

It's the question on everyone's mind right now. Not only out of concern for Jane. But because if you, the reader, are anything like the rest of us, there's very likely a "pile" somewhere in your life as well. Not necessarily right next to the door. But somewhere. Lurking. Hiding. Draining your energy. You see, Jane is pretty normal.

Continue reading "Are You Paralyzed, Part 2" »

May 14, 2008

Healthful Meals, Part 3

We've been talking about healthful meals. Specifically, what we've been talking about is the pressure that many of us feel on our time ... and the fact that it takes a little longer to prepare a meal from scratch than to hit the drive-through or heat up a prepared meal.

True. It does. And doesn't it just seem like you've got more on your "life plate" than ever? It does for me. So one thing I'll bet would help us all, me included, is to take a quick look at the qualities that will allow us to prepare healthful meals that boost our energy with a minimum of time and effort.

It seems to me there are 4 main conditions:

Continue reading "Healthful Meals, Part 3" »

May 28, 2008

Proactive Posture and Your Energy

Proactive posture. Healthy aging. Gravity. You. How does it all fit together?

Well, let's see. Several of my clients have "problem necks." And just the other day, I was having a conversation with one of them. Fortunately, her "problem neck" seems to be getting a better. But she and I both know that she's going to want to keep tabs on it over the next few years. So we were devising a little strategy.

One thing we both agreed on. It'll help her neck if she can keep tabs on her energy level.

How's that?

Let me explain.

Continue reading "Proactive Posture and Your Energy" »

June 4, 2008

What can you let go of?

It's happened again. Several days ago, a chance comment by someone else reminded me of something I already knew... And I appreciate the reminder!

I'm sure the same thing happens to you. After all, what really counts is not so much what we "know" but what we have embraced fully enough to apply consistently. And that can take some practice.

In this case, my reminder was the following quote from Dr. Robert Holden, author of Success Intelligence:

Continue reading "What can you let go of?" »

June 12, 2008

Your boss will love this vacation idea!

"Dear Boss:

"This is a perfect time for my vacation. It'll boost my creativity, inspire better problem-solving, and make me a more valuable employee. I promise...

"Yours truly,
The guy in the 4th cube on the left."

It's summer, right?

You crave a break, right?

Well here's a great way to get the boss on your side. Check out the cool vacation plan on the Travel Insights page.

June 13, 2008

Healthy living - you've got what it takes!

It's true. The real basis for a healthy lifestyle is surprisingly simple. And you've got all the resources you need.

What is it and how do you cash in?

Where can you find 3 Great Tips for consistent healthy choices?

Oh the mystery of it all!

Check it out here:

Healthy Living on Squidoo

Agree? Disagree? Join the "duel" and leave your thoughts!

June 25, 2008

Summer Project Smarts

It's summer! Yahoo! Time to get all those outdoor projects done. Or head to the beach. Or read a steamy novel. Or spend some extra time at the dog park with your best buddy. Or...

Wait a minute. All that stuff is way too much to think about. This calls for a nap!

Well before you doze off, consider this. What if this becomes the summer you master the art of working smarter, not harder. That you accomplish more with less effort. That you retire your "to do" list and kick back for some well-deserved R & R.

Sound good?

Great! Here are my Top 3 Tips for a Smart Summer:

Continue reading "Summer Project Smarts" »

July 9, 2008

Success Breeds Success

Success breeds success. Sure, we all know that. When things are going well, it's easy to make smart choices and stay ahead. We've all been there:

  • You're on a "lightening up" program and you've just parted with 5 pounds. Do you run out and eat a whole carton of Ben & Jerry's in a mad rush to put it back on? Of course not. You order the salad.

  • Things are going great at work. You just got a raise and a promotion with just enough challenge to keep things interesting. Do you ask for an extra month off to bask on a deserted island somewhere in the Carribean? Of course not. You show up early for work and get organized for a burst of productivity.

When you're in "the flow," it's generally pretty easy to see the kind of choices that are going to keep you there.


Something happens.

Continue reading "Success Breeds Success" »

August 13, 2008

I think I've got that down!

One fine day in the summer of 1994, I made a fire with no matches or lighter. Just the friction of one piece of wood against another. It took a week of practice to coax out that tiny spark, but ultimately my persistence paid off and the spark sparked. It was quite the project!

Some time later, I found myself visiting cordially with a group of friends and aquaintences about various items related to self-sufficiency and self-reliance. "Well, I've seen fire made from scratch," one of the women said. "So I guess I've got that down!"

Turns out my friend had seen an experienced outdoorsman make fire one day. He made it look easy, so she assumed it was. It was a simple mistake. Yet that particular assumption could have cost her her life.

Continue reading "I think I've got that down!" »

September 7, 2008

Focused Intent and Action

As many of you know, I'm not only a healthy living coach, but also a bodyworker. Now when I use the term "bodyworker," people are sometimes confused. I use hands-on manual therapy to minimize mechanical stress on people's bodies and, hopefully, resolve issues that would otherwise lead to pain and premature wear-and-tear of the bones, joints, and muscles. It's a specific and focused approach known as neuromuscular therapy.

Last week, as I was working with someone to try and loosen up her shoulder, she expressed appreciation for the approach we were taking. "I appreciate your persistence," she said. "Some really good massage therapists I've been to have given up too soon."

It was an interesting observation. She's right, I am persistent. However her shoulder was the beneficiary of a different factor that day.

What was it? And how can you apply that same factor in accomplishing more of what you want in your own life?

Continue reading "Focused Intent and Action" »

September 10, 2008

Problem or Predicament?

Not too long ago, George shared a really helpful distinction with me. Problem or predicament? (Follow the link to read about it in his own words.) He came across it while reading a new book, The Difference Maker, by John Maxwell. As George reports, Dr. Maxwell suggests that many of us create undue stress in our lives by mixing up our problems and predicaments.

Problems are solvable, yet often we fail to see a solution and waste a lot of energy tolerating unsatisfactory situations we could have readily improved. If you think your job is boring, that is a problem.

Predicaments must be managed, yet often we waste a lot of energy trying to fix something that is not within our power to affect -- or complaining repeatedly about it to anyone who will listen. If your spouse snores, that is a predicament.

Problems and predicaments can both provide great material for a wellness coaching project! After all, if either a problem or predicament is causing you to waste energy unnecessarily, you are compromising your health and quality of life. Who wants that?

So now for a marvelous coincidence. Our next wellness coaching section starts next Monday, September 15th!

Learn more and register here: Wellness Coaching

September 14, 2008

Is Wellness Coaching for You

Fall '08 wellness coaching begins on Monday, September 15th. Is this the right time for you? Over the past week, I've had a number of conversations with people who said they'd really like to bump their life up a notch this fall. But...

But what?

Depends. And there's the rub. You know what I sometimes hear? The very thing that's getting in the way of the person doing wellness coaching would make an absolutely fabulous project!

Things like these:

  • Taking care of elderly parents.

  • Job demands.

  • Clearing clutter from the house in preparation for downsizing.

  • Too busy with the kids.

  • Trying to get a new business started or find a different job.

In essence what they're telling themselves is "I'd really like to focus more attention on my health, but my life keeps getting in the way." Now think about it. Isn't that what wellness is all about? Managing multiple priorities and still having the time and energy to take care of you.

What if the very most profitable step you could take toward improving your health was cleaning out the basement? Or getting a new job? Or getting the kids more involved in building their own college fund?

For many people, it is. Because once that gets straightened out, your stress level will begin to even out. You'll develop more confidence in your ability to take an important project from start to finish. And you just might feel more like preparing that healthy dinner for your family.

What about it? We start on Monday. If you're reading this and it's Monday, you're not too late.

Get information and sign up here: Wellness Coaching

If you have questions, (Is this a good project idea? Can we do the master mind call on my lunch break? That kind of thing...) email me at "info at wordcures dot com" and ask away.

December 10, 2008

Oprah Plus Grace Equals Class

Grace under pressure. Class. Compassion for herself and others. Humanity. Humility. Generosity. Innovation. Oprah Winfrey.

Do I normally go on and on like this? Of course not.

So why now? Because, to put it simply, Oprah is a shining example of grace under pressure. Oprah is human, to be sure. But she wears her humanity so very, very well!

For anyone who hasn't heard, Ms. Winfrey just pre-empted a whole passel of negative publicity about herself and came out smelling like a rose by doing one simple thing. Let's take a look at what she did and how she did it.

And most importantly, how we can all learn (once again) from Oprah's example and do the same!

Continue reading "Oprah Plus Grace Equals Class" »

January 1, 2009

New Year Goal Tip: Just One

Happy New Year everyone!

It's the time of year when many of us stop for a few blessed moments and take stock of how things are going. The accomplishments we're most proud of and the tweaking we'd still like to do. In the area of tweaking, hopefully setting a few priorities so it doesn't look like we have a billion things to handle all at once!

Since I'm kind of "into" that sort of thing, I'd like to offer ONE (just one) user-friendly tip for making your goals more fun and effective. Ready? Here it is:

Continue reading "New Year Goal Tip: Just One" »

January 7, 2009

Self Healing: Overcoming Obstacles to Self Love

Self-love. Almost makes you feel uncomfortable just reading the phrase, doesn't it? We know we're supposed to be kind and compassionate to others. But loving yourself? Isn't that ... well, somehow a little selfish?

It is. And that's exactly the point. There are times when "selfish" can be very, very good. When you're in the midst of a healing crisis ... trying like the dickens to work your way out of it and back to full, radiant health and wellness ... that's one of the times.

One of my regular readers recently sent in a great question: "How can there be so many of us that don't embrace self love?" What I got out of her question was a request for some suggestions on making self-love more accessible. With that in mind, we'll explore a few key tips.

Continue reading "Self Healing: Overcoming Obstacles to Self Love" »

January 12, 2009

Anxiety and Caring Too Much

If you've ever experienced anxiety, perhaps you can to relate to the place a reader was coming from recently when she asked me this question. "When I looked up anxiety in the dictionary, they said it was a synonym for care. What's going on with that?"

When you care for someone, isn't that supposed to be a good thing? And isn't anxiety, most of the time, rather undesirable? So what's the deal anyway?

Perhaps you're familiar with Dr. Edward Bach, who developed the Bach Flower Essences back in the 1930's. Dr. Bach was known as a "sensitive." He had the ability to feel energy. One of the first things he noticed, upon becoming a doctor, was that a lot of his patients with similar illnesses also had similar personalities. This was a big clue!

Dr. Bach began to reason that if he could help his patients correct the natural imbalances in their personalities, perhaps their health would improve. He was one of the real pioneers in the field we know today as energy medicine.

Each of us, as living beings, has our own set of unique vibrations. Dr. Bach was able to perceive differences in the vibrations of people with particular energy imbalances. In addition, he was also able to perceive vibrations of the "opposing virtue" in plants. His form of practice was to bring together each major type of personality or energy imbalance and the vibration of its opposing virtue, thus bringing the person back to balance and health.

Continue reading "Anxiety and Caring Too Much" »

January 18, 2009

Healing: That Old Familiar Feeling

You say you're up to some big changes in your life. Thinking different, acting different, being different. You've got to be. You've been feeling just awful lately. Drained. Lethargic. You know in your heart that you've got to get out of this cycle or your health will soon pay the price.

So you're up to big changes. You've said it would never happen again. You even promised!

Lotta good that did, apparently, because here you are again. In a crisis. And this crisis feels way too familiar.

If we've just described your situation, then you're in for some extremely good news! Recognizing "that old familiar sinking feeling" is the first critical step to healing the situation you're ready to change. You are healing even as we speak!

Continue reading "Healing: That Old Familiar Feeling" »

January 20, 2009

Natural Healing: Are You Fully Engaged?

Maybe you played sports in high school. If not, perhaps you played in the band. Tried out for a play. Got into dance, or cooking, or chess, or ... well just about anything. If you did, then you know the kids I'm talking about. They were in it to win. To excel. Whatever they did, they played full out and put their all into the game.

Then there were the others. A little more timid. Not so sure they had what it took. Tired, maybe. Perhaps they didn't get enough rest, or there was trouble at home, or they didn't eat right. Maybe the minute they walked through the door at the end of the day, they were yelled at; put down. Hard to say. But for some reason, they always held just a little back. You could feel it. They weren't in the game for the win. They were in because it was the thing to do.

Which kid were you? Which kid are you now?

If you're on this healing path for real, there's one thing you've gotta know. You must play full out. You may not have the luxury of a second chance. You sure don't have the luxury of being lazy. This is a game where you play to win; you play for keeps; you play for your life.

So what's the difference?

Continue reading "Natural Healing: Are You Fully Engaged?" »

January 21, 2009

Natural Healing: Engage Your Mind

Are you ready for a one-step healing solution that's nearly guaranteed to have you feeling better immediately? Who wouldn't? Well, it exists. It's free. It's accessible any time of day or night. No physical effort required.

Engage your mind.

A few days ago, I had the opportunity to talk with a number of people about the power of the mind to heal. One of their common concerns was this: "I want to make the change; to do things differently; to heal my life. But my mind keeps playing the same old tapes!"

I'm sure we've all felt that way at one time or another. It's how things seem to go until we learn to step in and work the "tape player." I've been there myself. Because I've been there myself, I am confident in my suggestion that the tape can indeed be changed.

Do you listen to music around the house ... in your office ... in your room? At least occasionally, I'll bet. So let's say you've got a particular CD in the player, or a particular playlist going on your iPod. And let's say you've had enough for now; you're ready to listen to something else.

What do you do?

Continue reading "Natural Healing: Engage Your Mind" »

January 29, 2009

Adopt a Resourceful State ... Take it Home

When you look around at the people you know, it's easy to see by looking who expresses health and vibrancy. We look for any number of factors, don't we? Sure, part of it is fitness. But whole health goes much deeper than that. In our quest to recognize a state of true healthfulness, we recognize factors like calm assurance and even the intangible quality of "having an inner glow." Perhaps it's a state that you aspire to yourself. Let's go after it.

We'll begin by taking a moment to consider the healthiest people in your life. The healthful qualities we've identified so far are physical fitness, calm self-assurance, and an inner glow. There may be other characteristics that mean health to you, too -- a sense of integrity, perhaps, or living a fulfilled life that honors the person's natural talents. Add anything else that you find important to your own list.

Think about public figures, too. People you may see on TV, online, or in a personality-centered magazine. They may be athletes, entertainment figures, or politicians. The people you choose may be those you are most drawn to -- even people you would like to meet. These qualities are extremely compelling! Most of us would love to have access to them.

Continue reading "Adopt a Resourceful State ... Take it Home" »

February 4, 2009

Spoken Affirmations to Enhance Health

An affirmation is a positive statement you can use to keep your mind focused on creating an outcome you desire. So many of us, by default, tend to focus instead on what we don't want. If you'll take a moment to observe that "little voice" in the back of your head, you may find that you do it sometimes, too. Today, we'll look specifically at the use of spoken affirmations to enhance desired health outcomes.

Any number of health outcomes have at their core a particular set of healthy lifestyle practices. Things like eating modest portions of healthy foods, getting some exercise, getting enough restful sleep, and thinking about yourself with kindness and compassion are all practices that create health and well-being. You probably know this already. But perhaps, like many of us, you sometimes let other things get in the way.

Let's explore the use of spoken affirmations -- really quite easy to put into practice -- as a way to stay focused on creating a lifestyle that supports your health. Today, we'll consider three different ways to use spoken affirmations.

Continue reading "Spoken Affirmations to Enhance Health" »

February 8, 2009

Affirmation and Your Posture

Affirmation, the process of making the words you use to describe your life tangible in the material world, has a significant impact on your health. In other articles, we've discussed the different choices a person might make from a world of "Why not?" versus from "Why bother?" This time, we'll explore how language creates the shape of your physical body.

As a structural bodyworker, this little puzzle compelled me to learn more about how energy and health go together. I am admittedly rather obsessed with posture! Why? Because I want to know what makes you hurt! In evaluating different pain patients over the years, I became extremely curious about the cause and effect of posture.

Problem posture is a primary cause for any number of common pain patterns, like back pain, neck pain, and chronic headaches to name just a few. Realizing that a person doesn't just wake up one morning *bing* with problem posture, I started to inquire about how it comes about. Sometimes, of course, the process begins with physical trauma such as an accident.

Other times, no such explanation can be found. The problem posture seemingly "just happens." Exploring further, it quickly became obvious that a person's habitual frame of mind has a lot to do with the position of their body in space. This is where the affirmation comes in.

Continue reading "Affirmation and Your Posture" »

Affirmations and Your Healthy Immune System

You know all about affirmations. They're positive statements you can keep in mind to stay focused on creating the outcome you desire. Affirmations are great for healing! Instead of dwelling on the problem, affirmations keep you squarely pointed in the direction of an empowered solution. But how do they build your immune system?

First of all, let's consider the value of a healthy immune system. Even though you may be supremely healthy yourself, perhaps you know people who are always catching the latest cold, flu, sinus infection, or something of that nature. Bummer of a way to live, isn't it? Not only do they feel yucky, but it's bad for the family economy! Hard to work when you're sick.

A healthy immune system also provides some measure of protection from other things that most of us don't want, cancer being just one example. And it comes to our aid should we come down with something that we want to relegate to the personal history book, so we can move past it and get back on with life.

All in all, a strong immune system is an extremely valuable commodity.

That said, there are a few supremely simple things you can do to strenthen your immunity. They are free. They are called affirmations. Why not give 'em a try?

Continue reading "Affirmations and Your Healthy Immune System" »

February 11, 2009

Who's Sweet on You?

Valentine's Day is just around the corner. Time for some fun! Here's what I think we should do. All of us (I'll do it with you) start thinking about something really fun we can do as a "sweetie" treat for ourselves this weekend. In about an hour.

Sure, you can do sweetie treats with your sweetie, too. 'Course that's half the fun of the day.

But why not pick something fun just for you? What could it be... Something you wouldn't usually take the time for, but would really enjoy. An hour by yourself, just to...

  • Read. Maybe even some escapist fiction.

  • Take a nice long bath, listen to some smooth jazz, and do some stretching.

  • Practice the guitar.

  • Pick up a hobby you really like.

  • Go out and do some window-shopping; maybe have a relaxing coffee or tea.

What would you do? Think about it. And then...

Continue reading "Who's Sweet on You?" »

February 18, 2009

Healing Guidance: When it Looks Like There's No Choice

Amber is at her wit's end and feeling awful. What a headache! Her boss is driving her nuts! As if that wasn't enough, her job is impossible. Sure things are tight, but how can ONE person (her) reasonably be expected to do THREE people's jobs? Her own, of course. Plus two more that just got cut from her department.

The stress is affecting everything. She has to go in early just to get a jump on the day. Fortunately, her mother-in-law can help out with the kids, but they don't like to take advantage. Things are tense at home in the evenings, too. Amber knows she's not as patient as she used to be. And everyone's getting tired of frozen burritos or chicken nuggets for supper -- even the kids!

Amber, while frustrated, is also pretty sharp. She knows this situation is taking a toll on her family relationships and her own health. She's not sleeping well, nobody is eating right, the muscles in her back and neck are in big knots, and she's taking a lot of aspirin for the headaches. That's giving her a stomach ache. And, well, the situation just isn't good.

Continue reading "Healing Guidance: When it Looks Like There's No Choice" »

Health Goals: Three Reasons People Fall Short and Affirmations to Stay on Track

There's nothing like a friend's health scare to get you back on track, is there? Or you read a story about someone "just like you" with a big problem you don't want. Or you get on the scale and cringe. However it comes about, there are moments when you just know it's time to get on track. And you will. Seriously. Very soon...

Really, you have great intentions. Now let's set you up to follow through! Check out these three reasons people sometimes fall short of their health goals, and then set yourself up for success with the positive affirmation statements.

Continue reading "Health Goals: Three Reasons People Fall Short and Affirmations to Stay on Track" »

February 22, 2009

Create Yourself as A Healing Magnet

Health is your natural state. Without even lifting a finger, you are whole and complete. Let's start from that place -- that wholeness is natural. If you're having health trouble, then, it only stands to reason that something has unintentionally slipped. No big deal, as long as you can recreate your natural state of health. But how?

What if the solution was as simple as answering the question, "How can I allow health and wholeness to find me more easily?" Kind of like getting out of your own way.


Perhaps it is. Perhaps it's just a teeny little course correction.

Continue reading "Create Yourself as A Healing Magnet" »

February 25, 2009

Do you get "enough" sleep?

We're kind of in the middle of an idea here, and I thought you might like to participate. In the last couple of weeks, several people have submitted questions to my web form about self-healing. At the same time, I've been doing some reading on "resistance."

So my premise is this. If health is our natural state, and I believe it is, then when something other than health shows up, it's just possible that we're unintentionally doing something to resist it. If we could identify what it was, then we could do something about it. So far, so good?

Continue reading "Do you get "enough" sleep?" »

February 28, 2009

Healthy On A Budget in Real Life

Remember that ridiculous article I referred to a while back -- Will The Recession Make You Fat? We had a few "healthy on a budget" posts to explore some low-cost alternatives to eating a bunch of Happy Meals and breakfast cereal dinners.

Well, just this morning on Twitter, my friend @FarmerPhoebe turned up a wonderful resource! The Less Is Enough blog details a woman who is right now, even as we speak, doing a wonderful "dollar a day" 30-day healthy food project.

Granted in today's dollar, her program is a little more spartan than most of us would prefer for the long-term. From the sound of things, I expect even she would agree. But it's not bad! She's making healthy choices and making it work. Check it out if you have a minute. Send her some encouragement. She is, believe it or not, managing to consume real food.

Affirmations and The Long Tail

Affirmations are generally thought of as positive statements that people make up to keep their minds focused on creating a desired change in their life. Yet the truth of the matter is that your entire "inside conversation" throughout the day forms the basis of one big affirmation that doesn't quit.

Included in that perpetual affirmation are things you speak out loud to others and vague feelings that you don't even stop to name or consciously recognize. All these elements put together with the inner dialog you may consciously be aware of form what we'll refer to today as "the long tail."

The term "long tail" is probably familiar to most people who've studied marketing lately. It's the title of a book by a perceptive fellow named Chris Anderson. "Don't just sell shoes," a long tail enthusiast would tell you. "Sell red shoes, green shoes, black shoes, and brown. Sell casual shoes, dress shoes, athletic shoes, and flip-flops."

In other words, in the world of marketing, it's good to have a niche. Maybe several. How come?

Continue reading "Affirmations and The Long Tail" »

March 3, 2009

You Are Getting Very Sleepy... And Healthy!

It's National Sleep Awareness Week! Hope you are catching your zzz's!

Continuing our conversation about lifestyle "cures" associated with self-healing, today we'll explore sleep. Thanks to those readers who participated in our first informal sleep poll. And now it's time to unveil the restful results!

First a little background. Just what makes sleep (arguably the easiest thing a person can do to improve their state of health) so important?

Continue reading "You Are Getting Very Sleepy... And Healthy!" »

March 6, 2009

Sleep and Self-Healing: 4 Tips

Self-healing. It's very common that someone facing a serious health challenge begins to look for means to bring their life back into balance. You may find it surprising that one of the first questions I ask of people in this situation has to do with their sleep habits. While the sleep itself is restorative, there is a deeper level to the same question. At a mind-body level, sleep can also be considered a benchmark for your orientation to self-care.

You could call it priorities, but I think the real challenge goes deeper. Do you "pay yourself first," sleeping as much as you need to for optimal health and energy, or is sleep more of a luxury to be earned ... after your work is done?

According to the results obtained from a recent informal poll of Internet users, 44 percent -- nearly half -- say they most commonly put off sleep in favor of getting their "stuff" done. That's a pretty big number! 44 percent of the current US population is roughly 134 million people. (1)

With that figure in mind, let's consider some benefits of getting a full night's rest:

Continue reading "Sleep and Self-Healing: 4 Tips" »

March 10, 2009

Food Rules and Brilliant Physicians

Earlier today, I was captivated by a New York Times article. Michael Pollan (Author of "The Omnivore's Dilemma) asks readers to contribute their "food rules." I did -- my entry is on page 59. I hope you'll add your own "rules," too.

In today's Healthy Living post, however, I would like to excerpt from the very first comment added in reply to Mr. Pollan's request. It's by Dr. Joel Galati, a liver specialist (and apparently a very early riser). I am a new fan! Here's what he has to say:

"... As a physician, many of the ills we face are directly food related. How we eat, the rules we live by, are passed from one generation to another. It is clear now why we see diabetes, obesity, and heart disease in families. While genetics play a role, the eating “rules” are the same..."

— Joseph S. Galati, M.D.

Now that's my kind of talk! My own $ .02? Don't be afraid to challenge the rules. Sometimes the "black sheep" wins!

Continue reading "Food Rules and Brilliant Physicians" »

Say Yes to Health -- 3 Tips

Do you resist optimal health? Most of us do. It's true! Much as we try to create ourselves as "health magnets," we often fall just a teeny bit short of the mark. Now that's not all bad news. In fact, don't you think it's kind of fun to keep on learning? Let's explore three more ways you can put to use right away -- to say "Yes" to health!

1. Create a compelling reason to be well. What is your purpose in life right now? What are you contributing? How are you advancing your greatest skills and personal mission?

While these questions seem to have little to do with health, from the perspective of energy medicine, they are essential. Most of us have an innate sense that we came here to planet earth for the purpose of doing something. To the extent that we recognize our mission and act consistently to move it forward, we create a vibration of personal integrity. Integrity is wholeness, and wholeness is health.

Continue reading "Say Yes to Health -- 3 Tips" »

March 18, 2009

Three More Reasons to Eat Healthy

Have you gotten caught up in the self-healing buzz? It seems like more and more people are thinking seriously about what they can do personally to maintain health and wellness. Yet even among the most committed, a few things still occasionally fly under the radar. Maybe you shortchange yourself on sleep. Hang around with pessimists. Forget to eat your veggies. In that spirit, let's explore three more reasons to eat healthy!

When you ask people why they think it's important to eat healthy, their answers will usually center around nutrition. They'll hem and haw, coming out eventually with something like this, "Well, healthy food has more nutrition and nutrition makes you healthy."

Basically true. And yet there's more! Sure healthy food is good for your body. But what about these hidden benefits of putting a prime portion on your plate?

Continue reading "Three More Reasons to Eat Healthy" »

March 24, 2009

Affirmations: 5 Fatal Mistakes

Did you ever have one of those days? What about a whole week of discouraging circumstances? Maybe even longer. Most of us have, and yet some people weather life's inevitable ups and downs more gracefully than others. One of their secrets to grace under pressure is positive self-talk, sometimes known as affirmations. Avoid these 5 little language landmines for greater results.

1. Thinking your "everyday" language doesn't count. You recite your affirmations each morning before heading out to work, and then curse the traffic. You're troubled by the weather, the guy who made your coffee messed up the order, and the boss just dumped a big pile of work on your desk. By the time the clock strikes 8:30, those affirmations have been overruled by a storm of negative thinking.

You have options. If you don't like heavy rush-hour traffic, try leaving for work a little earlier. We can't control the weather, yet there is some measure of beauty and reality in even the harshest of conditions. Weather is real, it's powerful, and presumably you do a good job of keeping yourself protected from imminent danger. As for your boss -- well, surely you're thankful to have a job!

In short, everyday language forms the basis for the energy of your life. It is one of your most powerful natural resources.

Continue reading "Affirmations: 5 Fatal Mistakes" »

March 26, 2009

7 Reasons to Love Local Foods

This morning's New York Times shares a rather frightening shopper's experiment regarding the traceability of our food supply. A couple years ago I publicly speculated about trying to figure out where the Jolly Green Guy gets his peas. Well it turns out, that question really isn't so simple to answer. Out of 40 products that a team of federal investigators bought from a variety of supermarkets across the country, they could only trace the probable origins of 5 -- and 3 of the 5 were cartons of eggs! In these days of product ingredient contamination, that's a little scary.

I'm thinking that food grown close to home sounds better and better. How about you? Here are today's top 7 reasons to "Go Local."

Continue reading "7 Reasons to Love Local Foods" »

April 1, 2009

Lessons From The Snowblower

Thanks to everyone who has inquired about whether Max and I are in the path of this season's Red River flooding. While my best wishes go out to the people affected, the answer is, happily, no. We live 4-1/2 to 5 hours' drive to the northwest. Up here, it's still too cold for flooding. We've had a lot of snow, though. And a lot of it is still on the ground.

Just last week, we had a full-scale blizzard, which brought things to a hault for the better part of 3 days and necessitated some clean-up work. In that spirit, I offer "Lessons from the Snowblower."

Continue reading "Lessons From The Snowblower" »

April 9, 2009

Health and Language

Health and language -- nearly inseparable! At least that's my take on things. How you speak -- both in the privacy of your own mind and audibly in the outside world -- has an undeniable impact on health.

Here's the key piece of the puzzle for most of us. On an average day, most of us feel pretty good. A few aches and pains, perhaps. Maybe a little tired. The occasional cold. But we get by. We're not looking for anything 'extra' to do.

But that's not always true for everyone. Somebody somewhere is in a serious health crisis. Maybe it's a friend, a relative, someone you know from work. Maybe it's even you. In those moments, people are more receptive.

Sure, maintaining wellness is the ideal. But we get busy.

People start looking when something goes wrong. They're looking for new ideas. Fresh approaches they haven't considered before. Strategies that don't cost a lot and don't use a lot of energy to put into practice. Ideas they can implement themselves. Like language.

A few days ago, I posted two audio articles on health and language over on the home page. I hope you'll check them out!

Continue reading "Health and Language" »

April 13, 2009

Affirmation Behind the Affirmation

Affirmation -- the process of making our desires and needs "firm" in the world -- through language. At the outset, it seems clear enough. You just identify what you want and create a statement that affirms it. Clear enough, that is, until you really sit down to figure out what you want. That's where things can get tricky. It's the place of the affirmation behind the affirmation.

Let's get right to the point. Do you want what you want for its own sake? Or because you expect it will get you something else?

Continue reading "Affirmation Behind the Affirmation" »

April 22, 2009

Health Affirmations: 3 Opportunities for Success

Affirmations are the words we use to make things "firm" in the world. Words have active creative power. They can be used intentionally to create positive change in the world -- including enhancing your state of health. In this article, we'll explore three challenges that interfere with health, along with sample affirmations to modify the challenges and enhance health.

Holistic health challenge #1: an inappropriate relationship with food. While specific food choices are based on an individual person's values and culture, there are some general themes that apply across the board. Difficulties may arise...

* When a person loses touch with the feeling of hunger and eats either substantially more or less than their body requires in order to be satisfied and nourished.
* When a person places convenience over health and begins to rely on processed convenience food products instead of whole, fresh foods.
* When a person takes their food source for granted, failing to appreciate the cycles of nature and human effort that makes their sustenance possible.

This stands to affect your health in several ways, including inadequate nutrition and weight challenges. Affirmations for a health-promoting relationship with food might go something like this. (Modify as desired to suit your own situation.)

* I listen to my body's messages of hunger and satisfaction, eating the perfect quantity of healthy foods.
* I enjoy eating the fresh whole foods that nourish my body, mind, and spirit.
* I am thankful for the foods that nourish and sustain me and my family.

Continue reading "Health Affirmations: 3 Opportunities for Success" »

April 29, 2009

Patience: Friend or Foe

"Oh if I could just have more patience with my kids," she sighed. "I hate it when I snap at them."

Sara was in for a Bach flower consultation. She said she wanted a remedy for impatience. There actually is such a remedy, so it would have been easy to give her exactly what she'd asked for. Except for one thing. As we continued to talk, it appeared that what she had asked for wasn't really what she needed.

Every once in a while, you see the story of a parent gone over the brink of his or her patience and it turns out poorly. At best, a mom who orders her kids out of the car and drives off, with an ultimate safe resolution followed by counseling. At worst, kids -- and sometimes entire families -- die.

Is lack of patience really the problem?

Continue reading "Patience: Friend or Foe" »

May 3, 2009

Affirmations for Self Love

Think your affirmations might have a clearer "ring" to them if you felt a little better about yourself to begin with? They just might. Self-love is something that most people say they want, yet there are times when it can seem elusive. Connect with these tips to bring yourself back into balance with the truth of your inner beauty.

Self-love trap #1: Getting stuck in the idea that you're "supposed" to be perfect and know everything. Nobody knows everything. I don't, you don't, your role models don't. Think about it. If you knew everything yourself, you wouldn't have much motivation to bring out the greatness in others, would you? You know ... by allowing them to contribute to you. So even at a social level, it's completely impractical. Watch for these signs that you feel bad about not knowing things:

* You hesitate to ask a question for fear that it will make you sound stupid.
* You hesitate to begin a new project because you suspect you will encounter a step or two that you haven't worked out how to do yet.
* When you do think you know something, you've just gotta jump in and tell everyone -- so they can see that you're not as stupid as you think they thought you were.

As a result of clinging to this false belief in your intended perfection, you hold your life back. You stick to the familiar, procrastinating endlessly on new projects so as to not run into situations you don't know how to handle. You rob others ... friends, family, and co-workers ... out of the opportunity to share their own best gifts. Check out these affirmations for embracing natural learning.

* I feel good when others share their gifts of knowledge and understanding with me.
* I love seeing how new projects unfold -- working through each little challenge easily.
* I forgive myself for making mistakes in life, just as I forgive others.

Continue reading "Affirmations for Self Love" »

May 6, 2009

Exactly What You Want

Is it really possible to attract exactly what you want? Well, let's see. I propose a little experiment. Over the next week (beginning on whatever day you read this article for the first time), set a clear intention and attract something you want.

Make that exactly what you want!

In other words, don't settle for almost - kinda - sorta what you want. Attract something cool into your experience that is exactly - precisely - specifically what you want.

Then leave a comment below and let us know how much fun you had!

I'll start. Here's the story of how I attracted something that was just exactly what I was looking for a few days ago...

Continue reading "Exactly What You Want" »

May 9, 2009

7 Signs it's Time for an Abundance Make-Over

Abundance ... what does that simple word mean to you? Perhaps more than money, the principle of abundance signifies that you are enough, have enough, and enjoy the healthy expectation that you will continue to have enough. Enough what? Health, time, companionship, freedom, good food, beauty, joy, and any other element that's important to your positive experience of life.

If you know people who truly embody the experience of abundance, you know that they're a pleasure to be around. It begins with a state of mind. Let's explore some common ways that scarcity can creep in to your thoughts. Then we'll create affirmations to bring you back to wholeness. Before you know it, you'll be living the dream yourself.

These 7 signs indicate that it's time for a shift to abundant thinking:

Continue reading "7 Signs it's Time for an Abundance Make-Over" »

May 13, 2009

Fresh Food Has More Chi?

Food Energy affects every one of us every single day. Several years ago, I embarked upon a health-promoting journey that include answering the question "What should I eat to be healthy?" Of course good health involves more than simply what one eats, but food is important!

I was in consultation with an acupuncturist at the time, and he had a lot of ideas about what a person should eat. I decided to ask his opinion.

"Do you suggest," I asked, "That a person should eat organic foods whenever possible?"

"Not necessarily," the acupuncturist replied. "It all depends on which food has the best chi. You may find some conventionally-grown foods that have better chi than organic, in which case I'd go with the good chi."

Continue reading "Fresh Food Has More Chi?" »

May 22, 2009

Significance: Your Personal Red Flag Warning System

Something continues to bother me about the recently released cockpit transcripts from the ill-fated Colgan Air commuter plane that crashed in Buffalo last February. The pilots of that plane got caught in a trap that most of us deal with, too.

As the pilots chatted, it was obvious that they had observed certain clues that this was a "high alert" situation and not just an ordinary landing. They noticed the ice buildup on the wings. And yet, they apparently didn't grasp the significance of their observations.

The powers that be have determined that other factors besides ice contributed to the plane's crashing. Regardless, I strongly suspect that if the pilots had grasped that they were in a high risk situation, their focus on the landing would have changed. They would have been in "high alert" mode. Chances are, they would have begun rehearsing their options in mind in order to be prepared to react quickly. When that "make or break" opportunity arose, they would have responded appropriately.

Instead, they chatted. They completely missed the significance of what was going on around them. From time to time, most of us do the same thing. Let's consider how that same "red flag warning system" affects you and me every day with respect to our health.

Continue reading "Significance: Your Personal Red Flag Warning System" »

June 7, 2009

Conflict! Who's Right?

Not too long ago, I received a reader question asking for a bit of advice. Seems she and her grandson's mother have some different beliefs on taking care of an infant and she wondered how to handle things.

This is a great question, because it could easily enough be any other two people with different views on nearly any subject!

Here's the set-up: "Grandma" comes from a belief that says to avoid microwaving foods because it changes their structure, a belief shared by many other holistic thinkers. According to this belief, microwaving foods should be avoided as a matter of health care.

Her grandson's mother comes from a belief that use of the microwave is just fine, a belief shared by many others including, most likely, the child's pediatrician. Obviously, heating a bottle in the microwave is more convenient than using the "warm water on stovetop" method.

There were a couple of other issues, but they're similar and you can get the sense of things from this one.

One person with one particular set of beliefs. Another person with another particular set of beliefs. Both sets beliefs have support "out there in the world." Both believers have a strong investment in their point of view. Grandma feels that using the microwave stands to damage the infant's health. Mom feels that the convenience can't be beat!

Oh yikes! What to do?

Continue reading "Conflict! Who's Right?" »

June 18, 2009

Breath and Your Posture

Posture. In the best of all possible worlds, the little nudge you just received will serve as a gentle reminder to raise yourself up to your full height, wiggle your shoulders, roll your neck, and take a full, deep breath.

Posture is a subtle yet visible outside indicator of a person's internal energy and vitality. Next time you visit a public place (airport, shopping mall, beach, the county fair), look around. Notice the people who seem to express the most natural vitality. Then consider how you reached that conclusion. Chances are, they will be sporting some clues: erect posture, a peaceful facial expression or smile, and a little sparkle in their eye.

In my daily life, I consider myself privileged to assist people in attaining and maintaining a balanced, healthy posture. We work mostly with the muscles. There's another important factor, though. A person's gotta breathe!

Breath directly supports your posture in at least three ways. Let's explore the connection.

Continue reading "Breath and Your Posture" »

June 22, 2009

That Task You Don't Want to Tackle: 5 Tips

Everybody's got something. You know. The task you don't want to tackle. You know you'll feel better when it's finished. You just don't feel like doing it.

What is it for you?

* Reconciling your bank statement.
* Chopping up those raw veggies for ready snacking.
* Cleaning the gutters.
* Or ???

Not like it's necessarily all that difficult. You just put it off.

Well, guess what? I've got them, too. This morning I siezed the moment and took care of one. Ahhh. What a great feeling! I'd like you to feel just as great.

Mastering effective strategies for getting yourself to do something you don't feel like doing in the moment is one of the best things in the world to support your healthy lifestyle. So here we go!

Five tips for taking on that task you don't want to tackle:

Continue reading "That Task You Don't Want to Tackle: 5 Tips" »

June 26, 2009

Got the "How-To Blues?" 5 Tips to Get Unstuck.

So exactly how am I supposed to do that? It's a question we all seem to ask from time to time. You know pretty much what you want. But the route to get there is not at all clear. You feel stuck.

Perhaps your quest is for improved health, greater peace of mind, increased prosperity, or enhanced personal relationships. Well, breathe easy. There is certainly a way to direct your energy and intention in a focused way to propel you toward your intended result.

Here are 5 solid tips to get you past the dreaded "How-To Blues."

Continue reading "Got the "How-To Blues?" 5 Tips to Get Unstuck." »

July 1, 2009

The Dog Ate Her Checkbook

Mistakes are a normal and natural part of everyday life, don't you think? So why do we think we're supposed to appear perfect?

No need to answer. It just seems like a rather odd human habit. So much easier to blame anything that goes wrong on the dog.

So here's the thing. What if the dog really did eat your checkbook? I mean, it's possible. Especially if you had one of those snappy little leather covers. And what if he was really looking out for your best interests?

Continue reading "The Dog Ate Her Checkbook" »

July 4, 2009

Health Awareness and Your Personal Operating System

Your personal computer has an operating system. So do you! It's easy to put a name on your computer's operating system. Perhaps it is called something like "XP" or "Vista." Every now and then, your PC's operating system is due for an upgrade. The manufacturer lets you know, the upgrade takes place, and you adapt.

It's not quite so simple to name your the operating system for your healthy lifestyle. But it IS easy to detect when you're ready for an upgrade. You become ill, find yourself in the middle of a health crisis, or your well-being is challenged in some other way (think stress, relationship issues, financial difficulties).

Your PC's operating system is based on a particular set of rules. Those rules define the environment in which your information use occurs.

Likewise the operating system for your healthy lifestyle. It is based on rules. You learn them, grow beyond their original circumstances, begin to question their value, and replace them with new rules. It is a natural human process.


But sometimes you get stuck. "No, no!" you may think, resisting. "Don't make me change that one!" Ultimately it's up to you. When you resist too long, that's when the challenges pop up.

Want to get past a current challenge to your health and well-being? Here's the big secret: Upgrade your personal operating system.

Continue reading "Health Awareness and Your Personal Operating System" »

July 14, 2009

Circumstances are Circumstances; You are You

You are not your circumstances. You know that, of course. Intellectually. Yet sometimes it's easy to lose track of things in the day-to-day application.

It can be disappointing, this thing called life. Here you are with all these hopes and aspirations. You think you know just how things are supposed to work out. Then something happens. And things begin to go a little differently than the way you'd expected.

For most of us, when our hopes and expectations don't match the results we see, that fact gets our attention. Sometimes, it can seem like things have gone wrong. Sometimes, it can begin to seem that "you" are the undesired circumstance.

Whether it's a health condition, a relationship or financial crisis, or even a bad sweater **, identifying yourself with the problem does not help. It can, however, keep you from moving forward.

The simple truth is this. You are not your circumstances. You are you.

Continue reading "Circumstances are Circumstances; You are You" »

July 15, 2009

You May Be Working Too Hard

Are you working too hard? I just read two excellent articles by Deepak Chopra about how too much effort can become the enemy of your intended results in life. He makes an excellent point!

Granted, some activity is generally required. We all know that you can't just sit in your armchair imagining a lush garden and expect a crop. You've got to get out there and plant some seeds.

Yet... There's another side of it.

I'm talking about overwork. Overwork, if you really stop to think about it, often comes from the fear of your anticipated results from not doing "enough" (whatever that is...) In other words, a person who overworks to the point of futility and exhaustion is generally doing so out of the fear or perception of lack.

Whether it's a perceived lack of money, status, love, or something else, the person who drives him / herself to excessive effort believes, at some deep level, that some catastrophe will surely occur if they stop. That underlying belief is contrary to the stated goal of their effort!

Continue reading "You May Be Working Too Hard" »

July 28, 2009

Perpetuating Factors that Affect Your Health

In their landmark reference book on Trigger Points, Drs. Janet Travell and David Simons devote an entire chapter to perpetuating factors. (Volume one, chapter four). Why?

Easy. Because without addressing the factors that perpetuate a health condition, the condition is sure to persist. They are really important!

People sometimes are disappointed to hear this. "Poor nutrition didn't cause my neck pain," they'll say. "So what does it matter how I eat now? I just want to get rid of the pain. I'm just not ready for an entire healthy lifestyle makeover."


Continue reading "Perpetuating Factors that Affect Your Health" »

July 29, 2009

Healing Intent and Commitment

Commitment to healing (or its lack) is a perpetuating factor that sometimes trips people up. When I say "sometimes," what I really mean is that it's one of the most frequent conflicts I observe in people from day to day.

Of course that does not mean that people don't want to be healthy. Most people do! What it means is that there's something else that they also want, the two desires conflict, and the health-building process effectively "stalls in the water."

Before we get into that list of possible conflicting desires (it's coming), let's look at this a little differently. What would it look like if someone with very few conflicting desires were to step through the door? How would the engagement go? What would be the results?

I had the pleasure of meeting such a person about two weeks ago. He phoned on a Monday morning to inquire about an appointment. When I asked about his availability, he responded "I'm really tired of this pain." Already, I suspected that things were going to go well. He was focused and flexible!

Continue reading "Healing Intent and Commitment" »

September 1, 2009

Avoiding Higher Guidance

Avoiding Higher Guidance. I think that from time to time we must all do it.

You know the drill: your plea goes out to those Higher Powered Beings who surely must be able, from their lofty and objective vantage points, to see the solutions that elude you:

* Should I move or stay put?
* Is there a better job out there for me?
* Am I headed in the right direction with my life?
* I'm exhausted all the time. Where's all my energy going?
* How can I get my health in order?
* Where should I look to find that special someone?
* What is the very next thing I should do to move forward with my life?

You ask the question and then patiently wait for an answer. It comes, in the form of repeated thoughts, ideas, and conversations. But it wasn't what you wanted to hear. Perhaps the proposed next step is a bit intimidating. Maybe you don't see how the answer you got relates back to your initial question.

So you avoid it.

Simple enough.

Continue reading "Avoiding Higher Guidance" »

September 9, 2009

Engage Creativity -- Resolve Stress!

Creative problem-solvers are rarely stressed for very long.

What is their secret? It's simple. When something puzzling tugs their tail, creative problem-solvers are pretty well sure that they will be able to come up with a satisfactory solution. They don't waste a lot of energy worrying. Instead, they set out on a two-step process that virtually guarantees success and a good night's sleep.

Not all "creative personalities" have the process worked out so smoothly, of course. Sometimes a great solution will "pop" into their head, yet on other occasions it eludes them. Like anything else, creative problem-solving works best when you engage it consciously and practice often.

Want to give it a try? Here's how:

Continue reading "Engage Creativity -- Resolve Stress!" »

September 15, 2009

Limiting Beliefs of the most Insidious Kind (The ones you don't know about.)

"Why even offer Wellness Coaching? After all, isn't it less challenging work to simply treat people's symptoms?" Seriously, this is a question people ask.

The answer is "yes." It's actually much less challenging work for me to simply treat a symptom and send the person home.

Yet treating and retreating symptoms that have the possibility of being resolved presents its own challenge -- to my value system. That is why, a number of years ago, I shifted gears in my personal study to gain a better understanding of how and why unconscious limiting beliefs affect body structure (and a whole lot of other health-related symptoms).

Here is the story:

Continue reading "Limiting Beliefs of the most Insidious Kind (The ones you don't know about.)" »

November 20, 2009

Why Am I So Exhausted?

Exhaustion, tiredness, fatigue, lethargy. Whatever name you give it in your own mind, a chronic lack of energy is way too common these days. In fact, as a holistic health practitioner, "Why am I so tired" is one of the most frequent questions people ask!

With that in mind, let's explore some surprisingly obvious yet frequently overlooked reasons for that zapped-out feeling. We'll also consider some "natural cures" to get you back to feeling your best!

Today, we'll start with awareness. How does a person recognize that their energy is low?

Continue reading "Why Am I So Exhausted?" »

December 24, 2009

Abundance in the Desert

Imagine you are lost in the desert. I'm hopeful that you must imagine this, as I do, because I am hopeful that you have never actually been lost in the desert. Yet from time to time in life you may have felt as though you were.

I have visited the desert, though. Perhaps you have also. Can you think of a time when you were hot, tired, and thirsty, as a person might be while they wandered the desert? For me, the occasion that stands out is a 2-1/2 hour hike straight up and out of the Grand Canyon one memorable August afternoon. I emerged hot, thirsty, and ravenously hungry. See if you can find a similar experience in your own memory.

I have been lost outdoors. Perhaps you have also. It can be a little scary, especially under adverse weather conditions. In my case, it was nighttime, a steady light rain was falling, I had no rain gear, the temperature was quite cool, and my clothing was wet. I was completely disoriented in a large grove of pine trees and, due to the cloud cover, unable to even gather my bearings from the sky. Can you find a similar experience in your memory?

Now put them together. You are very thirsty, tired, disoriented, and slightly scared. You're not sure where to go next, and yet you do know one thing. You must find water.

You may have felt the same way from time to time in your life. Of course "desert" is a metaphor and the thing you so urgently seek in life may be something other than water. Money to pay the bills, perhaps. Companionship. A safe place to live. Love.

Let's get you out of the desert.

Continue reading "Abundance in the Desert" »

January 12, 2010

Are You Average?

Average. I've been thinking about it a lot lately. How about you?

Where in your life ARE you "set" on average (statistically speaking)? Where are you not?

Where in your life would you LIKE to be average (statistically speaking)? Where would you not?

It's this last category that fascinates me the most. The parts of my life in which I would most definitely not prefer to be addicted to "average." For instance...

Continue reading "Are You Average?" »

March 25, 2010

Watching Over Mom

Are you part of the generation whose parents are moving into a life stage that requires extra care? Or perhaps you've got a child heading off to school for the first time... a loved one who works far from home... a teenager who just began dating... a friend or relative transitioning into another state, whether through birth or death... a close one whose relationship status is changing (perhaps your own ex- significant other)... or even a buddy heading out on a road trip?

The key feature is this: your loved one is moving out of his or her familiar environment and into the vast unknown. While you have complete confidence in their ability to handle whatever might arise in the situation you're all used to, given these new circumstances, there's some cause for concern. How will they handle the changes? Will they be ok?

Let's face it. You care. And yet...

You are aware enough to realize that you're not privvy to the agreement between your loved one and his or her Creator. You are not in control of their journey. You are, however, responsible for your own well-being, and it could easily be compromised by excessive worry. Furthermore you may recognize that, worry being a form of prayer, continual fear-based thoughts directed toward your loved one could actually make things worse.

Despite the challenging circumstances, you're motivated to maintain a peaceful and positive state of mind.

But how?

Continue reading "Watching Over Mom" »

November 26, 2012

Fermentation and Fiscal Fitness

Hello! How's your gut treating you today? Pertinent question as since I've last posted, I've become much more involved in the Traditional Foods community. Specifically, insofar as today's post is concerned, with fermentation.

A couple of things to know about fermentation. First of all, properly fermented foods are essential to establishing that enviable balance of gut flora to which many of us aspire. (My dogs are pooping like rock stars these days, 'nuff said.) Second, either you've got to learn to do it yourself in your own kitchen or have the budget to hire someone to do it for you. It's that important. Buying prepared fermented foods from the store really does not cut the mustard.

So there you have it. You want the result, it's one more thing you've got to learn to do for yourself. Like cooking dinner, exercising, sleeping, and taking the occasional shower. That said, one might think that the biggest obstacle in someone's path to success would be the time element. "Jeez, something else to do?" one might think. "But I'm overextended already!"

Surprisingly, from what I have been able to observe by hanging out in the community, that is not the case.

Continue reading "Fermentation and Fiscal Fitness" »

November 27, 2012

Appreciating Missteps - the Secret to Lasting Change

Did you ever set out to make a healthy lifestyle change and then find yourself back in the same old rut? What if I share a little-known secret to getting yourself back on track? Appreciate the misstep. That moment when your best intentions got derailed. Pat yourself on the back. Yell "yay me!" Go all out!

We'll talk about why this is such a great idea in just a moment. Meanwhile, let's stop and make a short list of things you might have been trying to do:

  • Improve your posture at the computer
  • Eliminate grains from your meal planning
  • Be in bed with the lights out by 10 pm each night
  • Develop a consistent exercise program
  • Devote 10% of your weekly food budget for emergency storage items
  • Drink healthy beverages instead of pop

Yep! The appreciation trick will work for all of these changes and more. What's at the top of your personal list right now? Go ahead and pick ONE change to keep in mind as you read the rest of this article.

Continue reading "Appreciating Missteps - the Secret to Lasting Change" »

The Cliff: That Critical Moment when Behavior Goes Bad

Appreciating the moment when your best intended plans for creating new, healthier behaviors go bad. That was the topic of our previous post. Now let's identify that moment. The critical moment when your possibility for successful change begins to crash.

What if that key moment happens sooner than you think?

Continue reading "The Cliff: That Critical Moment when Behavior Goes Bad" »

December 6, 2012

Health Effects of Chronic Low-Level Stress

Usually when we think of stress, we think of the big "stress bombs." Significant life events that throw us over the edge. These events, such as death of a close family member, moving, change of job, etc, are indeed part of the picture.

But what if we stretch and take a broader view of stress, like this one: "a physical, chemical, or emotional factor that causes bodily or mental tension and may be a factor in disease causation." (Merriam-Webster dictionary) Stress can be more than an emotional roller coaster, then. It's also things like eating too many foods laced with chemical preservatives or the after-effects of an untreated whiplash injury.

With that in mind, let's look to a few health effects of long-term chronic stress and how they play out in real life.

Continue reading "Health Effects of Chronic Low-Level Stress" »

January 12, 2013

The Energy of Fighting Disease

There's a pervasive belief in our culture that it is a good idea to fight disease. It's part of a larger belief that it's a good idea to fight against things you don't like. To the greatest extent possible, I endeavor to steer clear of this belief system, though I'll be the first to admit that it can be pretty easy to get sucked in. (Sometimes it can feel so "right" to fight against the bad guy.)

Let's consider for a moment the energy of fighting disease. Just to recap, and for those who may not know my background, this conversation falls within the field known as Energy Medicine. Energy Medicine explores the relationship between the quality of one's life force energy and his or her state of health. It's a field which I have studied in some depth and earned an advanced degree. I have also put this principle into practice in my own life and can attest to its usefulness at a personal level. Who knows, I might not even be around right now had I not gotten this stuff sorted out a bit some years ago. So here we go...

Fighting is one of the biggest energy drains we can ever take on. When all other options have fallen short, fighting may be necessary as a short-term last-resort intervention. As a lifestyle choice, it is a fast-track passport to exhaustion on a grand scale.

Continue reading "The Energy of Fighting Disease" »

Elizabeth Eckert, Healthy Living & Wellness Coach

Elizabeth Eckert, PhD

I enjoy observing human nature and helping people get healthier. I'm the author of Word Cures, webmaster of the healthy living website, and an organic vegetable gardener. I hang out in spacious North Dakota with Max, my precocious pup. (more)

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This page contains an archive of all entries posted to Healthy Living DIY in the Healthy Living category. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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Note: The information and ideas offered here are personal opinions of a general nature. No opinion posted here constitutes medical advice, either general or personal. If you have a health concern, please consult with your medical doctor and follow his or her advice. The author disclaims responsibility for any misuse or misinterpretation of any opinion posted here.

(c) 2006-09 Elizabeth Eckert

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