Browsing: Mind Body Spirit

Top 5 Reasons Fitness Is Important

Overall Health – If you are physically fit your overall health will be better. You will be able to lead a longer and happier life and avoid many diseases. The risk of getting Diabetes, cancer, heart disease, etc. is reduced dramatically for those who decide to make personal fitness a goal. Even walking 30 minutes a day is enough to make a huge difference and it is a great start to your fitness journey.

Personally, I am a tall guy and I suffer from frequent back pain due to my height. I have discovered that working out is a much better remedy for back pain than ibuprofen or other pain relievers. Working out also helps lessen the effects of my allergies, and just makes me feel better overall. I look forward to my workout at the end of the day and always feel better afterwards, even though it can be tough to be motivated to go several times a week! The key is consistency and making the constant choice to better yourself.

My wife and I workout together frequently and we hold each other accountable. We push each other when we need to be pushed, and we lift each other up when the other if falling away. Having a fitness partner is highly recommended, especially when you are just beginning as you are just getting into the habit!

Self Confidence – Being physically fit is a great way to feel confident each and every day. Physical activity is a major contributor to weight loss and this leads to an improved self image. Confidence in your body breeds confidence in your ideas and opinions as well and makes you stronger as an individual.

Confidence is the catalyst for success of all varieties. With confidence, you can assert your feelings in your marriage and be able to communicate with your spouse even more effectively. With confidence you can nail that interview and land that promotion at work. With confidence you can handle any conflict or disagreement that comes your way. With confidence the opportunities for increased happiness and contentment are endless.

Better Sex – Sex is much better when you are physically fit. You are able to last longer in bed and please your spouse. You are also more likely to want to have sex with your spouse and be more willing to try new things. Sex is the ultimate form of intimate and physical well being only increases the joy and closeness you can experience. For more information on the subject check out this article on the Web MD entitled Better Shape For Better Sex .

Stress Reduction – Nothing clears my head more than a good run, especially after a long day at work. I can just feel all the stress of the day melt away as clearly as I can feel the sweat running down my face. Working out is proven to reduce stress and to increase happiness. Check out this article from the Mayo Health Clinic on stress as related to physical fitness Stress Management .

Stress also plays a major role in interactions with your spouse. The more stressed you are the more likely it is that you will take out that stress on them. This can start with a simple venting session but can turn into a yelling match that you never intended. Managing stress is important so you can have difficult conversations with your spouse without things boiling over from other areas of your life.

Discipline – Practicing physical fitness takes solid discipline. It takes a constant effort to say “no” to sweets and “Yes” to the gym. Once this discipline is learned it will then carry over to other aspects of your life. Gaining discipline in this area will lead to an increase in intentality for your marriage, friendships, family relations, etc. Discipline in these areas is key to happiness and in living a meaningful life.

Discipline is not easy though. It takes work even to get to the point of recognizing that you need discipline in your life! Stick with it, and you will be guaranteed to reap the benefits.

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The Beatles, Pat Benatar, Balance in Life, Living Life Fully, Sam Simon and Honesty

We have our hour in the sun and then we are gone.

The Beatles honed their voices, harmonies, songs, lyrics, bass guitars, lead guitars, words, feelings and zeitgeist and directed it with full hurricane force toward the expression of love and then they were gone.

When you hear John Lennon singing “Twist and Shout” – taking off his shirt to scream the song in one successful take, you are left with the experience of that hurricane – of what it must have been like, but also of possibilities for you and I have the same hurricane force expressed in our lifetimes.

You feel the same when you hear Pat Benatar belt out her songs live, her voice at breaking point or Pavarotti singing or Paul Newman's performance in The Verdict.

A while ago, my client, a quiet unassuming former Buddhist monk experienced that hurricane by selling his nutritional product to every single person in a packed room – by quietly but firmly confronting people with the truth about their health.

Like mostly everyone, we wish for that hurricane to be expressed fully but constantly feel disappointed, promised and unresolved – then we stop trying and we take on what is less risky and more comforting.

We long for just one day – one experience of that hurricane. We think it has to be loud. We think it has to be witnessed by thousands of people. So we plan for a huge concert instead of paying attention to the day to day performances.

People come to me asking me how to create balance in their lives. But really the question is how to live life fully – how to have each day being a fulfilling one even in the midst of disappointments and failures.

Here are the paradigm shifts I humbly ask you to consider as possibilities and not as truths:

  • Stop looking for the huge breakout concert performance – applaud and acknowledge yourself for the day to day movements forward and the recovery from failures
  • Create a context / mission that is worth working towards – and have that burn with the fire of daily practice and refinement – so it does not remain as mere words but has a direct small results that can build to a huge crescendo
  • Notice if your complaints exist within fulfilling the context or they exist inside of something else

Mr. Sam Simon (The Simpsons' co-creator) was diagnosed with cancer and is giving away his entire fortune. The media is ablaze with the news – I applaud this; we need news like this. However, I say that unless you live the example, this will certainly be dinner time conversation for you – “Listen to what the nice dying man did”. Or it will be something you consciously choose not to do or adopt – for which I also applaud you for – there is veracity in not following blindly along like sheep.

But if you elect to live life fully, then let not this decision to do so be one of the many decisions that have gone by the wayside of resignation, boredom or chocolate-like dopamine-based distractions.

Shout it aloud from the roof tops to the people in your life – make a promise to your family and your friends about spending more time with them and then actually follow through with structures and (sometimes boring) systems that will make sure that you follow through on the promises.

Let your time in the sun be one where people ages from now will remark “She / He kept their word and that by itself is and was cool.”

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The Relationship Between Joints, Density and Infinity

Today, I will share with you some fascinating insights about our bodies, our joints and our infinite capacity to embody all of creation while also being able to anchor deeply in experience. I hope you enjoy this post!

Your body is much more than you can ever imagine. Through it, you may behold the Infinite in finite expression and access new perspectives of reality that reveal the perfection of creation that is always anew. When you use your body as the magnificent tool that it was created for, you will become a powerful co-creator of your reality.

It is important to become aware that a level of tremendous power comes through the 13 main joints of the body. The joints are portals to infinite wisdom and intelligence that guides us to engaging in highest reality. They are the bridge between the etheric and the denser levels of physicality, and can hold the perfect level of density to enable your engagement in the reality of form.

When you feel discomfort in any joint area, this indicates that your perspective on life associated with that joint is too limited, rigid or has become obsolete. When the joints are clear, you become flexible, and life fluidly reshapes. As you live without density, you close the gap between inner and outer and you start living in a non-resistant state.

Your body tension, which is primarily stored in the joints, is the cause of illusion, and illusion is the cause of linear time. When you live beyond tension, you no longer partake of drama and then you dwell in timelessness where you are continually regenerated at the cellular level.

When your joints are free of tension, you open to all possibility. And ironically, when you tend, you lock into the reality that you are trying to resist or avoid. What you resist persists and strengthens because of the tension in your body!

You manifest life through the body. A body without tension enhances the personal power and higher awareness available to you. Please know that each time you release a lie to higher understanding, you unleash trapped power into the body that revitalizes the cells, repairs the DNA, and opens up the portals of the body to higher awareness.

Whenever you catch yourself tense, become aware of your joints, intend to release all bodily tension, and know that by doing so, not only are you creating a higher reality for yourself, but are also creating a higher reality for everyone around you!

So, in summary: The joints are portals of intelligence for higher living-they open when we no longer oppose life and dispel the illusion of inner / outer, living both as a seamless whole.

Are you ready to live a life without tension? Leave your comments below!

In surrendered trust,

Monica

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Introducing Pranayama Into Your Reiki Practice

If you have been reading Reiki articles and practicing regularly, I'm sure you have already made significant progress in your understanding of Reiki. Please remember that Reiki is much more than an intellectual pursuit. Just reading articles about Reiki is only a fraction of the totality of Reiki education. The vast majority of the Reiki experience is visceral and must be accessed with body, mind and spirit.

This article explores several practices that you may pursue to supplement your long term development. These techniques are woven together from elements of Reiki, Pranayama, Kundalini and Taiji. Parallels and relationships exist between these disciplines, but they are not conspiratorial. This article provides a brief overview and shares basic instruction in a variety of techniques that you can incorporate into your personal transformation regimen. All of these practices can enhance your ability to channel Reiki. To specialize in any of these techniques, seek experienced teachers to guide you further.

Critics point out that it requires ten years to become a Yoga master and twenty years to become a Taiji master, but only a weekend to become a Reiki master! These critics then laugh and dismiss Reiki as modern age voodoo. This article responds to this criticism and buttresses the validity and authenticity of Reiki by making it more inter-disciplinary. I aim to inspire and instruct Reiki practitioners and masters to develop themselves far beyond the passing and receiving of attunements.

Pranayama

The yogic name for life force is prana . The flow of prana means the flow of energy. The science of yogic breathing is known as Pranayama . The following exercises will help you gain greater control over your breath, deepen your breathing and nurture keener awareness of your breathing process. These techniques are essential for purification of the nadis ; the energy channels of the body. In Yogic philosophy, mind and prana are not structurally different from each other. Prana manifests as mind. When mind becomes disturbed, prana also gets disturbed which results in breathing imbalances. Similarly, when prana is unhealthy, mind becomes unhealthy leading to psychological imbalances.

Imbalances in breathing disturb the physiological functions and can become pathological. Diseases such as asthma, hypertension and migraines are the result of such imbalances. Gabriel Cousens explains that the deeper you breathe, the easier it is to remove excess acid from your system by exhaling carbon dioxide. Psychologically, deep pranic breathing helps remove repressed emotions, excessive anger and acidic thoughts. Knowledge and practice of breathing exercises benefit your overall personal health.

Inhaling rings prana into the body, while exhaling removes old, stale energy from the abdomen called apana . Deep Yogic breathing begins with expansion of the abdomen followed by expansion of the ribs. As the lungs fill, the chest and shoulders are lifted. The Yogic breath completely expands the lungs in every direction while filling with fresh oxygen and pranic energy. Exhaling in the practice of Yogic breathing reverses the process: First, the shoulders lower and the chest contracts to its resting state. The ribs and abdomen then contract, completely eliminating excess apana from the body. In each of the exercises below, please note whether the practice focuses on breathing from the abdomen, the chest or the complete Yogic breath.

As a Reiki practitioner, you can suggest these practices to family, friends and patients who are suffering from weakness, apathy or respiratory illness. The following breathing exercises are derived from the disciplines of Pranayama and Kundalini .

Activating Breath

A beginning Pranayama technique is called the activating breath. Activating breath is most suitable for practice in the morning. Raise your right hand placing your index and middle fingers on your brow chakra. Close your left nostril using the fourth and fifth fingers of your right hand. Breathe in only through the right nostril for 5 seconds and exhale only through the right nostril for 10 seconds. Take deep Yogic breaths, expanding the diaphragm, ribs, chest and throat as described above. Repeat the activating breath 15 to 20 times. Respiration exclusively through the right nostril activates sun energy called pingala . Practice this technique each morning before, during or after your meditation practice. This will energize you and prepare you for your day.

Alternate Nostril Breathing

Each of these Pranayama breathing techniques has a positive healing effect on the body and mind. Alternate nostril breathing (nadi shodana) produces a balancing effect. It can serve as an effective tool to keep you balanced during the day, especially if you work in a busy office. Use alternate nostril breathing any time you feel stressed or unbalanced. To practice, lift your right arm and close your right nostril with your right thumb. Place your right index and middle fingers on your brow chakra. Breathe in exclusively through the left nostril and then close it using your fourth and fifth fingers. Relax the pressure of your thumb and exhale exclusively out your right nostril. Repeat the process, vice versa, breathing in through the right nostril, out through the left to complete one circuit. Repeat 15 to 20 times. Breathe at a normal, natural pace through the exercise. Maintain a state of meditation and allow the air to breathe your body .

Calming Breath

The calming breath is especially suitable in the evening before you go to sleep. To begin, lift your right arm and close your right nostril with your right thumb. Place your right index and middle fingers on your brow chakra. Inhale exclusively through the left nostril, for a count of 5 seconds. Exhale only through the left nostril for a count of 10 seconds. Breathe deeply taking a full Yogic breath expanding the diaphragm, ribs, chest and throat. Practice the calming breath 15 to 20 times. Respiration exclusively through the left nostril stimulates cooling moon energy called ida . This technique can be practiced during your evening meditation or before going to bed. It will calm your mind and contribute to improved sleep much better than watching the nightly news!

You can incorporate these three Pranayama techniques into your daily meditation practice or Reiki self healing sessions. Practice the activation, alternate and calming breathing techniques for one to three months, gradually increasing your capacity. This prepares you for more advanced Pranayama and Kundalini techniques. The breathing practice in the next article “Breath of Fire with Reiki” is substantively more intense.

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Breath of Fire With Reiki

Kundalini yoga is concerned with raising the dormant energy coiled in the root chakra. Like Pranayama , the practice of Kundalini revolves control of the breath. Using a variety of breathing techniques and physical postures, your Kundalini energy is awakened to rise up through all your chakras to your crown. The following technique is called “breath of fire” or kapalabhati . This is a powerful breathing technique that raises your energy level and body temperature.

Sit down in the lotus position and meditate with your hands resting on your knees. Forcefully pull in and up on your abdominal muscles , pumping all the stale air from the bottom of your lungs out your nose. Then, relax your muscles and allow your abdomen to expand naturally. Repeat this movement using only the muscles of the diaphragm, pumping the air out of your lungs as quickly as you can. Air is forcefully expelled from your nostrils in short, rapid bursts. When you relax your abdominal muscles, your body automatically pulls in fresh air as if filling a vacuum.

Breath of fire strengthens the abdomen, activates the second and third chakras and greatly increases the oxygen and prana available to your brain. It purifies your entire respiratory system. In the beginning, practice kapalabhati 20 times followed by a long, deep breath. Hold it for several moments and then slowly exhale. Relax with a few normal breaths and then resume breath of fire for 20 more rapid breaths followed by a deep breath and period of rest. Gradually increase your practice up to three minutes. Do not push yourself too hard. If at any time you feel dizzy, feint or exhausted, simply stop the procedure and resume normal breathing.

Rising Kundalini energy destroys the ego, leads to enlightenment and a merger with the universe. It is recommended to study with an experienced Kundalini instructor if they are interested in practicing more intensely.

Breath of fire is most suitable in the mornings and afternoons because of its energizing effect. Practice outdoors or in a well ventilated room. Include this technique in your meditation practice, your Reiki self healings or as part of your yoga routine. Practice any time you are feeling heavy in the head or congested in your respiratory system.

A precautionary note: Do not practice breath of fire immediately after eating. You can imagine what might happen to the contents of your stomach. Wait at least one or two hours after eating.

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Your Health Is Your Wealth, Without It Nothing Matters

What's the real value of your health?

Your health represent the number 1. You can make your health really valuable by putting lots 0 after the 1 and create a really large number.

If you decide that your health is worth $ 10,000.000, you only need to lose the number 1 and what is left is just 0.

What will your life look like in 10 years?

So, lets take a bird view on your future life and look at it from 10,000 feet. Use all of your imagination and picture what your life will look like? Are you the fit and healthy person you want to be? Are you enjoying your leisure time in the activity that you love? Are your food you eating healthy and balanced? Are you in harmony with your friends family and work environment? Are you having a healthy financial life?

Think as big as you dare and use all of your imagination.

Your dream is very much alive

Before you go to bed, put on some of your favorite music and start dreaming about your future life. Let it be so real that it feels that you are actually living it right now. You can see all the details around you, smell the flowers or the delicious food you have been cooking. The dream house you are living in is there and you know every corner of it. Your body looks great and you feel absolutely fantastic.

Next morning when you wake up, go back into your dream just for a short minute to re-experience the greatness.

Why do we do all this?

Looking at the quantum physic, it has been proven that the result of an experience can change depending on the intention and focus of the person observing it.

Our reality is the same way. When we focus on something our thought energy is trying to change matter into our desired focus or dream and bring it into our reality.

So, what we keep in our mind on a continuous basis, we will bring into reality. This works both ways, so make sure you have the right positive focus in your mind or you will bring in the wrong and unwanted results.

If you start listening to what people in general talk about and focus on, it becomes obvious why their lives are not improving. We create in every moment, so make sure you talk in a positive way about yourself and others.

There are many people coming from a very poor background that most of us would consider as hopeless. These people kept their dreams alive every minute of their day and their focus was to have a better live and they made it.

Your Dream will arrive

It is hard to keep up a dream when you are facing lots of daily challenges and nothing looks like it is improving. The money may not be there yet, your body might not be in the best shape and your relations still sucks. Never ever give up your dream as it will show up. Sometimes it just takes a little time.

Make sure you recognize all the small changes that are coming your way. Take action immediately when you can as it will lead up to bigger changes very quickly. Without action on opportunities, nothing will happen. If you do not see the things coming your way, or do not think that you are worthy, you will miss the boat …

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The Reiki 2 Distance Symbol: Hon Sha Ze Sho Nen

Hon Sha Ze Sho Nen (HSZ) is the most complex of the Reiki 2 symbols. It can be defined as “No past, no present, no future.” One of my Reiki students from Taiwan, Daidi, told me that in Chinese, this symbol can be translated as “Root is the mind,” suggesting that the root of all issues is in the mind, in the here and now.

As you practice Reiki, you may experience a sense of timelessness and transcend orthodox concepts of time. Reiki allows us to transcend time, to enter the past, present or future (as conceived in orthodox thought). Each occasion during which I transcend time, I realize that¨transcend time¨ is actually a misnomer; past, present and future are concepts, rather than objective facts. For Reiki to be understood, belief in linear time must be transcended and perceived from the perspective of now as eternity ; all time is one moment; life is eternally now.

If you were wondering why I included an article on quantum physics among my reiki articles, HSZ is the reason! This symbol gives you the power to prove to yourself that all is one and that separation in terms of location is an illusion. As you practice distance healing with friends, family and other Reiki 2 healers, you'll see for yourself that thought “travels” much faster than light; thought is instantaneous.

I remember the very first time that Carol, my Reiki 2 teacher, sent me distance healing. I was feeling really down one night, having trouble processing some of the issues that were occurring in my heart during Reiki and meditation; to be honest, I was completely out of it. Carol called that evening, somehow sensing that I was in need of Reiki. We agreed on a ten o'clock healing. I lay down on the sofa and at exactly ten pm my feet started buzzing. I was started to say the least. Within a very short time, I felt very well grounded and deeply peaceful. That was the first of many very powerful distance healing experiences that confirm again and again the interconnectivity of all beings, the power of consciousness and the ability of Reiki to reach across time and distance to its intended destination.

The principal uses and characteristics of HSZ can be summarized as follows:

  • Heals the conscious mind
  • Heals the sub-conscious mind
  • Heals the mental body
  • Builds a bridge for transmitting distance healing (seecoming article)
  • Heals the past
  • Used for Karmic healing
  • Enhances the future (see upcoming article)

(The symbol has not been shown in the present article.) Your Reiki master will show you the symbol when you are ready for it. for practicing advanced reiki.)

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9 Health Benefits of Going Barefoot

Shoes or foot wear have become an integral part of our lifestyle. In our society, there are many places where a formal foot wear becomes a passport for entry. However one is surprised to observe that only around one fifth of the world population wears them. All those who do not wear are not necessary the ones who can not afford them, but they simply do not like to wear them by choice. Sounds strange? Yes! But true.

I have very keenly observed a multi-millionaire online marketer who not only removes his foot wear while on stage but is mostly without them. His videos show them clearly. Of course I am talking of David Wood. While as a child I remember that most of the time at home I was without a foot wear as I remember the days when my mother would spend great amount of time and effort to remove a tiny piece of thorn from my sole or the toe. But as a grownup, I am always with a foot wear, except early in the morning, when I take a walk on the green Mexican grass, wet with the morning dew. It feels so heavenly and refreshing.

Coming back to our topic. After watching David at the recently held EN even in Orlando, I decided to learn more about “Barefoot Lifestyle”, why do people enjoy barefoot, are there any health benefits of walking barefoot, is this socially an acceptable style and so on. I chatted with a couple of doctors, naturopaths and yoga gurus and was pleasantly surprised to find that contrary to the general beliefs, there are far greater advantages being barefooted than with footwear.

I am listing below some important advantages of leading a barefoot lifestyle.

  1. Clear You Mind and Rejuvenates Your Body

Could you recall what all came under your shoes when you walked two blocks from your office to the store, no. Yes you can not recall a detailed account that the sole of your shoe encountered walking on the road or the pavement. However, when you walk barefoot, every experience that your sole of the feet, your forefoot or the heel feels goes straight to your mental senses and you can feel the hard cold surface, the soft grass or the sharp bulging edge of a small stone. Walking barefoot therefore gives your mind a recognition exercise. Forces you to focus on things. It clears your mind through stirring your awareness of things and objects below your feet. In the whole process, this mental recognition exercise rejuvenates all faculties of your body, leaving you fresh, experienced and enriched.

  1. Natural Reflexology

Reflexology is the science of healing through rejuvenating the reflex points in our body. Feet and palm in our body house very important reflex points which control the functioning of various organs in our body. When we walk barefoot, we feel pressure on these reflex points due to the natural contours, undulations and type of surface that comes in contact with the foot. The feeling of pain at a particular point reflects to the state of health of that particular organ. With prolonged application of this natural pressure, the tenderness in the feet gets healed. Thus walking barefoot is an excellent source of natural reflexology.

  1. A Natural Yogic Exercise For Foot

What do various yogic exercises or poses do to our body. Yoga helps in strengthening and rejuvenating our muscles, ligaments and tendons. Similarly when you walk barefoot, your foot muscles are constantly stretching and twitching. This mild exercise is enough to strengthen your muscles, the same that yoga does.

  1. Induces Sound Sleep

Barefoot walking is known to be a natural cure for insomnia. Contact of sole of the foot with green lawn grass early in the morning is the best natural therapy for sleeplessness. It also refreshes the sole skin.

  1. It's Earthing and Grounding

Have you ever tried to walk on a beach with your footwear? I am sure no. Why? Because not only it feels good but when your foot is in contact with the wet or moist sand your feet gets negative ions, which are basically found in water. These negative ions are known to effectively detoxifying the body, calm and soothe our nervous system and regulate the rhythm.

Earding also brings the surface charge of red blood cells which helps in reducing the thickness of blood, thereby reducing the chance of a cardiac condition.

  1. Reduces Anxiety

Although there is no medical or scientific proof, barefoot walking seems to reduce conditions on anxiety and even depression. Walking barefoot is known to help releases endorphins making you feel good and happy.

  1. Embraces Nature

Walking barefoot not only gives you all the above health and healing benefits, but also puts you in direct contact with the Mother Nature. It allows you to soak and absorb in you the nontoxic elements of nature, the earth and the atmosphere around. Your foot gets in direct contact with the strong positive magnetic aura of the earth, charging your body with positivity.

  1. Improves Body Balance

Yes, walking or standing barefoot improves your body balance. When you are barefoot, all your toes are in contact with the surface below, earth, ground or grass. This gives you a better grip as all your toes are working together to maintain the balance. People who practice wrestling or martial arts use this technique to balance their body.

  1. Feel Your Freedom

With shoes or any footwear, your feet are caged in a cover. You feel cramped. When you are barefoot, your feet give you a sense of freedom; even your mind reacts to that sense of freedom and sends positive vibrations through the body. You must have felt the coolness of a polished marble floor and the warmth and softness of a carpeted floor. The feet also recognize if the carpet is warm or cold if it is made of silk. This ability of recognition becomes your strength and gives you the power of freedom. You feel elated.

Having seen the wonders that barefoot walking can do to our mental and physical health and wellbeing; I wonder if people will still have a reason to ask why David Wood is barefoot most of the time and especially on stage ?. The answer is in his great success, mental alertness, ability to reason, free and extempore expression of thoughts and willingness to share and give.

If you have decided to get your freedom, piece of mind, rejuvenation and create your new lifestyle, take a barefoot stroll here!

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The Very Best Holiday Treats Have Nothing To Do With Sugar

In a previous lifetime, when I was in radio, there was an expression:

“You can tell how successful a disc-jockey is by the size of the trailer attached to his car.”

This was a reference to how often on-air personalities had to pack up and move, usually seeking larger markets or better opportunities.

Such is the saga as to how Humboldt County became my home.

Much like Harry Chapin's song, “WOLD,” I bounced around the western US, ending up as morning personality and music director at a classic rock station in Southern California, where I also published an industry newsletter. A newly hired consultant for a pair of radio stations among the redwoods followed my periodical and bought me up here. Initially, my strategy was to remain “a couple of years” and take family and trailer to San Francisco. If 31 years constituents “a couple of years,” I might still be on track. Elsewise, it looks like I'm here for the duration.

After leaving radio with a background in promotion, I earned my take as a marketing consultant (which I still do at times). Some of my clients were political campaigns.

Following so far? (There will be a test.)

Anyhoo, a dozen years ago, I was one cog in the wheel of a team that helped manage the successful campaign of a local official, who was since re-elected twice, and is now retiring. We do not see each other very much these days. It's not that there's any animosity, quite the contrary; he's always very warm when we bump into each other. It's just, you know how life is, right? He's doing his thing and I do mine. However, recently his “team” personally reached out to me, extending a special invitation to his retirement soiree, basically saying, “You were there at the beginning.

Touched by the genuine warmth in the invite, I skipped the last half of Zumba (no small sacrifice I assure you) and attended the party. I had not seen most of those in attendance for the better part of a decade; yet, you would not have known it by my reception. I was blessed by double-clasped handshakes and all encompassing hugs of which a bear would be proud. Although initially planning to stay a few minutes and get on with my night, I was surrounded by so many good wishes and regaled with stories of the past dozen years that I altered my plans. Although neither food nor drink passed my lips, I left the gathering with more of a sense of satisfaction and fullness than any meal could provide.

Therein lies the moral of the story.

Especially this time of year, we are surrounded – nay, buried – in all manner of sugary indulgences. It often does not feel like “holidays” if I do not get to have my favorites. A few here and there would not be a problem – if I kept myself in check. Alas, one leads to two, which becomes six, which turns out to be ten. Before one can say, “Ho, Ho, Ho,” any plans to stay in control are more of a memory than is my first Christmas.

Yet, if we slow down for a moment, we realize that what really, really matters – not only this time of year but for the reminder of the calendar – is the quality of the relationships which surround us. A “catching up” conversation with a rarely seen friend or an “I've-really-missed-you” hug from a former co-worker who you bumped into on the street are actually what provide the true sweetness to our existence. Time spent with those we care about – past and present – lends itself to a sense of fullness that no amount of chocolate fudge will ever satisfy.

May your holidays be full.

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Symbols in Reiki Level 2

Three symbols are studied in Reiki 2. Each symbol is placed into the student's crown to invoke and activate the flow of energy. The most powerful aspect of Reiki 2 is embodied in the use of Reiki symbols to achieve healing. These symbols were realized by Dr. Usui during his 21 day meditation fast. Some researchers have traced these symbols, and hundreds of others, back to ancient Tibetan healing traditions that were in use between 2000 and 3000 years ago.

Although you may find variations in the symbols in other texts, the purpose and character of each symbol remains the same. Please honor the sacredness of these symbols. Although they are no longer kept secret as was the case for thousands of years, it is best to regard them with the highest esteem. Please do not leave pictures of the symbols laying about carelessly. Please do not reveal them to those who may be unable to share your respect for the sacred.

The symbols are used in numerous situations during healing and meditation sessions. The following suggestions provide basic guidelines for using them. Follow these procedures as much as possible. Remember to touch your tongue to the roof of your mouth whenever you activate the symbols. This connects the two major energy channels of the body. As you gain experience with Reiki 2, you will intuitively know how to use the symbols.

The symbols are used on every chakra during every healing! Visualize the symbols coming in through your crown chakra down to your heart; emanating from your heart through your arms and out your palm chakras. Intend and visualize the symbols entering your patient's chakras, penetrating deeply to the core of their being. This completes a sacred universal connection between all beings and generates deeper relationship and connection between you, your patient and the universe.

Drawing and Visualizing Symbols

At first, practice drawing the symbols on paper until they become familiar with you and you memorize them. Draw them as large or small as you like, following the examples in the following sections. To activate a symbol, tap it with your hand three times while verbalizing the name of the symbol. Once you are accurate and confident drawing the symbols with pen and paper, trace the symbols into your palm chakras using your index finger. Draw each symbol and tap it three times as described above.

Another way to use the symbols is by using your palm chakra to draw the symbols in the air. After drawing, clap your hands on the symbol as it “hovers” in the air while reciting its name aloud. This activates the symbol in the room and in your hands. Project the symbols from your palm chakra onto each of the surfaces of the room for purification and protection.

As you become more familiar with the symbols, silently visualize them in your mind. With your eyes closed, imagine drawing the symbols. Imagine the symbols any size you like, as small as a cell or as large as the world. Choose the color of the symbols or let colors arise naturally in your visualization. Mentally transmit the symbol deeply into the chakras or to the core of anything that you aim to heal. At first, it may be necessary to draw each individual stroke of the symbols. In time, you will find the symbols appear in your mind in their complete form. As always, say the name of the symbol (silently or aloud) three times to activate it, feeling the sacred sound of each symbol as you vocalize.

As you become more proficient with the drawing and visualizing of symbols, you will be able to send them anywhere at will. This is most effective in distance healing sessions or sending the symbols into remote areas that require healing. Finally, you can meditate on the symbols and receive guidance and insight into their use.

The next two articles will discuss the symbols in detail.

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Reiki Level 2 Symbols: Cho Ku Rei and Sei He Ki

Cho Uk Rei

The first symbol in Reiki 2 is Cho Ku Rei (CKR). This symbol greatly increases the power of the Reiki that you channel. Initially, you will consciously invoke this symbol at each chakra and anytime you want to establish protection. As your intuition develops, CKR will automatically show in your consciousness as needed. At first, please be very diligent about drawing, visualizing and invoking this symbol. With practice, it will become familiar and automatic for you.

According to Diane Stein, the line on the top of CKR depicts Shiva (male energy of the universe). The vertical line represents energy emanating from heaven to earth. The spirits represent Shakti (Goddess energy). Note that the spirals touch the diagonal line a total of seven times, corresponding to the seven chakras. Begin drawing the symbol from the top left, followed by a downward stroke. This is followed by a series of 3 clockwise spirals, crossing the vertical line.

(The symbols have not been shown in the present article.) Your Reiki master will show you the symbols when you are ready for them. for practicing advanced reiki.)

As in Reiki 1, you can ask your patients if they have any physical ailments they would like to heal. Discussing those issues helps you focus the intent of CKR. As your patient describes their physical symptoms, your attention and intention focus specifically on those symptoms.

Cho Ku Rei (Clockwise)

  • Increase power
  • Protect your chakras
  • Focus on physical healing
  • Protection on walls, aura and other locations
  • Empower water, food and plants
  • Energize crystals

Cho Ku Rei (counter-clockwise)

Alternately, the orbits of Cho Ku Rei can be drawn counter-clockwise. Typically, the function is the same as with the clockwise symbol. In the early stages of your Reiki 2 training, practice using the symbol in both directions until your intuition guides you to know which one is most appropriate at any given time. The anti-clockwise CKR is used to disperse energy, remove negativity from cysts and remove negativity from auras. Finally, you can use it to ground the soles of the feet. Ultimately, your intention during a healing is of paramount importance. The universal intelligence of Reiki conducts energy through you as a channel. So, rather than intellectualizing and working over your techniques, just relax and let Reiki flow. Many students try too hard and push the energy, exhausting themselves in the process.

Sei He Ki: The Emotional Symbol

The second symbol in Reiki 2 is Sei He Ki (SHK). This symbol focuses on emotional issues and purification. During healing, you may be inspired to ask your patient questions. Follow your intuition and you will know what to ask. SHK helps patients release negative emotions. Combining the power of SHK with well-timed, compassionate questions creates a powerful synergy between Western psychological practices and Eastern energy disciplines. Begin with general questions such as, “are there any emotional issues on your mind that you would like to heal? Are there any situations in your life that you would like to over?” More specific questions will intuitively arise of their own accord. This subject is discussed in more detail in my article concerning therapeutic communication.

Some sources define SHK as “God and humanity become one.” The SHK symbol resembles the two sides of the human brain. The left side combines angles with straight lines, representing the left side of the human brain, being logical and linear. The right side is curving, representing human creativity and imagination. As you gain experience with SHK you will comprehend for yourself its esoteric meaning and how to apply it in healing situations. Its primary characteristics and uses can be summarized as follows:

  • Use for emotional healing
  • Balance left and right sides of the brain
  • Create calm during stressful situations
  • Release stress from its origin
  • Purify chakras, rooms and auras
  • Purify food, water, plants and crystals
  • Release bad habits

The only limit to the use of these symbols is your own creativity. Focus on the positive and these symbols will augment your intentions.

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Therapeutic Communication With Reiki 2 Healing

Conversation with your patient is a powerful aspect of Reiki. While receiving Reiki, patients tend to be more relaxed and open to discussion. During the healing process you can ask questions to nurture your patient's healing growth. This is conducive to helping them make important changes in their lives. Each communication has a unique flavor; some patients talk the entire time while others remain silent. Initiate conversation before healing begin to assess the direction of the session.

If your patient becomes very still and taciturn during the healing, respect their silence and save the discussion for later. Effective communication is as important as the ability to channel energy. Healing involves helping a patient see, honor and release energetic patterns that are no longer constructive. As a healer, you can help a patient perceive the relationship between their emotions, beliefs and physical ailments so they gain a fresh perspective to evaluate their lives. Gently assist the patient in gaining personal insight. This is a co-creative process between Reiki, healer and patient.

Many of the suggestions described in this article echo the teachings of an ancient Tibetan Shaman named Wei Chi published in “The Lost Steps of Reiki, the Chaneled Teachings of Wei Chi.” His original teachings have been channeled in recent times and include many concepts that are not generally included in Reiki classes. The Wei Chi system focuses on dialogue between healer and client. Each person must acknowledge their own participation and obligation to heal themself. The healer receives information to benefit the client, in addition to healing energy. In my experience, information arises in many healings, including suggestions relating nutrition, exercise and hidden issues of the heart. Using the suggestions of Wei Chi, the Reiki system is more interactive, a form of co-healing rather than a hierarchical doctor-patient relationship.

Here are a few sample questions that you may raise during healing sessions. More importantly, listen to your own intuition and you will know which topics need to be addressed.

  • What outlet would you like from this healing? Can you visualize that?
  • What is the exact question that you would like to answer?
  • What is the exact problem that you want to overcome?
  • Are you willing to make changes to achieve that income?

For example, one evening I was sending Reiki by distance to my friend Flo when she was in Argentina. While healing her root chakra, I saw an image in my mind of an older man. Knowing the chakra system, I suspected that this image related to her early relationship with her father. I described my vision in an email to see how Flo would respond to it. She confirmed that she has long term issues with her father that still needed to be resolved. Some patients may choose to interpret such images, or just listen to your description and reflect on it later. In a hands-on healing, patients may want to discuss the imagery in more detail while others will just nod their heads and fall sleep. In any event, let your patient lead the healing process and interpretation as much as they can. For your part, ask general questions to see how much is on their minds.

Reiki is intuitive, therapeutic, energetic co-healing!

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Healing With Reiki 2 Symbols and Techniques

Healing with Reiki 2 is a more complex process than in Reiki 1. You are transmitting higher energy, developing as a channel, gaining deeper intuition and tuning into your patient's energies and thoughts. The following section guides you through your healings to be sure you include all the essential steps for the well being of both you and your patient.

Preparation for a Reiki 2 session includes all of the steps from Reiki 1, plus use of the symbols. As in Reiki 1, cleanse your healing room with incense or candles. Sitting in meditation for 15 to 20 minutes before your patient arrives will help you center and ground yourself. During your meditation, you can visualize the Reiki symbols around you. Draw or visualize Sei He Ki to purify the walls, ceiling, floor and healing surface. Draw or visualize Cho Ku Rei to protect walls, ceiling, floor and healing surface. Finally, draw or visualize Hon Sha Ze Sho Nen to focus your mind on the healing process. Some people also like to draw all three symbols on their hands prior to healing. As an added measure of protection and purity, visualize white light all around yourself.

Confirm your patient's permission and willingness to receive the healing. Discuss the healing process as you do in Reiki 1, plus bringing up any issues that you intuitively sense may be important during the session. Ask which mental, emotional or physical issues your patient would like to resolve. Be sure that you make it clear that Reiki is “co-healing” between Reiki, healer and patient; the patient invests time, energy and effort to improve their own health. Ask which changes they are willing to make to improve their well-being.

The Healing Process

The healing procedures in Reiki 2 are basically the same as in Reiki 1. Sweep your hands through your patient's aura and scan their energy. Determine if the healing should begin at the crown or at the feet. If in doubt, simply ask your “inner guide” for guidance. The complete healing includes the feet, knees and the seven major chakras. At each location, your hands will sense whether or not you should make physical contact or keep a slight distance away from the body. In Reiki 2, visualize all three symbols flowing into every chakra. The symbols help you maintain focus on the healing process and strengthen your intent. Discussion during the healing is used in conjuction with knowledge of chakras, sensations in your hands and your patient's verbal input to the healing procedure. This is where the therapeutic communication is very important. See my article “Therapeutic Communication with Reiki 2.”

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The Battle of Belief and Unbelief

Sometimes we seem to know everything there is to know about a subject in the Bible (healing, provision, peace, forgiveness) and yet it's only knowledge in our minds, facts we've logged away. If it's not been implanted in our hearts, we can not operate from those beliefs. The Bible tells us in Proverbs 4:23:

“Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.” (KJV)

“Above all else guard your hearts, for everything you do flows from it.” (NIV)

“Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.” (NLT)

The heart is where our spirit and soul rest and as we know when we accept Jesus as Lord His spirit is downloaded into our spirit and we have access to everything that Jesus has promised … BUT! our soul (mind, will and emotions) still have their own agenda / memories. They have to be “renewed” to line up with the spirit. We were made to live out of our spirits and to communicate with God from our spirits, just as Adam and Eve did in the Garden of Eden.

Romans 10: 9-10 mentions the heart in relation to faith:

“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession (to profess , to praise, celebrate) is made into salvation. “

This implains there's more to getting saved than just speaking words or facts that we know in our heads. The “faith movement” has been under attack for a long time with people speaking words from the Bible thinking that the more they say it the sooner it will come to pass. Saying it's so, when it is not so, does not make it so. We have to believe in our hearts. That's where meditating on the Word comes in. We do that to renew our minds and get what we “know” into our actual “knower” (heart) that rules our lives.

Remember the father with the epileptic-type son that the disciples could not heal? Mark 9: 22-24 tells us that “oftentimes it hath cast him into the fire and into the waters to destroy him; but if thou canst do any thing, have compassion on us and help us.” Jesus said unto him, 'If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth. ' And straightway the father of the child fought out and said with tears, 'Lord, I believe; help Thou mine unbelief!' “

Notice Jesus did not take responsibility for the healing. Instead He told the father that all things are possible to those who believe. The father obviously mentally believed or he would not have traveled to get his son to Jesus.

He may have believed greatly in his heart as he left to see Jesus and then found that He was gone and not available, but the disciples had already been sent out on their journey and reported back to Jesus and there was no mention of nobody being healed . Yet they saw this writhing, foaming and gruesome son and when they prayed, he was not healed.

That must've left the father a bit less faith-filled and it certainly was a visual image of unbelief for his heart, but he still begged him with tears for help. Jesus was willing … the father just needed to believe. I love this story because the father said in tears, “I believe, Lord help my unbelief.” All the years of seeing his son like this made it hard to believe.

All the years we suffer with health, relationship or finance issues makes it hard to believe. So we have the belief we've managed to move into our heart (spirit) … and we have the unbelief that's still there in our minds (soul) doubting. I love the way this story shows we can even pray to Jesus for help in believing. Paul said in Galatians 2:20 that “I live by the faith of the Son of God.”

In Acts 3:16 when Peter responded to the crippled beggar at a temple gate, he said to the people, “It is Jesus' name and the faith that comes through him that has completely healed him.” We have all been given the measure of faith by God (Romans 12: 3 KJV), so we do not have to rely on our own. We do not need more faith. Jesus said faith the size of a mustard seed is enough to move a mountain. We just have to get what we know into our “knower” that rules our life (our heart).

And when we know that we've got doubt and unbelief mixed in, we can cry out to Jesus to help our unbelief. In Jeremiah 29:13 God tells us, “And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.” God is always willing to help us when we truly seek Him. I have ask myself myself this question many times when I go to bed: “If somebody were to look at a video of my activities this day, what would they say was the priority in my life?”

If we have no time to meditate on the Word and just sit before the Lord to listen to what He has to tell us … we will not hear the answer. And it may not be that you will hear the answer during that time … but that time spent with God will make your heart more open to His voice … then as you go about your day with your necessary tasks of life, the answer will just jump out at you!

God's not going to zap us into shape. He speaks to us through His spirit within us and we respond with obedience. If you believe that you can not hear the Lord speaking to you, then you've not spending enough time with Jesus to know His voice. But God is always there for you … and loves you so much, but will not interfere with the freewill He gave us.

We have to desire something so much that all else of life does not matter. We can work and worry at the same time … so we can work and meditate at the same time. Stick a Scripture promise in your mind that fits what you need and keep worry out of your life. Spend time with the Lord daily just sitting before Him. Picture yourself at His throne adoring and praising Him.

If the whole day has gone by and you've not had an intimate time with Him … you can lose some sleep to do so. After all, have not you lost sleep to see a good movie? You can lose a bit of sleep to spend time with the God who created the Universe and you.

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8 Ways to Enjoy Peace of Mind Everyday

In my interactions with so many people, I have realized that there are a lot of people who believe that it's impossible to live in a state of peace especially with so many wrong things happening in our world today.

While people come up with several reasons to support their views about this issue, I firmly believe that you have total control of your inner world and nothing external can really affect you except you let it.

In this article, I would be sharing with you some easy ways you can live your life to enjoy inner peace every day.

Forgive as quickly as you can

Learn to forgive yourself and others are quickly as possible. I have discovered that forgiveness is a very good medicine for our bodies and minds. When you hold grudges against people, you do yourself great harm. It may be difficult but if you want to enjoy peace of mind you must forgive.

Maintain a positive mind

Train yourself to always be positive no matter how events turn out. Believe deep within you that everything that happens to you happens for your good. Believe that things would turn out right and whatever you venture into would be successful. This is not to suggest that you will not face challenges, you will but remain positive.

Avoid arguments as much as you can

I have observed that little arguments if not properly handled can bring an end to strong relationships. You must learn to avoid arguments as much as you can. Respect the opinions of others and do not take things too personally. Accept that people will not always share your point of view.

Be good to people

People will not always treat you fairly, you may not have any control over that. However, you have total control over the way you treat others. Learn to treat people with respect no matter their level in life, do not discriminate against people. Treat others as you would have them treat you.

Leave the past behind

That's why it is called PAST, It is gone. Stop hurting about things that happened in the past, stop thinking of how good things used to be in the past and how bad they are now. What ever happened to you in the past can not be reversed, it will be a waste of your time to think about them and wish you could change things. Learn to move on, there are a lot of good things lined up for you in the future.

Be thankful for all you have

The thankful heart does not know lack and want. Thankfulness is being grateful for all that you have. Satisfaction and thankfulness are two great ways to enjoy inner peace. While you aspire for more be grateful for what you have.

Avoid negative people, places and things

If you really want to live in peace, you must move away from people, places and things that bring any form of negativity to you. Surround yourself with very enthusiastic people, visit places that show how beautiful life is.

Do not dwell in the future

Hope for a bright future, work hard to achieve your goals but do not live in the future. Stay humble, live within your resources, do not make promises you will not be able to keep. Stay in the present, the past is gone and the future is not yet yours.

You need to know that you productivity and accomplishments in life are tied to how much peace you have within yourself. Therefore you must strive to maintain a healthy state of mind every day of your life.

I hope this article was helpful to you?

Please help share this article with your family, friends and colleagues who may need it.

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