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Color in Winter

colored pencils 500In these cold, dark days of winter I close the blinds as the day’s last rays of light are slowly fading to keep out the cold. Even if it does not make the house warmer, it makes it seem warmer and cozy. I eat comfort food, read more, go to bed earlier. Sometimes I am content with this way of life and other times I long for more light and longer days. February is the hardest month for me. Winter is dragging on and yet I feel spring, just around the corner, in my bones. I long to have the world colored vividly again.

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Have you practiced gratitude yet today?

heart blog 500T’is the season to count our blessings. While Thanksgiving encourages us to give thanks on the fourth Thursday of November, counting our blessings throughout the year is a practice that enlivens us and fills us with joy.

Gratitude shifts our perspective from what we lack to the abundance we already have. Research demonstrates that gratitude makes us happier. Studies done by Dr. Robert A. Emmons of the University of California, Davis, and Dr. Michael E. McCullough of the University of Miami found that “gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness. Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships.” Our thoughts and emotions influence our energy systems. Therefore, focusing on the things we are grateful for encourages a healthy energy system…

Read the entire article in the November/December issue of Energy Magazine. Not a subscriber? It’s FREE! Just click on "Subscribe" to the left. 

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The Holiday Food Battle

cookies 148012307I was standing in the grocery store aisle, surrounded by black and orange. All I needed was a gallon of milk. But in order to pick up a gallon of milk, I had to traverse through a maze of black and orange Halloween merchandise, including piles of candy. Despite my passionate embrace of healthy living and eating, I’m a sucker for chocolate Halloween candy. I sighed a deep, bone-shaking sigh, knowing the holiday food battle had begun.

Every year at this time, I have a little pep talk with myself about holiday eating. It generally goes like this:

“Remember to eat mindfully and enjoy your food.”

“Make sure half your plate is full of vegetables.”

“Treat yourself, but in moderation.”

“Stop when you are full.”

That’s great advice and when I follow it, I feel pretty good both physically and emotionally. Not choosing to follow my own advice and resist temptation is what trips me up. After all, I may not see another apple pie before next Thanksgiving.  And I certainly won’t make Christmas chocolate mint cloud cookies for another year. The present opportunity seems so urgent and fleeting!

Thankfully, there are others who have written inspiring, scientifically-based articles on healthy eating. Check out the newly-released article on holiday eating by Sharon Greenspan in the November/December issue of Energy Magazine. (Not a subscriber? It’s free! Click “Subscribe” in the left-hand sidebar.) You can find other articles about healthy eating written by Sharon Greenspan, Joan Borysenko and others in Energy Magazine’s article index by clicking here.

Holiday eating doesn’t have to be a battle of wills. I managed to pull myself away from the siren call of veggies 45633913the black and orange aisle in the grocery store. Once I got home, I dipped into the chocolate stash in the cupboard and thoroughly enjoyed it. I will definitely be tempted to overindulge before the holidays are over; but each time, I can choose. With mindfulness, holiday eating can be a time of celebration and connection to beloved traditions.

May victory be yours!

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My Healing Touch Journey

hearts-heartThis piece, submitted by Diana Wright, depicts her journey in the practice of Healing Touch.

By Diana O. Wright
One morning in late April 2013, I was lying still, barely awake, asking God what I, a retired English teacher, should do with my life in a new city. The phrase Healing Touch (HT) popped into my mind and refused to leave. I tried all day to push away those words, but they clung to me for dear life. Finally, I looked up the class calendar for this spiritual energy-therapy modality and emailed my friend Jean to ask about prerequisites, expecting—and fearing—that I would not qualify. Jean’s reply surprised me: “You need a compassionate heart, a willing spirit, and two hands—and you have all those.” I registered for the first Level 1 class that fit my schedule, which meant a wait until August. It was worse than waiting for Christmas when I was a child! I was eager to begin this new path, and August finally, finally arrived.

During the prior year, I had read a book here and an article there about qi gong, intuition, quantum physics, Emotional Freedom Techniques®, premonitions, The Emotion Code®, vitalism, higher-sense perception, and Matrix Energetics® so I could grasp the content of a project I was editing for a friend. However, I decided to go to class without reading books about HT to preserve the pure experience of beginning from scratch. Little did I know that tapping my intuitive side through the reading I had done had prepared me, surreptitiously, for studying HT. When Jean, my teacher, introduced studies about the Individual Energy Field and the Universal Energy Field, I was glad to have delved into that material! What I was hearing made perfect sense to my developing right-brain perception, whereas it would have escaped my former purely logical left-brain thinking. A year earlier, I would not have been ready to study HT. Now I was ready, but I doubted that I would be able or be allowed to sense a single thing or to effect healing. I was wrong! Virtually every experience in class amazed me, including breaking up a classmate’s sinus congestion with the first treatment technique I tried. I can’t count the times my jaw dropped in awe and wonder while my eyes lit with excitement that weekend. I had landed in the right place at the right time in my life! Old dog that I am, I discovered that I can learn new tricks.

About a week after my Level 1 class, a friend contacted me requesting prayer for his suicidal and bulimic teenaged daughter who had been hospitalized the night before. I promised to pray and asked for his permission, as her guardian, to treat her with HT. He said yes and asked me to treat him, too; he was worried, couldn’t sleep, and suffered stress headaches. These were distance treatments since the clients live in another state. (Remote HT intervention, like intercessory prayer, is highly effective.) The next day, my friend reported that he had slept deeply and that his daughter sounded much more like “herself,” although she faced a complicated recovery with help from mental-health specialists and medication. (HT never replaces medical treatment or counseling but is best employed with other necessary interventions.) He asked me to continue HT for her, so I treated her once every week or two for a while, based on updates he shared concerning her condition. Later, my friend informed me that his daughter was out of the hospital, was doing well in school, no longer obsessed about food, had recovered her bubbly and witty personality, and required infrequent counseling sessions.

There have been numerous occasions to treat friends and family members, and I remain amazed and grateful to hear reports of the benefits. Since I am not currently working in a clinical situation, most have been distance treatments. But the results have been as effective as with the hands-on cases. After I took the HT Level 2 class, friends volunteered for in-person treatment to allow me experience with physically present clients and managing paperwork, beyond the limited face-to-face training with fellow students during class. Now, I have completed Level 3 and will take Level 4 July 31-August 3. Then I will be a Healing Touch Practitioner Apprentice, required to complete 100 treatments before Level 5.

HT is a complementary healing modality, easily integrated with other health-care practices; it does not replace patient-to-professional relationships with physicians and/or other medical or alternative specialists. HT Students, Practitioner Apprentices, and Practitioners always ask permission to treat, from the guardian of a minor or from the adult client, and permission to apply light touch (which is, actually, optional). HT Students are volunteers who may accept donations toward tuition, while Practitioner Apprentices and Practitioners may set fees (subject to individual state laws).

The Healing Touch Program (HTP) expects practitioners to engage in regular physical, mental/emotional, and spiritual care. Suggestions include consuming a healthy diet, drinking plenty of water, meditating and/or praying regularly, avoiding environmental toxins, maintaining appropriate health and dental care, practicing proper hygiene, seeking energy therapy (HT, massage, Reiki, etc.), exercising moderately, journaling, and practicing self-care with HT techniques. After the Level 1 class, I sealed a potentially annoying paper cut so fast, using two quick techniques, that I forgot it had happened until an unrelated event reminded me days later. Generally, I rely on Self Chakra Connection, a whole-body energy-balancing technique learned in Level 1. So far, my favorite is Self Spiral Meditation from Level 2, which I can use any time, but I especially love it if I toss and turn at night. I do Self Spiral Meditation, and the next thing I know (usually), I’m waking up the next morning. Clients, too, may learn techniques for practicing self-care after or between treatments.

I am humbly grateful to be allowed to become a conduit for others’ self-healing by eliciting a relaxation response through HT techniques. Sometimes, I have been surprised to be allowed to treat someone I expected to be skeptical. I’m learning to avoid such assumptions, trusting that the client’s receptivity of my offer to treat exists in a higher realm. Since I still have much to learn, if I need help determining the best interventions for an issue, I consult Jean, my teacher and mentor. She validates my intuitive treatment decisions and, if necessary, suggests adjustments or additional techniques and/or intentions. I have attended to these cases, so far, all with positive feedback: suicidal threats, behavior, plans; headache; backache; wrist pain; anxiety, nervousness, fear; mild concussion; pre-surgery preparation, post-surgery anesthesia clearing; clearing negative effects of chemotherapy; sinus congestion; sciatica; inferiority, shyness; stomach virus; menstrual cramps; leg cramps; faster wound healing; panic attacks; insomnia; tennis elbow; courage to speak; atrial fibrillation; negative emotions; jet lag; scratchy throat; relaxation; clarity concerning a major decision; heart palpitations. HT practitioners never diagnose health issues, never prescribe surgery or drugs, and never suggest changes to a client’s medical advice from a physician or other health-care professional. The clients self-identify their physical, emotional, and/or spiritual concerns, and HT treatments involve healing the energy centers and energy field.

“Healing Touch is an energy therapy in which practitioners consciously use their hands in a heart-centered and intentional way…to enhance wellness in themselves and the lives of people they care about by using the gift of energetic touch.” (HTP website) I thank God for the joy of serving God’s children by applying what I have learned and am learning through the Healing Touch Program. What a wonderful way to spend the golden years of my life!

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