Find the time to play today...

Play is one of the highest spiritual forms of being. When we're in that state, we get lost in ourselves, which allows the mind to receive the message of the spirit. --Ellie Katz


I love being playful. Yes, life brings us serious challenges, but nothing lightens the spirit as being silly. I got that from my momma who, in the most horrendous situations, always finds a lighthearted comment to ease our little hearts. Her playful spirit is one of the qualities that I admire most in her and one quality that I try to emulate. The thing is that sometimes we, or others, take themselves too dam seriously. You know exactly what I mean? Add a little magic to your day and find the time to be silly.

Here's Ellie Katz waxing poetic about the importance of play. When you find yourself getting too serious about life -- keep Katz's words close your heart:

Playology is about waking up our senses, infusing our organs of seeing, hearing, smelling, touching, tasting-- and the higher cognitive senses as well, with the spirit of play. Play ignites creativity and spontaneity. Playing together leads to trust and cooperation.

Three reasons why being selfish is good for you

According to the dictionary the word selfish means to "be devoted to or caring only for oneself." In that sense, the word is quite lovely--what's not wonderful to care of self? But like everything else in life, the word also has its shadow aspect. And the other definition that follows is not so cute, "to be concerned primarily with one's interests, benefits, welfare, etc regardless of others." 

I think the word has been maligned and many people confuse the primary meaning of the word and only work with the negative aspect of the word. In a effort to rescue a perfectly marvelous word and make full use of its great energy, here are three reasons why being selfish is good for the soul.

1.     When you take care of self first--the world, including you--is kinder

"To love and to be loved is to feel the sun from both sides," David Viscott

When I came across the quote I was so moved by it that I had find more information on its author. I am all over David Viscott! The late psychotherapist left us with a body of work that was genius and timeless: we have the power and capacity to heal ourselves, including healing our hearts and minds. This passage captures what his work is about: 

Your emotional resilience depends on your capacity to accept what happens to you without prejudice. Just because you are hurt doesn't mean you are weak, and just because you are sad, doesn't mean you are lacking a sense of strength or identity." 

Life pummels us with curve balls and each time we swing only to strike out, we lose hope. Whether it is losing a lover, a daughter, a job, seeing a relationship that you cherish disintegrate before your eyes, many of these experiences can be so tragic on the heart, on our souls. But, if above all, you can find the space in your heart to be grateful for what you experienced-- your time at bat, so to speak-- and learn to let go and let others and yourself evolve, you will be living fully in what seems to be the only sure thing in life, that change and evolution is our daily companion. 

Suppressed rage, do you have issues?

The Rage Within: dealing with unspoken anger  

I was at a cafe writing and sipping my chai tea as I usually do most days and I could not help eavesdrop on a conversation two women were having. They were talking about a mutual friend whom they describe as out of control. Nasty to her kids, nasty to her friends, nasty to her husband, and definitely nasty to strangers. If the coffee wasn't at the right temperature, the barrista at the coffee shop got it and so did the cashier if the groceries weren't packed right. These two gals were planning an intervention out of fear that their good friend was burning bridges and destroying everything she touched with wounding words. Know anyone like that? Hello Naomi Campbell!

Repressed rage is common. People are hurt and hurting. Women are hurt and hurting. And because anger is not really a sophisticated and lauded emotion like compassion or love for instance, most women hold it in. We swallow our rage and we and everyone around us suffers.

Happiness is when what you think, what you do, and what you say are all in harmony," Mahatma Gandhi

A friend texted me this Gandhi quote in the morning and it became today's mantra. Beautiful and inspiring, it served as a reminder to self. To match the internal voice with action that is in sync with words is to live in tranquility, balance, and pure joy.

Living by this code is easier to say than to do, this I know. We stay in relationships where we are not honored. We work in places where we are dishonored. We act against self in spite of ourselves. Yet you cannot fool that internal voice. Despite this, much of our lives is spent on quieting that internal voice - the intelligent one -- that guides. I've lived it. I've seen it. I've ignored it. Instead of listening and acting on behalf of it-- this holiest of trinities-- thinking, doing, and saying -- I've played stupid. I've played myself. And I know you have too! And the result is expected: we become unintelligible beings. A lot of heart ache happens when we don't honor our individual codes. We feel it hard--anger, fears, resentment, loneliness, sadness, and confusion. We get stuck. It doesn't have to be.

"Where your heart is, there is your power...

writes Caroline Myss. "Without this energy nothing in your life can manifest or flourish, from your romantic relationships to your artistic creativity." --from Sacred Contracts.

How to mourn the right way

While it's true that mourning is very individual, what is even more true is that there is a right and a wrong way to mourn. Knowing the difference will save you a life filled with pain.

Elizabeth Kubler Ross articulated eloquently what happens when we mourn: we enter five stages, anger, denial, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. Not necessarily in that order either. Each person will experience these stages differently. But, eventually, we all experience them. And to heal we must journey through all of these stages. It is the way out!  This journey does not mean you fast forward or speed your way out of the feelings. You wear them like a leather jacket, you feel 'em and break em in. You acknowledge them. And most importantly, you don't judge yourself for what you are feeling. That is the correct way to mourn a loss: to allow yourself to feel the emotions and journey inside of these feelings not around them.

"Just keep going. Everybody gets better if they keep at it." -Ted Williams

Weekends were made for...

Dancing. Yup, it's one of the best medicines and it's free!

Sleeping in, already posted about the benefits of shut eye. See here.

Eating. Yummers. See here

Falling in love, with change. Check this out.

Being silent. It works. Try it.

Being vulnerable. Oh this is hard, but good too.

Biking. Check this out.

Bathing, in the forest or in your bathtub.

Writing a love letter, to yourself. Love this one.

Forgiving. Word

Pleasure, Go Get Some, Now!

Reminder: put pleasure on things to do today

Is pleasure on your daily to do list? It should be. Pleasure is part of living a healthy and balanced life.

In some cultures, pleasure was as way of life. During Epicurus  days and seven centuries following, 307 BC, the philosopher and his followers advocated the philosophy pleasure.  Essentially the idea was to live in a way as to squeeze out the greatest amount of pleasure in a lifetime. Love! Except don't go thinking it was wild days and nights non stop all the time. There was a caveat--they did not advocate over indulgence, quite the opposite. Epicureans argued to pursue pleasure moderately in order to avoid the suffering that can happen when one overindulges. Hello hang over! I've not found anything that points that people who lived during the seven centuries were any happier than we are today but one thing is certain: a growing body of scientific research points to the healthful benefits of pleasure.

Lack of Sleep is the Devil: Why Sleeping 8 hours is the best medicine

Have you been trying to lose weight for years and can't shed the pounds? Do you have insatiable cravings for carbs all the time? Hello potato chips! Are you irritable? Have issues with your blood pressure? Premature wrinkles a concern? Or do you have a weak immune system? Turns out that sleep deprivation may be the culprit.

In his genius book, "Dreamland Adventures in the Strange Science of Sleep," David Randall explores all the scientific research behind sleep, including the damaging effects on our health if we skip the necessary shut eye for too long.

Losing Friends, Gaining yourself

In any healing journey--whether it is changing the way you eat, making a commitment to lose pounds, or incorporating practices that take care of spirit--bad habits are not the only practices we will lose. Meaningful people and relationships that you love may potentially be collateral damage. And this is perhaps the most difficult part of the wellness journey. It's not just giving up fried chicken and welcoming grilled tofu, it's much deeper. It's letting go at a another and more profound level. Yet for continued growth, releasing what is familiar and what gives us comfort, will be necessary. The other option is to stay stuck in the same place of pain and unhealthy out of fear.

Happy Labor Day

Be happy doing nothing.

There's a lot at stake if you don' learn now to be idle. Loved this piece on the importance of doing nothing.   

"There are only two ways to live your life," Albert Einstein wrote. "One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle."

"You can't go through life thinking that Superman or any superhero can save you. The only person who can save you is yourself." --Batman to Robin.