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  1. Lisa Aré Wulf | Christian Devotionals | One Woman Sanctuary
  2. You are here
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In the age of social media, where our lives are curated God saw every living thing that was made, and indeed, it was very good. Winner of a Illumination Book Award for Spirituality! Discover what God has written onto your h Many of us go through life feeling as if we are failing to be the person we could be. But as this l Ashes and the Phoenix: Meditations for the Season of Lent features faithful and challenging reflect Forward Day by Day has encouraged, challenged, invigorated, prodded, and empowered millions of peop Many of us have heard the story of Jesus' birth, but have we lived inside it?

Episcopal priest Kate The Gospel of John starts with poetry and moves through the great story of Jesus' ministry, death, A ministry of The Episcopal Church, Forward Movement has been inspiring disciples and empowering evangelists around the globe since through our offerings that encourage spiritual growth in individuals and congregations. Sign In Register Shopping Cart?

Group Studies. Pastoral Care. Daily Spiritual Practice. Forward Day by Day. Digital Offerings. Gift Books. Lent Madness Gifts. More Gifts. Note Cards. Prayer Books. New Titles. Other Languages. Seasonal Studies. Our Ministry. Our Story. The Way of Love. Overall, though, more is lost than gained through cooking. Enzymes come in three categories: digestive enzymes in our saliva, stomach, and small intestine , metabolic enzymes within our cells , and food-based enzymes, which we must consume through our diets.

Insufficient dietary or digestive enzymes may lead to reduced availability of metabolic enzymes, setting the stage for chronic inflammation, compromised immunity, and gastrointestinal problems. Raw foods are also loaded with phytochemicals—chemical compounds naturally found in plants—and fiber, which mops up toxins and waste products in the digestive tract for healthy elimination.

Numerous studies have shown that consuming abundant fruits and vegetables is associated with lower risks of cancer, heart disease, obesity, and diabetes. Unfortunately, scientific literature on the health benefits of a strictly raw, plant-based diet is rather limited. Few studies have examined the long-term effects of the diet, and the ones published primarily come from Europe. Yet the data we do have is fairly positive and certainly worth noting. A study done in Finland showed people following a raw vegan diet consumed significantly higher amounts of dietary antioxidants than a comparison group following a cooked, omnivorous diet.

Compared with omnivores, the raw vegans had significantly higher blood concentrations of beta-carotene, vitamin C, and vitamin E. This more favorable antioxidant profile is significant, given that antioxidants protect cells from oxidative damage, provide immune support, and benefit the eyes, heart, prostate, and more. In the U. In a study of more than people who followed a raw food diet for nearly four years, researchers found the more raw foods the subject ate, the more their body weight decreased. While this is good news for many of us, already-thin women do need to be aware this can increase their risk of amenorrhea—the abnormal absence of menstrual periods.

In one study, 30 percent of women under age 45 who were on a long-term raw vegan diet had partial to complete amenorrhea. Still, more studies show a raw foods diet can lower diastolic blood pressure, improve fibromyalgia symptoms including pain, joint stiffness, and quality of sleep , and lower levels of both total cholesterol and sodium. One final caution: Raw vegan adherents are more at risk for dental erosion—from chewing so much raw produce! We know premature aging is related to inflammation in the body, which causes free radical damage to skin cells.

It stands to reason, then, that a diet rich in raw fruits and vegetables—which fight inflammation thanks to their higher antioxidant levels—would go a long way toward helping retain radiant, youthful skin. In addition, cooking methods such as broiling, frying, hot-oven roasting, grilling, and barbecuing can lead to the formation of glycotoxins—which increase inflammation—in certain foods. This happens with proteins, fats, and foods high in fructose that are cooked, heated, or processed at temperatures higher than degrees. Fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, raw nuts, and other unprocessed, unrefined foods have low levels of glycotoxins.

For those who are trying it for the first time, making a raw foods diet consistently appealing may be a challenge. Sprouting seeds, germinating nuts, and dehydrating and fermenting vegetables—all popular in raw food diets—can be a time-intensive proposition. My best suggestion for beating the raw food doldrums is using a juicer or blender to make smoothies containing fruits, greens, nut butters, herbs, and other ingredients like flax or chia seeds. This makes an easy, delicious, and portable meal. You might even think of this as a cleanse since many cleanse programs are based on eating raw foods.

The aim of detox diets is to take a break from the overload of fats, sugars, and toxins rampant in the standard omnivorous American diet. It gives your digestive system and filtering organs—the kidneys and liver—a much-needed break. After a few days or weeks on a raw vegan detox diet, you may be feeling good enough that you decide to make it more than just a temporary way of eating.

There is much to learn in life, but it is best to learn how to live. When we are young, we have little doubt that life holds great promise. We have things to accomplish, places to visit, and people to love. However, it is the rare young person who puts these compelling issues in perspective. For most of us, the importance of spiritual principles and a relationship with God is a realization that occurs much later in life. By this time, we may be somewhat bruised by our experiences, but we need not be embittered, for we can live the simple life.

When life is simple, our awareness of God is as central to life as the air we breathe. For instance, when the body is sick, we want to be healed; but when life is simple, there is a greater goal: allowing God to reveal to us our innate spiritual wholeness. When resentment and anger hound us daily, the issue is not the other person and what he or she has done to us, but our willingness to let God show us the way of love.

This is the foundation of the simple life. It is God we want, and when we find our Creator, we find joy and contentment. The things that happen to us, our memories, and our possessions are significant, but nothing is as important as our relationship with God. When the simple life is lived, the earthly experience flows from our oneness with God.

The divine Fountainhead is the source of life and its many experiences. The simple life is a life of prayer—more listening and waiting than speaking and asking. We seek the kingdom by seeking an awareness of God, for we know this consciousness is the fountain of life and the answer to any human need. We can think of prayer as a meeting between God and ourselves. God, of course, knows us well, but we know little about our Creator. There arc times when we speak, but we do not let our every word be about our needs and what is happening in our world.

Friendships do not develop when one person does all the talking and is constantly asking for assistance. Powerful relationships unfold when we listen. When we are in pain or fearful or concerned about loved ones or ourselves, it may be difficult to listen and to wait. As we wait and listen, the mind may wander.

This is when we speak—not to tell an all-knowing God about our situation, but to affirm our faith in the Almighty and to gently, bring our minds back to God. If we have a healing need, our prayer might be: I am made in the image of God. I am one with the pure life God is. There is no sickness in me. Praise God! We speak in this fashion, and then we wait for God to reveal our wholeness. It is important to understand that in the simple life, the focus of prayer is the kingdom of God.

When our reason for asking, seeking, and knocking is for a relationship with God, we receive in ways that transcend our earthly desires. The simple life is a life of letting, for letting is God's way. To beg, bribe, cajole, manipulate, and use logic or guilt is to try to get our way. Life is too mysterious and all-encompassing for these methods to bring happiness. When knowing God is our purpose and prayer is our method, we can let go and let God be God in our lives.

We make ourselves available to God. We can be assured that when our awareness of God is made manifest in our world, it will bless us and those around us. Ordained a Unity minister in , Rev. I was coaching a woman who was stuck in the process of getting her website posted.

I feel encumbered by self-doubts and self-judgments. During our coaching session she realized that she needed to communicate with her father and heal their relationship. It never is. A website or any new profession, relationship, or step ahead in life is an excellent projective test for where your consciousness lives at the moment. A woman phoned in to my radio show hayhouseradio. I asked her when the weight had come on, and she answered that it had started when she had gotten divorced a few years earlier.

If, on some level, you have chosen the weight for a reason, what would that reason be? I thanked her for her honesty and then asked her if she would consider simply making the choice to not be with a man for now without needing to use the weight as a protective mechanism. She liked that idea and we explored ways she could claim her power and her choices by making clear statements. The conversation ended on a high note. So the weight was not the problem. It was the symptom. More deeply it was a directional signal to look deeper. In my life coach training program I teach the students to distinguish between presenting issues and core issues.

The issue presented is rarely the one that needs to be addressed. When you look under the table and see the hand that is holding the magnet—and recognize it to be your own—you are free to move the pieces where you would. The obvious reality is but relatively real. The spiritual reality is ultimately real. If you truly seek reality, look deeper. Appearances are deceptive. Life seems to be one thing, when it is really another. Yet we can use appearances, especially troubling ones, to follow the trail of bread crumbs to the source of causation, which is always mind, belief, attitude, and expectation.

Building a website is the new Rorschach projective test. Ink blots have given way to pixels. I sometimes fantasize about developing a coaching practice in which I ask clients to build a website, and then process with them what comes up along the way. Every day at work, every relationship, every time you look in the mirror, every time you look at your bank balance, you have a golden opportunity to pierce to the jewel in the lotus. Every moment in your earthly journey is an expression of your consciousness.

We are not here to manipulate events. We are here to elevate consciousness. When we do so, the events of our lives flow naturally and well. Then all of our daily activities become fuel for spiritual growth, and we are well on our way to mastery. Alan Cohen is the author of numerous inspirational books and CDs. To learn more, visit alancohen. Life can seemingly have its way with us.

It can hypnotize us into believing Spirit could not be in every situation, particularly a healing challenge. But there is only One God, One Spirit. There is nowhere God is not! That is why speaking words of Truth and love to your mind and body help you to awaken and recognize the voice of God resonating through those reminders. It can be fearful when you or a loved one face challenges of the mind and body. You have within you the strength to face your fears. This is a three-step process:. No one would plant a new garden without clearing out the old.

One of my favorite affirmations is: Reveal what needs to be revealed, and heal what needs to be healed. Deep listening is required to do this. Ironically, you might find that there was not a deep root after all. Instead this may be just an old thought you had been carrying around, much like a weed that pulls up easily once the soil is loosened. Science suggests that we have muscle memory, meaning if you have exercised your body in the past, your muscles will rebuild faster.

We have spiritual muscle memory as well. If in the past you have prayed, meditated and worked on listening deeply but have gotten away from it due to myriad reasons, your spiritual muscle is just waiting for you to begin again. Remember, you are blessed and loved! And before too long you feel that spiritual muscle strengthening. Temple Hayes, special guest Elaine R. Ferguson, M. I spent an hour this morning watching deer.

I wish I could say that I sat still and watched them meander, simply eating grass, but no, I got the camera out. I think you need a deep love of the camera to understand what I mean about finding something new through the lens, or even finding yourself through it. As the camera slowly comes up to my eye, my breath catches for just a moment—I wonder what will emerge as I look through it. The anticipation of the unknown awakens the senses.

I see the interconnectedness of all the elements. I not only see through what is there, I see beyond it. I spent an hour this morning watching the deer eat, roam and play. It was very funny watching them, these teenage boys wrestling about. I imagine if they could have, they would have been rolling around in the grass. I was sitting by myself laughing out loud and Murray, my cat, was looking at me wondering what was so funny. I bet he wished he had a camera too. With that realization a wave of sadness washed over my heart, simply because it was clear that I needed to play, to celebrate, to have a smile spread so big across my face that I would see the tops of my cheeks.

I followed the thread of sadness to see where it would lead and found myself seeing through the deer playing. There was nothing exciting or miraculous about it, they do this many mornings outside my window. But I slowly began to see beyond the antics of running around, bleating, and head butting and nipping at each other. Playing is a spiritual practice for humans to disengage the brain, to abandon what we know and just roll around in the grass.

Seeing beyond what is there is like reading the Sunday comics and finding the essence of yourself. This was a practice in my home growing up, my mother would ask us on Sunday afternoons where we found ourselves in the comics that day. The ordinary is depicted as the extraordinary, the banal becomes comical, and the secular becomes sacred. Play is the joyful expression of my being.

It is at the heart of my creativity and my most carefree and compassionate moments of devotion. It helps me live with absurdity, paradox, sadness, awe and mystery. It feeds my joy and wonder. It keeps my search for meaning down to earth, rolling around in the grass. Kelly Isola, M. Certified master nutrition therapist Barb Hamilton takes us shopping at a farmers market, giving tips for shopping for fresh veggies and introducing her favorite detox salad recipe.

In a large bowl, combine beets, beans, apples, walnuts, oil, and vinegar. Toss gently to mix. Spoon mixture onto a bed of greens. I was so impressed with the sincerity and consistency of her response that one day, I asked her about it. Some religious traditions use prayer beads to mark the repetitions of prayers or chants.

But these days, the term mantra can also refer to a form of self-talk we use to achieve a goal or bring about change. Other mantras can help you maintain an exercise program or achieve other health-related goals, such as controlling blood pressure, pain, and depression. As a special education teacher, I used mantras to help my students achieve academic, social, and behavioral goals. I designed specific self-talk scripts to walk my students through a task they were expected to complete. Look at the context. Think about what makes sense.

The use of mantras as a religious practice has a long history, starting with Hindus in India, who were probably using mantras more than 3, years ago. Today, the followers of Buddhism, Judaism, and Christianity also use some form of mantras to deepen spirituality. Buddhists use mantras in conjunction with prayer and meditation as a way to focus the mind and lead to enlightenment.

Different mantras have different purposes. For example, one mantra might be used for overcoming obstacles or hindrances while a different mantra might be used for generating peace and compassion. In addition, some Buddhist principles or truths can be used as mantras to support and guide spiritual development. I find that repeating this simple and uncomplicated mantra to myself, when faced with uncertainty and loss, helps me maintain a sense of equanimity and hope.

Judaic teachings include precepts about how to treat one another and how to care for the world and all life around us. Judaism, however, is more than guidelines or commandments. The Jewish religion is also based on the principles of gratitude and thanksgiving. These prayers are often said or sung as a group during religious services, but are also used for individual prayer. The Rosary—a Catholic version of prayer beads—involves the repetition of six different prayers. We certainly have a right to use any form of self-talk we choose, although some forms are more productive than others in helping us live a more meaningful and satisfying life.

Others may get stuck in negative thinking about society, continually thinking to themselves, Nobody cares , People are basically mean and selfish , or No one will support that idea. For me, mantras are guides for living. They help me stay focused on what I want my life to be all about. While some of the mantras I use come from different faith traditions, I also find mantras in poems and essays. A few have even come from bumper stickers! I write my chosen mantras on index cards and keep them on my desk where I can refer to them frequently. I sometimes even use the cards as bookmarks.

While mindfulness can be defined in different ways, I like the Buddhist understanding of the term. We often think of sacred spaces as existing outside ourselves. In a community, these spaces might be churches, temples, synagogues, mosques, or kivas. In our home, we may have an altar or meditation room, and in our yard, a Zen garden. We also have a mind and soul. For me, these are sacred spaces I find within myself.

I know how I nurture my mind and soul is, in large part, how they will grow. Just as I know I should be careful about what I put in my body to keep it healthy, I have also come to understand the same is true of what I put in my mind. Ruth Wilson worked for more than 30 years as an educator and now devotes her time to writing and consulting. The focus of her work is on education, the environment, and spirituality.

Ruth lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where she enjoys hiking and bike riding. The first step in spiritual healing is to recognize our own needs for healing. With physical illness these needs may seem obvious. In other situations the needs may not be so obvious. Some conditions of suffering seem to involve other persons or external circumstances. If we are blaming other persons or circumstances for our suffering, then we are not seeing the need for our own spiritual healing.

It will not occur if we want others to change or if we want circumstances to change, but are not willing to change ourselves. Other people in our lives may need healing as much as we do, but we will never become whole if we focus on their need for healing instead of our own. We turn to God first because our original nature is spiritual. As spiritual beings, we are expressions of God, never separated from our Source. Turning to God for help does not necessarily mean that we avoid human assistance. It does not mean that we refuse to change harmful conditions in our lives.

Lisa Aré Wulf | Christian Devotionals | One Woman Sanctuary

We may need to turn to God for help and move our feet. God works through us but not for us. God is not a giant in the sky who will solve our problems for us, but God is that Giant within us who will guide us to right understanding and to right action. Any condition of suffering—physical, mental, emotional or spiritual—is a condition of disease dis-ease. The next step is to look at our responses to the experience of disease.

We protest. We usually view our suffering as something that happens to us. It may appear that we've become victims of some unwanted force disrupting our lives, liberty and pursuit of happiness. We are conditioned to believe that we are in control of our lives. If you should find yourself responding in this way, do not become self-critical. That will only increase your suffering. Responding to a major disease with denial, anger or guilt is very common. These responses are ways that we defend ourselves against the more vulnerable feelings of intense fear or grief.

We need to recognize and honestly acknowledge our responses to the condition without guilt or apology. We must have compassion for ourselves or else we add to our suffering. Spiritual healing begins when we are willing to see our suffering as a stepping-stone rather than as a stumbling block. Healing begins when we can open ourselves to the possibility of a hidden gift within the suffering. There is no such thing as a problem without a gift for you in its hands. An oyster's first experience of a pearl is that of an irritating grain of sand that shouldn't be there.

Just as the pearl forms from an irritant in the oyster, we can discover great pearls of wisdom from those conditions that irritate us. The potential wisdom is already within us, but it may take an irritant to bring it forth. In dealing with our irritants skillfully, we discover something within us that we never before could see. Who would believe that the lowly oyster could produce such a great prize as the pearl?

We can't taste them, touch them, or see them, but thoughts are things. Real things. Although they originate in the brain, they are much more far-reaching than that. Thoughts are actually body-wide events! For example, let's consider for a moment what happens to the body when we think a fear thought. Asleep in our bed we're awakened by a strange noise downstairs. We sense trouble. The brain shouts "fear!

Large amounts of adrenalin are released, the heart rate increases, significant quantities of blood are diverted to the large muscles, digestion slows down, and pupils dilate, as the body prepares for "fight or flight. Or how about a joyful thought? Changes also take place in the body with joy-filled thoughts. In this case, body chemistry creates healthful physiological responses. Every cell of the body is connected either by nerves or by an intricate highway of blood to the brain. When we think a though—any thought—electrical impulses travel through the nerves and affect body cells.

Also, our thoughts trigger chemicals that are released in the brain and distributed through the blood vessels and the hundreds of miles of capillaries.

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Quite a communication system! When we realize that virtually every cell of the body is connected either directly or indirectly to the brain, we can easily understand how our thoughts can affect our physical health. How can they not? And if we think, "Nice job, I'm proud of myself," we are creating healthful 'Tm-proud-of-myself" chemistry in our bodies. It's as simple as that. Thoughts translate into body chemistry and affect us physically.

Whenever we think a thought. It's the largest audience in the world. It's important they get the "right" message. What kind of conversation do you carry on with yourself? What are you saying to yourself right now? These inner conversations are, of course, the thoughts you are thinking, the responses you are making, the attitudes you are accepting and projecting.

If you find your inner conversation with yourself running along negative lines, you have the power to change the subject, to think along different lines. This is where affirmations of Truth are wonderfully helpful.

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An affirmation of Truth can be like a conversation piece around which your thoughts center. An affirmation says simply and clearly that which is true and gives your thoughts a pattern, as it were, to follow. You can change your life by changing the way you think and feel. You are doing this day by day, thought by thought, as you watch the kind of conversation you have with yourself, as you answer any tendency to be negative or fearful or depressed with positive, healing, powerful reminders of Truth.

At any time you find yourself thinking in terms of weakness or ill-health, your affirmations of life and healing can be like a bracing conversation. The very cells of your body will listen to and accept ideas of life and strength. I am the healthy, free, perfect child of God. The life of God in me is now healing, restoring, and renewing every part.

I live in the eternal life of God. Sometimes when we think about others, especially those near and dear to us, we may not find it easy to be at peace about them. We may find ourselves thinking of their needs, we may find ourselves feeling anxious about their well-being, we may find ourselves frustrated and unhappy because there seems to be nothing we can do to help a dear one. This is when we need to take a key idea of Truth, an affirmation of Truth, and make it the focal point of our thinking, the focal point of our conversation with ourselves.

We are seeing past the appearances, past the personal self, to the Christ in that one. We are seeing him or her as he or she truly is, a child of God, a spiritual being. When we behold the Christ in others, we are declaring our faith in the Spirit of God in them. We may not be able to see how they are going to solve problems or how they are going to find the happiness they are seeking, but we can have faith in the Christ to guide them, to bring light to their minds, joy to their hearts, wisdom to their ways. And if we are concerned about their health, we can know that Christ in them is healing life, that a healing work is being done in them now.

Sometimes people will carry on internal conversations that downgrade self-worth and ability. They may think of themselves as lacking in ability, or as inferior to others.

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No matter how capable they are, or how much they are appreciated by others, the kinds of thoughts they are thinking will tend to negate it, in their own minds at least. Many persons have told us that they have been helped to accept a new thought about themselves through the day-by-day application of the ideas in Daily Word. One person said that an affirmation, which appeared one day in Daily Word , did just this for him. I like myself. I reign supreme in all the affairs of mind and body. But it is the truth! The more we think about and affirm our spiritual nature, the abler we are to express this nature, to be the kind of person we were created to be.

God created us in the Divine image and likeness, and God loves us! If you ever find yourself feeling down or depressed, you need to speak words of Truth to yourself that will change the trend of your thinking and feeling. Sometimes to think about just one word can be the starting point—a word like light or a word like joy. It is not natural for you to be down or depressed. Everything in you responds to thoughts and ideas that lift your thinking, that turn your thoughts away from darkness, that help you, like the Psalmist, to lift up your eyes unto the hills.

Of all the conversations we carry on with ourselves, the ones that go over and over the past, that remind us of what we said or did, or failed to do or say, or of what someone else said or did, or failed to do or say, are probably the most destructive. If ever we find ourselves dwelling on the past or wishing that we might have acted differently in some situation, let us remind ourselves that God sees us as growing and unfolding and learning. Let us not hold ourselves or anyone else in a thought of unforgiveness. Let us be willing to release old hurts; let us give up the thoughts that have made us feel unworthy.

We may think that we are unable to forgive the past, but Christ in us is able. Christ in us sets us free. I accept forgiveness. I forgive myself and others. I set my face in a new direction. Make it a good conversation, make it a true conversation, for the kind of ideas you give yourself, the kind of ideas you listen to, make all the difference in the kind of person you are, in the kind of experiences you have.

They make a difference in your health, happiness, and well-being. Keep your mind stayed on God, keep your mind stayed on truth, thought by thought. Let your inner conversations be as with the Christ, the God-self of you. Polly Campbell, best-selling author of Everyday Spirituality , speaks with Evelyn about how to create and develop a spiritual life in the midst of the mundane and ordinary.

Polly explains how one needs not be a monk, yogi, or spiritual master to find peace in the day, as all it takes is a moment of shifting your awareness of the present moment. There would be a fancy limo in the driveway one night, and an ambulance the next. Watching her depression unfold while living a fantasy life most people dream of, I realized that nothing outside myself could bring me happiness. And happiness was all I wanted. I walked around constantly on guard, waiting for the worst to happen. I believed if I could get control of the things that related to me, then life would be okay.

But I chose to control the wrong things, such as trying to perfect my body, instead of focusing on trying to control my thoughts. I wound up working for MTV, where I discovered yoga while producing a fitness video. At first I was skeptical. The teacher started class with a slow flow sequenced to perfection, then moved into more advanced poses with such amazing instruction that soon I felt like a Cirque du Soleil performer.

At the end of the class, she guided us through a meditation focused on finding happiness and being content with what is. I thought meditation was for people who sat in caves wearing robes, so I was surprised to realize it could be done by anyone, anytime, anywhere. The physical element of the practice made my body feel great—after all, yoga increases flexibility, muscle strength, lung capacity, and endurance, among many other benefits.

But more profound was the effect learning to meditate had on my mental health. The real goal of yoga is to keep the fluctuations of the mind at bay, no matter what. By practicing mindfulness, paying attention to the present moment without judgment, you can choose to be in a state of peace, no matter what is happening around you. So whenever I found myself sitting in traffic for an extended period of time, for example, I chose to be mindful that I was stuck in one place, not moving, without judging it or getting irritated about it as if that would get me to my destination any faster.

My yoga practice taught me how to sit with uncomfortable feelings, and it allowed me to stop and breathe, probably for the first time in my entire life. Once I made it my goal to look inside instead of outside, everything else clicked into place and I was able to create new thought patterns that worked better. Pre-yoga, nothing I ever did was enough. I thought I needed to control my food more, exercise more, and basically be more.

But afterward, I realized I had the choice to be happy for no reason. Do I really need to yell at my son for dropping his backpack right in front of the door again? Or can I take a moment to breathe, thinking about the most appropriate way to respond such as reminding him to put the backpack on the hook, where it belongs? The bottom line: Yoga teaches how to be in the world, but not be affected by it. When we learn to let go of past conditioning and accept what is, then we are content during all of it—the good, the bad, and the ugly.

It just means learning to live in the present, without foreshadowing drama in the future because of something horrible that may have happened in the past.

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When my husband lost his job a few years ago, for example, I was able to keep from falling back into my old thinking pattern. If that had happened 10 years ago, I would have gone straight into panic mode. Now, I get it that happiness comes from the inside, and that my biggest challenges are really just in my head. One of the most important things we can do for ourselves is take time out for prayer—finding comfort in the presence of God. This original song, music by Rich Fagan and Chris Clarke, with lyrics by Rich Fagan, Chris Clarke, and Richard Mekdeci vocalist , showcases the powerful effect affirmative prayer can have on the world.

Eat more fruits and vegetables. Make green smoothies. Start your green smoothie with nondairy milk, such as almond or coconut, and toss in a half-cup of blueberries and one banana having either of these frozen makes for a thicker, milkshake-like consistency. Throw in a teaspoon or two of ground flax seed for omega 3 fatty acids. Moran also suggests adding protein to your smoothie by adding protein powder.

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Start juicing. Midafternoon, instead of reaching for a cup of coffee and a cookie, Moran suggests drinking juice instead. She means make your own juice—or go to a juice bar. To make your own, buy a juicer that can handle greens, such as kale. Add a half-dozen stalks of kale or collards stems and all , an apple and a peeled lemon. Start your day with Meditation and Exercise ME. Does the order matter? She says no. Moran pulls this tip from Ayurveda, a system of medicine that originated in India thousands of years ago.

Bedtime is best between p. Get some sunlight. Certainly protect your skin, but also get out in the sunlight a little every day and open the shades. Make yourself as happy as you possibly can. Volunteer for an organization with children or at a local animal shelter. Stress not only impacts your happiness, but your health.

The American Academy of Family Physicians reports that two-thirds of all doctor visits are due to stress-related ailments. Study after study has found that women suffer from both stress and depression more often than men. For some of us, our biggest stressors might be weather-related situations, such as tornadoes, earthquakes, floods, fires and hurricanes. Similarly, for most of us, we get stressed out thinking of deadlines and commitments, but stress has many other causes.

It can be triggered by emotions—anger, fear, worry, grief, depression or even guilt. And stress can actually lead to high blood pressure, heart problems, fatigue, muscle and joint pain, headaches and other illnesses and chronic health conditions. If you want to avoid these problems, here are my favorite eight tips to reduce stress, promote relaxation, and bring a sacred balance back into your body and world.

Redirect your energies inward— Stress is a major problem in modern life. Technological advances have increased the pressure to keep busy, even during leisure hours. We talk on the telephone while we drive, watch television while we read, conduct business while we listen to the radio.

By slowing down and redirecting your energies inward, not only will you train your brain to relax, you will begin to reestablish the wholesome sense of self-worth necessary to positively change your life. Get moving! Want proof? A study … shows that patients who took a vigorous walk and raised their heart rates to more than beats per minute reduced the tension in their bodies by 20 percent.

Meditate and breathe deeply. Spend at least 15 minutes here first thing in the morning and before going to bed. Sit and close your eyes and focus on your breathing. Inhale and exhale slowly and deeply, focusing on the sound and rhythm of your breathing. Mentally visualize peace and calmness. Your day will start and end on a stress-free note. Eat a stress-relieving diet. Can what you eat really help relieve stress? You bet! Take stress off your digestive system by eating at least seven servings of fresh fruits and vegetables, which are high in water content and, therefore, easily digestible.

Especially beneficial are antioxidant-rich leafy greens, such as romaine lettuce, spinach, Swiss chard, kale and collards. Also, to benefit from an array of antioxidants, choose an array of colors when it comes to your fruits and vegetables. Keep your body hydrated. Each day we need to drink at least eight glasses of water. At a cellular level, dehydration makes us as droopy as a neglected violet. Although herbal tea, freshly extracted vegetable juice and diluted fruit juice can count in the water tally, coffee, tea, colas and alcoholic beverages actually dehydrate the body.

We need to maintain proper fluid balance for brain and kidney function to rid the body of waste material and toxins and to maintain radiant health. Catch plenty of Zzzs. Laugh a lot. Worried about something? Whatever it is, one way to mollify this stress is to make sure your life is filled with laughter. According to researchers, laughter releases endorphins into the body that act as natural stress beaters. In fact, a good belly laugh gives your heart muscles a good workout, improves circulation, fills your lungs with oxygen-rich air, clears your respiratory passages, stimulates alertness hormones, helps relieve pain, and counteracts fear, anger and depression, all of which are linked to illness and stress.

Be thankful—and reap the health benefits. Each and every day, take a moment and be grateful for all you have in life.

30-Day Gratitude Challenge

Gratitude, after all, is a great stress-buster. What you think about consistently brings more of the same into your life. So focusing on the positive, even during difficult times, is the best way to reduce and alleviate stress and transform your life. In my early twenties, I attended Morehouse College, primarily because Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Later I went on to the University of Southern California, becoming very involved in several groups that were protesting the war in Vietnam. I looked around the room at each individual and knew that because there was so much ego involvement, we could not succeed in changing the world.

I left the meeting never to return.

  1. Through the Blinds (Looking at the Moon Book 4);
  2. 30-Day Gratitude Challenge;
  3. Search form.
  4. Il mio impero è nellaria (Italian Edition)?
  5. Daily Bible Devotions.
  6. The very next week someone from that meeting shot another man over a power struggle. I was still pretty wild at this time in my life—sharing marijuana with people and selling it to others, but I was about to experience a spiritual awakening. In a dream state, I saw my own death. However, there was a drug delivery in my home—the only time I had ever had drugs stored there. I planned to get rid of it, but before I could make an arrangement, I was arrested and taken to jail.

    My inner voice told me not to worry because the life of drugs was over for me and I was going to be free. So all during the time when I was waiting for the court proceedings, I read books on meditation and spirituality, totally unconcerned about this world. During my court appearance, the judge asked the arresting officer why he had raided my house.

    The officer testified that an informant had said that a dope deal was going down there. Beckwith, I have learned there was no informant. I agree that the evidence was hearsay, so I have no other choice but to set you free. I hope I never see you in my courtroom again. As I returned home, the wind was blowing with great velocity. Standing outside my home, I looked up at the weather vane on top of the house next door. I watched the arrow hold steady, pointing in the opposite direction from me. I knew that the direction of my life had changed also. With tears streaming down my face, I surrendered my life to God.

    That new direction led me to studying Eastern and Western mysticism. I developed a strong prayer and meditation practice that eventually led me to becoming a minister and founding my own spiritual community.