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6 Dec 2019

Holidaze

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Navigating Holiday Stresshttps://us12.campaign-archive.com/feed?u=f144922f5799263eef2f41964&id=dc1c6c1f8e

27 Nov 2019

Is Sleep the Sacrificial Lamb to Achieving Success?

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I’m at the University of Richmond wrapping up my class on “Sleep & College.” This semester has been very rewarding and challenging at the same time. It has taught me more patience and appreciation for what my students go through each day. I met with one of them recently, to review her journals. Seeing that she only accumulated a total of 33 hours of sleep in one week, (which is an average of 4.7 hours a night), I was quite troubled. Her feelings that were recorded in her journal 4 days out of 7, were “very stressed!” She had increased her water daily, per one of my suggestions, but her energy level was also low 4 out of 7 days and exhaustion was more than apparent. I’m seeing this regularly and this is what I call survival mode. Here is my question: How long do you think someone can continue in this state of being? Does this look anything like your schedule or edify how you are feeling? The pressure of school along with the social ilk of today, our young people almost don’t stand a chance against poor health. Furthermore, I’m hearing about this behavior in middle schoolers! They don’t sleep, suffer from anxiety, stomach aches, headaches, depression and a lack of self-worth. This has to stop!

For some of my students, sleep loss started in grade school! I’ve seen firsthand how the students’ culture shapes what they consider to be important. Especially the high-achieving students who buy into the idea that they are what they do! Their productivity does come first and foremost, which stems from their core values or belief system, even if that means depriving themselves of something as valuable as sleep. I see the consequences in their journals they keep for my class. During this 6-week journey, they chart everything from their emotions, exercise, energy level, environment, eating and sleeping habits. It’s tough to see that their well-being is dependent on whether they are getting rewards and achievements. Such as, receiving those A’s, getting that internship, or hopefully landing that dream job and what has been ultimately been sacrificed in order to reach those goals. It’s a shame that society views us individually as a worthwhile human, if and only if; we are successful, powerful, wealthy, or have reached a certain status.

One of my students wrote a paper, that was titled: “I’m Not Allowed to Sleep”. I found this very disturbing. A professor actually told her, “Sleeping will hinder your success.” So, what are we teaching the next generation? The student goes on to say that this notion has pushed her, and many students follow suit with warning her that sleep will interfere with being successful. This dogma has followed this student her whole life. She is not sure she is even qualified to classify herself as sleep deprived, because she does take a lot of naps. Since high school, she has never gone to bed before 11pm. Upon entering college, she can recall on one hand, how many times she felt energetic or ready for her daily tasks after awakening. The pattern is to go to bed around 2 am, and there isn’t a set time when she wakes up. Whether it is 7am or 1pm, her actions are slow, her brain doesn’t work very well, and she says that the world doesn’t seem real (literally because her sight sometimes is unclear). She would tell herself that as long as she got a descent number of hours of sleep, everything would be OK. But reality is proving this to be wrong, and the later she got to bed the more exhausted she would feel the next day. She wonders why she cannot go to bed earlier. Could it be that this pattern was developed back in high school? In high school this young lady would finish up her day around 10:30pm. She would go back to the dorm to do her homework, socialize and ended up going to bed around 12am; then would wake up around 6:30am. What’s interesting is that 12 midnight was once thought of as the middle of the night. Now, it is the time when we begin to wind down.

What does this mean and how can we go to bed earlier? Matthew Walker is a renowned author, professor and sleep expert at University of California, Berkeley that explains how our sleep has evolved. He has studied indigenous Indians and their sleeping habits. These hunter gatherer tribes go to bed around 8-9pm, because this is the time when the earth or land is cooling down. They aren’t influenced by other external factors and naturally wake up with the sun. It’s almost like they are in sync with the rhythms of nature. But we live in the 21st century and the onset of the digital era. The middle of the solar night (12pm) has now become the beginning of night. We are checking Facebook for the last time, sending an email or that last text before we close our eyes. Not only has the duration of our sleep decreased through the influence of modern times, but also when we are sleeping has dramatically shifted too. Light is a key trigger and so is temperature of sleep organization and sleep depth. Both are dependent on our core temperature dropping. But we’re not getting those thermal cues like those mention previously that are more in tuned with nature. Our body’s aren’t getting the signals they need because of thermostatic regulation of our environmental temperatures. With thermal manipulation we can improve insomnia by augmenting the core temperature, like taking a shower which can help with the onset of sleep. “Sleep is the Swiss Army Knife of Health” according to Matthew Walker. He says that no matter what the ailment there is something more than likely in the armament of sleep’s toolbox, that deals with any disease. He has been quoted as saying “The shorter your sleep, the shorter your life.”

My conundrum is how do I communicate the importance of sleep when there is so little reverence placed on this nighttime activity. Another student decided to write his paper on why he thought there was too much emphasis being placed on the importance of sleep. He didn’t see the need, nor did he understand why this class was stressing the significance of a good night’s sleep.  His argument was that there were a lot of successful individuals that have reached the pinnacle of success and accomplished their own idiosyncratic apex within their field of expertise on very little sleep. Many top executives and leaders swear by skipping out on shut eye time. Some might be part of the “sleepless elite” others are just good at masking the effects of exhaustion. Jack Dorsey, Twitter founder and Square CEO has said that in 2011, he was spending eight to ten hours a day at Twitter and eight to ten hours a day at Square. That left him with somewhere around 4-6 hours a night to sleep. In an interview with The New York Times, a tearful Elon Musk acknowledged to the reporter that his near-24/7 work schedule at Tesla for the past year, was not good for his kids, nor the sleep deprivation his overwork was creating. Tom Ford a fashion designer and director, does not attribute his success to talent, but says it’s due to his energy. It must be intense, considering he only sleeps three hours a night! Tim Armstrong, CEO of AOL, tries to get six hours of sleep but often ends up operating on less.

If we not edifying professional entrepreneurs or the famous icons of our time on how their sacrificial sleep loss attributed to their success, what about parents? What kind of example are they setting for their children? I often see clients, (mostly women), juggling their roles as mother, student, wife, solopreneur, family manager, cook, maid, chauffeur and chief bottle washer. They are breastfeeding their child while typing emails with the other hand. When asked how they do it, the candid response is, “Lots of coffee.” We all have the same 24 hours and the opportunity to use our time wisely. When we place a value on these tasks, we start sacrificing our personal and family time. Prioritizing one task over another ultimately helps us accomplish what is needed and is the key to successfully navigating our days, but at what price? My fear is that sleep will continue to fall to the bottom of our list. Maybe, if we start with understanding the role of sleep and its benefits, we might not only live to be successful but also be healthy enough to enjoy the spoils of our endeavors! “The science is clear. What it tells us is that, there’s simply no way you can make good decisions and achieve your world-changing ambitions while running on empty.” Eventually you will hit a wall. Hopefully before that happens you will have already set up a system in place and the tools needed to help you avoid burnout or worse, disease.

29 Jul 2019

Rediscovering the Child Within

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Where did she go? I can remember building my sandcastles, playing in the water and collecting seashells. It was like all of a sudden, the little girl that was so full of laughter, joy and life was nowhere to be found. Someone who was once was so excited about life and pursuing her dreams had gone on vacation and never returned. Was she still there? How do I find her again? What if all the supposed problems and discomfort I was feeling, were only memories? The most important question I needed to ask myself was; “Are you ready to stop punishing yourself?”

What if it’s all an illusion. The mechanistic pieces of the puzzle we are trying to put together so desperately each day. I’m always trying to dissect things and figure out why they happen. Yes, I was that insatiable child that was always asking the question: “Why?” Maybe I’m not supposed to figure out why it happened; just accept the conditions of the present, or the NOW, so that I can understand the “What” part and not the “Why!” What is it I’m hoping to gain from this outcome? Life had caused me to want to desire, to dream big. How can I change the physical through metaphysical means? Tap into my subconscious energy, heal and strengthen my esoteric world?

Do we have to endure pain in order to appreciate the good? I was in a deep well drowning in my own sorrow. Climbing out wasn’t going to be an easy task, but I was tired of not enjoying life. When did I decide that it was acceptable to suffer through the past over and over again? The Emotion Code has been instrumental in helping me to release past trauma. Letting go or what I like to call defragging by utilizing the Sedona Method has taken me to a new level of understanding how to heal. Trusting my heart, my mind so that I can enter my sacred space has taken me beyond my own expectations and allowed me to increase or expand the blessings of my spirit. Standing in awe of the incredible beauty of a sunset on a beach, hearing the waves crash onto the sand, feeling the warm sun upon my face, brings tears to my eyes. When did I stop drinking in these extraordinary moments? Once I allowed myself to be still, I began to download the information I had access to all along. I started to receive messages from the universe, or answers to the questions I had been asking.

After burning myself out for the second time, I decided to go on a journey. A journey that would take me far beyond my own ego, the limits of my own mind and passed an invisible boundary thus revealing my true self. What if like Dorothy in “The Wizard of Oz”, I’ve had that power all along; “there is no place like home” or there is no place like my sacred space. It didn’t require me to get in the car, on a plane, train or bus. I would soon learn, that it began within. A journey that some might call a spiritual path. In search of how to heal the physical self I would have to open my mind to unlimited possibilities. The mind is like a parachute, it works best when it’s open! Learning to trust more and having faith in my creator, would be my greatest achievement spiritually. Letting go of the false beliefs that have kept me from living my best self, was likened to being released from the invisible shackles or prison where I was being held captive. Finally allowing myself to experience hedonic joy and expand into the person I was meant to be by jumping off the “train of pain.”

Through meditation one evening I met her. It was a guided meditation with David Young. He set the stage that we were on a beach. As we began to move towards the water, we could see a ship. It was an ancient wooden ship with large sails, that creaked as it rocked back and forth on the waves. I began to step into the blue-green water of the ocean. It was warm and calming and reminded me of my childhood days. The boarding plank was lowered into the water and a figure dressed in a white robe helped me onto the ship. I then saw a young woman with sandy blonde hair. It was long and wavy, similar to mine. We were off and sailing the wide-open ocean. I said to this woman, “What is your name?” I asked her if she was a mermaid, or a Thalassophile (someone who loves the sea or ocean), but she didn’t answer me.  We dropped anchor and went onto a beach. We built sandcastles, played ring- around-the-rosy and enjoyed the sun-drenched day. When it was time to leave, and I was left standing on the beach waving goodbye, I asked again, “Who are You?” She waved and said, “I’m you, come find me!”

Sometimes I hear a still small voice. Not an audible voice, a gentle nudge or a visit from one of God’s small creatures. Attempting to ignore the inclination and stop what I’m doing, I reason that it’s nothing and pay it no attention. Then it comes back. I wonder how many times I’ve ignored what I think is insignificant and missed a message from God? Was this a call for me to stop waging in the war of life, to stop fighting for a moment and just be still so I can hear? I now stop what I’m doing and listen, so that I might receive his spiritual gifts! What an awesome revelation these experiences of connecting with my inner child have given me! Taking the road less traveled is not easy but it has taught me invaluable lessons. We do have a choice to allow God’s grace to bless our lives. I pray that my eyes, ears and heart are open, and I stop limiting his gifts. Taking the time to be still so I can receive the impulses from the universe is what finally taught me how to trust my intuition and lastly to let everything go! Now, I’m just following the breadcrumbs!

1 Jun 2019

Discovering New Opportunities Within

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Introspection and discovering my true self from within I’ve come to the conclusion that, we are all part of the same consciousness. My beingness goes far beyond the physicality and conditions of life to unlimited and renewable possibilities of energy. We are multi-dimensional beings. Beings of energy, frequency and vibration. We all are here trying to find the answers to these philosophical questions; who am I, why am I here and what is my purpose? What is the key to understanding life? Inner evolution has taught me an invaluable lesson in caring for myself these past 2 years. How can I help others if my cup is empty? Learning to surrender and free fall into God’s arms has freed me and is now healing my spirit which feeds my mind, and in turn heals my body.

While experiencing sound healing recently I was reminded that there is divine timing for everything. The universe is sending me impulses that I can only receive when I take the time to be still and listen. If I’m too busy efforting, then I miss the messages that my creator sends me. What if healing cannot take place because we aren’t allowing or accepting of the gifts we are given? Our timing and vibration must be cultivated in order to harmonize with our desires! During this healing I saw the image of a tree in the desert. It was interpreted as my tree of life. In the tree were two doves. When I researched the symbolism of the doves this is what I found.

Dove imagery can be heralding the end of a problematic cycle in your life, by announcing a time of new worlds and opportunities opening up to you. It can also be used as a symbol of a promise or covenant. In the bible, the dove is a reoccurring symbol that is used in multiple stories to represent the purity of Christ, or God’s promises. They represent a symbol of the Holy Spirit, Mother Mary, and peace, a divine messenger. The dove also embodies clarity, inspired thought, baptism, the waters of creation, and what I recognize as the celestial energy part of me.

What is energy? Energy is a part of us and all around us; it is the esoteric part of our being. Where does it come from? I learned about energy or the science of energy 17 years ago, but it wasn’t until lately that I began to question if I could manipulate that energy. Learning how to tap into my energy field has been the biggest eye-opening experience because we can’t see it smell it taste it or touch it, so how can we access that energy and use it to help us heal? If everything is energy, why not create something extraordinary? Let go of the past memories, regrets, of the tendency to think “if only I could change my encounters.” Simply accept what has happened since it can’t be changed anyway. Let go also of thoughts of the future. Don’t allow your mind to think about plans or projects. Observe your underlying feelings about the future. Let go of expectations and the anxiety that inevitably accompanies them. Be completely in the “here and now.” Then you will feel the deep peace which accompanies inner silence and gives us a sense of satiety.

If it’s true that we are never empty, what are you holding on to? Do we need to let go of past hurt or trauma? Carl Jung believed that what remains unconscious does not dissolve, but rather resurfaces in our lives as fate or fortune. “Whatever does not emerge as Consciousness,” he said, “returns as Destiny.” In other words, we’re more than likely to keep repeating our unconscious patterns until we bring them into the light of awareness. He further noted that whatever is too difficult to process does not fade away on its own, but rather is stored in our unconscious. Is fear sabotaging our energy, abundance, relationships, security, and behaviors? It’s all about healing the whole self, so how do I stop inviting fear, lack, anger from coming into my existence? What about nature?

We often forget that we are nature. Nature is not something separate from us. So, when we say we have lost our connection to nature, we’ve really lost our connection to ourselves! Healing comes from a profound place within, a sacred place. There we transcend daily life and find peace. Look within to find the inner self. Have you found your healing place? Syncing up with the oceans tide, I’m grounded and reconnected to nature. When my mind nourishes my body with carefree thoughts and feelings, my body returns to its natural state of happiness and from this tranquil place I’m able to re-claim the memory of who and what I really am. A spiritual being interrelated with the creative power of the universe, where there are unlimited possibilities and renewable energies!

It is easy to lose our way or question why we are here. Finding purpose is something I think we all strive to do but I would always get stuck on the why part. It wasn’t until deep meditation I found my sacred place. I found peace and was reunited with my creator. Learning to be thankful for every second I’m alive and given another day to make a difference in someone’s life! Thank you for your grace, wisdom and helping me to achieve a higher consciousness with you! Faith and trust set the stage for the Lord to help us, and it’s our own unbelief that keeps us from receiving from him what we need. We should endeavor to stop limiting God. All things are given unto us, but we still have to do the taking or receiving. The spirit has not withheld good from us; it is our own ignorance that causes us to encounter    fear in the first place.

Open my eyes so I might drink in all of life’s wonderment that surrounds me. Widen the vision of my unseeing eyes as to discover the beauty within everyone I meet. Give me perception to make me aware of life’s precious gifts that I pass by daily but seldom see. Allow me to recognize the heart that is much like my own and experience joy, harmony and peace with each passing day. Allow me to walk the spirit path and re-establish that trust with the infinite that resides inside. Help me to discover the new opportunities within, so that I can defrag, recalibrate and reboot my energy system with the passing of each glorious Sun! Namaste!

21 Feb 2019

In Search of the Perfect Wave

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What do I want and why am I here?

The ocean is a perfect representation of a bridge between the conscious and unconscious mind. The calmer the ocean indicates a feeling of peace and tranquility, whereas a turbulent ocean may indicate a resistance toward the connection between minds. The ocean is the symbolism of a mother, in psychology terms. It can help the dreamer recall a time where they were safe, secure and taken care of. There are many cultures that view the ocean as the origin of all life forms. The ocean is also a symbol of life itself.

Introspection and inner evolution have taught me an invaluable lesson in caring for myself this past year and a half. How can I help others if my cup is empty? Learning to surrender and free fall into God’s arms has freed me and is now healing my spirit which feeds my mind, and in turn heals my body! What are you doing today to heal your spirit? Being aware of what’s up in our body can be a vital way of adjusting to and managing our lives. Utilizing scanning or muscle testing is a great way to discern what area of living is out of balance so we can tip the scale towards well-being.

My journey began with a simple question: had I ever really created any love for myself, or was it hidden underneath a layer of false admiration for others? Through reflection and a mindful shift, I was able to rediscover my sacred space where self-love was buried. It was right where I had left it, perfectly hiding in plain sight, there in my heart! When I started to forgive myself and others for the shortcomings, I mistakenly saw, only then was I able to redirect my attention to new belief systems that would produce innovative and clarifying results.

Transcendence is the emergence and validation of our knowledge of being. Finding one’s true self. How can we attain this? What methodologies help us to achieve this state of being? Through my journey of mindfulness, I was introduced to meditation. A truly incredible modality that helps shift the autonomic system into a parasympathetic response. My body finds the resonance it needs through the frequency of silence. It defrags my body’s energy patterns, cleans them up and reboots or recalibrates my body’s energy system. Our spirit/ mind/body goes into alignment and gratitude. Our advanced nervous system depends on balancing our emotions, a stress less environment in order to create remission, which means to remember your mission! Self-regulation and healing support the body by getting us out of our own mind! Heal the inner experience so you can live in the outer world!

How do you describe something that is indescribable? Chasing that perfect moment riding the wave to the most transcendental peaceful place. The struggle is over and there is no more resistance. Emptiness no longer grabs my soul. Paradise is finding the peace within. I’ve ridden my wave. My life is changed forever, because it was the wave of a lifetime, but where am I now? What is my purpose? In searching for the meaning of life, I found God’s grace. A wave of light, liquid light, wave after wave of love. I’ve run out of things to ask forgiveness for and he continues to send unconditional love to me. Healing my whole self is a journey of self-love, that I have been searching for my entire life.

Have you caught your wave yet? I have found my perfect wave and continue to ride it every day! I’m flooded with God’s unconditional waves of love! My search has ended and what was once dis-ease is now replaced with peace, love and light!

17 Dec 2018

Manifesting Our Dreams

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One of my favorite movies is “Field of Dreams.” Maybe it’s the symbolism that the dreamer enters into what could be an abundant phase of life but has a problem that must be solved first. The field is being considered as an embodiment of maternal and fertility, the solidarity with the forces of nature. It might be that the key lesson here is that our journey is not just about us reaching our own essential healing, but also helping others to reach theirs.

Get busy! Get moving! Get on that frenzied hamster treadmill. Nothing robs the peace and joy from our lives more than constant busyness. That busyness for us may be veiled as some super-important drive for excellence, or some kind of way to work out our desires. But in the end, it comes down to just plain fear-driven, can’t-stop-moving, don’t-want-to-deal-with-it, got-to-please-everyone busyness. Is the belief that hard work to the point of stress, the answer to a more fulfilling life? Yes, a positive work ethic is necessary, but do you want to go beyond living in the moment narrowly focused on individual effort?

The more important question is how do we let go of fear and learn to trust in surrender and grace and follow the voice? A journey that may require much more than a leap of faith, it could be a walk that doesn’t call us to pursue our own passions or desires; rather, it calls us away from them. It calls us to mortgage those dreams, to sacrifice them, to risk them all for the sake of what the voice would have us pursue instead.

I grew up in a hard-working blue-collar family. We were brought up on the belief system that discipline, perseverance, the value of creating a plan, goals, laying out the milestones and then go to work executing what you had conceived, was the strategy to being successful. There came a point in my journey when I began to ask myself, “Is this as good as it gets?” “Is this it?” This can’t be the best I can do. There must be more. Then, the unimaginable happened. My thyroid went off the reservation. It was in overdrive and knocked the wind right out of my sails and literally out of my lungs. I was breathless. My life had become meaningless and I didn’t even realize what was happening. Not to mention, the spiritual erosion my daily distractions were causing and the physical damage that now was taking place. I had maxed out my human capabilities.

Then it dawned on me while lying exhausted one evening; you get introspective when things don’t work out the way you think they ought to. In times of suffering, the questions aren’t far behind. At first, I asked the typical, why me? But eventually, I began to ask different questions, what do I need to learn from this experience? Is God trying to tell me something? I could continue being frustrated, sick, and take life as it comes, maybe try desperately to regain control or just give up. My current methods to achieve happiness and success obviously weren’t working. Then, I discovered a spiritual philosophy and began to meditate. I learned how to call forth divine substance. The invisible force from which all things are created. Some might call it source energy or a vibration of what we want to manifest. This was a renaissance in conscious thinking! A new paradigm shift where I could let go of the beliefs that were holding me back! “The bridge between manifesting and surrender is in the willingness to define “what” we want and let go of “how” it shows up.”

Now, I had the power, skills and talents to manifest my desires. This was revolutionary to me and gave me infinite potential to create the life of my dreams and healing was not only possible but achievable. The only limitation in manifesting this was in my own mind. There are moments when inspiration and creativity go beyond anything I could have ever imagined. All I have to do is create the conditions, plant the seeds, and fertilize the soil where all of these experiences of grace can grow allowing me to live an extraordinary life!

Whether it is a corn field or a baseball field, finding redemption or another chance to engage in the game of life and live out your dreams; self-discovery is vital to living an authentic life. “Go the distance” with a passion for the game because you love it, not for the money or fame but for all we remember that is good!
“Is this Heaven?”
“It’s Iowa”
“Iowa?”
“Yeah.”
“I could have sworn it was Heaven.”
“Is there a Heaven?”
“Oh yeah…it’s the place dreams come true.”
“Maybe this is Heaven.”

7 May 2018

Sands of Time

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What does it mean to be “In the Sand Trap?” If you play golf it means: “an artificial hazard on a golf course consisting of a depression containing sand.” When we step up to the tee to drive the ball down the fairway of life, we anticipate hitting the green, maybe even making a hole in one but, we all find ourselves in the sand trap now and then. Getting out of the sand takes perseverance and determination.

Is it a bit foolish to go through life knowing that the sand castles we’re building will eventually be swept up by the waves? Our instinct reminds us of this but, we endeavor to create our beautiful architecture in the sand with the understanding that we make the most of each day regardless of the outcome. It’s the realization that in this journey, the skill we achieve is really our true destination.

Sand is often used as a metaphor for the passing of time. As another year passes, with the anniversary of Mother’s Day and, my mother’s celebration in heaven, I wanted to focus on the hourglass being half full. It was after all, her passing that gave me life again. It reminds me that every moment, I have a small opportunity of time to choose a great attitude and, to live each day to its fullest. Creating a quality of life for me and everyone I meet, is my mission. It took losing her to open my closed heart to love and, ultimately live my authentic self.

My mother always said she was a realistic optimist, that was until the cancer came back for the 3rd time. She was my hero. Even in the darkest and lowest point of her life she still managed to see the positive in everything. My faith was rocked when she passed. I prayed for her pain and suffering to come to end and, I had resigned myself to that fact but, mostly I wanted her to be at peace. That was when I decided to have a conversation with God. I wanted to know why? What did her death accomplish other than creating such sadness in my life?

I didn’t expect an answer but, I received what I think was God’s response to my arrogant question. My positive life was beginning to unravel. What used to bring me joy, was no longer important. Even my family noticed, I wasn’t happy. I had crawled into my own sorrow and, things desperately needed to change. It wasn’t about me anymore, it was about how I could love others unconditionally. It was my first wakeup call!

Wisdom will come to you in the unlikeliest of sources, a lot of time through failure. When you hit rock bottom, remember this, while you’re struggling, rock bottom can also be a great foundation on which to build your sandcastles and grow. How are you living in the grand scheme of things? Don’t judge yourself! Show up early and, whatever you do, do it well! Do the right thing and, honor those who have gone before you!

Right now, I’m remembering our cottage on the Rappahannock River and, building my dreams in the sand. I can see my mom in her homemade apron and, I can smell the sweet aroma of her baking something delicious. She was always in the kitchen cooking her amazing pound cake or, a holiday meal fit for a king. Thanks mom for your unequivocal positive outlook and, teaching me the lessons of life, even though you are doing it from your sandcastle in heaven now!
Happy Mother’s Day!

20 Feb 2018

Driftwood

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my driftwood

What meaning might I derive from this old piece of wood that drifted into my life? Is there some intrinsic value here? Driftwood is defined as: “Wood that has been washed onto a shore or beach of a sea, lake, or river by the action of winds, tides or waves. It is a form of marine debris or tidewrack. In some waterfront areas, driftwood is a major nuisance.” Water is essential for all plant and animal life.

The symbolism of water has a universal undertone of purity and fertility. In some cultures, water is considered an aspect of wisdom, more specifically a higher wisdom that we may all aspire to mimic. The idea here is that water takes on the form in which it is held and moves in the path of least resistance. The wood might be a metaphor for creation, or the Universe, life or death, a tree, or maybe the Earth.

But what caused them to unite and why? Where was it going or drifting to? I believe it represents the eternal relationship between wood and water, forest and sea, water nourishing wood and wood releasing the power of water. It indicates the ever-present moment, which was once the past, now the present, future-wonderment and mystery all infused in the human psyche from the far-outer reaches of infinite life, that we call “the Universe.”

cottage driftwoodAll this from a piece of driftwood? I am just now discovering what it means to be me. My thoughts during meditating sometimes don’t make sense until I let go of the physicality of the images and take a deeper gaze into its meaning. I remember why I kept this particular piece of driftwood for so many years. It came from a picture window that had individual panes, that housed many different pieces of driftwood. It was in a cottage, you arrived at from a dirt laced country road that held the most treasured memories. It was our home away from home. Every weekend, we all piled into the 1965 Chevrolet station wagon and headed to the Rivah. Translation: I’m from Virginia which sounds more elegant and we have a lot of Rivers; we love’em, live on ‘em and talk about ‘em with pride! Ok, it reminds me of my mom! She picked up most of the driftwood and placed them all in this picture window outlooking the Rappahannock River. She had a deep reverence for nature and saw such beauty in everything.

Maybe the take away here, is unconditional love. After all that is said and done, we learn from our parents. We hope our children will remember the little things that made our lives so special. I’m finding that when revisiting the past, I’m learning how to live in the present. The less and less I’m able to see my mom’s face, the less it hurts not having her here. Who would think something so insignificant as a piece of driftwood would bring such revelation to me about understanding the true meaning of how to achieve a higher consciousness.

As I continue my spiritual journey, the more I gravitate to be near water. Each time I listen to the ocean waves, it seems to be a representation of metamorphosis for me. The highpoint is finding the esoteric symbolism of water’s meaning, which has given me a new appreciation for emotion, intuition and the interconnected flow of energy between all things.

4 Jan 2018

Finding the Pearls

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While meditating this morning, I was reminded of a parable about the pearl. “The pearl is the only “jewel” that is the result of a living organism growing as a response to irritation and it is removed from its place of growth to become an item of adornment!”

pearlThe pearl alone is beautifully formed through suffering in the heart of the oyster unlike a precious stone which must be cut and polished to reveal its clarity and beauty. The pearl is perfect as it comes from the oyster without having to refine it.

Understanding how to love the imperfect me was a powerful message I received recently after experiencing sound therapy. Embracing surrender and letting go of fear and control, which is a delusion that I’m in control in the first place. Jesus take the wheel is my new-found release and solution to unrealistic limitations I create and place on myself!

What exactly does this all mean? Interpretation is in the eye of the beholder. As for me, I believe that the meaning is about gaining wisdom. Learning to polish and refine my silver so that others might see God’s image reflected in me. The interesting fact that the pearl comes from irritation was my eureka moment. It is my defining moment of my own human experience in reflecting on my journey.

Self-awareness of my pain, injustices and suffering are all being used as an irritation which will show me how I’m doing so far in the grand scheme of things. The intensity of my own pain had made me unable to see beyond the wounds. Feeling a deeper compassion for someone else’s pain, only then could I be truly healed.

Meditation and prayer isn’t so I can handle the darkness, I do it, so I can handle the light. In response to humanity’s prayers, the force of light that is flowing in reply is overwhelming to our system. Are we emotionally ready to receive the miracles we deserve? Here is a quote by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., “We need a quantitative change in our souls as well as a quantitative change in our lives.”

This poses the question, am I living my life at 100 percent? If I’m only at 70 percent, where is the other 30% going? Is that potential stored away until I’m ready to manifest it? How can I reclaim the possibilities I failed to utilize? Somewhere I lost the ability to grow in certain areas and this seems to have caused me to flat line. My intuitiveness or empathic-ness has been a blessing and a curse. Carrying the weight of the collective consciousness is suppressing my better self.

It’s no wonder I feel so emotionally drained! These are critical times and I sense I’m not the only one feeling this way. Now is the time to get sober! We need to awaken from the stupor of our past and regain our potential that hasn’t yet been applied. In the realm of consciousness every miracle we work, we do so to better us all. By demonstrating grace in every tragedy, we are lifted-up and create an authentic life worth living.

 

11 Oct 2017

Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep

Posted by Lisa. No Comments

I was reading an article today that talked about kids and suicide and that there has been a 50% increase in clinical level depression between 2011-2015. I’m going out on a limb here, and tell you about my own experience, and what I have concluded about this horrible statistic. First, I have personal experience with depression. It started when I was a child. It was something we didn’t really talk about then. It was often suggested that I just learn to smile more. Was there a tendency towards depression? Probably! My brother was clinically depressed, and I had heard that an uncle was depressed but they just said he drank a lot. I had another person in my family who was diagnosed but I will not mention his name as I don’t have his permission. What did I find out was the common factor for the depression? We didn’t sleep well. I say that but, what I really mean is we slept very little.

You may be asking yourself, what does sleep loss have to do with depression? Everything! I began to research sleep. I wanted to find out what happened to the body when we don’t sleep. I was blown away with what I was reading. What if my depression, ADD, and allergies could all be attributed to sleep child depressiondeprivation? So, I began to look at every aspect of my life. I started eating better, getting outside each day and took the TV out of my bedroom. Well, my husband didn’t like that! I stopped buying sodas and processed foods and both my husband and children were not happy! What happened? I started to finally sleep. I slept so well my health improved. Then I began to teach sleep at the University of Richmond. Yes, you read that right. I teach a sleep class. My brother asked me this question. “Don’t people know how to sleep?” Let me ask you, do you know how to sleep? The answer may be yes but a better question might be, do you sleep? Is the answer yes but you don’t feel rested when you wake up? Then guess what, you aren’t really sleeping! Your body isn’t repairing, replenishing and rejuvenating because if it was, you would feel energized and ready to start your day.

Let’s say you feel great in the morning but run out of energy during the day. Again, you need to look at your sleeping habits and see if you are truly getting into a deep sleep each night. Let’s get back to children and what is happening to their sleep. Scientists are concerned that we are putting ourselves in a perilous situation due to lack of sleep. I met Russell G. Foster, a Head Professor of the Sleep and Circadian Neuroscience and Nuffield Laboratory of Ophthalmology at Oxford University at a convention in 2015. Part of his studies are on alternative methods to investigate the adolescent circadian delay, as well as the impacts on health and mental health in the future. They are finding that asking an adolescent to get up at 7 am to start school at 9 am leads to a significant amount of sleep deprivation. This in combination with 24/7 access to social media, and abnormal light exposure from various electrical devices which emit a low-level light in the blue wavelength has been shown to have a direct, alerting effect on the biological clock which may interfere with the process of going to sleep.

What about the mental health aspects of sleep deprivation? Emil Kraepelin, a German psychiatrist (1856 -1926) noted in his 1883 textbook that abnormal sleep patterns and mental health are linked. Since the 1970’s the Sleep/Clock disruption in schizophrenia has been viewed merely as the by-product of antipsychotic medication. Abnormal sleep in schizophrenia is often dismissed on the basis of lack of work. Do the networks in the brain that generate normal sleep and mental health overlap? Dr. Foster and his team predict that genes linked to mental illness will also affect sleep/clocks. Genes linked to the sleep/clock will also affect mental illness. Sleep disruption may precede a clinical diagnosis of mental illness. Reduction of sleep disruption should improve the level of mental illness. I understand that more research is going into sleep deprivation’s relationship to mental illness which is raising questions on which condition to address first.

While many studies have examined the association between insomnia and depression, no studies have been evaluated utilizing these associations (1) within a narrow time frame, (2) with specific reference to acute and chnewsweek sleepronic insomnia, and (3) using polysomnography. In a present study by Nuffield Department of Neurosciences at Oxford, the association between insomnia and first-onset depression was evaluated taking into account these considerations: The design used a model integrating mixed variables. It was in an Academic research laboratory. The participants were: Fifty-four individuals (acute insomnia & normal sleepers) with no reported history of a sleep disorder, chronic medical condition, or psychiatric illness. The transition from acute to chronic insomnia is indicated by baseline differences in sleep architecture that have, in the past, been ascribed to Major Depression, either as heritable traits or as acquired traits from prior episodes of depression. The present findings suggest that the “sleep architecture stigmata” of depression may actually develop over the course transitioning from acute to chronic insomnia.

I need to only ask my students how they feel after they have pulled an All-Nighter. I have heard that some feel angry or have trouble concentrating and yes, they can even be depressed. My hope is that other organizations or departments like the Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences will take a closer look into sleep deprivation and how we can help our children learn to sleep. The best advice I can think of is to have a conversation with them. Show them the studies. Talk about your own experiences with sleep loss and how it has impacted your life. My heart goes out to all the moms. They are so sleep deprived themselves and our children see that. Don’t take the adage that you can make it up on the weekend. It is not possible to make up for lost sleep but your sleep drive will be greater than staying awake so get your rest. For all those working the night shift, I hope that it is something that will change for you in the future. Just remember The best bridge between despair and hope is a good night’s sleep.”

  • About Me

    Lisa Healthy Hazelgrove

    Lisa Healthy Hazelgrove

    Wellness Education with a side of Energy

    Health & Wellness Educator that has a passion for educating others on how to create balance in their lives so that the body can heal itself naturally. I have been in the Wellness Industry for 15 years and specialize in nutrition and sleep. My focus is on empowering others to take control of their health and in 2008 I began teaching as a Wellness Instructor at the University of Richmond. My health journey began 15 years ago when I was on 10 prescribed pills a day, had no energy and was 70 lbs heavier. I decided to empower myself and take a proactive approach towards my life and create a wellness home for myself and my family.

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