Getting Past Preconceptions and Getting Out of My Own Way

Of late, I've taken on yet another new assignment. I'm “chat coaching,” a steep-learning-curve experience I assure you.

Should you be unfamiliar with chat coaching, I shall explain. I log into a website from my home computer, which is connected to a main server in cyberspace. On the other side of the void, should someone need guidance, they click on a button on their screen and their “call” is routed to me on my computer. He or she types. I reply via the same method. If you were asking, “Would not it be easier with a phone?” The answer is probably “yes.” However, that's not how it works and I've agreed to the terms. To be honest, I'm actually growing to enjoy the procedure – short of the carpal tunnel issues for which I must be on guard.

In effect, this type of communication can be best analogized as a very slow moving conversation , especially since the policies require appropriate grammar, correct spelling, and avoiding emoticons and abbreviations (like “BTW” or “LOL”). The repercussions of having such time in between transactions allow one's thoughts to drift, which lends itself to me making judgments – fair or otherwise – about who is on the other end, based entirely on how long it takes for a reply and what shows up when it happens.

With that as backstory, today someone logged in and began the conversation with the most ridiculously moronic questions. “Really?” I thought, “Are you serious?”

Her query was so “beyond the pale,” that I first assumed I had snared a “troll.” (No, not the long-haired, full-bellied, naked toys of the seventies. Rather these are nasty individuals who enjoy annoying, frustrating, or insulting other people in cyberspace, purely because they can get away with it.)

Yet, with the passage of a few paragraphs of correspondence, I understood that the young woman on the other end was not trolling, but was rather severely developmentally disabled. Obviously, her skill set allowed use of the system but her text was burdened with so many typos, it was near impossible to untangle, and the speed at which she claimed would have made a beginning typist feel like a thirty-year executive secretary. But most importantly, she could not even grasp the simplest concepts.

The lights on my screen flashed, informing me that others were waiting and I started becoming frustrated. “Come on already,” my inner curmudgeon moaned, “Speed ​​it up, will ya? Other folks are standing in line.” Of course, I did not type that into the window, and I'm not necessarily proud of how I felt, but my mood was jumping off a cliff.

Yet once I realized I was in this for the duration, something delightful occurred. Instead of getting all bound up, I was able to adjust my attitude, and realized that all mattered was what was directly in front of me, not what was inside of me. Somewhere, on the other end of the Internet, was a woman reasonably utilizing all of her skills to reach out for help. For whatever reason – in this moment and place in time – she had been directed to me.

The process abruptly shifted from forbidden to blessing. I was gifted with the opportunity to lighten someone else's load. I slowed down and patiently waited for each letter to crawl across the screen, trying to put myself in her place and understand not what she wrote, but rather what she needed. And you know what? It became a humbling experience as well as a great honor.

As the conversation closed, she typed (albeit very slowly), “Thank yew, yew reily helped.” I made a difference. I mean, how cool is that?

The only thing I had to do was to get out of my own way and let it happen.

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Do You Want to Live Longer?

“Not dying,” replied Jack Borden, a lawyer, when asked of the secret of his longevity as he celebrated his 101st birthday.

Definitely, “not dying” was never in his mind when he opened his office with the sign, JACK BORDEN, Attorney-at-Law, freshly painted on the glass pane of his door. All he wanted to was to succeed in his lawyering.

When Aurora was a child, she had so much fun with her dolls and her friends. She grew up a very lovely woman, got married and had seven children. To augment the family income, she roasted cacao beans, ground them and, formed them into dollar-size discs and sold them in the neighborhood.

She died last year at the age of 103.

Did they have secrets to their longevity?

Nothing is said of Mr. Borden's personal circumstances, but I knew Aurora Diola, Mana Auring as she was fondly called, all my life.

She was never known to go far from home to do a longevity ritual, or drink an elixir for long life. Our memories of her are that of a very tall, stylish and beautiful woman who never lost her cool.

Like Mr. Borden and the late Ms. Diola, we all want to live longer. But the overriding

question is, “How much longer?”

I am 66 years old and living longer is never in my mind. I just make the most of my days.

But I know a lot of people who regularly cite this prayer, “Lord, please let me reach the ripe old age of 70. And when I get there, I would not mind if I get another 10.” After that they keep on raising the bar.

The phenomenon of people living over the century mark intrigued Lyn Peters Adler, JD enough to urge her to find plausible answers.

She interviewed and surveyed 500 centenarians (she wrote a book about it, which she co-authored with Steve Franklin, titled, Celebrate 100: Centenarian Secrets to Business and Life ). Then she divided her mountain of data and came up with 7 habits, or “secrets,” these people have in common. These are:

– Positive attitude;

– Diet;

– Exercise, faith;

– Clean living;

– A loving family;

– Genetics.

Her findings debunked what the “experts” have been telling us that the key to living longer is to have a good diet , exercise , life style , and genes .

They are still important but “positive attitude” is a spoiler; a haymaker coming out from nowhere, hitting Ms. Adler right in the jaw.

In a sense of speaking, they are telling you that positive attitude drives everything: it makes you eat the right kinds of food, regularly do your early morning run, live a clean lifestyle, nurture positive emotions and cherish your loved ones.

The centenarians Ms. Adler interviewed showed a deep sense of love, gratitude and of service, which is a manifestation of a deep faith.

In a nutshell, they are telling you that life is so exciting and precious to be wasted on worrying about the “genes” thing.

Count your Thrills not Your Ills:

When Ms. Adler asked her centenarians if they are still having fun, their response was a resounding “Yes.”

Yes, you can live longer provided you develop the attitude of fun; if you start counting your thrills, not your ills.

Never let your age hold you down. Gerry Block is 81 years old and ridden with arthritis but still rock climbing. In fact he is the oldest climber to scale the El Capitan , that sheet granite wall in Yosemite National Park.

Find something that you are so passionate about and pour everything into it. Time is no longer an issue. You have no more excuses except those you made to justify your identity existence.

Count your progress and achievements, no matter how small, not your birthdays

If rock climbing is too tough for you (it is for me), try something less physically demanding, like running. You do not have to aim for the Boston marathon, though it is a very tempting idea. Too old for it? Not for Fauja Singh, an India-born Brit, who just retired from competitive marathon at age 101.

Have fun and you will live longer. But if you will not, you will have a smile on your face when you take that journey to the Great Beyond. Is not it cool?

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Older and Wiser or Just Older? How to Develop Your Wisdom at Any Age

A wise person once said that wisdom comes from the love of learning combined with self-reflection. We become wise by deeply understanding the underlying forces in nature, and then taking appropriate actions that will achieve an optimum output. Although it has been hypothesized that simply growing older is the key to gaining wisdom, we all know young people who are wise beyond their years, and old people who do not make any sense. This article explores how you can become wise at a young age, and continue to grow in wisdom with time.

Wisdom has been defined as the action of finding the truth, then taking the best actions necessary in order to achieve the best outcome. Over the years, the source of wisdom has been thought to come from a variety of sources. Many religions teach that wisdom is not something intrinsically inside of us, but rather that wisdom is a gift that comes from the divine. For example, many Christians believe that wisdom is imparted to a person at baptism, then it is strengthened when they are confirmed in the church. As such, it is one of the seven “gifts” of the Holy Spirit, given to people as they grow in their religious faith.

One of the foundations of wisdom is knowledge of how the world works on both a spiritual and physical level. Although wisdom is not fully developed until we learn to value the spiritual world, understanding material things and our physical environment is also of primary importance. Therefore, it is important to develop a love of learning strong enough to make you want to learn new and important things every day. Building a strong desire to understand people and the physical world propels us forward on a path of life-long learning.

As our knowledge of the world helps us grow in wisdom, we need to also study and learn about the spirit if we are to become truly wise. This side of wisdom requires a self-awareness and self-knowledge that can only be developed through meditation and prayer. Meditation is the fundamental way to connect and integrate our physical world with our spiritual world. For many people, this meditation comes from religious prayer and reflection. From this examination of our inner self and the spiritual world, we learn true humility. We start to understand people on a deep level. By gaining worldly knowledge, we understand the truth of our physical surroundings. By gaining spiritual knowledge, we learn despite the most important part of wisdom: knowing right from wrong. Our understanding of the spirit is what guides us to do the right thing when faced with a choice.

Using these principals, here's how to develop wisdom at a young age, and grow in wisdom through life.

1. Learn something new every day. Be curious about things you do not understand, then actively seek out the answers.

2. Take time to reflect on your knowledge. Ask yourself how you've learned applications to you. How can you use this knowledge in your personal life? How can this knowledge guide you to take actions that benefit others as well as yourself?

3. Meditate and quiet your thoughts. Focus on only two thoughts: love and peace. Let your brain assimilate your knowledge and make it whole. Let love guide your actions so you will always do the right thing.

By following this simple action plan, you can become a wiser person immediately, and be known as a person of great wisdom. Although you may have graduated from school many years ago, there are plenty of new things to learn. Think deeply, by reflecting upon your knowledge free from interruption or distraction. Finally, commit to developing your spiritual side, so you will take ethical and moral actions that result in optimal results.

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3 Keys to the Mind Body Spirit Business and Life

If will power were the way to change your life, it would be easy. Unfortunately, will power is not enough. If you want to change your life, then you need a plan, and it requires you to start with your belief. To try and separate the mind, body and spirit in order to enact change in your life will not work.

Making change is based on universal human truth and laws of the universe. These laws work the same way every time for every person as long as you implement them.

The three keys you need to address to enact true and lasting change are the mind, body and spirit. When you change these areas, then it will affect the three major areas of your life: health, wealth and relationships.

1. The Mind

What you believe is absolutely crucial to your success. A faulty belief system keeps you from reaching your goals and achieving your goals because you do not believe you can. When these beliefs are rooted in your subconscious mind, they are difficult, if not impossible, to get rid of. You must change what you think, the way you think and what you believe in order to influence the mind.

2. The Body

If your body is out of shape, overweight or sick, then it's difficult to make change because you simply do not have the energy. According to Dr. Alex Loyd in “The Healing Codes,” and he backs this up with scientific studies, memories are not stored in the mind. They are stored in the cells. The body must work in tangent with the mind and spirit, and in order to do that, your body must be healthy and have the energy necessary to do the work you need to do to reach your goals. Eliminating the negative memories stored in your cells frees up energy to give you more energy to accomplish your tasks each day.

3. The Spirit

Call it soul, spirit or consciousness, this is the part of you that contains personality, perceptions, feelings and thoughts beyond the logical mind. Some see this part of you as eternal. Regardless of your belief about this part of you, it is the part that makes you who you are as an individual. It is the part of you that perceives the world, and if you do not nourish and grow it, it is impossible to change.

The three most important areas of your life are health, wealth and relationships. With good health, you have the energy to accomplish your goals. Wealth, including money, gives you the resources you need to accomplish your goals. Good relationships make your life happy and meaningful. Your focus when changing the three keys is these three areas.

To get started the system is simple, and it occurs in three parts: 20 minutes of exercise, 20 minutes of reading and 20 minutes of meditation. Exercise improves your body, reading inspirational material changes your mind and meditation improves your spirit by helping you focus, learn to relax and reach those internal beliefs you do not consciously recognize.

By using this system consistently and applying repetition, it allows you to change your belief system, improve your body, reduce stress and focus on your goals. Once you feel better, then you have the energy and mindset necessary to set a goal in the areas of health, wealth and relationships to improve your life and achieve what you want to achieve.

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The 4 Influences of the Mind Body Spirit Business and Life

I have been affected in many things in my life. I am a life long learner, and I always have been. Reading is one of my favorite past times, and I like to read the classics.

Universal human truth and the laws of physics are important to me because I want to understand how we are all connected to one another. These truths are applicable to all regardless of what you believe. When you operate within these laws, it changes your life, and you reap the benefits of your efforts.

Although I have had many influences, including my children, these four things are some of the most important influences I have had.

1. Jesus

These days, if you say Jesus, many automatically think of Christianity, and let's face it, Christians really leave a bad taste in your mouth. The biggest reason is they are not teaching what the Bible really says.

Jesus was well liked by the common people. The problems he had came from his interactions with the religious leaders of the day. Jesus's main teaching was love. Jesus said,

Matthew 22: 36-40

King James Version (KJV)

36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law?

37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.

38 This is the first and great commandment.

39 And the second is like unto, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.

40 On these two commands hang all the law and the prophets.

Now, whether you believe in Jesus or not really is not my business. What is important here is that we all love, and we can only love others as much as we love ourselves. Self love is cruel here. Relationship. Jesus is not about religion. Jesus is about relationship, and this relationship is expressed through love. To love and be loved is a desire we all share.

2. Zen

Although there are many principals within Zen that you can apply to your life, there are three it is important to know. First, you already have everything you need you need inside of you to do whatever it is you are here for and want to with your life. In the words of Lao Tzu, “Be content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing missing, the whole world belongs to you.”

Second, “Before enlightenment, chop wood carry water. After enlightenment, chop wood carry water.” Even after you have determined what you want out of life and why you are here, you still have to do the work. With or without enlightenment, work and action are a necessary part of life and are required in order for us to achieve success.

The third part is understanding. In the Dao De Jing, it says, “It is wisdom to know others; It is enlightenment to know one's self.” Once again, it is about relationship. No matter how illuminated you are, the real test comes within your relationships.

When you apply these three teachings to the teachings of Jesus you discover that you have all the resources you need to do what you want to do, do always work and always remember that at the core of everything is relationship. Everything in the universe is in relationship to everything else, and it is all connected.

3. Quantum Physics

Quantum physics is somewhat more complicated than how I am about to explain it here. However, there are only two things you need to understand.

First, quantum physics is the science of possibilities. Physicists theorize that given sufficient time whenever possible is possible.

It is also science at the cellular level. It is where life begins, and it is where action begins. Accepting that all possibilities are possible and embracing all the possibilities in your life allows you to become open to all of the opportunities available to you.

4. US Army

I have skills I will take with me for the rest of my life. Those skills are a part of me. I developed those skills through repetition. If you do something enough times, it becomes a part of you. Do something 1,000 times, and you develop competency. Do it 5,000 times, and you become skilled. Do it 10,000 times, and you become a master.

Of themselves, these effects all help you make the change you desire if you apply them. When you combine them, they give you a complete toolkit and the skill set to make true and lasting change, which always comes from within.

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Why an Elderly Must Exercise, Not Just Eat Well

Do you know the largest health issue among older people?

No, it is not any of the non-communicable diseases common to them like arthritis, type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol or heart disease.

Yes, they do have them and they are very debilitating, costly and stressful for both patients and those tasked to care for them. But according to a report from the University of Rochester, the number one problem among older people is lack of Physical Activity and Nutrition. .

These two act in a symbiotic relationship that can either make an older cool or as cold as a puppy's nose.

Here's why.

As people age, their metabolism slows down, making the food they eat, regardless of nutritional value, digest slowly. This rate slows down further if you practically spend the entire day on a couch watching TV or reading the papers.

Compounding this lethargic lifestyle is their tendency to splurge on or potato chips, or corn flakes, or any of those comfort foods readily available in any grocery store.

Very soon these improperly digested food (as fats) will soon find its way in your legs, thighs, hips, waist, belly, arms and face until you qualify a contestant in the popular TV reality show, The Biggest Losers.

Ironically, the more you put in weight, harder it is to get physically active . Not only because you find it so heavy to move, but you justify your excess weight as an inevitable consequence of growing old; that weight increase is in direct proportion to an increase in age.

Not so, according to experts.

Excess Weight is not bad, but Its Effects Are:

As people age, some experience thinning hair, loss of some teeth, be hearing impaired, or have memory lapses. But gaining weight is not triggered by some biological clock, but by setting the alarm clock too long.

But gaining weight because of lack of physical activity is only half the problem. The other half lies benefit the surface, like an iceberg.

Some of these are:

Type 2 Diabetes :

Occurs when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin to maintain the body's normal glucose level, or is unable to use the insulin that is produced (also known as insulin – resistance).

The risk for developing type 2 diabetes increases with age because people tend to gain weight and exercise less.

Type 2 diabetes can be preverted or managed (if you already have one), by maintaining a healthy weight, have a healthy nutrition and exercising regularly.

High Blood Pressure:

High blood pressure is caused by structural changes in the arteries, particularly the large arteries. Its cause is non-specific but it has always been taken as a natural consequence of aging.

It is a great concern among health practitioners (and you, too) because it can lead to kidney problems, heart disease, stroke and many other serious health problems.

Risk factors of high blood pressure are genetics, age, excess weight , no physical activity and poor diet .

Heart Disease:

Aging and many other factors common to aging cause some changes in the heart and blood vessels, which, if not treated, can lead to heart disease.

Among other things, the risks for heart disease can be minimized by having a heart-healthy diet, and exercise to prevent of obesity, control blood sugar and reduce stress.

And unless you have become a celibate, your sex life takes a nose dive due to lack of physical activity and improper nutrition.

You may not be a raging bull anymore but it does not mean your libido has flat-lined either. There are men in their 70s and 80s who are still very sexually active. But for most, it is like a blip in a heart monitor of a patient in ICU – now you see it, now you do not.

It would be very downright embarrassing if you will not have the stamina to reach a fulfilling climax – like you could never enjoy a full round of golf, if you are not physically fit to sink the 18th hole.

So start counting calories, not ills and pills.

Count Calories, not Ills and Pills:

The other week I sat next a guy in the senior citizens' lane of a grocery check-out counter while my daughter queued up.

He was big, ie, around 5'9 “, 190 lbs. Or so. He was 62 (four years younger than I), and started walking telling me of his arthritis problems and his coming titanium implant to replace a hip bone.

When my daughter came up, I introduced her to the guy, who immediately told my daughter of the things he told me earlier.

Cheerily my daughter said, “I know. When seniors get together they talk of ills and pills, not calories.”

My daughter's surprising and unexpected remark, mean as a joke, made me smile.

I thought it cool, but true.

The average age of the people I play tennis with is 54 years. The oldest is 73 but he dropped out for failing eyesight. I am 66 and there are at least three who are in their 70s. The youngest is in his mid 30, and the rest are in their late 40s and early 50s.

We joke, we banter, play with or against each other, and rib winners and losers alike.

There are four or five who have arthritis and diabetes. One had a hypoglycemic attack while playing, and one member had had a bypass (he plays very early in the morning).

We never talk of ills. The only pills we talk about, and change hands, are those small Chinese-made pills for erectile dysfunction – which practically everyone is taking.

You can take any of those signature diets your nutritionist prescribe, or get it online. But if you do not exercise enough, if you do not get physically active, they are just good money thrown into the sewer.

On the other hand, you can eat nails and be as healthy as when you were in your 30s if you stretch your muscles and rev your heart like a Formula 1 car by exercising regularly.

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The Importance Of Religion In A Scientific Research

The 20th century was the most advanced century of our history. We like to belong to the 21st century, and we feel superior when we compare our knowledge to the knowledge of our ancestors. We know a lot more about our planet and the universe.

However, this is a false impression. Today's science is as rudimentary as the science of the 19th century and before. We are certainly beginning to understand a few things about our reality, but we are ignorant. We should not be proud of our scientific and technological progress.

We should pay attention to the fact that our world is governed by terror and violence. We did not eliminate poverty. We still have many wars. Crimes are part of the routine in the crazy world. Our reality is dangerous.

However, everything is covered by hypocrisy and indifference. We do not want to pay attention to what is bad.

I understood this fact through dream translation because I found the divine wisdom. God opened my eyes.

My work was scientific, but at a certain point it became religious, since God is the dream producer. I had to go to the church every Sunday, and I had to defend God's existence.

I spoke with many nuns and practices about what I had discovered by translating the meaning of dreams based on Carl Jung's method of dream interpretation. I had to be part of the community of the church and participate of all their activities. I also followed seminars with studies about the Bible in a catholic institution twice per month.

I remembered the lessons I had in the catholic school where I had studied since 6-years-old until I became 17 and a half. My religious education was as important as my scientific discoveries because I had to prove the existence of God to the world. In order to do so, I had to have the behavior of a saint.

This was a very difficult matter for me because I was selfish, lazy, violent, vain, demanding, and impatient. I had to completely change my behavior.

I was not expecting to have to deal with religion when I started following Carl Jung's lessons, but I understood that this was the most important part of my work when I discovered that God is the dream producer and I started precisely obeying His guidance.

I recognized that God should be respected and obeyed. This is obvious if you have a religious education.

I had no doubt that I really had found God because I could recognize the unconscious sanctity and wisdom. So, I did not doubt that I should really defend God's existence.

However, I passed through six years of atheism when I was a teen, and I knew that atheists are aggressive and rude. I did not like my position. It was hard to defend God's existence in an atheistic world.

I also saw that even those who supposedly represent God on earth do not believe in His existence. Many practices told me that God had already announced everything He had to tell the world in the past.

God could not make new revelations. Nobody believed in miracles.

Nobody believed that God was showing me many truths through dream translation. They could not imagine that God could give us signs of His existence.

All practices and nuns did not believe that we should sleep and dream, and wait for God's answers in dreams in order to understand what to do. They believed that we should decide what to do based on our own consciousness, exactly like everyone else does.

However, I discovered that our conscience is absurd.

Carl Jung had discovered this fact before me, but he did not understand how shocking his discovery really was. He believed that the human conscience was stronger than it is.

Our conscience is idiotic because it works based on only one main psychological function and also a half-developed psychological function, without using the four psychological functions we have at disposal: thoughts, feelings, sensations, and intuition. We also are either introverted or extroverted. We do not have a balanced attitude.

When I discovered the existence of the anti-conscience I saw that everything was worse than it already seemed to be because our conscience is one-sided and under-developed.

Even before discovering the anti-conscience I decided to obey the unconscious guidance in dreams because I understood that the human conscience was absurd and I could not trust my own conscience. I knew that I was neurotic because I had the behavior described by Jung when he analyzed the neurosis of my psychological type.

Therefore, I had a reason to believe that I should not trust my own conscience, while Carl Jung trusted his conscience. He was not mentally ill. So, he did not have the vision I had. I saw how tragic it was to have an absurd conscience that makes many costly mistakes.

When I discovered that the unconscious mind was God's mind I clearly understood that I should trust only the divine wisdom in dreams, and not my own thoughts because I was absurd and ignorant. I had a confirmation that was showing me that my initial attitude was correct. I should really obey the unconscious mind.

My obedience was based on my logical conclusions and also based on the knowledge I had thanks to my religious education. My religion helped me trust my scientific discovery and obey the divine guidance.

On the other hand, my literary talent and the inspiration sent by the unconscious mind when I was a young writer helped me trust the divine wisdom even more.

My scientific research could not be exclusively scientific because I had to see the entire image of the truth and obey the divine guidance, without doing what my own conscience desired. My obedience could not be merely based on scientific conclusions.

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Confessions of a Recovering Perfectionist Saved by Mindfulness

This morning, as part of my mindfulness routine, I was doing my morning yoga and every time I tried to do a balance pose I wobbled like my cousin's 12 month old who is learning to walk. Having done yoga for quite a few years I know that some days I will have good balance and other days I will not.

As I was trying to hold my pose (and falling a few times), I realized my thoughts went to criticism – which is often what our minds do. We criticize ourselves about how we should be doing things different, better.

Many of my patients first come to see me for anxiety – either generalized anxiety or because they experience panic attacks.

Often when working with people who experience anxiety, I learn that they have a tendency to be a bit of a perfectionist. They like to do things better than right, they want them perfect. Let me tell you how this can do more harm that you think.

People who strive for perfection are usually very competent people who learned early on that they will be rewarded for great work – often in the form of emotional appraisal (early on in life) or financial appraisal (later on in life). This belief that you need to be perfect then becomes internalized and a driver for all future work. If something is not perfect, this becomes a bit of a threat to your ego and sense of worth.

Unfortunately, achieving perfection is rare, but even worse; perfectionism is time and energy consuming and often leaves people feeling highly stressed or anxious. When working with my patients, I often help them learn how to embrace imperfection, which is scary at first, but they soon learn it is a beautiful place to be.

Now getting back to my morning yoga, six years ago I participated in the eight-week mindfulness based stress reduction program. This program changed the way I related to my own criticism and judgments.

Six years ago I would have criticized myself for not being able to hold the pose. I would have gotten angry and my body would have felt tense. I may have even given up and quit my yoga practice early.

Because of the skills I've learned from mindfulness, I was able to recognize my inner critic's thoughts, recognize that they are just thoughts and that I can be perfectly happy embracing my imperfection this morning.

In fact, I began to smile at each wobble and focused on my gratitude for the fact that I have an able body that can do yoga. I know that tomorrow morning I will likely have better balance, but even if I do not, that will be okay, because I'm a recovering perfectionist.

In the comments below, let me know how you deal with perfection and if you have other ways to tame your inner critic.

Cheers,

Charlene

oxox

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Finding Mental, Physical, And Spiritual Health

When I was young I was materialistic and I followed the mindset of the atheistic world. I did not believe in unexplained phenomena. I believed that those who believed in them were imagining unreal things.

However, I had a certain interest for what was occult and mysterious. I read books about the meaning of the facial paths and the meaning of the palm lines, even though they were not scientific. I read them without believing that they should be taken seriously, but I observed that many of the things I read were confirmed into practice.

Their authors were not scientists. They wrote these books without giving us explanations about how they came to the conclusion that they were presenting. These conclusions were probably based on many people's observations.

I understand that what people know from observing what keeps happening in life is a valid way to learn things, even if we do not have explanations for the reasons why they keep happening this way.

I found information about the meaning of our feet and the meaning of our gestures (what today is known as body language). I read many things that were not scientific, including mainly reading scientific books, and respecting more the seriousness of modern science.

When I started caring about the meaning of dreams because I had psychological problems (in 1984) I also had an interest on finding special information about unknown powers. Dreams were mysterious.

I studied many dream interpretation methods created by many different psychologists, and also books about physics, astronomy, neurology, biology, and other fields. Then, I bought a collection of books about unexplained phenomena and I started reading them. I saw that there were numerous unexplained phenomena that could not be scientifically explained.

I realized that the fact that they could not be explained did not mean that they were not real. So many unexplained phenomena could not be all false. Many of them had many interesting details that did not let me believe that they were based on someone's imagination.

I saw that when you decide to seriously understand a certain matter you verify how privileged you were because you made concluding without understanding the topic you were dealing with.

Scientists justify their incapacity to explain metaphysical phenomena by saying that they are based on the imagination of those who relate them. This is an easy way to get rid of the obligation to explain what they are unable to understand.

This is also a good way to avoid having to admit the existence of God, the existence of Satan, and the existence of a spiritual reality that goes beyond the material one.

We discovered the existence of many planets and we learned many things about our universe thanks to our scientific and technological progress. If you will compare the knowledge we have today with the knowledge humanity had before the 20th century, you will understand that we ignored many things in the past.

The same way, in the beginning of the 21st century we are discovering scientific explanations for the existence of a spiritual reality, including the material one.

For example, many alternative therapies are showing us the theoretical power of a certain combination between the material and the spiritual reality.

Even though the atheistic and materialistic mindset prevails in the modern era, many people believe in the power of the spiritual reality. Many holistic treatments are showing to the world that there are other alternatives that are more efficient than traditional medicine.

Dream interpretation according to the scientific method is the best one because it helps you understand what is important for your spiritual evolution, including curing your mental health problems, and your physical problems.

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A Month Of Reflection And Goal Setting

I love this time of year! It's not that I love cold weather (because I do not), but rather this time of year presents a chance to reflect upon what has been accomplished throughout the year and what might be for the coming year.

I spoke with a patient just this morning that was setting some health-related goals for the coming year. “I've been working on them for a month. It was great to hear that the goal was not going to be something with no chance of success. I believe she will see success in her goals this year.

The largest issue in accomplishing goals is in your motivation for attaining them.

If you have a goal that you think you should have (like “lose weight”), but you're not excited about that goal, you will not lose weight.

If you set an unrealistic goal (lose 100 pounds this year eating nothing but celery), then your brain will say, “That does not sound like fun at all. What if your motivation changed? What could you accomplish then?

Anthony Robbins talks about walking across a board placed on the ground. Would you do it? Sure. Now raise that same board and put it across two tall buildings. Would you walk across that board? Most people would not. What if that same board was across two buildings, but the love of your life or your child please needed your help and they were on the other side?

Would you walk across then? Could anything stop you? Would you run across?

The problem was not in the challenge, but in the motivation. You just did not want it bad enough. I know, that's easier said than done.

Too many times our goals are just preferences. “I would prefer to weigh less. I would consider it an accomplishment if I ran a marathon.” These are just not strong enough motivators to get us to change.

Before you come up with a list of 100 things you'd like to accomplish in 2015, first think about your “why.” Why do you want it? What do you really want?

I keep hitting on weight loss because it's such a common goal and one that most people know how to do (eat right and exercise more), but we can get stuck in the day to day decisions that negatively affect our ability to hit that goal.

If your “why” was strong enough, nothing could make you overeat. Nothing would stop you from exercising daily. Nothing would stop you from accomplishing all the goals on your list. My suggestion? Fewer goals, and more reasons why you want them.

This will help you stay laser-targeted on hitting your goals and make all the difference.

What's your “why”?

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Qigong for the Winter Solstice – Attune Your Energy With Your Thoughts, Intentions and Dreams

If you have not already done so, this is a perfect day to begin preparing for the winter season and the new year ahead. The December Solstice occurs on either December 20, 21, 22 or 23. It is called Winter Solstice in the Northern Hemisphere, where it is the shortest day of the year. In the Southern Hemisphere, it is the Summer Solstice and the longest day of the year.

You can easily check the Internet for the exact date and time for your city and country (at the time I am writing this and at my location the Winter Solstice 2014 is Sunday, December 21, 2014 at 6:03 PM EST). Not only is it the solstice but it is also a NEW MOON (New Moon of Capricorn 8:36 PM EST).

REMEMBER – This exercise is not just for use on only the day of the Winter Solstice, it can be used through the ENTIRE WINTER SEASON. Imagine staying well during the winter season while your co-workers are succumbing to colds, flu's and the winter blues. The ancient practice of Qigong symbols breathing, movement, visualization and affirmation to awaken body and mind to thrive.

When the daylight decreases and the darkness lengthens and the cold days of winter bring you indoors your body and especially your kids tend to contract. This can manifest as an increase in pain or illness in your back, energy and attitude. Using the Winter Solstice Qigong Exercise your Qi balance can be restored and the Winter Season can become a time for you to exhibit an alert, clear and supple mind and body.

It is an especially positive day to attune your energy to finish this year and begin the new year. REMEMBER, It is your emotions that fuel your dreams and desires along with your intentions that set your beliefs and perceptions and result in your true purpose manifesting into your Awesome Reality! And in the coming New Year to create a positive state of being it is necessary for you to express your gratitude and enjoy each and every minute that remains this year.

It is a time of holidays and a time of hurrying busily around trying to accomplish everything that needs to be finished as soon as possible. It is a time of holiday stress, a time of family, friends and the hectic pace that the holiday activities seem to create. It is a time that you very often, with all the rushing about, forget yourself, your happiness and all for which you have to be grateful.

One thing that you should remember is that you will want to finish, physically, mentally and spiritually all that you have bought to complete in this year. It is a time for you to build your NEW YEAR intentions and consciously create a clean slate, a new and revised plan for the year that is coming.

It is a time to begin to TUNE YOURSELF, TUNE YOUR ENERGY, YOUR QI and begin your new year transformation with clear intentions, a joyful heart and a peaceful mind. It is time to create the fertile field in your mind in which you will plant new seeds, new plans and new intentions that you will continue to nurture in the weeks to come.

At this time of MINIMUM YIN, The Winter Solstice, you have begun to store the energy that you will need to clear away any obstacles in your path. It is a time for you to gather your thoughts, dreams and desires and use your imagination to see and feel yourself in the new year experiencing your TRUE REALITY with gratitude to the Universe, the Universal Energy, the Universal Mind, for providing you with the awareness to see your opportunities among the infinite field of all possibilities.

The Winter Solstice is a time when the practice of Qigong can be a powerful way tune Your Energy and imbue your intentions with energy and meaning. When you connect to the rhythm of nature through your practice of Qigong you, your thoughts, your beliefs, your perceptions and your energy will be in harmony with the world around you providing you with a potential connection to the Universe through your subconscious Universal Mind connection .

INTERNAL FLAME – WARMING UP YOUR ENERGY

To create an abundance of Qi inside yourself begin by standing in a comfortable position, breathe softly and relax. Place both of your palms, overlapping, on your abdomen just below your navel. Focus your mind on the area behind your palms in the center of your body. Inhale and Exhale softly as you imagine a candle flame inside your belly, growing stronger, brighter and hotter with each breath you take. As you breathe the candle flame breathes growing brighter, hotter and stronger. Repeat to yourself, “My heart is filled with wisdom, joy, compassion and love. I am a light of the Universal Energy and I am grateful for the Qi within me.” Remain relaxed and repeat this 9 to 18 times, each time maintaining your focus on the area behind your palms and on the candle that you are visualizing.

CONNECTING TO THE UNIVERSAL ENERGY

Next stand quietly with your eyes closed breathing softly as you center your body, mind and spirit and feel the connection to the Universal Energy – the Universal Mind. Bring your awareness into your heart and keep your focus there. Remain relaxed and go on to the Winter Solstice Qigong Exercise.

WINTER SOLSTICE QIGONG EXERCISE

In this Qigong Exercise you will allow the energy of the Earth and the Heavens to flow through you, tuning your human energy to that of the Heavens (Yang) and the Earth (Yin). The Earth's energy will flow upward through you and connect with the Heaven's energy and then the Heaven's energy will flow down through you to connect with the Earth's energy with you acting as a Qi Conduit or Tuning Fork.

Begin by standing in a natural and relaxed position.

INHALE as you raise your palms from the sides of your thighs up to your hips imagining that you are gathering your energy in your center, like water filling a balloon, and say to yourself, “I am so happy and grateful …”

EXHALE as you bend forward and run the palms of the hands down the front of your legs, across the tops of the feet and out onto the floor imagining that as you reach down your Qi flows down (like water from a tall waterfall into the pool below) into the Earth as you say to yourself, “Now that I connect with the Earth …”

INHALE as you bring your hands from floor across the tops of the feet, up the sides of the legs, up sides of the body, up the sides of the head and up toward the sky imagining that you are pulling the Earth's Qi up through your feet and out the top of your head (like water flowing up through a tube and spraying out as a beautiful fountain in a bright garden) as you say yourself, “… I feel the awesome energy flowing up through me connecting to the Heavens … ”

EXHALE as you bring your hands down the sides of the head, down the sides of the body returning to a relaxed stance while imagining that the Heaven's energy flows down through you into your center (returning to the pool of water from which all began) , while you say to yourself, “… and flowing down filling me with its' strength.”

That completes one set. Repeat for a total of 9 to 18 sets.

ADDITIONAL IDEAS – CLEARING YOUR MIND AND SPIRIT

The time right after the Winter Solstice Qigong Exercise is an AWESOME TIME to “Clear Your Slate” for the upcoming New year. It is a time when you can very often see most of the negative chatter that hangs out clouding your mind, your judgments and your perceptions.

There are several things that you can do, and although these are not necessarily Qigong per say, they are quite helpful in clearing your slate.

1. You can write down a list of all of your awesome experiences this past year. Think and feel grateful for all that you have done. Take a moment to be happy with yourself.

2. Think of anyone against which you may be harboring resentment or negative emotions, write down there names, repeat their names and end by saying, “I forgive you and I let go.” Fold up the paper, tear it up and throw it away.

3. Since you are now in a more positive space after the Winter Solstice Qigong Exercise take a moment to write down any impressions that you may have about what your true purpose is and what you would like to create in the future. Use your imagination, do not limit yourself and in essence Dream Big – it does not have to be realistic.

4. Take a moment to imagine yourself in what you believe your most positive and realistic future might be. Imagine and feel yourself confident, happy and radiating a strong and positive light for all to see and feel.

5. Take another moment, even if you have already done so, and SPEAK A WORD OF GRATITUDE to the Universe for all that it has given to you.

Every Moment in Life is a New Beginning, Your every choice is a New Opportunity to manifest the SELF that you desire! Please share this with your family, friends or anyone that you may know that might be interested in improving their life. Enjoy Life!

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Essential Principles to Consider When Pursuing Life-Long Holistic Human Health

Physical: Without a shadow of a doubt you must proactively work and strive to keep the body temple clean, lean and pristine. Cells must be nourished, organ systems optimal, skin radiant, lungs strong and senses sharp. You must train it, wash it, oil it, rest it and you must expose it to the elements. It's like owning a car, or a house … take pride and keep its functions … or it will break.

Seasonal: Just like every other living thing on this planet we must adapt consciously to the changing seasons and weathers that we live through. Our food, activity, clothing, energy, habits change as we align to the summer, spring, autumn and winter. It may sound obvious … but many people are ignorant to it as they do not tune into nature anymore or the outdoors. Trust your instinct … cool foods and fruit in the summer, warming things and more sleep in the winter. The basics of seasonal adaption are called living a wise life.

Nutritional: We must tailor our nutrition to suite our own needs. There is a difference between real food and fake food. Processed, man-made, bleached and canned food is not food. Keep things local, organic, and seasonal as a rule of thumb. If it does not go off down eat it. If it does not have labels or a list of ingredients it is better. It is always better to eat whole foods and stick to food your ancestors ate. Avoid the main offenders in general, like wheat, gluten, pastries, sweets, processed non-organic (red meat) and keep it simple.

Emotional: You may be the top athlete, lean as a leopard or as fast as a leopard. You may have all the money and abundance … but I'll tell you straight, if you have toxic, stressful relationships, if you fear people around you, if you have a negative relationship to your own heart or if you repress or suppress your feelings, YOU WILL get ill. It's just a matter of time. It has a massive impact. And besides, you do not want to commit 'crimes of passion' at any rate!

Sensual: In today's world we have become 'shut in' and we usually come in a very neat, sterile condition. Even family do not touch and hold and play and caress one another … what happened to the joy or sensuality, not only in the bedroom, or on the sofa … but combing some ones hair, shaving your grandpa or wrestling your young ones or sleeping with your dog? To hell with it! Shut up and touch somebody, hug somebody, do something but for goodness sake make some contact! It's good for your health, you mammalian creature you.

Sexual: You are creative, sexual, creative creatures. Humans, unlike animals, 'mate' all year round, and not just for pro-creative purposes as your Rabbi would have you believe. Sexuality is the spark of life and creativity. In an age of pornography, boarding schools, oppressive religion and cardboard culture and unimaginative, knee jerk sexuality … women have come to accept the fact that the Missionary position last 10 minutes and foreplay in little more than a half-conscious grope. WOAH! Explore this energy in your life, buy some books, lock yourself in a room and learn to play, control and enjoy this energy. There is so much more to sex than counting the number of women you 'conquer' or how quickly you can make a man come. It is the creative, intimate energy that has the power to alchemizes and transform lovers … healing, inspiring and pure.

Mental: You must train your mind and mentality with various principals of practice if you desire optimum well-being in the head. Firstly, you MUST meditation every day, for a minimum of 11 minutes twice per day; This is like having a bath for the brain. You must set goals and look at them often. You should avoid too much TV, loud music, 'News' and anything considered garbage for the mind. Drink lots of water and for the love of god READ and educate yourself, not to pass exams but because you love to study a field of passion.

Social: We are social creatures. We are tribal people; everywhere in the world … we band into clusters, form creeds, nations and like lions, build a pride we can be proud of. Surround yourself with interesting, positive, similar valued people. Nurture your relationships, keep loved ones close. Eat together, sing together, do things together. You must nurture 'a tribe' in your life, or some. If you are not close to your family, find people you love and make them your family in your heart and actions … people need people. We need love and appreciation. Go out there and make real friends, people you can cry, laugh and grow old with.

Energetic: A very loose term … energetic. But let's explore it quickly. When you wake up do you feel rested? When you go to work are you motivated? When you meet your friends are you comfortable? When you study your subject are you hungry to learn? The 'energy' behind things is essential to authentic well-being … if you hate your job and despise your friends … what use is there that, what energy is behind that part of your life? Make sure the energy behind the things in your life are positive, nurturing and enjoyable to you … otherwise why on earth are you forcing yourself to do something you have bad energy for?

Spiritual: Your life has to feel like it has some greater meaning, some sort of transcendental meaning, and some subjective cause to devote and strive 'towards'. The Human requires a sense of the greater, the eternal, the divine … in order to flourish in this vast, unknowable, often frightening universe. We need to fulfill our spiritual needs; however we find it fit to express it. Religion is one way, shamanic journeying is another, looking deep into the stars or the heart … contemplating wisdom and philosophy, morals and ethics. We must feed and nourish our spiritual sense of self in order to feel our lives have a purpose. Even IF life is empty and meaningless, create a sense of meaning, and your life will be blessed with the experience that your actions and days are not just empty.

Vocational: The age of the medieval peasantry and caste system is over. The industrial age of drone workers is slowly coming to an end. Humans are no longer brainy biological cog in a wheel or slaves to a 'job'. Nowadays, if you can read and access this article you have NO EXCUSE not to make a living what you really love. A vocation is something you want to do not HAVE to do in order to make money and express your labor of love to serve society. If you really want to me a potter, then pursue it with love, faith and work hard … or you could be a banker, or a baker, or a cookie … anything but everything … but make sure you don 't just work like a zombie, but create like a human being. This is what it means to have a vocation, to have a 'job' you would do even if money did not exist … find out where your passion lies and then monetise it.

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Your Correct Tai Chi Practice

Like Yoga and so many other disciplines which combine the physical with the metaphysical, Tai Chi Chuan can be approached in many different ways. The motives for taking up the art are as varied as the students who practice it.

Common Physical Goals for Tai Chi Practice

Improving balance – It is easy to move through the transitions of the form quickly, but much more demanding to perform them very slowly. This is the correct way. Moving slowly and gracefully helps practitioners vastly improve their balance.

Correcting back problems – In doing your form, no matter which style you have chosen, you will find yourself constantly working the entire length of the spell. Correct practice gently opens the vertebrae, reduces back pain, and encourages a healthy, more functional back.

Easing joint pain – Just as back problems can be reduced and extremely healed by correctly doing the form, joint problems can also be reduced or alleviated. This is especially true of neck, knee and shoulder blockages.

Normalizing blood pressure – This demanding yet meditative exercise has the effect of normalizing blood pressure and heart rate extremes, and this normalization sometimes occurs within the first few months of practice.

Strengthening the legs – Tai Chi, like all martial arts, requires the strongest possible foundation. Over time, the very repetition of the slow, smooth movements through the varying positions will increase your leg strength, along with your balance.

Better breathing habits – The correct practice of your form is intrinsically connected to your breathing. For this reason, one should study the form with a good teacher who addresses diaphragmatic breathing and teachers students when they should be breathing in and out.

Common Mental Goals for Tai Chi Practice

Enhanced memory -Tai Chi Chuan is not for mental sissies. Even the short forms require much detailed memorization. Your memory improves with practice, just as your muscles do. In this case, the demands on your memory are good opportunities to keep your mind sharp.

Mastery of martial techniques – Not everyone goes into the study of this art with the idea of ​​using it as a martial art. Neverheless, the meaning of “Tai Chi” is usually translated as “Grand Ultimate Fist.” This is illustrative of the power available to those who master its techniques.

Belonging to a global community – Of all the group exercises performed the world over, Tai Chi is the most popular, by far.

Awareness and understanding of energy – Energy, Qi, or Chi, is the force that keeps us alive. How important is it, then, to develop a sensitivity to its workings?

Common Spiritual Goals for the Practice

Quiets the mind – Once the form is internalized, it becomes a superior moving meditation. Its practice gives the body and mind something to do while the spirit occupations itself with more elevated matters.

Opens the chakras and energy meridians – As the student moves through the gently twisting positions, the minority energy centers of the body are massed and opened, along with the vertebrae.

Offers an opportunity for awakening – Well-done Tai Chi is a consensus source of awakening and union with the ineffable One. Energy flows better, health improvements, and enlightenment, whatever that means to each individual, looms ever more attainable through its correct practice.

Creating Your Personalized Tai Chi Practice

Your best practice for Tai Chi depends entirely on your own particular reasons for studying it. Upon reading through the motivations outlined above, most Tai Chi practitioners will embrace a combination of goals, but there will be some that are more important to you than others.

In the future, your goals will probably change, and you will be attracted to the other layers of benefits that Tai Chi has to offer. In fact, transformation is the ultimate goal, and is available to all seekers, whether they favor its physical, mental, or spiritual facets.

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Stimulating the Brow and Crown Chakras

How can you exercise the brow chakra?

It may not seem like your brow and forehead have many muscles, but this exercise will show you otherwise. I call this the “eye crunch” technique. This technique can be included in holistic health courses during deep relaxation sessions after lunch (you could call them naps if you like).

Sit comfortably and take a deep yogic breath. When your lungs are full, hold your breath while contracting your eyes as tightly as you can , using all the muscles of your upper face. Press tightly for several moments until you tire; then quickly release all the air from your lungs in a burst. Take a few normal breaths to relax. Repeat up to 10 times.

The next step of the exercise involves clenching the whole face. Take a deep yogic breath. When your lungs are fully expanded, hold your breath while contracting all your facial muscles as tightly as you can . It feels as if you are making your face smaller. Use every muscle in your forehead, around your eyes, cheeks and jaws. Hold for several moments before releasing with a strong burst of air. Then take a few breaths to allow your breathing to return to normal. Perform this exercise up to 10 times.

How do you feel? Are you more aware of the muscles in your face? Did the exercise help release tension? Continue sitting in a meditative post for 10 or more minutes after the exercise. Notice the quality of your mindfulness and concentration. These exercises and techniques can be practiced individually or as a set, which suits suits you at the time. The eye crunch and face clench are both very suitable for “impromptu stress release” whenever you are working late at the office or standing on a bus in heavy traffic.

Stimulating the Crown Chakra

To exercise your crown chakra, I suggest doing what Yogi Bhajan named “ego eradicator”. Sit in the lotus position and raise your arms over your head at 60 degree angles. Keep your chin slightly tucked down towards your chest through the exercise. Gently close your four fingers so your fingertips lightly touch the base of your fingers. Point your thumbs at each other above your head.

Close your eyes and focus your attention in the region above your crown chakra where your thumbs are pointing. Begin the breath of fire exercise described in the article “Breath of Fire with Reiki”. Continue for 2 or 3 minutes until you get tired. Then, bring your thumbs together touching over your head and open the rest of your fingers. To conclude this practice, sweep your arms around your aura. This gesture smoothes out your aura and surrounds you with positive healing energy.

This exercise strengthens your lungs and empowers concentration at your highest chakra. Together, these minimize the ego and support you on your path towards universal consciousness.

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Exercising and Stimulating the Throat Chakra

I would like to offer three exercises for the throat, neck and shoulders to loosen up the region around your throat chakra. The first is a Kundalini technique that we can call shoulder shrugs. Kneel while sitting on your boots, or sit in the lotus position, which you prefer.

As you inhale, lift both shoulders up as high as they will go. When you exhale, drop your shoulders strongly to force the air out of your lungs. Lift your shoulders again as you breathe in , expanding your lungs up into the chest and shoulder region; drop your shoulders quickly and heavily as in a very adamant sigh of disapproval. Yes, it should be noisy!

Exhale forcefully enough that you create a hissing sound from your nose. Not only does this give you carte blanche to make so-called “rude” noises, it also helps expel additional toxins. Continue this exercise for 1 or 2 minutes and then return to normal breathing. This loosens your shoulder and neck muscles allowing your lungs to expand upwards more completely. It can also be performed while you're slaving in front of your computer all day. For those doing repetitive, stationary office work, incorporated shoulder shrops into your “office yoga” routine. It's up to you whether or not you employ the hissing sounds at the office!

The next exercise involves twisting your neck. Sit comfortably as described in the previous exercise. Turn your head all the way to the left while inhaling . Then, turn your head all the way to the right while exhaling consistently through the nose creating a “sniffling” sound. Continue for 1 minute at a comfortable pace. Then reverse the process : Turn your head to the right while inhaling and then turn to the left while exhaling forcefully through your nose. The speed and amount of force that you employ depend on your own strength and flexibility. At first, move slowly and gently. As you warm up and develop a smooth rhythm, increase your pace and the force used to expel air from your lungs.

I remember the first time this technique was taught to a group of Korean teenagers who were learning about Reiki, Yoga and Naturopathy. They could not stop laughing because they were mostly worried that mucus would be ejected from their noses. Indeed, you can expect mucus or congestion to be released during this exercise so you might want to keep a handkerchief at your side. These exercises aim to relax your body, loosen your muscles and deepen the strength of your lungs. In the meantime, you benefit from the increase in oxygen, enhanced prana and improved concentration.

A third exercise for the throat chakra is called ujjayi Pranayama which mimics the sound of ocean waves. In this practice, lower your chin while slowly contracting your throat. This creates a “snoring” or “purring” sound in your throat. Please note that no noises are made in your nasal passes. Ujjayi breathing focuses specifically on clearing the throat and chest areas. Practice ujjayi breathing for several minutes while meditating between exercises.

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