“Explore the science of happiness”

“…happiness exposes results that not only are surprising but reinforce things we should have known all along: like the fact that having flowers in the house really does make us happier. As the instructor of “The Science of Happiness” at Harvard Medical School and the director of the Program in Aesthetics and Well Being at Massachusetts General Hospital, Nancy Etcoff is uniquely qualified to solve the mysteries of contentment.

“Skewering the popular wisdom that beauty is a social construct, this Harvard psychologist argues that we ogle such features because they radiate the health and fertility our species needs to survive.”

Time

Explore the  The science of happiness with Dr. Nancy Etcoff click here

courtesy of Ted.com

“The Zen of soap”

Soap RX with the Master Soap Maker

Dragnash?  Pomegranate?  Crunchy Scratchy Lavender?  Red Wine & Flax?  Pumpkin Pie?  Beer?  Sandalwood?

This is not a grocery list, but an inventory of the various chunks and pieces of soap that confront me when I step into my morning shower.  I am a Soap Maker.  So on any given day I may have nine to twelve different soaps in my shower to choose from.  It’s not just the odd sizes of these little soaps that make them unique (I use the remnant and irregular pieces), but the fact that each one has it’s own special character and purpose.

The art of choosing the perfect soap to begin your day

With such a wide selection of soaps, how do I decide?  What makes me choose a particular soap each morning?  I have to admit that there are days, I just stare at them-none of them particularly inviting.  That’s when I know it’s time to create a new soap. Soap scents range from beer to Dragnash, Pomegranate, Crunchy Scratchy Lavender to Red Wine & Flax, Pumpkin Pie, Beer, and Sandalwood blends to name a few.

Some days my process is purely logical. I have made a new soap and needed to test it thoroughly before I offer it for sale.  In which case, I will use the soap every day for a few weeks to make sure it meets Zen of Soap expectations.

Today, my choice was strictly emotional.  The alarm woke me up after a restless night, I was still tired, my sinuses were blocked and I was CRANKY.  I instinctually reached for Crunchy Scratchy Lavender.  The Chamomile, Lavender and Oatmeal worked to sooth my skin and senses.  A hint Eucalyptus Essential Oil managed to help clear my nose.  Ahh, my morning has immediately improved-now I can start my day.

Have a Happy Day !

Joyce Speer, Zen of Soap Artist from  Dragnass Soap will be glad to answer your questions and teach you how to make Zen soaps.

Contact Joyce or sent your questions to Zen of Soap

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“4 steps to Breaking The Anger Habit”

Anger is a response learned in childhood to protect us

from the vulnerable feelings that lie beneath the protection.

Four steps that have helped me break the anger habit and reverse the negative consequences that inevitably accompany it are: Awareness, Returning to Center, Learning and Cleaning Up Messes.

Step 1. Awareness – Anger indicates a disconnection from the heart. (Words that to me are the same as heart include: soul, center, essence, true self, authentic self, or Spirit.)  A heart connection is accompanied by compassion and an openness to learning.  When we have committed to being heart-connected more of the time, this awareness gives us choice.  Without it we’re stuck blaming others for our anger, making excuses for it or self-righteously justifying it.  With the awareness that our anger has triggered something in us we take personal responsibility for our choice to either continue being angry or do something that returns us to our center.

Step 2. Returning to center – We all know how to return to center.

Such behaviors include: taking a deep breath (or 2 or more), doing a physical activity such as running around the block, dancing or pounding a pillow, putting on a piece of music that opens our heart, taking a walk in nature, (doing something that makes you smile awhile – editor’s note) or free form writing of our feelings.

Step 3. Learning – Once we’re back in our center we can learn more about the fears and beliefs that got us off center and what we can do to resolve those fears by bringing our beliefs into alignment with our heart.

Step 4. Cleaning up messes – Anger has a negative effect both on ourselves and our relationship with those at the other end of our anger.  Cleaning up these effects means taking responsibility for disrespecting others and expressing our sadness to those whom we have disrespected.  This is essential for rebuilding the trust that is eroded by our anger.

Judging ourselves for getting angry makes taking responsibility much more difficult.  Seeing anger as merely a disconnection from our heart rather than as bad or wrong makes it easier.  The analogy that I use that has made it much easier to not blame myself can be seen at,

Guest writer Dr. Jordan Paul welcomes all comments and questions.

Please submit responses

To  reach Dr. Paul or read more of his articles

Resources

Article by Dr. Jordan Paul

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“Where did my anger come from?”

Conventional thinking is that it is good and healthy to express anger. While withholding anger is certainly not in anyone’s best interest, using anger to get others to change their behavior carries with it many negative consequences.

I asked myself, “Where is my anger coming from? ” Then i began to review when I got angry and observed :

My anger seemed to be deeply ingrained in my system and it
Was I born with this anger? – my intuition said no.
Was it a learned response and if so to what? Yes, I learned to use anger to get my way and to protect my sensitive nature from my inner feelings of fear, pain, helplessness
How did I feel about myself when I acted out in anger? When I asked that question I learned that I felt at that moment I was not good enough, lovable or adequate.

So actually, in truth my anger is an expression of my weakness and confusion, not my strength. Being afraid to show my vulnerable feelings is a reflection of my fear that I might be judged by others, and more importantly by myself as weak, unmanly, bad, wrong, stupid, or that I can’t handle my softer feelings and I will be rejected, or that I will be manipulated into doing things that I really don’t want to do.

I have come to understand that when my anger is manipulative it does not contain compassion and a desire to learn and therefore, is not coming from my heart and I am not in oneness.

This is the first in a series of articles and discussions with Dr. Jordan Paul, PhD.
Excerpts from Dr. Paul’s article ANGER or REAL STRENGTH

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“13 Best wishes and smiles for 2011”

Throughout the rest of this 2011 and beyond Complementary Medicine Association wishes you and those you love:

May you always make the right moves.

May your cup runneth over with love.

May you always find shelter from any storm.

May you remain good looking and looking good!

May you find the perfect diet for your soul.
(If this face doesn’t make you want to stop eating sausage, nothing will.)

May you find perfect balance in the company you keep.

May you have as much fun as you can before someone makes you stop.

May the worst thing that happens to you come in slobbery pink and furry tan.

May you manage to make time for siesta.

May all the new folks you meet be interesting and kind.

May your accessories always harmonize with your natural beauty!

Should your mouth be bigger than your stomach, may you have a chewing good time!



And may your friends always bring you comfort!

May You Have a Joy filled NEW YEAR
Overflowing with Compassion, Prosperity, Health And Hope

Images courtesy of a friend of NaturesCrusaders.com library

“Trauma or peace -a New Year’s wish”

Collectively, in the years ‘ past we humans have tried their best to collectively destroying Mother Nature and ourselves.

Let us begin this New Year 2011 with peace in our hearts. Armed with tools of improvement of our own health and wellness and with tested methods and techniques to de-stress ourselves and clarify our purpose of wholistically and sustainably healing the planet.

In our past we have ripped, dug, torn, bombed,slashed and burned other people, poisoned, abused  and corrupted our children and the earth, air and waters of the world.
This has caused a vibration of PTSD or post traumatic shock and stress to be our way of life.
Let us begin today to building positive support from each person and our earth by do just a little bit each day to help improve our food, relationships and well-being and our beloved earth.
May peace, respect, health and good will be generously bestowed on your  and yours in 2011.

Mary Wolken, PhD. and the Staff of Complementary Medicine Association

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“2 secrets to a healthier happier you”

Early AM meditation and exercise will create a new healthier you:

Exercising and meditating early lets your body decrease food cravings which will reduce your calorie intake for the day.
Exercising and meditating daily significantly increases brain functioning for four to ten hours after your AM workout and meditation ends.
Getting up earlier means your body will be more ready to go to sleep earlier and you will sleep deeper and wake more refreshed.
Regular exercise and meditation at the same AM time let’s your endocrine system regulate your hormonal system and encourage a stable circadian rhythm.

Through regular exercise and meditation, the normal body rhythm stabilizes. This critical rhythm cycle prepares the body and mind for waking and exercise several hours before you actually open your eyes.

Regular exercise and meditation decreases stress and improves your health and wellness:

1. Circulating normal levels of hormones through the muscles at regular hours, prepare your body for exercise and meditation by regulating blood pressure, and heart rate.
Your organ systems’ energy can relax, refresh, rest and ready itself to function at peak efficiency at normal hours. Then your metabolism can normalize and in conjunction with all body’s hormones involved in activity and exercise, begin to elevate during sleep and help you be more alert, energized, and ready to exercise and meditate when you do wake up.
2. Increases your digestive energy so you will be hungry after exercise and be able to have a quality breakfast to start the day. Cravings and snacking will decrease, so many people can loss weight.
3. Your colon energy will improve and you will be able to have better elimination at normal times during the day.
4. Weight loss, improved muscle tone and increased stamina are often the bonus for
regular AM exercise and meditation.

The gift to yourself that keeps on giving
Exercising and having a quiet meditative time for yourself daily, brings your mind, body and emotions into a harmony that will increase your peace, patience and communication with yourself and others.

Resources
Excerpts
courtesy of   http://bit.ly/i6iyec

Image courtesy of   http://bit.ly/eTcPvL

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” Spirit of happiness and hope”

“All of life is a journey; which paths we take, what we look back on, and what we look forward to is up to us. We determine our destination, what kind of road we will take to get there, and how happy we are when we get there. From A Little Book of Happiness”

Never, did I dream that on a trip to the Sunflower Market in Tucson, AZ., I would meet a such a friendly determined courageous and positive woman.

I was simply browsing in an isle as this woman rush past me with her cart and labeler. The isle was narrow with displays, she excused herself as she breezed by me to work a few feet from where I was. She was so intent on her work, I commented that she looked like a woman on a mission. She agreed.

This woman exuded positive upbeat energy like a generator.
I told her it was refreshing to talk with someone that seemed to be happy to serve people. She said, “You know last week there was someone in the store that told me how awful the world was.

I responded, “You know I’m so happy and grateful for all I have my boyfriend and I love each other. Even though we face these challenges:

The challenges

  • “…Erik has been battling kidney failure,( I.G.A. Naprothy; Berger’s Disease) for over two years now. I am giving him hemodialysis at home every day in a pleasant- positive environment.
    Our house is in foreclosure, because all our money is going towards his care, bills, and he has not worked in a long time.
    Our insurance has told us that we must do the transplants at a hospital outside of Arizona , the hospital needs to have a five star rating, there are none in Arizona.
    The medical doctor told us he will need a double transplant – kidney and liver. “
  • Erik’s dialysis nurse Suzi Wood who has been such  a huge help and inspiration to both of us threw this whole ordeal is retiring. We honestly wouldn’t be where we are in our health and mind set without her in our lives. We are so grateful for her support.”

The Good News

  • The medical doctor told us he will need a double transplant – kidney and liver, but the good news is going on the two organ wait list usually takes less time to get the transplants.
  • The foreclosure has been extended, so we won’t have to move at the end of the November.
    Foreclosure is not the worst thing that could happen. When we move  we will make better financial choices and get a place to live that does not require the upkeep this one does.
    Sunflower Market where Barbara works has totally supported her. If she needs to leave to go with him to doctor or do the dialysis, they say do what you need to do, we’ll see you later.

I have so much to be thankful for and happy about.”

I arranged to meet this couple together outside of work. At the interview, I was greeted by two very upbeat people that talked about going to NASCAR over the weekend. It had been two years since Erik had been able to attend the NASCAR event. His health is finally stable! Never would I guess they were facing so many daunting life threatening challenges.
Erik Ringquist is 43 years old and looks in good shape. He was captain of his Jackson , Minnesota High football team. He stays home now and does most everything there as he awaits the word from the Denver Hospital to come up for their testing.

Erik attributes his positive attitude to his father, Allen Ringquist, for never letting him quit and always giving him a good work ethic, and to his football coach, Tyrone Wacker, who also put strong values and a strong “never give up” attitude in Eriks’ head.

His devoted mate, Barbara Barger is 45 years old and works full time at Sunflower Farmers Market and has learned to be a dialysis tech and helps Erik stick the 15 gauge needles in his upper arm each day to begin the hemodialysis treatment that lasts about 3.5 hours.

In my interview with them, I asked Barbara if she had two wishes what would they be?
She replied “I would want Erik to be healthy and to have the most skilled doctors for his transplant team and through his recovery.
What would be your second wish? What would you want for you?

“I want world peace; I don’t like war.”

Complementary Medicine Association and all our readers wish you both the best. We will update you on their progress.

In the photo above they are holding a gift from the Coca Cola company of a gift of a cap and T-shirt signed by their favorite NASCAR drivers and sent to them with best wishes for a successful placement on the transplant list and a speedy replacement of  the challenged organs.

“Where you now stand is a result of thoughts and feelings that you have offered before, but where you are going is a result of your perspective of where you now stand. – Abraham-Hicks” quoted on Positive Quote site by Laura on November 22, 2010

Mary Wolken, Editor CMA NEWS
compmed.com

Resources

Excerpts courtesy of  http://bit.ly/i7ZTFx

Image 1. courtesy of  http://bit.ly/hmCbU5

Image 2. courtesy of Complementary Medicine library All rights reserved.

“Dancing down high BP for those that sit too much ” fun tip of the day

Get it movin’ is the name of the blood pressure game.

This can be fun you know.

Try to vary up your time at a desk or computer by taking a

Take a fun break at least every hour.

Drink some quality water

Plug into your favorite music on the ipod or radio and spend 5 minutes “gettin down”

Imagine yourself as your favorite singer/dancer and have fun ” gettin movin”

This will improve your productivity and help decrease your blood pressure and weight at the same time you will increase your flexibility and your digestive and immune health.

Tip of the Day – MW -CMA Editor

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