Archive | September, 2015

Living in the Now, Key to Agelessness for Nehalem Artist and Framer by Dana Taylor

Posted on 05 September 2015 by Jason

Since the days of Ponce de Leon and before, people have been seeking the fountain of youth as if it offers the same quality of life provided by its close cousin, agelessness. Nestled in the picturesque hills of Nehalem, Oregon, Bonnie Speer, proprietress of Art Happens, a local’s favorite art framing boutique, proves that agelessness is alive and well on the Oregon coast and has very little to do with one’s age whatsoever.

With a face framed with gossamer filaments of hair that seem to shift with every whisper of the wind, Speer recounted a life filled with joy and pain, blessings and lessons, and a deep appreciation for the timelessness of now, which informs her understanding of agelessness as she models it for others today.

Speer’s first real experience-turned-lifestyle with agelessness came to her in a time of life transition. “A friend of mine invited me to go sailing on her boat when I was going through a lot of stress, raising my three kids by myself in Houston. She said, ‘You’re going to have to leave all your baggage on the shore and just concentrate on sailing—otherwise, we’ll be wet.’”
That was more than 25 years ago.

Not too long after that life-changing sailing trip, Speer attended a weekend workshop called Beyond the Power of Positive Thinking in Dallas, Texas, while her former mother-in-law kept her children for the weekend, where she learned that even the smallest impressions have an impact on one’s subconscious and therefore mood. She credits that workshop with having a profound influence that made her more aware of that to which she chose to lend her attention, and how shifting things that add to positivity to her life was one of the most important moving parts to crafting and cultivating a lifestyle that results in agelessness.

“It made an impression on me; I went home and took down all of the photographs of my former husband who was already with another wife. Because every time I walked into that bedroom and looked at those photos on the walls, I got sad, even if only subconsciously. That was adding to my stress because that part of my life was over.”

She then began paying acute attention to everything she added to or subtracted from her life and the attendant results on her overall happiness until she had curated a set of life circumstances that kept her far happier than they did depressed. “And then I left the world of banking and finance and became a framer. I had no idea how happy it would make me.”

Skip ahead 15 years to when, at the suggestion of friend Lori Dillon, Speer took a formal art lesson on the Oregon coast and began communicating with her inner artist. She was pleased to learn after all those years of framing that she had a natural ability to create art, not just frame it, even though she was encouraged by her parents to become an intellectual while growing up in the artist colony of Laguna Beach, California.

“That sailing trip started my life-long lesson in living in the now. That’s one thing that’s also true of framing—if you’re not in the now, you’re going to hurt yourself. And the lovely thing about art and framing is that you have to be in the now, you can’t be anywhere else.”

Besides framing and creating her own art, Speer also attributes her sense of agelessness to her current hometown, a place she describes as “just paradise—I have to be near water, salt water, preferably.” She also has a small fleet of Cavalier King Charles Spaniels that get her out onto the beach daily in the salt-saturated wind, and provide unrelenting companionship. “These little mutts keep me ageless because they like their exercise, so they’re always taking me out on walks.”

If you visit Speer’s home and framing studio, it’s impossible not to notice how many hummingbirds visit, incessantly, buzzing the ears of anyone who stays still enough to experience one of hundreds zooming by on its way to take a sip from the various feeders strung around her property. Coincidentally, the hummingbird is a Native American symbolic spirit animal for joy and something to which Speer attributes her sense of agelessness.

The only thing that brings Speer more professional joy than creating her own art is framing art created by her clients. “I find deep satisfaction helping artists find a frame that suits their art and their budget.”
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And although the only concession Speer makes to her numerical age is confessing that wrangling 60-inch by 80-inch pieces of glass is a little intimidating without help, she adds, “I figure I’ll be framing until I die, which is lovely.”

To inquire about having your art framed by Bonnie Speer at Art Happens in Nehalem, call 503-368-3835.

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Ageless Being Staying Vibrant in Mind, Body and Spirit by Kathleen Barnes

Posted on 05 September 2015 by Jason

In a nutshell, that’s the philosophy of visionary women’s health expert Dr. Christiane Northrup, of Yarmouth, Maine, as explored in her latest book, Goddesses Never Age.

“We’re long overdue for a paradigm shift about how we feel about growing older,” says Northrup. “You can change your future by adopting a new, ageless attitude that will help you flourish physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. We don’t have to buy into modern medicine’s promotion of the idea of the pathology of aging.”

One of Northrup’s primary admonitions: “Don’t tell anyone how old you are. Another birthday means nothing.”

Maintain a Sound Mind

Our Western society fosters a belief system that we will become decrepit, frail and mentally feeble at a certain age. “When my mother turned 50, her mailbox suddenly filled with ads for adult diapers, walkers and long-term care insurance,” Northrup quips. The point is well taken. Think vibrant, healthy, gorgeous and yes, sexy Sandra Bullock, Johnny Depp, Chris Rock and Brooke Shields—all 50 or older—as the targets of ads for Depend.

We’re living and working longer, and many of us are feeling, looking and staying young longer. So is 60 the new 40? Yes, say State University of New York at Stony Brook researchers, and further note that we’re generally leading longer and healthier lives.

Centenarians are the fastest-growing segment of the U.S. population. In the 2010 census, 53,364 people had surpassed their 100th year, an increase of 40 percent over the 1980 census, and more than 80 percent of them were women. The National Institute on Aging projects that this number could increase tenfold or more by 2050.

What we think of as “old” has changed. Many baby boomers refuse to buy into the mythology of aging, bristle at being called senior citizens and especially dislike being called elderly. Their position is backed by science. Stem cell biologist Bruce Lipton, Ph.D., author of Biology of Belief and currently a visiting professor at the New Zealand College of Chiropractic, in Auckland, is best known for promoting the concept that DNA can be changed by belief, for good or ill.

Lipton explains that we all have billions of stem cells designed to repair or replace damaged—and aging—tissues and organs. “[These cells] are profoundly influenced by our thoughts and perceptions about the environment,” Lipton explains. “Hence our beliefs about aging can either interfere with or enhance stem cell function, causing our physiological regeneration or decline.”

“Yes, we are destined to grow older, but decrepitude and what we call aging is an optional state,” Northrup adds. “Our genes, nutrition and environment are under our control far more than we may have thought.” More, she say, “Words are powerful. Don’t talk yourself into believing your brain is turning to mush just because you are over 40!”

Take Control of the Body

“Manage the four horsemen of the aging apocalypse,” encourages nutrition and longevity expert Jonny Bowden, Ph.D., a Los Angeles board-certified nutritionist and author of The Most Effective Ways to Live Longer. He says the aging process, including disease, loss of physical or mental function and the general breakdown of systems is caused by one or more of four factors: oxidative damage (literally rusty cells); inflammation; glycation (excess sugar, metabolic syndrome); and stress.

“Collectively, they damage cells and DNA, wear down organs and systems, deeply damage the vascular pathways that deliver blood and oxygen to the entire body, and even shrink brain size,” explains Bowden.

While it may seem like a tall order to make lifestyle changes that vanquish these four horsemen, Bowden says they can be broken into manageable elements by employing an arsenal of healthful weapons: whole foods, nutrients, stress-reduction techniques, exercise, detoxification and relationship improvement. “All of these actually do double duty, battling more than one of the four processes that can effectively shorten your life,” he reports, based on his 25 years of study.

Oxidative damage. Consider what rust does to metal. That’s what free radical oxygen molecules do to cells. Over time, they damage them and cause aging from within. “Oxidative damage plays a major role in virtually every degenerative disease of aging, from Alzheimer’s to cancer to heart disease and diabetes, even immune dysfunction,” says Bowden.

His recommended key to destroying free radicals is a diet rich in antioxidants, including lots of fresh fruits and vegetables and healthy fats, nuts, grass-fed meats and organic dairy products. Avoid environmental free radicals that show up in toxic chemicals by eating as much organic food as possible and avidly avoiding residues of the poisonous pesticides and herbicides sprayed on crops eaten by people and livestock.

Inflammation. Long-term inflammation is a silent killer because it operates beneath the radar, often unnoticed, damaging blood vessel walls. Like oxidative damage, inflammation is a factor in all the degenerative diseases associated with aging, says Bowden.

His suggestion: First, get a C-reactive protein (CRP) test to determine the levels of inflammation in our body. A CRP level over 3/milligrams/liter indicates a high risk of a heart attack. Anti-inflammatory foods like onions, garlic, leafy greens, tomatoes, beans, nuts and seeds have all been widely scientifically proven to reduce chronic inflammation.

Glycation. This is the result of excessive sugar that glues itself to protein or fat molecules, leaving a sticky mess that creates advanced glycation end (AGE) products that damage all body systems and are acknowledged culprits in dreaded diseases associated with aging.

Bowden’s basic answer is to minimize intake of sugar and simple carbs; anything made with white flour or white rice. Also avoid fried dishes and any foods cooked at high temperatures that actually skip the glycation production in the body and deliver deadly AGEs directly from the food. He advises taking 1,000 milligrams of carnosine (available in health food stores) daily to prevent glycation.

Stress. The long-term effects of physical, mental or emotional stress are tremendously damaging to the human physiology. Sustained exposure to the stress hormone cortisol can shrink parts of the brain, damage blood vessels, increase blood sugar levels, heart rate and blood pressure and contribute to chronic inflammation, according to well-established science recorded in the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

Bowden warns, “Stress management is not a luxury.” In its many forms, including prayer, meditation and breathing exercises, it should be part of any agelessness program. Deep, restful sleep is as vital a component as ending toxic relationships, having a nurturing circle of friends and doing familiar, gentle exercise such as yoga or tai chi.

Overall, Bowden adds, “Rather than thinking of such endeavors as anti-aging, I strive to embody the concept of age independence. I admire former Supreme Court Associate Justice John Paul Stevens, who resigned from the court when he reached age 90 because he wanted to play more tennis.”

Bowden recommends embracing the concept of “squaring the curve,” meaning that instead of anticipating and experiencing a long downhill slope of poor health leading to death, “I look at a long plateau of health, with a steep drop-off at the end.”

Wellness guru Dr. Michael Roizen, chair of the Cleveland Clinic’s Wellness Institute, contends that although our chronological age can’t be changed, “Your ‘real age’” [calculated from data he compiled from more than 60 million people] “is the result of a wide variety of factors that are within your control. Dietary choices alone can make you 13 years younger or older than your actual age.”

Roizen adds uncontrolled portion sizes, tobacco use and physical inactivity to the list of life-shortening lifestyle options.

Align with Spirit

“If you don’t have some kind of spiritual foundation, literally, God help you,” says Northrup. “God isn’t confined to a book or a church, mosque or synagogue. Divinity is the creative loving, vital flow of life force that we’re all part of and connected to. Our bodies are exquisite expressions meant to embody, not deny our spirits.”

Touch, pleasure and sex can be part of it, too. Individuals that have the most fulfilling sex lives live the longest, according to researchers conducting the University of California, Riverside’s Longevity Project. “Pleasure comes in infinite forms,” says Northrup. “It can mean the exquisite taste of a pear or the sound of an angelic symphony, the kiss of sun on skin, the laughter of a child, spending time with friends or creating a pastel landscape. When you experience pleasure, God comes through and you become aware of your divine nature. You’ll find that joy comes in ways that are unique to you.”

Connection with the natural world is an essential element of agelessness, says Northrup. “The human body evolved to walk on the Earth, drinking its water, breathing its air and basking in its sunlight.” The bottom line is, “Agelessness is all about vitality. Taking all the right supplements and pills, or getting the right procedure isn’t the prescription for anti-aging,” says this renowned physician. “It’s ageless living that brings back a sense of vibrancy and youthfulness.”

We could live to be well over 100 years old and, as Northrup likes to paraphrase Abraham Hicks, of The Law of Attraction fame, “Wouldn’t you rather have your life end something like this: ‘Happy-healthy, happy-healthy, happy-healthy, dead.’ Isn’t that a lot better than suffering sickness, decrepitude and frailty for years?”

Kathleen Barnes is the author of numerous books on natural health, her latest being Food Is Medicine: 101 Prescriptions from the Garden. Connect at KathleenBarnes.com.

Compute Your Real Age

Lifestyle choices can make our bodies older, or younger, than our number of orbits around the sun, according to Michael Roizen, a doctor of internal medicine and author of This is Your Do-Over: The 7 Secrets of Losing Weight, Living Longer, and Getting a Second Chance at the Life You Want. “Seventy percent of aging is in the simple things you do or don’t do,” he maintains.

Here are a few sobering examples:
• An unresolved major life stressor, such as a divorce, being sued, the death of a close relative or other traumatic events, can add 32 years to chronological age. Managing the stress adds a relatively insignificant two years.
• Swap out saturated fats (cheese and meat) for monounsaturated fats (olive oil, nuts and avocados). Subtract 2.5 years from chronological age.
• Get up out of the chair every 15 minutes and also take a 10-minute walk every two hours. Subtract 2.1 years from chronological age.
• Have close friends. Subtract 2.1 years from chronological age.

Take the Real Age test at ShareCare.com/RealAge.

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Choose Happiness Four Tips to Flip the Joy Switch by Linda Joy

Posted on 05 September 2015 by Jason

A recent Harris Interactive poll indicates that only one in three Americans are happy. Success, education, and increases in annual household income create only marginally more happiness. So what will it take to “go the distance?”

Inspiration for a Woman’s Soul: Choosing Happiness endeavors to discover just that. Its collection of intimate stories from more than two dozen women reveals telling insights—most profoundly, that happiness is a choice that anyone can make, regardless of their history or circumstances. Four tips from contributors to the book show how we all can rise up out of our troubles to the other side, shining.

Let Go of ‘Supposed To’

Family, friends and society exert pressure on us to achieve certain goals or impose their definition of success. When our soul doesn’t fit the mold, exciting things can happen.

Happiness strategist Kristi Ling seemed to have it all: a high-powered job in Hollywood, significant income and the envy of all her friends—but her success felt empty. She writes from her home in Los Angeles, California, “Each morning I’d get up thinking about who I needed to please, and then prepare myself to exist for another day. I looked and felt exhausted just about all the time. The worst part was that I thought I was doing everything right!”

After a middle-of-the-night epiphany, Ling left her job and set out to discover what her heart wanted. She began following a completely different life path as a coach and healer, in which success means manifesting joy.

Be Grateful Now

While we’re striving to change our life or wishing things could have been different, we often forget to pay attention to what we have right now.

Boni Lonnsburry, conscious creation expert and founder/CEO of Inner Art, Inc., in Boulder, Colorado, writes about the morning she decided to choose happiness, despite the enormous challenges she was facing including divorce, foreclosure, bankruptcy and possible homelessness. “I thought to myself. ‘Yes, my life could be better, but it also could be a hell of a lot worse. I’m healthy and smart— why, I even have some wisdom. Why am I focusing on how terrible everything is?’”

Using the power of her choice to be happy right now, Lonnsburry not only found joy amidst the adversity, but created love and success beyond her wildest dreams.

Let Love In

We all want to feel loved, but when we’re afraid of getting hurt, we put up barriers to protect ourselves, even against the love we want.

Certified Relationship Coach Stacey Martino, of Yardley, Pennsylvania, writes, “From the first day we met, I’d been waiting for [my boyfriend Paul] to end our relationship. I begged him for another chance—not for our relationship, but to be my authentic self—to figure out who I am and show up in our relationship as the real me.”

Fourteen years later, Martino and her boyfriend, now husband, are still exploring the depths of their love for one another. For them, the choice to be vulnerable was the gateway to happiness.

Look to Yourself Instead of Others

If we can’t own our pain, how can we create our joy? Choosing happiness means taking full responsibility for our state of mind, with no excuses.

Lisa Marie Rosati of Kings Park, New York, who today helps other women catalyze their own transformation, writes: “I didn’t want to accept what was going on inside [me], so I looked outside for a way to make things better. I depended on intimate relationships to complete me, and on friends and acquaintances for entertainment. My self-esteem floated on incoming compliments and I absolutely never wanted to spend a minute alone with my own thoughts, lest they erode whatever happiness I possessed at the moment. I was exhausted, frustrated and quite frankly, pissed off.”

It took a flash of insight to set Rosati free of her patterns of blame—then realizing she could create her own fulfillment was all it took to catapult her into a place of empowerment. Look out, world!

As Los Angeles happiness expert and positive psychology coach Lisa Cypers Kamen says, “Happiness is an inside job.” Joy, love and inspired living are ours for the taking—all we must do is choose.

Linda Joy is the heart of Inspired Living Publishing and Aspire Magazine. Inspiration for a Woman’s Soul: Choosing Happiness is her third in a series of bestselling anthologies. Next up is Inspiration for a Woman’s Soul: Cultivating Joy. Learn more at InspiredLivingPublishing.com

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Yoga Enters the Medical Mainstream Research Proves Its Health Benefits by Meredith Montgomery

Posted on 05 September 2015 by Jason

After practicing internal medicine for 10 years in Boston, Dr. Timothy McCall became a full-time writer, exploring the health benefits of yoga. As the medical editor of Yoga Journal and the author of Yoga as Medicine: The Yogic Prescription for Health and Healing, he says, “In the late 90s, the conveyor belt of patient care continued to speed up and I got frustrated. There was less time to form relationships with patients, which is essential to providing quality care without excessive tests and drugs.”

Initially, McCall found that most of the documented research on yoga was from India, and notes it was low in quality from a Western perspective (though it is now excellent). In the West, the first notable scientific yoga article was published in 1973 in The Lancet on combining yoga and biofeedback to manage hypertension. According to the International Journal of Yoga, the surge in yoga’s popularity here finally gained academic interest in 2007, and there are now more than 2,000 yoga titles in the National Institutes of Health PubMed.gov database, with 200 added annually.

Initially, yoga teacher and economist Rajan Narayanan, Ph.D., founded the nonprofit Life in Yoga Foundation and Institute to offer free teacher training. Within a couple of years, the foundation’s focus shifted to integrating yoga into the mainstream healthcare system. “We realized that to make a real difference, we needed to teach doctors about yoga and its scientifically proven effects,” he says. Medical providers can earn credits to keep their licenses current by attending courses by Life in Yoga, the only yoga institution independently certified by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education.

Currently, even if physicians don’t practice yoga, it’s likely that many of their patients do. “You now see it everywhere from major medical centers to mainstream advertising,” says McCall, who notes an increase in doctors, nurses and therapists attending the Yoga as Medicine seminars he and his wife Eliana teach internationally and from their Simply Yoga Institute studio, in Summit, New Jersey.

Mounting Evidence

“Yoga may help prevent diseases across the board because the root cause of 70 to 90 percent of all disorders is stress,” says Narayanan. Yoga increases the body’s ability to successfully respond to stress by activating the parasympathetic nervous system, which slows the heart and lowers blood pressure. That in turn suppresses sympathetic activity, reducing the amount of stress hormones in the body.

Studies collected on PubMed.gov demonstrate that yoga has been found to help manage hypertension, osteoporosis, body weight, physical fitness, anxiety, depression, diabetes, reproductive functions and pregnancy, among other issues. Studies at California’s Preventive Medicine Research Institute have tracked amelioration of heart disease. A growing body of research is validating yoga’s benefits for cancer patients, including at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. A small study at Norway’s University of Oslo suggests that yoga even alters gene expression, indicating it may induce health benefits on a molecular level.

Cultural Challenges

“For yoga to be effective, a regular practice must be implemented, which is challenging in a culture where people can’t sit for long without an electronic device. It’s more than just popping pills,” says Narayanan.

McCall says, “Even if people can commit to just a few minutes of yoga practice a day, if they keep it up the benefits can be enormous.”

“There are no sales reps telling doctors to use yoga therapy like there are for pharmaceuticals,” remarks Narayanan, and until yoga is funded by health insurance, it will be challenging to gain full acceptance in mainstream medicine.

Another barrier is certification standards. The International Association of Yoga Therapists (iayt.org) and Council for Yoga Accreditation International (cyai.org) are both beginning to offer certifications for therapy training programs and therapists. Narayanan is hopeful that certification could lead to yoga being covered by insurance.

Medical school curricula have started shifting to embrace complementary approaches to wellness, with many textbooks now including information on mind/body therapies. The Principles and Practices of Yoga in Healthcare, co-edited by Sat Bir Khalsa, Lorenzo Cohen, McCall and Shirley Telles and due out in 2016, is the first professional-level, medical textbook on yoga therapy.

“Yoga has been proven to treat many conditions, yet yoga teachers don’t treat conditions, we treat individuals,” says McCall. “Yoga therapy is not a one-size-fits-all prescription because different bodies and minds, with different abilities and weaknesses, require individualized approaches.”

While medical research is working to grant yoga more legitimacy among doctors, policymakers and the public, McCall says, “I believe these studies are systematically underestimating how powerful yoga can be. Science may tell us that it decreases systolic blood pressure and cortisol secretion and increases lung capacity and serotonin levels, but that doesn’t begin to capture the totality of what yoga is.”

Meredith Montgomery, a registered yoga teacher, publishes Natural Awakenings of Mobile/Baldwin, AL (HealthyLivingHealthyPlanet.com).

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Whole Child Sports Free Play Earns the Winning Score by Luis Fernando Llosa

Posted on 05 September 2015 by Jason

Many parents concerned that their children are getting engulfed by social media often turn to sports to spark physical activity. They scramble to sign their toddlers up for swimming and tennis lessons, T-ball and soccer practice, hoping these activities will teach their kids about motivation and leadership, while getting them off the couch and out the door. They hope that sports will be a conduit for their kids to learn what it takes to strive, drive toward a goal and succeed in later life.

As a result, more than 40 million kids across America are engaged in organized play. But youth sports are not a panacea; while parental intentions are good, they sometimes don’t realize the potential for negative consequences. Those that have studied the phenomenon believe that youth sports—which on the surface, appear to provide a perfect environment for children to learn life lessons and develop critical social and physical skills—might hamper our children’s healthy physical, social, psychic and creative development.

Too Much Too Soon

It seems that many young kids playing on teams today are over-coached by controlling, command-oriented adults. As Jenny Levy, head coach of the University of North Carolina’s 2013 NCAA champion women’s lacrosse team at Chapel Hill puts it, “Kids are kind of like overbred dogs, mimicking the drills we run in practice. They aren’t wired to think creatively. They do what they know. What’s safe.”

This kind of behavior can start at an early age, when kids should be engaging in free play with minimal adult supervision in unstructured settings. Parenting expert Kim John Payne, author of Simplicity Parenting and The Soul of Discipline, says, “Parents are giving in to enormous societal pressure to push kids into high-performance sports settings several times a week. It’s an ‘arms race’ of sorts, with the clear victims being the kids themselves that are robbed of their childhoods.”

There’s a much more holistic way kids can experience play, including sports. An American Academy of Pediatrics study attests that free and unstructured play is healthy and essential for helping children reach important social, emotional and cognitive developmental milestones, plus managing stress and becoming resilient.

Payne observes, “In free play, children have to actively problem solve and take one another’s feelings into account if the play is to be successful. In sports, the social problem solving is largely extrinsic, facilitated by coaches, referees or parents. During a child’s formative stages, between the ages of 5 and 12, having the freedom to develop, create and innovate is critical.”

Creativity isn’t limited to only younger children. How sports are taught in this country at all levels, right up through college, often inhibits athletic creativity and problem solving—as Levy has noticed year after year in the freshmen players she trains—rather than fostering these attributes.

A Better Alternative

It’s crucial to consider the whole child, not just the budding athlete. To revive a child’s imagination and create better conditions for developing creativity, resiliency and flexibility, contemplate the option of taking a child out of organized youth sports for a while to provide the time, space and opportunity to rediscover childhood play and games. Then support them in re-entering organized athletics when they’re a bit older and more physically and emotionally ready.

Also, some kids that get heavily involved in highly structured youth sports too early may be prone to behavioral problems and serious physical injuries. The best thing a parent can do for a young child that is active and interested in sports is roll up their sleeves and join in unscripted backyard or playground family play. Kids thrive in the attention offered from mom or dad, regardless of parental athletic skill levels. Also, organize play dates with other neighborhood kids of varying ages, because they love to learn from each other, including how to work out disagreements.

Once kids are socially, emotionally and physically ready, organized sports can be an amazing platform for fun-filled learning. Having already experienced healthy free play, a child will be ready for and thrive in a more focused, competitive, organized and structured play environment. Fortified by a creative foundation in earlier years, a youngster is better able to identify and express their own mind, body and spirit.

Luis Fernando Llosa is the co-author of Beyond Winning: Smart Parenting in a Toxic Sports Environment and co-founder of WholeChildSports.com. A writer, speaker and former Sports Illustrated reporter, he lives in New York City, where he coaches his five kids. For more information, visit www.LuisFernandoLlosa.com.

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Greening America’s Games Major Leagues Sport More Sustainable Stadiums by Avery Mack

Posted on 05 September 2015 by Jason

Traditional sports stadiums and arenas generate a huge carbon footprint. Multiple sources concur that during a single football game, a 78,000-seat stadium can consume 65,000 kilowatt hours of electricity, and discarded cardboard, plastic and paper; in-stadium food and beverage containers; and tailgating debris that includes cans and bottles leave behind a mountain of waste.

A dozen years ago, the pioneering Philadelphia Eagles enlisted the help of the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) to begin a persistent push to their goal of going green. Today, the NRDC publishes the Greening Advisor guidebooks on green operating practices for all professional teams in Major League Baseball, the National Football League, the National Basketball Association, the National Hockey League and Major League Soccer, plus the U.S. Tennis Association, and has expanded to include college sports.

Food

Stadium food has always been part of the fan experience, but it’s possible to eat sensibly and well with options like the roasted turkey sandwich at AT&T Park, in San Francisco, where concessionaires source locally and compost leftovers. Veggie burgers, vegan cheesesteaks and sushi have also found their way onto game-day menus to add a change of pace for fans, says Julianne Soviero, author of Unleash Your True Athletic Potential,

The growing interest by the sports industry in composting offers enormous potential benefits, and not a moment too soon, says Allen Hershkowitz, Ph.D., co-founder of the Green Sports Alliance and director of the NRDC Sports Project. Using recyclable containers counts—New York City’s venerable Yankee Stadium reduced its trash load by 40 percent by switching to biodegradable cups and service ware. Pepsi supported the upgrade by exchanging its conventional plastic bottle for a bio-based version made from agricultural waste.

Lights

At New York’s Oncenter War Memorial Arena, the American Hockey League’s Syracuse Crunch pro team skates under LED lights. “They make the arena brighter. It’s easier to see the puck,” says defenseman Joey Mormina. “The fun light show that follows goals adds energy for the crowd and players.”

LED lighting provides improved clarity in TV transmissions and sports action photos and doesn’t create soft spots on the ice, like traditional lights. “Utica and Binghamton teams switched to LED after playing in our arena,” comments Jim Sarosy, chief operating officer for the Crunch.

Water

“The Crunch is the first pro hockey team to skate on recycled rainwater,” Sarosy adds. “It’s collected from the roof, stored in three central reservoirs in the basement and pumped into the Zamboni machine for resurfacing the ice.” The practice also diverts rainwater from overworked sewer systems.

The first pro football stadium to earn a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold Certification, the San Francisco 49ers Levi’s Stadium features a 27,000-square-foot rooftop garden to help control water runoff.

Home to the Los Angeles Lakers, Clippers and Kings, the Staples Center has swapped out 178 flush urinals for waterless models, reducing annual water usage by 7 million gallons.

Like the Eagles, the Florida Marlins pro baseball team, in Miami, now uses 50 percent less water via low-flow plumbing fixtures. Also, the stadium’s upgraded landscape design lessens outdoor irrigation needs by 60 percent.

The University of Georgia likes keeping its grass green, but hates wasteful water dispensers. Its football field is now watered via an underground irrigation system that saves a million gallons a year. Soil moisture sensors indicate when watering is needed.

More Creative Practices

Lincoln Financial Field, home to the Philadelphia Eagles, now boasts more than 11,000 solar panels and 14 wind turbines that combined, generate more than four times the energy used for all home games in a season. The staff uses green cleaning products and has increased recycling more than 200 percent since 2010. Most creatively, the carbon costs of team travel are offset via mitigation by financing tree plantings in their home state and purchasing seedlings for a wildlife refuge in Louisiana.

The Seattle Mariners Safeco Field’s new scoreboard uses 90 percent less power than its predecessor and the Arizona Cardinals pro football team provides bags for tailgating fans to use for recycling.

Five NBA arenas have achieved LEED certification—Phillips Arena (Atlanta Hawks), Toyota Center (Houston Rockets), American Airlines Arena (Miami Heat), Amway Center (Orlando Magic) and Rose Garden (Portland Trail Blazers).

The goal of a cleaner, healthier planet is achievable with systemic shifts like these as more pro and collegiate sports teams score green points.

Connect with freelance writer via AveryMack@mindspring.com.

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Empower Your Life Workshop Coming to Portland September 12-13

Posted on 05 September 2015 by Jason

Led by Jan and Bill Moore of aSmilingWorld, their workshops are dedicated to teaching people how to live with power, passion and purpose and become master manifesters.

“We are spreading empowerment across the globe and raising the vibrational frequency of people and the planet by teaching people how to manifest happiness, fulfillment and prosperity,” Jan Moore explains.
The two-day Portland workshop is valued at $997, but is offered on a “give-what-you-can” model, with a minimum gift of $97 to reserve a seat and an opportunity for a love offering at the conclusion of the event.
“If you are on the path of conscious evolution, this powerful, interactive and transformational workshop will teach you how to remove the blocks and limitations that are stopping you from manifesting the life of your dreams,” Bill Moore explains. “You’ll develop self-awareness and self-love, and raise your consciousness from the third to the fourth dimension in which you can consistently manifest your deepest desires,” he continues.

The Moore’s calling began with their vision and co-creation of the 2011 Festival of Enlightenment, which many attendees called “life changing.” After five years of research and insights into empowerment, conscious evolution and positive manifestation, Jan and Bill Moore are now taking their two-day ‘Empower Your Life’ workshop around the United States teaching attendees how to step into their power and create a life of love, joy, peace and abundance.

Empower Your Life: Achieve Your Dreams workshop Sept. 12-13. Registration required. For more information: aSmilingWorld.org/events or Bill Moore: 512-364-6150.

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Karuna Contemplative Living:A Boutique for the Mindfully-Minded

Posted on 05 September 2015 by Jason

Karuna Contemplative Living, located at 1725 SE Hawthorne Boulevard, may be the first store in Portland that is primarily focused on selling meditation cushions. Over 40 percent of Portlanders say they are religiously unaffiliated and yet, with a city brimming with yoga studios and meditation groups, there seems to be an immense interest in seeking meaning through these ancient traditions. Meditation is taught in schools, prisons, corporations, the military and the healthcare system. Societies expanding curiosity about meditation is also evident in media sources like Mindful Magazine and online at Elephant and Tiny Buddha.

One of the advantages Karuna has over cushions sold on the internet is that one can have a hands-on experience with different cushions and benches and see which is best for their body. As a trained meditation instructor with more than 20 years experience, owner Anandi Gefroh guides customers to the best seat for their individual needs.

Karuna also offers a selection of clothing, jewelry, books and eco-friendly yoga products. Many of the meditation cushions sold at Karuna are made regionally and the Karuna brand cushions are made in Portland. Karuna houses two massage therapists and offers a monthly art exhibit from local yoga and meditation practitioners. This month features artist Mary Garvey. Opening Reception is September 2. Attendees will enjoy a 10 percent discount on most products during opening event.
For more information and store hours, call 971-229-0565 or visitKarunaStore.com.

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Old World Style Craft Butchery Classes – PDX

Posted on 05 September 2015 by Jason

Farm-to-table purists, paleo enthusiasts and hands-on home chefs now have a new opportunity to learn more about the fundamentals of self-provisioning and Old World-style craft butchery. Proletariat Butchery, in Northeast Portland, has announced its fall and winter classes, offering a robust variety of butchery, charcuterie and bacon- and sausage-making courses to carnivores of all ages—from the smallest bacon lover and every generation before—including specialty classes for kids. Zeph Shepard, head butcher, welcomes students of all interests and ages to his cozy teaching space and butcher shop at NE 61st Avenue and Fremont.

“These classes are open to absolutely all skill levels. Whether you have never picked up a knife or you are an amateur butcher,” says Shepard, “you’ll leave class with an understanding of animal anatomy and where each cut of meat comes from on the animal, which directly informs the preferred cooking method. You will walk away with a bounty of meat and a happy heart.”

Proletariat also offers a variety of hand-butchered meat that can be purchased by the quarter animal after meeting with Shepard to assess the client’s lifestyle and determine the best program for the needs determined. Additional offerings include whole pig and lamb roasting in specially engineered roasting boxes, welded by Shepard himself, as well as multiple-chicken rotisserie over an open flame available for weddings and other events.

To inquire, register or learn more about the classes and services provided by proletariat, visit ProletariatButchery.com.

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New Yoga Studio in NW Portland

Posted on 05 September 2015 by Jason

Zenality Yoga is a new studio located in the Uptown shopping area of Northwest 23rd and Burnside. The studio is focused on unique offerings of yoga, dance and movement therapy, creating an “urban immersion” setting through intimate classes.
Zenality Yoga was created by Pamela Belfiore and her daughter Erica Belfiore as an offering of their personal journeys through yoga that came together in harmonious union in Florida, beginning in 2009. With the inauguration of their company, Zenality Traveling School of Yoga, the two women have traveled and graduated groups of students throughout beautiful retreat locations across the country. As Erica settled in Portland, she opened Zenality Yoga & Movement Studio in August 2015 with the vision of building a retreat in the city for teachers and students to expand their creative and healing energies.
By offering series classes Zenality Yoga sets itself apart from other movement studios. Teachers create and present six-week programs dedicated to deepening personal growth and practice. The specificity of classes allows both teachers and students to hone in on their individual interests and talents.
Zenality’s class schedule continuously rotates every six weeks while still maintaining a daily program of strong determination classes in the morning, powerful classes in the afternoon and flow classes in the evening. Zenality Yoga supports not only yoga but also dance and other movement modalities.

The next six-week long series classes begin Sept. 14, but students are welcome to drop in on classes at any time. Zenality also offers two weeks unlimited yoga for new students for just $30. ZenaltiyYoga.com.

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