Spirituality & Health Articles

Do Comfort and Adventure Have to Be Mutually Exclusive?

Saturday, January 24th, 2015

Woman Outdoors Looking Away

“Which do you prefer, adventure or comfort?” I was asked recently, matter-of-factly, as if the two were mutually separate entities, and I, given the option to choose only one.

I closed my eyes and I wondered. Now, at the age of 53, I see clearly that my answer is remarkably different than the answer I would have certainly given in my 20s.

“I am seeking comfort,” I shot out too quickly, “…and adventure,” I added, clearly coming across as someone who has trouble making decisions.

Can Hugs Protect Against Illness During Stressful Times? Research Says Yes!

Tuesday, January 20th, 2015

hugging09a

It’s cold and flu season again — make sure you get plenty of sleep, take some extra vitamin C and … hug each other a little more. Yes, that’s right. A new study reveals that frequent hugging lowers your chances of becoming ill during times of stress.

Prior research has found that high levels of stress can weaken the immune system, making us more susceptible to illness and infection. On the other hand, science has also shown that individuals with a strong social support system tend to enjoy a protective “buffer” against greater levels of stress.

7 Tips to Avoid Letting Money Negatively Affect Your Relationships

Sunday, January 18th, 2015

Money Lock

It is said that money is one of the No. 1 challenges in relationships; however, it is not just the lack of money that causes problems. The pursuit of money and the use of money are also capable of challenging, if not destroying, our relationships.

As we put a firm step into the New Year, here are some reminders for maintaining healthy relationships with your loved ones, business associates, and with yourself. These golden rules can take you farther than simple riches can.

What It Really Means to Be in the Present Moment

Tuesday, January 13th, 2015

medication-adhd-treatmentThese days we often hear touted the importance of being in the present moment. We’re told that the “now” is all that exists and if we’re not here “now” then we’re not really living.

This makes a great deal of sense to me. Oftentimes, I find myself distracted by thought about the future. Or, I replay past experiences in my mind, often unproductively.

Being in the moment frees us to experience life more fully, which is a good thing. But might this edict have a shadow side? Like any rule or declaration, it has limitations and is prone to misunderstanding.

Relieve Pain, Stress, and Sleeplessness with Japanese Massage Techniques

Monday, January 12th, 2015

male sleeping patterns

Getting a good night’s sleep can seem like an impossible dream for those in chronic pain. And to make matters worse, the situation tends to worsen over time, resulting in a never-ending pain/insomnia cycle. The pain causes sleep deprivation, which in turn weakens the body’s natural pain control mechanisms — leading to more pain and more insomnia.

Since medication is not recommended for long-term use, researchers from the University of Alberta have been exploring low-cost, alternative therapies to help people with chronic pain get better sleep.

Their findings show that self-administered hand shiatsu — a Japanese form of massage, similar to acupressure — can help people in pain fall asleep more quickly and stay asleep for a longer period of time.

Learn to Bring Light into the New Year

Thursday, January 1st, 2015

remembering-simpler-times-sandy-candle

‘Tis the season for drinking too much eggnog, eating too much, and pulling out old family hangover cures.

We’ve just moved past the Winter Solstice, the darkest time of the sun cycle, which happened within hours of the New Moon, the darkest moment of the moon cycle. We are in a season of darkness upon darkness, and it will take some time to start seeing more natural light again.

As human animals, light is an important aspect of our nourishment, like food and breath. I think part of the reason we have so many holiday parties during this time of year is to try to bring some light, even if it’s in the form of tea candles and colourful martinis, to a dark time.

Using Yoga to Return to Your Body

Tuesday, December 30th, 2014

group yoga happy google

The yoga that we practice here in North America has a fascinating and complex history and lineage. There are influences from different branches of Hindu religion, Buddhist philosophy, and the maligned wandering Hatha yogis who displayed extreme postures in the streets of India in the late 1800s.

As a result, we can get mixed messages about what it is we are doing in our yoga. For example, sometimes we get the lesson that the world we live in is an illusion, and that we do our yoga practices to separate ourselves from the ignorance we live in, to wake up from the larger dream. If we can still our minds, the theory goes, we will be free of the pain and distraction of being a human in a complicated world.

How Identifying a Kindred Spirit Can Battle Low Self-Esteem

Thursday, December 25th, 2014

best friends

If low self-esteem had a Constitution, its First Amendment would be: I hate myself.

Its Second Amendment would be: Everyone hates me.

Illogically, maddeningly, this Second Amendment haunts even the most introverted among us. Not that the Second Amendment of Low Self-Esteem causes introversion, but rather that naturally born loners who are unlucky enough to start loathing themselves often fall under the tragic enchantment of thinking themselves universally loathed — believing it so deeply as to turn their lives into aim-to-please performances.

Recognizing Expressions of Spiritual Activism

Thursday, December 25th, 2014

smiling-people

In these last few weeks we’ve witnessed countless bold, inspiring acts of Spiritual Activism, with people holding space for equality, inclusion, justice and love. In case you’ve missed any of them, and need a dose of what’s right in the world, read on.

1. Healing Racism: In the face of great sadness, pain and confusion in the wake of the Mike Brown case in Ferguson and Eric Garner decision in New York, there has been an awe inspiring and very visible response in hundreds of cities and towns, where folks have gathered in great numbers, marched, rallied, prayed and staged “die-ins” calling out for the much needed transformation and healing to end racism.

7 Ways to Manage Mixed Emotions During the Holidays

Wednesday, December 17th, 2014

simplifying-holidays-shrinking-stress

As the holiday season is now in full swing, I can’t help but observe the swing of emotions — mine and that of those all around me.

On one hand, there is the child-like delight of magical holiday lights and decorations. Regardless of a “bah hum bug” mindset, it is hard to deny the spectacular beauty of homes and businesses bedecked with twinkling lights.

If you have little ones and family in your life, there is the excitement, enthusiasm and anticipation of the magical appearance of gifts and delectable feasts.

VIDEO: Try This 5-Minute Yoga Vinyasa Flow for the Holidays

Sunday, December 14th, 2014

Between traveling, buying gifts, cooking the “perfect” meal and managing kids and in-laws, coming home for the holidays can be …

Carefully Choose Your Actions with These 3 Mindfulness Tools

Friday, December 12th, 2014

Using Your Senses to Gain a Richer Life

“Your task is not to seek for love, but to seek and find the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.” — Rumi

As humans, we are creatures of habit. We not only stick to the same brand of shampoo, but we also have many mental, emotional, and behavioral patterns that we fall back on day to day.

This isn’t always a bad thing: mindlessly getting the same brand of shampoo every time saves us probably twenty minutes of careful comparison. We can’t be mindful all the time.

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