Breaking Free in 2015

Breaking Free in 2015

Feeling stuck is no fun. It’s exhausting, actually. Unrewarding relationships, unfulfilling jobs and even homes or locations you dislike can drain your energy faster than a fire hose can fill up a baby pool. If you could change just one thing about your life in the new year what would it be? What if “it” could be replaced with something else by this time next year? Stop and consider that delicious possibility for a moment. Maybe it’s a small thing, like the hideous rug in the living room or spending lunch hour at your desk working between bites of sandwich. Maybe it’s major like an unhappy marriage, unfulfilling career or geographical location. As soon as you relax into the warm and wonderful possibilities of removing the unpleasant situation, five reasons why it can’t happen probably flooded your consciousness, washing away your optimism and once again leaving you feeling stuck and hopeless. Am I right? Did you think, even for an instant, “I can’t because…”? It’s tough being human. I know. #thestruggleisreal We get stuck because we can’t see past the obstacles holding us firmly in place and fear of the unknown can be downright paralyzing. Sometimes though the obstacles are excuses in disguise and fear is the little plastic chair holding us back. Obstacles can be real, of course, but most of them can also be overcome. Obstacles are hurdles not stop signs. Fear is no small hurdle and maybe it’s the biggest block of all. The cool thing about fear though is that you can master it, rather than let it control you. Right? Right? If you don’t...
The Science of Meditation

The Science of Meditation

Everyone can benefit from the daily practice of meditation and there is a growing body of scientific evidence supporting the benefits of meditation and mindfulness on our emotional, mental and physical health. Research suggests meditation helps people manage symptoms of Anxiety disorders Sleep disorders Depression, including bi-polar depression Asthma Heart Disease High blood pressure Pain Inflammation Cancer Memory loss Clinical studies have shown beneficial effects on inflammatory disorders and is supported by the American Heart Association as a preventative intervention.  A new study by researchers in the U.S., Spain and France reports the evidence of specific molecular changes in the body following an intense period of mindfulness practice. “To the best of our knowledge, this is the first paper that shows rapid alterations in gene expression within subjects associated with mindfulness meditation practice.”  says study author Richard J. Davidson, founder of the Center for Investigating Healthy Minds and Vilas Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry at the University of Wisconcin-Madison.  Most interestingly, the changes were observed in genes that are the current targets of anti-inflammatory and analgesic drugs.”  Says Perla Kaliman, author of the study and researcher at the Institute of Biomedical Research of Barcelona, Spain, where the molecular analyses were conducted. A key result in the Davidson study is that meditators experienced genetic changes following mindfulness meditation that were not seen in the non-meditating group after other quiet activities- an outcome providing proof that meditation can lead to epigenetic alterations of the genome. According to Dr. Bruce Lipton, gene activity can change on a daily basis.  The perception in your mind is reflected in the chemistry of your body,...
Surrender is Not Giving Up

Surrender is Not Giving Up

Have you noticed that life goes more smoothly when you let go of control and stop trying to micromanage everything and everyone? The moment you mentally drop to your knees and utter “I surrender” maybe even shaking your fists at the sky, the pieces suddenly come together more brilliantly than you ever could have plotted, planned or predicted. It’s those life lessons that fill me with humility and gratitude and the point was driven home for me once agin this week. I was scheduled to be giving a workshop in Tucson this week but due to an abnormal lack of sign ups, I cancelled the trip. When not one person registered, I recognized it as a clear sign and surrendered to a higher wisdom. The reason would be revealed in time and I let go of my personal disappointment. That reason showed up two days ago in two different forms. The first, being an urgent case that couldn’t have waited and the second a hurricane named Odile. Odile, now a tropical storm is dumping torrential rain over Southern Arizona bringing flashflood warnings throughout the Tucson area. Since I would have been driving alone, well, you get the picture. As soon as I realized that no matter how hard I pushed and tried to hammer the pieces into place the workshop was not meant to be and I surrendered. I didn’t give up, I merely laid down the hammer, realizing I would eventually see the divine wisdom at work. Giving up would involve taking it personally and deciding I was a failure and my workshop a complete flop, a monumental...