Welcome


Hi and welcome to my blog. I've been involved in natural health for over two decades and I've had the privilege of sharing my wellness knowledge with millions of people. And I look forward to sharing my knowledge here with you. Some of these posts will be education, some entertaining and some touching. But my intention is that you will walk away from every one with some insight into your own life, inspired to make a small change that will lead you to better health. Thanks for joining and please let me know how I can help you in your journey to improved health.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Top 5 Exercise motivation tips to achieve your Fitness Goals

This post was by Cathy of Garagegymplanner.com.


Sometimes you don’t just feel like getting out of the bed and going to the gym. Here are five motivation tips to help you put that lazy butt to work.


There’s nothing bad about feeling lazy and not showing up for anything in the world. It happens to the best of us whether due to a bad mood, relationship problems, the overdose of liquor over the weekend or even a bad weather outside. As humans, it’s natural for us to have mood swings and pattern changes in routine. Experts recommend having a routine for everything that you do, but sometimes finding motivation to workout can be difficult.


Below are the 5 unconventional ways to get you all excited and pumped up for your workout.


P.s these may not be the usual crap that you end up reading when searching for motivation tips for exercise. The ways mentioned below are real and if you feel put off by them you go back to “take a coffee, write your goals approach”


1. Scare the hell out of yourself

Sounds crazy?


Well, it is scientifically proven that the fear response mechanism in the human body can produce a primitive, superhuman power that we cannot otherwise achieve under normal circumstances.


For instance, you never thought how fast you could run unless you had to run saving your life from a stray dog or a crazy fire. There have been countless such examples in the human history where people depict extraordinary power in life-threatening situations such as fighting a bear or lifting a car etc.


Studies related to the biomechanics of weightlifting conclude that there is a clear difference between absolute strength and body’s maximum force. Where former is the force our muscles can apply under normal conditions while latter is one generated through conscious will power.


Involve yourself in role playing and practice imagining threatening situations and how you will react to them. This will improve your performance and motivation to workout.

2. Listen to terrible music

Even though everyone suggests you make a playlist of the songs you love the most, you should do the opposite. Listen to music that you cannot stand because “noxious” music acts as a booster for your workouts. (Source: USSR)


3. Have a workout buddy

Chances are, you already have one, but he’s useless, which is why you are reading these tips to find motivation. You should partner with a passionate body builder instead of convincing your friends to go with you, who will just hang around, play games on their phone and come back.


Use a website to find a gym buddy. And even if that doesn’t work, go to the strong guys in the gym and clearly ask them if they will let you have the opportunity to train by their side.


4. Let negative feels drive you

Works on the same principle as fear!
Find reasons or people that fire up your aggression and channel that to build some muscle. Look around to find annoying people in the gym or think of your ex, your boss or anyone who has wronged you.


5. Hang a huge mirror on your front wall

Place it in a way that you see it first thing in the morning. Make sure its good size so that it shows your complete body and lets you rethink about where you are headed with your life and fitness goals. Write “This is your competition” on top of the mirror for better motivation.

Hopefully these unconventional tips will help. See you at the gym!

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Letting your light shine in 2017.

This is the transcript of the speech I gave in La Place, LA. (here is the link to the video: https://youtu.be/7WnHE9odz38)

Enjoy and happy new year! 

You can focus on the darkness of the sky or you can see the stars.

2016 has been a difficult year for many. We’ve had the most tumultuous election ever. And no matter what side of it you were on you can’t deny the chaos and fear that it raised in many. We saw natural disasters, fires ravaged my area in California, the floods in Louisiana, which is what we gathered to support right now. There were several attacks around the world, close to home in the Pulse Nightclub shooting and with our allies and friends in France, Brussels and Turkey. We could say that there was much darkness this year.

And with the backdrop of that darkness, we’ve gathered here in this place, at this time to celebrate the light. Christmas and the other holidays associated with this time, Hanukkah, Yule, Kwanzaa, the winter solstice. All of these holidays are about light. I mean the Wise Men even followed the light of the brightest star to find Jesus the Christ. Winter Solstice is that time where the wheel of the year turns and we leave the darkness to welcome back the light of the sun. Sun God, Son of God. 

The days get longer and that mystery of night shortens. And in welcoming back that light we can leave the fear and the worry, the hate and the prejudice. Every day the power of that light grows, not just in us, but around us and through us. We all have a powerful light inside us. In lighting our own light we illuminate those around us. The light mingles and grows. It shines on those who feel like they don’t have their own torch. Perhaps it’s just a spark from a match that quickly peters out, but if we join our light with the light of those around us, we get a spotlight that illumines the entire sky. 

Darkness cannot exist in the light. Sadness, fear, hatred, anger, cannot exist in the light. That’s what this time of year is about and as I walk through this world I picture dropping sparkles of light that those people around me may feel it when they need it. Maybe it’s a smile, a hug, holding the door for someone, raising money or donating your time. Sometimes we doubt our light, we have a rough time, challenges. We’ve all been there. We can all stand in solidarity to acknowledge that sometimes we are just spent. That’s when we can rely on the light from those around us. There is enough for all. 

And that’s what this time of year is for. Gathering in your community, your church or temple, with your family and friends to share yourself and your light.  Each and everyone one of you. Look around, see the light in those people, because by acknowledging it in others, it grows, just like the Grinch’s heart. Feel it, let it out. Let your light shine, combine it with others, share your light and glow.

And as I list a few quotes, think about expanding the reach of your inner light, your Godness, your Christ consciousness and your love.


Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that. MLK jr.

We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light. Plato

Travel light, live light, spread the light, be the light. Yogi Bhajan

Light must come from inside. You cannot ask the darkness to leave; you must turn on the light.  Rimpoche

It is better to light one small candle than to curse the darkness. Eleanor Roosevelt

Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.  Buddha

And finally: In him was life and that life was the light of men.    I am the light of the world.    I have come in to the world as a light, so that no on should remain in darkness.   Bible

As we move through this holiday season and in to 2017, remember your light. Be generous with your light. Because the light always triumphs darkness. Love and blessings and much light to you all! Happy New Year!

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Shhhhhhhh, my experience at a silent retreat



Many people have asked me about my experience during my recent silent retreat. I returned to Lake Shrine-Self Realization Fellowship in Pacific Palisades for my second go at three days of silence, no alcohol, vegetarian food and long bouts of meditation.

I started going to Lake Shrine way back in 1993. It became one of my favorite places to go and spend some quiet time. The gardens are amazing, the lake is beautiful, complete with ducks, turtles and swans and there are many little nooks where you can meditate amongst the flowers.


I started looking at the end of 2015 for a retreat where I could just go and commune with spirit and nature. I stumbled upon the retreat at Lake Shrine and immediately signed up. I don't think I knew it was silent at first and when I realized it a little wave of terror went over me. Could I really not speak for three days?




Windmill meditation space

In reality that was the easy part. No one is speaking so it's not like you're going about your regular day, in your regular life, with your regular friends and your regular job unable to speak. The only people who speak are the monks who are guiding you through prayers and meditations. 

The first awkward moment was mealtime when, normally you would be speaking to the people around you. On my second visit just a few days ago I looked around at the other attendees. I could tell who the first timers were by the look of terror in their eyes at what had they got themselves into. I wondered if I looked that scared my first time. It's interesting how people change their behavior when at a silent retreat. Everybody walks very slowly with their eyes cast downward. The awkward mealtime becomes placing things very gently on the table as if trying not to make any noise at all. It actually struck me as funny how exaggerated people's movement had gotten and I'm sure I looked like that my first time too.

I found on this second visit I was able to sit for longer and longer periods of meditation and got deeper and deeper in my practice. I had some amazing insight and beautiful messages, some to be shared with others and some privately for myself. The strangest thing about the silent meditation is you spend three days with about 10 or 12 other people. And everyone is anonymous. No one has an identity. You don't know who they are, what they do, what they believe and where they work. In a society that is so tied to our identities it struck me so strongly this time that I didn't know who these people were. At the end of the retreat when the monk dismisses us many people gather in the courtyard to introduce themselves where we get to hear them speak for the first time. 



Outdoor temple area with swan

I was surprised at how many foreign accents I heard, learning that a few of the attendees were from the UK and Mexico. It was exciting to get to meet these people and just get a glimpse into their lives. My husband to make this time from ashram to real life world, especially with all that's going on politically and globally. But I'm trying to find ways to carry that piece of peace with me throughout my days to spread to others. Maybe a three-day silent meditation retreat at an ashram isn't for you, but try a silent meal or a few silent moments. You'd be amazed at what you hear. 





Some people find that scary, they don't want to know what's inside. But whether you acknowledge it or not it is there and will bubble to the surface one way or another. Self realization, self exploration and self actualization is what's going to propel us forward as a society. Kindness, love and peace need to permeate what is going on in this world. Now is the time to shine your light outward not to be shy about what you believe. 



Buddha on the hillside








Light your torch and let others see the glow of your spirit. 

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Back to Nature for Women

       Back to Nature for Women, 
by Barbara Hannelore


There is an aspect of getting “back to nature” that is uniquely valuable for women;  getting back to the rhythms of nature. and building more of that rhythm into the way we approach our lives and care for ourselves.

Women have an internal rhythm that closely reflects the phases of the moon or the seasons...this can help us to pace ourselves, and to take that time to “refresh and renew” that we so desperately need in order to avoid burnout.

We’re not used to thinking of our menstrual cycle in this way -  as being a helpful influence in our lives! We haven’t been told anything good about it - and yet it operates at the center of our bodies and our lives for decades! What a difference it would make for women to know a better way of living with our monthly rhythms! 

What if we knew how to work WITH our cycle, all month long, instead of trying to distance ourselves from any of the changes that it might bring? When we try to ignore our own phases and changes from week to week, or when we resent them and see them as a weakness, we are literally fighting ourselves!  How could that be empowering or healthy?

Even those of us who have done a lot of healing work are often not in touch with the possibilities for an entirely different way to relate to the rhythms of our own bodies!

_______________


What if there were a model for menstruation that was based on positive associations and images?  Instead of being a joke, a burden, or an embarrassment, what if your monthly cycle could be a personal rhythm, a meaningful experience, or even a blessing?

This is what we can gain by looking to nature for inspiration and guidance.

Everything in nature has a pulse or a pattern of expansion and return. This is how all of nature works! This pulse is what causes movement to happen, as the flow of energy circulates, from the tiniest waves of light and sound, out to the largest galaxies in their rotation. 

The moon and seasons are easy models for us to consider, because we are familiar with their predictable changes: the Full Moon that follows New Moon, the brighter days of Summer that wane to Winter again. We don’t think of one phase as being “better” than the other.

It’s easy to see how the phases of the moon or seasons balance each other, but this can be harder to appreciate for ourselves! We expect ourselves to be going at full speed all the time - we consider it a waste or a failure when we can’t keep up, and we often feel ourselves falling behind. This is an exhausting and discouraging way to live, and this is why reminding ourselves of the predictable patterns of nature can be so reassuring, and can offer us such guidance and insight.




I call it a “Nature-Based System of Self Care,” as we begin to see how all of the phases of our own month work together for our benefit, too.

We have our own time of growing “light” or energy, as we approach ovulation, which is like our own Full Moon or Summer. Ovulation is when we are most likely to feel radiant and bright; estrogen is at its peak now, and estrogen like to make us appealing! Our attention is focused outward, like the radiant Full Moon; we feel more social, energetic, and engaged with our community.

Then begins our “waning” time, our own seasons of Autumn and Winter, as we move toward completion and integration of the month. We, too, begin to draw inward again after our fullest phase, as we approach menstruation. The waning time of our month is when our attention turns back toward ourselves, toward our own feelings and needs. The waning light is the time of release and evaluation, of doing things we may have neglected, and of shaking off what no longer serves us.

Our premenstrual time is our own personal Autumn, and this is a time of month when we may need to slow our pace, become less social and available to others, care for ourselves, do things that fulfill us, or have some time alone to decompress and recharge.

Then the darkest days of all, our own personal Winter, are associated with our menstrual phase - a time of renewal, intuition, gestation and deep dreaming. It is a restorative time, for pausing to nourish ourselves on many levels, before we charge out into the next cycle of busy activity!

When we take this step back - when we DO these things - we can emerge into the next month feeling refreshed and deeply fulfilled instead of tired, resentful and unconnected.
We can easily catch up for the time we spent away from our regular routine. It is a real “Aha!” moment when women realize this simple concept: the fact that certain times of the month invite us to care for and replenish ourselves!
The final half of our month is the most challenging part of our cycle, because, like the moon, we change, but our culture does not welcome that change. Modern culture would prefer for us to remain busy, approachable and agreeable ALL the time, but self-care requires us to follow that inner wisdom that knows when we need to take a step back.

This is timeless women’s wisdom that has been passed through generations for thousands of years - only recently has this natural pace of life been lost and forgotten. When we reclaim it, we come home to ourselves in a deeper way; to be truly empowered is to feel comfortable with our own biology, our own unique abilities. 

This acceptance of ourselves, or lack of it, affects our health over a lifetime! Imagine what a difference it will make in the lives of our daughters, as we share these new traditions of self-care, based on the rhythms of nature around and within us.


_______________


You can begin this practice by using personal calendar pages to approach your cycle in a new way, with curiosity and interest. As you start to track your weekly changes and anticipate your needs in the weeks to come, you’ll be treating your month as a whole, with downtime when you need it most, followed by renewed energy and new insights as your new cycle begins. You’ll find a whole new comfort and appreciation for yourself, a way to optimize your time and give yourself love and support, with benefits that you never thought possible!


“Understanding my cycle changed everything.”

“I only wish I had known this easy system sooner.”

“It’s in your very stature - you don’t even need to say a word.”


_______________


Download your free Personal Calendar Pages, with instructions,

About Barbara:




Barbara HannelorĂ© is founder of Women's Way Moon Cycles, sharing a new paradigm of the menstrual cycle for women who want to develop radical new habits of self care and self love! She has supported women to re-discover the power of their inner rhythms for over 20 years. Barbara is author of the award-winning book, The Moon and You, a Woman's Guide to an Easier Monthly Cycle, and hosts her talks and courses both locally and online to a growing global community. She is a Wellness Coach with training in Expressive Arts, and has studied many healing modalities and sacred traditions throughout her life. Barbara lives in Southern California and can be reached at www.womenswaymooncycles.com.

Monday, May 11, 2015

England Journey Part II. Off to Glastonbury

When I left off with the last post about the four hedges of England, I was off to Glastonbury.

I waited my entire life to see this amazing place and I took off in my rented Audi for the 22-mile journey. I was relaxed, ecstatic and expectant to see the amazing things in Glastonbury. I was driving on very narrow roads, listening to the radio, getting ready to watch the sunset, planning my hike up to the Tor when around the corner came a very large truck. It ran me off the road and my car slammed into the low wall that was on the side of the road. The car wouldn't move. I had not only blown the tire but bent the rim.
Bed and Breakfast in Glastonbury
I had a moment of freaking out and I was pissed. "How could this happen to me? I'm on vacation, this is my dream. This is so unfair!!!!" Luckily I was smart enough to get a global cell phone and called England's version of AAA. They said it could be up to 40 minutes. Again I had a meltdown."I can't believe this is happening to me! Life sucks, this is the worst thing ever!" I had been instructed to tell the woman at the bed-and-breakfast my exact arrival time so she could be ready for me. I hunted down her phone number in my stack of things and called to let her know I would be late. But what I actually wanted to do was complain. This is so unfair! I called her and told her I had been run off the road and I had a flat tire. She asked if I was safe? I said, "What!? What do you mean?" She asked if I was safe. "Um, yeah, I guess, but this is awful, now I'm going to be behind schedule and I wanted to be there on time so I could hike the Tor...." And I went on for a few minutes more. Then she said something I never could have expected. "Are you looking at something pretty?" WHAT? What does that even mean? I said, "I don't know, I haven't even looked around." She said, "So, you sit, you wait, you look at something pretty, you'll get here when you get here." And with that, the call was over.

Ooops! 

I was furious. Well, isn't she just all mind/body zen balanced crap. (This was years before my current career) But I did realize she was right. I had no other choice but to sit and wait. And while I did that, I might as well look at something pretty. So I did. I turned and looked behind me and through the sparse trees was a golden field, with hills in the background. Little tuffs of plants dotted the landscape. I concentrated on the light hitting the hills as the sun started to set. I listened to the birds, birds that I couldn't identify because they are unique to the English Countryside. I breathed deeply to see what I could smell. And eventually the mechanic came, informed me that the rim was bent and I would have to go to a repair shop before I drove too much farther. He put on the little donut spare and I headed to my bed and breakfast, calmly. And you know what? I got there. When I got there and not a moment sooner or later.

The famed Tor in Glastonbury, thought to be ancient Avalon

I love this story because it illustrates that we have control over where we put our focus. I could either sit there and be miserable or I could, like she said, look at something pretty. And I spent 3 days sitting on the Tor, enjoying the town, walking their labyrinth and exploring the ruins of the abbey.

Glastonbury Abbey

I visited Chalice Well and allowed the cool water to cleanse my stress away even more. Then I spent several actually awesome hours in a repair shop joking with the mechanics. It was one of the highlights. And for a trip that was meant to be a spiritual journey, it's purpose was fulfilled. Not from just the environment, but from the wise words of my inn keep.

Chalice Well

Enjoy your journey, wherever it will lead and if you find yourself stressed, just look at something pretty.


View from the Tor, overlooking Glastonbury










Sunday, March 15, 2015

Got Pain? I have a solution.


As most of you know I am not a big pusher of products. I don't really sell anything in my office, and if anything, I'm constantly giving stuff away. One of the things I have found the most useful in my personal life and my practice are Salon Pas patches. I do not like to take medication however sometimes you have pain right? Especially with my lifestyle of dance and flying trapeze. 

Salonpas Fabulous Lineup of Products

I found that topical analgesics are a great solution. I have been using pain medication patches since I was in college. My mentor, Dr. Pat introduced me to the Salonpas patches and I've been using them since. I've also found the company to be upstanding and have tons of integrity. It's not just about the bottom line for them. They keep creating products that really help people.  

The great thing about the Salonpas patches is they help your pain go away. I have used them post trapeze on my neck and shoulders, low back and even feet to help those aches from standing all day go away. They come in so many different forms and versatile products. You can get them as a gel patch, a regular patch, spray on or gel. They have it down. 

Post Trapeze Relief

I know there are a lot of other pain patches on the market now but Salon Pas was one of the first and I think the best. They didn't ask me to write this post and I get nothing for it. I just wanted to share information with you to help you in your life. Check them out when you have aches and pains and let me know how they work for you!  http://www.salonpas.us

Thursday, January 15, 2015

3 Actions Happy People Do Every Day


I had the privilege of learning about Laughter Yoga at Harvard and then again at the 2014 ANMA Conference with Brittney. I asked her to write a post because I loved her energy and passion for educating others about Laughter Yoga, living life to its fullest and her great knowledge. We had a blast. Please enjoy her guest post and check out her info at the bottom. 


And keep on laughing!   
Laughter is truly the best medicine. Me and my husband. 

----------------------- 
You know that feeling when you wake up in the morning and you must make the decision – is today going to be good or bad?  I often awake with the thought, “How can today unfold better than I ever imagine?” Thankfully inspired by a dear friend and B.E.S.T Life Coach, Martha O’Reagan.  She mentioned that when we begin each day or each big event in our life with this question we open up the possibility to allow it to unfold as such – better than we ever imagined. 

One such day, I awoke and asked this question and later received the idea to create a 30 Days of Happiness online program that offers my clients the ability to receive inspiration into their inbox, daily.  I took action on this idea and am thrilled with the results.

Through the creation of this program I have been researching happiness and ways that we can incorporate it more into our lives.  Enjoy this list of three actions that happy people do everyday.

1. Happy People Are Grateful.
One of the unique aspects I have learned is that most people who seem naturally happy are genuinely grateful.  You may begin this simply by offering gratitude each day spoken to yourself while looking at your reflection in the mirror. Enjoy what you have now and express your gratitude. Write down three things about your life and all that you have in it - all that you are grateful for.  The more you show gratitude toward what you have now the more you will begin to want less and find that you have all you need in this moment.

2. Happy People Remember The Good Times.
Keep a journal of one positive event that happened each day.  This may be placed under your list of gratitude’s.  Often we make the mistake of giving the negative aspects of our day the most attention. Begin shifting your vision by writing down a positive experience. The act of writing makes the experience more real for us. We will have the simple pleasure of going back after a year and reading every good aspect of our lives.

3. Happy People Move and Laugh
When we move our body we open our mind. Exercise naturally releases endorphins that make us feel good.  Aside from the already spectacular benefits of exercise we begin to notice our physical body and appreciate it more as we move. Like exercise, laughter releases endorphins – which create a positive state of the mind and boost optimism.  When we laugh we not only feed our body with life giving oxygen, we help our body to heal through the boost in our immune system as laughter increases the levels of anti-viral cells. Laughter increases the levels of immunoglobulin A (IgA) that is the first line of defense protecting us against viral infections such as the common cold.

A wonderful way to exercise laughter in a group setting is through Laughter Yoga.  Cardiologist, Dr. Madan Kataria in 1995, created Laughter Yoga.  What began with a small group laughing at jokes became a worldwide practice utilizing breath, child-like playfulness, clapping, and eye contact within a group. The simple act of unconditional laughter within a group helps activate compassion, connection, and helpfulness while participants actively seek the happiness of others. Laughter Yoga was developed as a simple and fun way to spread peace.

I invite you to attempt one of these steps daily and begin to notice how you feel after just one week.  I trust the simple act of awakening to a new day will seem brighter and happier.

Brittany Hiller

Brittney Hiller is known as one of the happiest yogini’s. Certified in Laughter Yoga and a Registered Yoga Instructor with over 1000 hours of teaching, she is delighted to share her love of yoga with others. As a Licensed Massage Therapist she offers a simple understanding of anatomy during her classes. Learn more about Laughter Yoga, 30 Days of Happiness, and Brittney here: www.brittneyhilleryoga.com