Archive | November, 2014

The Power of Presence

Posted on 01 November 2014 by Jason

For many humans there has been a conditioning since birth to do, do, do with very little reverence for inner peace and presence. As we take a glance at society’s constant message to achieve, work harder, chase faster, we can quickly see that there are choices available daily for us to chase and exhaust ourselves or we can choose to slow down and BE more present with life.
Those who have done the chasing for a while know that this race never ends and that exhaustion can quickly set in. Many health issues begin to arise as we ignore the inner cries of the soul for more presence and rejuvenation. However, we can choose to enter life with the power of our presence. No matter one’s life situation or occupation, daily meditation offers every soul the gift of liberation, freedom and a return to wholeness.
Practicing daily yoga and meditation is a beautiful way to come back home to one’s soul—a gift available for anyone with any body type. All that is necessary is an openness to claim back your health, power and inner peace through the gift of presence. A person allowing this space for presence each and every day will quickly notice feelings of deep inner peace expanding. This is a true treasure that nothing external will ever satisfy. Take a deep centering breath…Welcome Home!
Join Intuitive healer Tawnya Love, for a 3-month empowering Essence of Yoga and Meditation Journey November-January. For more information, call 360-567-7576 or email TawnyaAngel@gmail.com.

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Holidays with ECOMAIDS Deep-Clean Service

Posted on 01 November 2014 by Jason

Change is a constant. We can appreciate the change in scenery and even welcome some new routines. No matter how ready we feel, the body was used to sleep schedules, warmer temperatures, lack of constant dampness and summer’s ease of relaxed schedules, fresher food and exercise. Change can also bring stress, especially now with kids back in school, all the extra-curricular activities and the holidays fast approaching. While we can’t avoid all stress, we can prepare.
Now is the time to boost immune systems and to find ways to limit stresses (environmental and mental). Keep the allergens from building up at home, and remember that typical household cleaners also leave toxins behind to add to the toxic load with which our bodies have to deal. Preparation for holiday entertaining adds stress to this joyous time of year.
ECOMAIDS can help with their Deep-Clean Service Visit. Their Deep-Clean Service Visit follows the ECOMAIDS 64-Point Residential Cleaning Checklist and ensures that everything from the ceiling fans to the baseboards are clean, sanitized and allergen free. ECOMAIDs also makes the perfect holiday gift—showing someone that you care about their time and their health.
Visit Portland.EcoMaids.com or their Facebook page for more information and for current and holiday specials.

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Local Author Hosts an Evening of “Ecstasy”… and Chocolate

Posted on 01 November 2014 by Jason

What do you think of when you think of “ecstasy”? Local southeast Portland author, Rebecca Pillsbury, thinks of unity with others, unity with the divine, and…chocolate. She invites you to join her in community as she celebrates the release of her award-winning memoir, Finding Ecstasy.
Though the book explores her own journey toward releasing sexual repression and shame through the discovery of a new spiritual truth, it is a journey to which many women can relate. Pillsbury seeks to unmask the taboo nature of talking about sex by unabashedly revealing her own insecurities, vulnerabilities and triumphs. Told with refreshing honesty, insight and wit, her story not only encourages its readers to embark on their own journey toward living fuller lives, but it engages the reader in an international love story that delights and inspires.
As a prize winner in Christine Kloser’s Transformational Author Writing contest, Pillsbury has been featured on Viki Winterton’s “Write Now Radio!” alongside top authors and publishing professionals. Don’t miss this opportunity for an intimate evening with Pillsbury, complete with a book reading and signing, live classical guitar music provided by Jeffrey Ashton, door prizes, and of course—chocolate.

This special event is free and open to the public, and will be held at Shakti House yoga studio, 1401 SE Morrison St., Portland, on Saturday, November 15 from 7-9 p.m. Visit FindingEcstasy.com for details.

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Gluten-Free Pizza Workshop

Posted on 01 November 2014 by Jason

For those of us who love pizza but feel guilty every time we even dream of eating it, there is an upcoming workshop for us.
After years of experimenting to make a gluten-free, nutrient-dense pizza crust with the right mixture of crunch and tenderness, Joan Miller, health educator and author, is ready to share her recipe in a workshop on Wednesday, November 12 from 6 to 8 p.m.
Miller will explain why the ingredients she has chosen are the most beneficial to our bodies and will show exactly how it’s done. Participants will add some delicious and varied toppings and will then get to enjoy all the flavors and textures. In addition, find out how to also make focaccia bread.
The workshop will be held at the Koru House, 1704 S E 22nd Avenue, in Portland. Cost is $20. Pre-register at EventBrite.com/e/gluten-free-pizza-workshop-tickets-12052684905.
For more information on Miller, visit HappyWhisk.com.

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Moonlight and Rainbow My Carnivore Teachers

Posted on 01 November 2014 by Jason

Obligate carnivores are animals that cannot sustain their health without meat in their diet, and years of domestication has not changed design. The evidence is their jaws—designed to hinge open allowing for grabbing, ripping and tearing meat.
Since the advent of commercial kibbles, the general population has been feeding their companions foods that are extremely inappropriate for carnivores. These foods are extremely high in grains, processed foods and preservatives. Carnivores do not produce the necessary enzyme amylase to deal with starch, cellulose and carbohydrates in plant matter. We then expect the animal to maintain health and thrive when the choice of foods are biologically inappropriate. As a result, we are experiencing, in epidemic proportions, multiple diseases.
Dogs and cats are specifically designed to consume raw meat. The foundation of any raw food diet is meat 80 percent, bones 10 percent raw and offal (organs) 10 percent.
It is very important to note that the key to planning a good raw diet is variety over time, which is not only easy but ensures our carnivores are getting all the nutrients their bodies need. Raw foods are the most digestible and absorbable nutrients that we can provide.
By feeding in the way nature intended, we can influence our carnivores’ overall wellness and optimal health to thrive and not just survive.
To receive the full version of this article and how to formulate homemade meals for your carnivore, contact Lezia Munn at MoonlightHomeopathy@comcast.net. Certified Animal Naturopath, CCH.

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Celestial Living Arts Monthly Forecast November 2014 © Liz Howell

Posted on 01 November 2014 by Jason

We’re invited to probe the darker reaches of our consciousness this month, and where necessary, do the inner battle with the forces that hold us back from our approaching as-cent to the light of day. As the sun and other planets in transit move from the complex and murky waters of Scorpio into the expansive, outer fires of Sagittarius, our journey shifts from probing life’s hidden mysteries to the embodiment and expression of the in-ner-truths we have found as a result of diving into the depths. The November 10-18 time frame will prove especially challenging, while offering the opportunity to purge any un-necessary excess in preparation for the energetic New Moon of November 22 in high-minded and far-seeing Sagittarius.

Mantras and musings for the month of November gratis of Rob Brezsny’s visionary “PRONOIA is the antidote for Paranoia:”
Aries (Mar 21-Apr 19): The people who seem to slow us down and hold us back are ac-tually preventing things from happening too fast.
Taurus (Apr 20-May 20): Break open the forbidden happiness.
Gemini (May 21-Jun 20): When they say “Be yourself, which self do they mean?”
Cancer (Jun 21-Jul 22): It’s bad luck to be superstitious.
Leo (Jul 23-Aug 22): Bear in mind that you are the Chosen One, and so is everyone else.
Virgo (Aug 23-Sep 22): Everybody is a nobody and nobody is perfect.
Libra (Sep 23-Oct 22): Ever since I learned to see three sides to every story, I’m finding much better stories.
Scorpio (Oct 23-Nov 21): Act as if your adversaries are great teachers.
Sagittarius (Nov 22-Dec 21): You have the rebellious resourcefulness to be a freedom fighter without hating anyone.
Capricorn (Dec 22-Jan 19): Exercise your inalienable rights to fresh omens.
Aquarius (Jan 20-Feb 18): A moral code becomes immoral unless it can thrive without a devil and enemy.
Pisces (Feb 19-Mar 20): If you want to befriend the Divine Wow, you must not only be willing to change ceaselessly—you have to love to change ceaselessly.

Liz Howell is available for personal astrological consultations and can be reached at Liz@CelestialLivingArts.com.

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Growing Up with Wayne Dyer Serena Dyer Reflects on Her Spiritual Upbringing by Lindsay McGinty

Posted on 01 November 2014 by Jason

Serena Dyer had a unique childhood being raised by spiritually progressive parents, including her bestselling celebrity dad, Wayne Dyer, Ph.D., who would write her notes on personal stationery printed with the motto, “Be realistic. Expect miracles!” It’s not a message her peers likely heard at home.

Now 29, Serena has shared her experiences growing up in Don’t Die with Your Music Still in You: My Experience Growing Up with Spiritual Parents, co-authored with her father. The title reflects her parents’ key lesson for their children: Pursue the life you are born to live.

Some missteps along the journey to her true calling included enrolling in law school to maintain her student identity, but her upbringing served as a light guiding her home to herself. She wrote the book after dropping out of law school, a big step toward her dream of inspiring others to live authentically.

What was it like to grow up with Wayne Dyer as your father?

Growing up, my seven siblings and I were exposed to a lot of ideas that were different than what my friends heard. We were taught that within each of us is a purpose, a passion that we call dharma, and that dharma is what we are incarnated here to do. We were taught that the most important thing you could do in your life was to follow that dharma, and in doing so, you would be serving God. I often joke that my childhood was filled with unconditional love and security, but also a lot of weirdness! Not many kids learn transcendental meditation at the age of 5 and count monks as friends.

Were there any downsides to being raised by spiritual parents?

I like to think that while there weren’t any real downsides, there were certainly challenges. For example, in a more traditional household, when someone gets the flu, their parents probably tell them that it’s flu season and it’s just going around. In my household, when one of us would get the flu, we were told that we aligned with it and allowed it in. In other words, part of the challenge of having spiritually progressive parents is that they make sure you are aware that you are responsible for everything happening in your life.

What is the greatest lesson you learned?

Thus far, it is knowing that we are the creators of our destiny—the masters of our fate. I wholeheartedly believe that we sign up for the experiences we have in this lifetime, as they are part of our soul’s desire to grow and expand. When we make the choice to view life as not happening to us, but responding to us, we become more consciously aware of how much our thoughts affect our daily experience. I am so grateful my parents taught me this at a young age because I have learned to choose my thoughts carefully.

What is the greatest gift your parents have given you?

It’s not something they did for me; it was how they lived their lives in front of me. My parents did not encourage me to follow my dreams and then sacrifice theirs in order to raise me. My parents followed their dreams and in watching them do so, I felt safe to go after mine, as well. They taught me that there is no honor in sacrificing yourself or your dreams for anyone else, and demonstrated that the only time you have to make your life the way you want it is now. I am grateful to them for living their lives this way, which has allowed me to feel safe living my life this way, as well.

What advice would you give to people that wish they were raised in a more spiritual manner?

I tell people that it doesn’t really matter what kind of parents you had, it matters how you feel about yourself. Everything in life starts with the self. If you don’t have love and acceptance and forgiveness for yourself, you won’t have these things to give to other people either. I was taught that we can’t give what we don’t have. When we learn to love and treasure every part of ourselves, we also have love to give to others.

Contributor Lindsay McGinty lives in Orange County, CA.

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Playful Pet Gifts Most Love Interactive Toys and Games by Sandra Murphy

Posted on 01 November 2014 by Jason

What’s on the family pet’s wish list this year? Family members can have fun creating interactive toys and games that are easy on the holiday budget.

According to a recent American Pet Association survey, three out of four owners buy gifts for their pets during the holiday season, to the collective tune of $5 billion. Dogs and cats receive new sweaters and boots, collars and leashes, toys and treats. Yet, what they really crave is attention.

“Too often pets are left alone for eight hours a day, leading to anxiety, frustration and unwanted behaviors. It’s important that they’re mentally challenged, learn new commands and have fun,” says Dr. Mary Gardner, co-founder of Lap of Love Veterinary Hospice, in Los Angeles. “Cognitive decline and muscle wasting, common in older pets, can both be thwarted with games personalized for age and ability.”

Special Dog Treats

Look for sturdy wooden puzzles that hide a treat behind doors that pull or slide open. Advanced puzzles involve a multistep solution. Following dog treat cookbooks will keep dedicated bakers in a canine’s good graces throughout the year.

Write an activity—a walk, trip to the dog park, game of fetch or a doggie/human dance party—on a few index cards. “Teach the dog to choose by rubbing one card with a sodium-free bouillon cube,” suggests Eileen Proctor, a pet lifestyle expert in Denver. “As soon as the dog sniffs the card, reward with praise and the designated gift. Once the game is learned, there is no need to keep scenting the cards.” Turn up a corner of all the cards for easy pickup.

Purrfect for Cats

Cats may like to play it cool, but bring out a laser pointer and they act like kittens again. To mimic hunting instincts, play hide-and-seek with kitty’s food; put holes in a closed box with special bits of dry food inside, then let her paw it out or roll the box.

Place a too-large-to-swallow jingle bell inside an empty toilet paper roll and tape the ends shut for a charming-sounding toy. An orphaned sock filled with crinkly cellophane and sewn shut makes an intriguing toy to drag around. Improvise a fishing pole from a colorful dowel rod and heavy twine with a pet- and planet-friendly toy tied on the end for a pet to chase.

Cats love to squeeze themselves into small spaces or relax in larger ones, so pass along gift boxes.

Pretty-Bird Specials

In the wild, birds spend most of their time foraging for food. Mimic a wilderness search by hiding food beneath an unused, unbleached coffee filter or a large lettuce leaf. Cut food in pieces big enough to hold in a claw to help hone balance. Hide seeds in a made-for-birds piñata, available at pet supply stores. Puzzle boxes range from reach-in-for-food versions to slide-a-door or pull-a-knob difficulty levels.

Fun for Fish

Betta (Siamese fighting) fish love to rest near the surface, so provide a leafy hammock, available where supplies are sold. Finned friends get exercise as they chase a laser pointer’s red dot through the water. A new plant or ping-pong ball floating on the surface provides added entertainment.

Moss balls are a good place to hide food and also help keep the water clean. A ceramic log lets fish hide inside.

Climbing Crabs

Hermit crabs are social animals, both curious and amusing. The gift of a new shell or two during molting season is appreciated. Flat-topped rocks with textured sides, large enough to not tip over, provide a different view. Fibers like those used for macramé, hung from the lid of the tank almost to the floor mimic rope climbing. Upside down terra cotta flower pots, in different sizes and covered with netting, provide more surfaces and heights to explore.

“Time spent together is a gift for both the giver and the recipient,” says Proctor. “It’s more thoughtful than anything you can find in a store. You always get back more than you give.”

Sandra Murphy is a freelance writer in St. Louis, MO. Connect at StLouisFreelanceWriter@mindspring.com.

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Midday Pick-Me-Up Well-Planned Naps Boost Brainpower by Lane Vail

Posted on 01 November 2014 by Jason

Sleep, along with nutrition and exercise, shapes the backbone of overall health, yet 40 percent of Americans get an insufficient amount, according to a recent Gallup survey, and the potential health risks are considerable. “Sleep deprivation affects every organ system and disease state,” and is associated with higher rates of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity, cancer and mortality, says Michael Breus, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist in Scottsdale, Arizona, and founder of TheSleepDoctor.com.

“It’s best to get seven to eight hours of sleep in one big block at nighttime,” counsels Breus. Yet the circadian rhythm dictates two peaks of sleepiness every 24 hours—one in the middle of the night and another 12 hours later, says Dr. Lawrence Epstein, director of the sleep medicine program at Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Interacting with the circadian rhythm is the homeostatic rhythm, which causes greater sleepiness the longer we’re awake. Both circadian and homeostatic sleepiness elevate mid-afternoon, resulting in the familiar 4 p.m. slump. Siesta cultures split sleep, notes Epstein, slightly reducing nighttime sleep but devoting time midday to nap.

“Naps are a double-edged sword,” observes Epstein. While they help relieve short-term sleepiness, poorly planned naps can perpetuate an unhealthy cycle of daytime sleepiness and nighttime wakefulness. Stepping outside for 10 minutes of sunlight and fresh air can stamp out sleepiness, says Breus, which is infinitely healthier than reaching for a caffeine jolt or sugary snack.

Be a Better Napper

A study published in the Journal of Sleep Research suggests that merely falling asleep may initiate memory processing and cognitive consolidation, helping explain why German scientists found even six-minute naps to be rejuvenating. If substantial daytime sleep is needed to overcome a deficit, strive for 90 to 110 minutes, the length of time needed to complete a full sleep cycle. Here are other practical tips.

Reflect on the rationale. “Boredom, laziness or avoiding work are the wrong reasons to nap,” says Amanda Chan, managing editor for healthy living at The Huffington Post, which instituted two cozy nap rooms in its New York headquarters after founder Arianna Huffington collapsed from exhaustion several years ago. A quick pick-me-up to boost mental agility and mood is a reasonable excuse to snooze.

Plan a prophylactic nap. Forestall late afternoon fatigue by napping between 1 and 3 p.m. Waiting until early evening to nap can interfere with nighttime sleep, advises Epstein.

Embrace darkness, coolness and quietude. Melatonin, “the key that starts the engine of sleep,” is suppressed by even the slightest amount of light, so wear eyeshades, suggests Breus. Keep a blanket and earplugs handy.

Lie down. If a bed or couch is unavailable, try napping on a yoga mat on the floor. A chair should be reclined to support the lower back and avoid straining the neck from “bobblehead” syndrome, says Breus.

Power down. Setting an alarm for 10 to 25 minutes allows time for only the first two sleep stages: falling asleep and light sleep. Breus explains that sleeping longer than 25 minutes triggers deep sleep, from which waking results in sleep inertia, or grogginess, that impairs mood, decision-making and motor skills.

Napping at Work

While many progressive businesses, such as Google, Apple and Zappos, permit or even promote workplace napping, most companies are still skeptical. “We live in a culture that minimizes the importance of sleep,” comments Epstein. “We prize productivity and think it shows worker loyalty to put in excessive amounts of time.”

Ironically, growing research suggests that napping may boost the brainpower needed to function at peak performance. A recent study found that nightshift air traffic controllers that napped for 19 minutes showed better vigilance and reaction times than non-nappers. Other documented benefits include better concentration, memory and creativity.

Seek out a sleep sanctuary at work, such as an office with the door closed and blinds drawn, an unused conference room with a couch, or a first-aid office cot, suggests Chan. Another option is to nap in the car, but Breus insists that nappers tell colleagues where they’re going as a precaution. Better yet, bond with a “nap buddy” willing to read nearby during snooze time. “You’re very vulnerable when you’re asleep,” he says. “Be safe.”

If sleeping is not currently condoned in the workplace, consider approaching the human resources department with information on the positive effects of appropriate napping on work performance, says Epstein. Suggest implementing a sleep wellness program, which can offer education on sleep deprivation, techniques to improve sleep and individual screening for sleep disorders.

Lane Vail is a freelance writer and blogger at DiscoveringHomemaking.com

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Eco-Beauty Homemade Shampoos, Lotions and Perfumes Make Great Gifts by Kathleen Barnes

Posted on 01 November 2014 by Jason

Many of us have grown disenchanted with expensive, commercial beauty products that include toxic and even cancer-causing ingredients. Fortunately, safe, natural and affordable alternatives—including homemade shampoos, conditioners, moisturizers, bath salts, body scrubs and butters—are stocked at many grocery and health food stores.

We all want to avoid phthalates, cetyl alcohol, triclosan, sodium laureth sulfate, parabens and many other poisonous chemicals commonly found in lotions, creams, scrubs, oils, perfumes and makeup products that may not be listed on labels. “You want to know what’s in your product,” says Janice Cox, of Medford, Oregon, the bestselling author of Natural Beauty at Home and Eco-Beauty. “If you’re making your own, you’re in control.”

Cox remarks how “Ingredients are absorbed through the skin, our largest organ. It’s why some medicines like birth control, pain relief and nicotine patches are effectively applied externally; it’s also why toxic ingredients placed on our skin can be so harmful.”

Her recommended solution is simple: The kitchen cabinet harbors solutions to the dry and dull skin that plagues many this time of year, shampoo residues that result in drab hair, and less-than-glowing skin due to a less-than-optimal holiday diet.

“Many products require only one or two ingredients and take minimal time to make,” says Cox. “Plus they cost only pennies. Who wouldn’t choose that over a $30 an ounce mysterious chemical soup?”

Honey is a Cox favorite for several reasons, including its antimicrobial effects: a dab on a blemish or insect bite can zap it overnight. “Honey has high potassium content, making it almost impossible for bacteria to survive in,” she explains. It’s also a good source of B vitamins of thiamine, niacin, riboflavin and pantothenic acid, plus minerals like iron, zinc and manganese. In this case, what’s absorbed through skin is literally nourishing our body’s entire system.

Honey is also a powerful humectant, helping to prevent loss of moisture from skin and hair. Cox recommends dropping a tablespoon or two in a warm bath to soothe rough skin without stickiness, a conditioning mixture of honey and olive oil to produce silky hair and an apple-honey toner to facilitate glowing skin.

She also recommends an easy shampoo that contains nothing more than natural soap (like Dr. Bronner’s), water and a little vegetable oil for dry hair. “It doesn’t foam up like commercial shampoos, but it gets hair much cleaner,” she advises.

Homemade beauty products are a natural outlet for anyone that loves to cook or craft. Make a small batch—experiment with an array of essential oils to create a preferred scent to suit individual tastes, and add or subtract the amounts according to skin and hair types.

“Take it a step further and make pretty gift packages with jars, bottles or tins embellished with ribbons, personal artwork or anything else that taps into your creative juices,” says Cox. “Your friends and family will be especially happy to receive and use them.”

Kathleen Barnes is the author of numerous natural health books and publisher at Take Charge Books. Connect at Kathleenb@KathleenBarnes.com.

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