Blog

Journaling for Joy

 

Journaling can be beneficial to your well-being. It is therapeutic and healing or can be just for fun and self-expression. Research has proven journaling has the power to improve our physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual health. It has also been proven to:

  • Help you find peace
  • Decrease your heart rate and lower blood pressure
  • Strengthen your immune system
  • Improve your self-esteem.
  • Help you manage stress
  • Help you prioritize the important things in your life.
  • Helps you let go of negativity
  • Helps you tap into your “inner ding”
  • Be creative, fun, and happy
  • Honor yourself, your life, your true friends, and family
  • Find gratitude and abundance
  • Tap into the Universal source of energy
  • Send out positivity in the Universe

 

“When we allow ourselves quietness and inner contact regularly, we may no longer need to get sick in order for our inner selves to get our attention.”

Shakti Gawain

 

My Personal experience

When I pick up my pen and paper, I go to a place of great joy, grief, darkness, laughter, transformation, spirituality, celebration, creativity. I write to remember, and forget. I write to heal, and find inspiration. Sometimes I even amaze myself; I wonder how I came up with such a great piece.

Journaling is meditation with a pen in my hand. Journaling is a place I can listen to my inner self. Find what is truly important in my life.

 

Find a quiet, inspirational “sit” spot

I find it helpful to find a quiet, inspirational “sit” spot. Mine is a place amongst the trees by my house. A digital-free zone. A place where I can feel the breeze, and hear the birds.

 

“It is easier, sometimes to become focused on the healing of our outer lives, of the world than it is to look at the need for healing our inner lives.”

 

Susan Borkin

Make it yours

 

Make it your journal. A place where you can use colored pencils, markers, stickers, black ink. A place where you can doodle. Slow down, breathe, and write. Listen to your heart. Listen to your body. It whispers, and if we aren’t still we can’t hear what it has to say. Write those whispers down on paper. While writing you are training your mind to listen to what your heart and your body is telling you. You may also learn to listen to your soul.

 

Quiet your ego

We all have times when our self-talk, usually from our ego, tries to sabotage us. The inner critic, brings us stress, anxiety and fear which can derail our best intentions. We need to find ways to quiet the ego or inner critic.  Law of attraction experts teach us that what we focus on grows, what we believe and think about is what we ultimately manifest in our lives. Reaching our highest potential means we must silence our ego. In short, with journaling, you can quiet the ego, create an abundant mindset, and literally write things down and make them happen. The power of intention combined with the energy of emotion sprinkled with your truth creates an alchemy of desire, that when put on the page of your journal is like casting a spell into the Universe!

 

Prompts or activities

Write a letter to your ego telling him why you won’t let him sabotage you.

 

Tell your ego what tools you are going to use against him.

 

What are you really good at? Don’t be modest, it is your journal, toot your horn.

 

What made you so good at this?

 

Do you have a craving? Reach for your journal instead of food. Explain how drinking a glass of water helped your food craving.

 

Write a meditation or a prayer of gratitude. What are you thankful for today. What is your Universal gift for the day? Explain how you enjoyed it and how special you are to be able to receive such a beautiful gift from God or the Universe. Explain it in great detail, what did it look like, how did it make you feel.

 

Write about what clutters your life. Is it actual clutter or is it negative people? How and what are you going to clean out of your life and what is my life going to feel like once I am organized and clutter free?

 

Write how important it is to be spiritual. What are your beliefs. What in your beliefs do you doubt and what do you hold as truths.

 

Write about your worst and your best habit. How can you break the bad habit and nurture the good one.

 

Write a letter or an email to an old friend. Tell them what you have been up to. Explain what their friendship means to you. Either send or not.

 

Write a break-up letter to a negative person or event in your life. Get all those negative feelings out of you and on to paper. It is perfectly fine not to mail the letter.

Write about your happiest time. How you felt, what was it, how can you recreate that happiness?

 

Write a fiction story. Come on, be brave. No-one is going to read it unless you want them to. Nurture your creative side!

 

Use images as prompts

 

 

Ok, you get the idea…now write!

This is the page where users will find your site’s blog

Hooked on Sugar

Hooked on Sugar

By Sharon Bachman

One cannot simply assume that everyone has an infinite desire for sweetness, any more than one can assume the same about a desire for comfort or wealth or power.

—Sidney Mintz,

Processed sugar, the deliciously sweet substance we all love and crave, comes in many forms and has many names. However, the sad truth about sugar is, it tricks our minds and deceives our bodies. Sounds almost like anti-drug propaganda doesn’t it? Who hasn’t heard of drug addiction, sex and gambling addiction? Many of us have never heard of sugar addiction. Sugar is just as addictive as cocaine and heroin, but it is legal, socially acceptable, and is found in almost every pre-made food on the market today (Defigio, 2013). Sugar triggers the same pleasure centers in the brain as illegal drugs do. Sugar triggers the production of serotonin and dopamine which are hormones that make you feel happy and satisfied. So in reality, the more you have, the more you want and need.

Sugar goes by a lot of different names, and is trickily tucked away in almost all processed foods, at least 80% of them, and makes avoiding it particularly tricky. Not everything that contains sugar uses that specific word in the list of ingredients, so here’s a reference list of some alternative names for sugar that you may not recognize. However, all sugars are not created equal, they are still essentially sugar.

 

Agave nectar Fruit juice
Agave syrup Fruit juice concentrate
Barley malt Glucose
Beet sugar Glucose solids
Brown rice solids Golden sugar
Brown sugar Golden syrup
Buttered syrup Grape juice concentrate
Cane juice Grape sugar
Cane juice crystals High-fructose corn syrup
Cane sugar Honey
Carob syrup Invert sugar
Confectioner’s sugar Lactose
Corn sugar Malt
Corn sweetener Maltodextrin
Corn syrup Maltose
Corn syrup solids Maple syrup
Crystalized fructose Molasses
Date sugar Raw sugar
Dextran Refiner’s syrup
Dextrose Sorghum syrup
Diastatic malt Sucanat
Evaporated cane juice Sucrose
Fructose Turbinado sugar

The majority of the population in the USA suffers from one type of sugar problem or another. High blood sugar or low blood sugar, present symptoms many in medical field are confused about. Low blood sugar is inadvertently caused by High blood sugar which spikes and then rapidly drops. Very few physicians today are able to diagnose and treat the enormous decline in health due to too much sugar, artificial flavors and sweeteners, and other dangerous chemicals lurking in our food (Ellison, 2017)

Processed sugar is one of the major causes of depression, ADHD, migraines, epilepsy, concentration problems, stress, anxiety disorder, brain disorders, insomnia, inflammation of all types in our bodies, not to mention obesity and diabetes and the problems associated with them. All types of sugars are inherently inflammatory, and cause our blood sugar level to rise rapidly which in turn causes our insulin levels to spike causing our bodies problems (Abascal, 2011).

Processed sugar depletes magnesium from our liver. We need more, not less magnesium in our body to help combat the inflammation caused by a diet high in sugar (Abascal, 2011).

What Happens in Our Brain When We Eat Sugar and Flour

Flour and sugar have broken our brains. Yikes! That is exactly what has happened. It has created insatiable hunger! Insatiable hunger is considered a new kind of hunger. It isn’t the kind that says, “I need good healthy food to power me through the day”; It says, “My stomach is full, now I want a pint of ice cream and a bag of chips, Oh, and that last piece of chocolate cake”. Insatiable says it all (Thompson, 2017).

we can eat a donut and a latte and have enough fuel for the entire day, and our stomachs are only half full.  Nothing tells our brain we have consumed enough calories so we crave more. Volume of food and calorie consumption are no longer correlated the way they once were.

The tiny little hypothalamus, an almond size command center in our brain, is our internal regulator. It secretes hormones and stimulates the pituitary gland, controls hunger and body temperature, parenting attachment, sex drive thirst, fatigue, sleep and circadian rhythms. It is located just above it’s helper, the brain stem. One very important hormone which affects the hypothalamus is called leptin. Leptin signals the brain to stop eating and get moving. Leptin is produced in the fat cells and swims in our blood stream to our brain and tells our hypothalamus we are full and to get moving. Scientists are finding we are becoming leptin resistant as a society (Greer, Goldstein, & Walker, 2013). Why? Do you ask, are we becoming leptin resistant? This is the holy grail of obesity research (Thompson, 2017). Insulin is the culprit. Insulin is blocking leptin in the brain (DeSteno, et. al. 2014).

Insulin. We all know something about it, or at least we have heard of it. Doesn’t it only have to do with diabetics and sugar? Here’s how the story goes. Our bodies rely on blood sugar for energy on a cellular level. Not the white processed sugar we all know and crave today, but the glucose our bodies produce from healthy food. However, blood sugar can’t go directly into most cells. After a meal or snack, your blood-sugar level rises, the hypothalamus signals the pancreas to release insulin into the bloodstream. Got that? Insulin attaches to cells and tells them to open up wide and absorb the blood sugar, which is why it is often called the “key” hormone. It is responsible for opening the doors of the cells to let the blood sugar in. Insulin can also tell your body to use the blood sugar now, or store it for use in the future. Insulin keeps the blood sugar levels from getting too high (hyperglycemia) or too low (hypoglycemia). Modern diets have caused insulin levels to elevate far beyond where they are supposed to be. Obesity is tied to excess insulin levels, but until the team at UCSF discovered the link between insulin and leptin, it wasn’t understood how too much insulin is harming our bodies and our brains.  But, now we know! Insulin is blocking Leptin. Insulin is using the brain stem to block leptin so it never reaches the hypothalamus (Grill, et.al. 2002). Our brain never gets the leptin cue telling it that it is full and to stop eating. So there we sit in our easy chain starving, feeling sluggish, and to eat, eat, eat. What are we starving for? The exact foods that elevated our insulin levels to begin with. And, because we have forgotten what it feels like to be truly hungry, we graze all day, keeping insulin levels high, which in turn blocks leptin at the brain stem. A vicious cycle, we keep going and going and going. This is the beginning of addiction.

This vicious cycle also causes overpowering cravings. Overpowering cravings may seem the same as insatiable hunger, but they are not the same thing. They arise from different brain mechanisms. Insatiable hunger, comes from blocked leptin. Overpowering cravings come from a bingeing mechanism in the brain. These cravings are what makes people get up in the middle of the night and drive miles to find that one food to satisfy their urge. It is like trying to scratch an itch you can’t reach. You never really find what satisfies you. You may eat a mountain of food trying to find that one food to scratch that itch. That unbearable itch starts in the nucleus accumbens in the brain which is the seat of pleasure, reward, and motivation. Inside its outer shell is a cluster of nerons that are activated by dopamine (a feel good hormone) and designed to motivate our behavior which is why many activities stimulate the brain to release dopamine. Some of the triggers are sex, exercise, and you guessed it EATING! Two life sustaining activities, eating and sex, can cause our brain to say “I’m going to get me some of that”.  Historically, we didn’t have the available stimuli for either to become a problem. Maybe we got a glimpse of a native bathing in the river, now sexually explicit stimulus is everywhere. And, food commercials are available 24/7. Our brains are constantly stimulated and release huge amounts of dopamine. Our bodies recognize this is a massive overload and begins the process of “pruning” or “downregulation” in which the brain thins out dopamine receptors to adapt to the huge overload. Ok, we have really done it now. We have changed the psychology or workings of the brain. We broke it! When we don’t get enough stimulus (in our case high calorie and sugary food) we aren’t getting the dopamine we need to feel up. We don’t feel good and we crave MORE! We just can’t get enough now that downregulation has happened. This is the cycle of addiction. The good news is, over time and healthy food and lots of water, our brains CAN and DO regenerate and repair. Withdrawals are horrible, but very much worth it.

The following photo taken from Bright Line Eating, by Dr. Susan Thompson shows the similarities of the processes forms of sugar, flour, heroin, and cocaine. None of these substances in their raw and unprocessed forms are addictive. Cocoa leaves, poppies, sugar cane, and whole grain doesn’t raise havoc with our brains, but once processes they are all highly addictive, and I said ALL:

I realize this part was rather long, but necessary in understanding how food addiction affects us and our brains.

Scientists have noticed this urge is different from hunger in two ways. The first strange thing is that it’s accompanied by the urge to be sedentary. What is so odd is that from an evolutionary stand point, eating food was a trigger for us to get moving. What happened? The second thing is that actual eating doesn’t satisfy us. We get hungrier the more we eat. This is the result of a broken feedback mechanism. We have a mechanism in our brain called compensation and it is supposed to govern how we regulate our calorie intake. Historically we ate low calorie, high nutrient based food. Our stomach lining had a sensor telling our brain how full we are by how stretched our stomach was so our brain knew at any given moment how much fuel we had on board. But now

Dr. Perlmutter gives many lectures to the medical community and uses the example of how different foods cause insulin spikes. His examples include, a piece of whole-wheat toast, a snickers bar, a tablespoon of table sugar, and a banana, and then asks which food causes the fastest and highest insulin spike. Most get it wrong. It is the whole wheat toast! It raises the glycemic index (GI) to a whopping 71 out of 100. Sugar raises the GI to 68, the Snickers bar raised the GI to 55 and the banana raised it to 54.

Sugar Addiction

Many sugar addicts, yes, I said addicts, have a weakened immune system. By consuming sugary soda and energy drinks, our bodies vital nutrients are depleted by means of dehydration. Without the proper nutrients, our body’s defense systems become compromised. The sugar from one can of soda or energy drink can immediately decrease the immune functions by one-third for three to four hours following consumption (Teitelbaum, 2010).

Addiction is defined as a habit one must have to avoid a negative feeling, symptom, or compulsion to artificially produce a pleasurable sensation. Just like with drugs or other addictive substances, the over use of sugar causes a tolerance to its effects and we need more and more to get the same rewards (DeFigio, 2013).

Yeast infections are another of the hazards of a high sugar diet. Yeast feeds on sugar and flourishes in an acidic environment. High sugar intake offers both these things for rapidly growing yeast. Because yeast needs sugar to grow, it triggers sugar cravings. Over infestation of yeast can occur after a round of antibiotics has killed off naturally occurring bacteria in our intestines. After a round of antibiotics, follow up with probiotics or lactobacillus to help combat both yeast and sugar cravings (Defigio, 2013).

According to Dr. Jacob Teitelbaum, in his book, Beat Sugar Addiction Now! (2010), there are generally four types of sugar addicts:

  • Type 1 (The energy seeker)
  • Type 2 (The feed me now or I’ll kill you addict)
  • Type 3 (The sugar craver, usually caused by yeast/candida overgrowth)
  • Type 4 (Depressed, PMS, menopause, or andropause)

 

Type 1 Sugar Addict

 The type 1 sugar addict usually uses sugar as a pick-me-up because they are exhausted. They usually work hard and are under a lot of stress. Generally, the Type 1 sugar addict has a weakened immune system. They get everything going around. Usually they eat on the run and their meals consist of a lot of sugary snacks, white flour and white rice which is stripped of the nutrients needed for energy. They lack the vitamins they need to naturally boost energy. Insomnia is a common problem along with constipation.

 

Type 2 Sugar Addict

The type 2 sugar addict has exhausted his adrenal glands. Type 2 sugar addict constantly reacts to stress which activates the adrenal glands to produce the stress handling hormones cortisol and epinephrine (adrenaline). Sugar pumps them up until the blood sugar drops, which is known as hypoglycemia. The brain is starved for glucose (it’s food) and it feels like it is suffocating. Nervousness, anxiety, jitters, and light headedness often accompany the symptoms faced by a type 2 addict. If untreated, long term adrenal fatigue can cause fatigue, fibromyalgia, immune dysfunction, diabetes, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, and obesity. Many type 2 addicts have hypo-thyroidism. Dr. Teitlebaum suggests in order to break a type 2 sugar addiction and treat adrenal fatigue, changing your diet is key. Also, taking small doses of bio-identical cortisol, vitamin C, high doses of pantothenic acid (vitamin B5), licorice, and chromium. Also, learning to deal with stress better helps survive type 2 sugar addiction.

Type 3 Sugar Addict

 The Type 3 sugar addict needs sugar fixes regularly. All day long the type 3 addict snacks on cookies, donuts, pastries, and starchy carbs to feed the yeast growing in his digestive system. We aren’t talking the kind of yeast used in making bread, we are talking Candida albicans. Yeast causes severe sugar cravings because it requires sugar to survive. The type 3 addict is usually tired, often complains of sinus trouble, postnasal drip, digestive problems, gas, bloating, diarrhea or constipation and has very poor eating habits. Yeast releases a certain chemical, causing us to crave sugar, thus getting what it wants, more sugar. Yeast overgrowth causes food allergies. Many of the allergies are wheat, milk, chocolate, citrus and eggs. Excessive use of antibiotics and steroids exacerbate yeast overgrowth.

Type 4 Sugar Addict

  The type 4 sugar addict’s sugar cravings are usually brought on by depression, or hormonal imbalances. Hormones play a huge part of emotional and physical well-being. Hormones a crucial to our body’s communication and control system. When hormone levels are low or out of balance, we can become sad and depressed. We crave sugar to try and boost our serotonin levels to make us feel happy. Also, the cravings may be due to insulin resistance. Using bio-identical hormones or natural remedies such as herbs can help you break type 4 sugar addiction. A trip to a naturopathic or homeopathic Physician can prove to be very helpful to type 4 sugar addicts.

Sugar and Brain Disease

 Maintaining order rather than correcting disorder is the ultimate principle of wisdom. To cure disease after it has appeared is like digging a well when one feels thirsty, or forging weapons after the war has already begun.

Huangdi Neijing, 2nd Century BC

 

The inflammation cause by sugar, over time, can wreak havoc with our minds. Alzheimer’s disease and dementia has skyrocketed over the last decade. Dr. David Perlmutter, in his book, Grain Brain (2013), describes Alzheimer’s disease as type 3 diabetes. In normal bodies, cells are sensitive to insulin, the hormone which helps us utilize sugar and starch from our bloodstream, but when our cells are constantly exposed to high levels of insulin, from consuming loads of sugar and starch, they become resistant and our bodies pump more and more insulin into our system trying to utilize the sugar we have been eating. Throughout this chain of events inflammation runs rampant in our bodies and our minds, causing diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease.

Cold Turkey or Gradual Reduction

 There are two ways to reduce the amount of sugar in your diet. Gradually reduce the amount of sugar you consume each day, or quit cold turkey. I am better off to quit cold turkey because any amount of sugar causes me to want more. However, if you don’t have problems with addiction, reducing the amount of sugar and processed grains in your diet gradually can be easier. Sugar Withdrawals can be brutal, and the withdrawal symptoms can take as long two to six weeks to subside.

During the Detox phase, our bodies often have a difficult time getting used to normal, stable, blood sugar levels.  During this period, we go through a sense of fatigue, headaches, and a general sense of malaise (Abascal, 2011).

A few things which help get us through detox and withdrawals are eating more green vegetables and healthy fats. Keep junk food out of the house. Most of the time the cravings will subside if you wait at least 10 minutes. Get plenty of sleep to help your body heal and reduce cravings for sugar. Deep sleep regulates growth hormones leptin and ghrelin (the fountain of youth hormones) (Teitlebaum, 2010). Eat plenty of good food during the day. Stop eating fat-free, that is so 1990’s. Get plenty of Exercise. Exercise helps improve insulin sensitivity and has more health benefits than anything else we do. Learn why you have cravings and what your triggers are. Knowledge is power. Knowing your body is essential. And, most important of all is don’t give up when you relapse!  Begin again!

Regardless of how clean your diet is (free of bad fats, sugar and grains), almost everyone gets cravings for sweets or junk food now and then. As you practice better eating habits and wean yourself off sugar, here are some suggestions to fight back when a sugar craving strikes:

  • Drink a cold glass of water or citrus-flavored mineral water.
  • Identify what triggered the craving, and don’t allow yourself to have the treat until you come up with the answer.
Is it hunger? A stressful event? An inconsiderate spouse? Thirst? Loneliness? Remember, knowledge is power.
  • Make a conscious decision to eat or not eat the sweet.
Remember, you’re the boss of your behavior. No one makes you do anything. If you decide to eat some sugar, you must own it and do it on purpose. Don’t make any excuses or point any fingers!

 

If you decide not to eat something sweet:

  • Give yourself a (healthy) personal reward!
Draw a smiley face on the calendar, put a dollar in the cookie jar, or take yourself to the movies.
  • Tell someone!
Call or e-mail a friend, or write a blog post or a Facebook update.
  • Choose a positive substitute activity if you want.

 

If you decide to eat something sweet:

  • You must abide by the ten-minute rule — you have to wait ten minutes before you eat a sugary treat.
If you still want it after ten minutes, go ahead.
  • Put the amount you’ll eat on a plate first — no eating from packages or serving dishes.
  • Try a substitute sweet fix instead:

A square of 85% or more, dark chocolate

A small portion of a low-glycemic fruit like cherries, apples, or plums

A Tic Tac, Altoid mint, or sugarless gum

Green tea or licorice tea to help restore adrenal function

Changing your behavior is a good way to beat sweet cravings. Engaging in an enjoyable substitute activity whenever you have a sugar craving helps curb the craving and develop new habits. Try to find activities that you enjoy and that you find meaningful. Doing something good for someone else is a great way to get your mind off sugar. Here are some suggestions:

  • Do a Sudoku puzzle or play chess or Scrabble on the computer — keep your brain occupied!
  • Do some crunches or jumping jacks.
  • Find a new charity you like and send a donation, or make the call to volunteer.
  • If you have a partner, write a love note, this helps more than just your sugar craving!
  • Look up a long-lost friend on Facebook and say hi.
  • Look up a subject that interests you and learn something new about it.
  • Make a list of movies you want to see or books you want to read.
  • Make a list of things to talk about with your partner, therapist, or best friend.
  • Phone a friend or family member to catch up.
  • Pick something in the house that needs fixed or cleaned and attend to it.
  • Play with your pet. If you don’t have a pet, go to a shelter and give some love to one of the animals there. Or, take your dog or a shelter dog for a walk, once again you will be helping more than your sugar craving.
  • Ride your bike.
  • Take a digital camera or your cellphone and go look for interesting or artistic pictures to take.
  • Take a walk.
  • Write an apology letter to someone you’ve wronged.
  • Write a story, a blog, a journal, or start on that book you have always wanted to write!
  • Update your bucket list or make one if you don’t have one.
  • Visit someone in the hospital or in the nursing home, whether you know them or not. Many people in nursing homes are very lonely!

 

Our bodies regulate their own sugar requirements by converting fats, protein and amino acids into usable glucose as needed. Any disruption in this precarious ecosystem is going to shunt this innate hormonal protection. Therefore, nobody requires processed sugar, whatsoever (Ellison, 2017).  I can guarantee, after you kick the sugar habit, you will feel better than you have felt in years.

 

References

Abascal, K. (2011). The Abascal Way to Quiet Inflammation. Vashon, WA: Tigana Press.

DeFigio, D. (2013). Beating Sugar Addiction for Dummies. Hoboken, NJ:  Wiley & Sons.

DeSteno, D., Li, Y., Dickens, L., & Lerner, J. (2014). Gratitude: A tool for reducing economic      impatience. Pyschological science, 25(6), 1262-1267. Doi:  10.1177/0956797614529979.

Ellison, S. (2017). The People’s Chemist, LLC. www.thepeopleschemist.

Greer, S., Goldstein, A., & Walker, M. (2013). The impact of sleep deprivation on food desire in the human brain. Nature Communications, 4, 2259. Doi: 10.1038/ncomms3259.

Grill, H., Schwartz, M., Kaplan, J., Foxhall, J., Beriniinger, J., & Baskin, D. (2002). Evidence that the caudal brainstem is a target for the inhibitory effect of leptin on food intake. Endocrinology, 143 (1), 239-246. Doi: 10.1210/en.143.1.239.

Hyman, M., Dr. (2016, November 13). Diabetes, Fat, and Sugar: Busting All The Myths with Dr. Carrie Diulus. Retrieved March 09, 2017, from http://drhyman.com/

Kinsbury, K. (1999). The Prism Weight Loss Program. Sisters, OR:  Multnomah.

Lally, P., Van Jaarsveld, C., Potts, H., & Wardle, J. (2010). How are habits formed:  Modelling habit formation in the real world. European Journal of Social Psychology, 40(6), 998-1009. Doi:  10.1002/ejsp.674.

Perlmutter, D., & Loberg, K. (2013). Grain brain: the surprising truth about wheat, carbs, and sugar–your brain’s silent killers. New York, NY: Little, Brown, and Co.

Teitelbaum, J. (2010). Beat Sugar Addiction NOW. Beverly, MA: Fair Winds Press.

Thompson, S. P. (2017). Bright line eating: the science of living happy, thin, and free. Carlsbad, CA: Hay House, Inc.

 

JOY OF JOURNALING

Journaling is beneficial to all aspects of our lives. Take a look at how journaling can help transform your life:

Journaling for Joy

 

Journaling can be beneficial to your well-being. It is therapeutic and healing or can be just for fun and self-expression. Research has proven journaling has the power to improve our physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual health. It has also been proven to:

  • Help you find peace
  • Decrease your heart rate and lower blood pressure
  • Strengthen your immune system
  • Improve your self-esteem.
  • Help you manage stress
  • Help you prioritize the important things in your life.
  • Helps you let go of negativity
  • Helps you tap into your “inner ding”
  • Be creative, fun, and happy
  • Honor yourself, your life, your true friends, and family
  • Find gratitude and abundance
  • Tap into the Universal source of energy
  • Send out positivity in the Universe

 

“When we allow ourselves quietness and inner contact regularly, we may no longer need to get sick in order for our inner selves to get our attention.”

Shakti Gawain

 

My Personal experience

When I pick up my pen and paper, I go to a place of great joy, grief, darkness, laughter, transformation, spirituality, celebration, creativity. I write to remember, and forget. I write to heal, and find inspiration. Sometimes I even amaze myself; I wonder how I came up with such a great piece.

Journaling is meditation with a pen in my hand. Journaling is a place I can listen to my inner self. Find what is truly important in my life.

 

Find a quiet, inspirational “sit” spot

I find it helpful to find a quiet, inspirational “sit” spot. Mine is a place amongst the trees by my house. A digital-free zone. A place where I can feel the breeze, and hear the birds.

 

“It is easier, sometimes to become focused on the healing of our outer lives, of the world than it is to look at the need for healing our inner lives.”

 

Susan Borkin

Make it yours

 

Make it your journal. A place where you can use colored pencils, markers, stickers, black ink. A place where you can doodle. Slow down, breathe, and write. Listen to your heart. Listen to your body. It whispers, and if we aren’t still we can’t hear what it has to say. Write those whispers down on paper. While writing you are training your mind to listen to what your heart and your body is telling you. You may also learn to listen to your soul.

 

Quiet your ego

We all have times when our self-talk, usually from our ego, tries to sabotage us. The inner critic, brings us stress, anxiety and fear which can derail our best intentions. We need to find ways to quiet the ego or inner critic.  Law of attraction experts teach us that what we focus on grows, what we believe and think about is what we ultimately manifest in our lives. Reaching our highest potential means we must silence our ego. In short, with journaling, you can quiet the ego, create an abundant mindset, and literally write things down and make them happen. The power of intention combined with the energy of emotion sprinkled with your truth creates an alchemy of desire, that when put on the page of your journal is like casting a spell into the Universe!

 

Prompts or activities

Write a letter to your ego telling him why you won’t let him sabotage you.

 

Tell your ego what tools you are going to use against him.

 

What are you really good at? Don’t be modest, it is your journal, toot your horn.

 

What made you so good at this?

 

Do you have a craving? Reach for your journal instead of food. Explain how drinking a glass of water helped your food craving.

 

Write a meditation or a prayer of gratitude. What are you thankful for today. What is your Universal gift for the day? Explain how you enjoyed it and how special you are to be able to receive such a beautiful gift from God or the Universe. Explain it in great detail, what did it look like, how did it make you feel.

 

Write about what clutters your life. Is it actual clutter or is it negative people? How and what are you going to clean out of your life and what is my life going to feel like once I am organized and clutter free?

 

Write how important it is to be spiritual. What are your beliefs. What in your beliefs do you doubt and what do you hold as truths.

 

Write about your worst and your best habit. How can you break the bad habit and nurture the good one.

 

Write a letter or an email to an old friend. Tell them what you have been up to. Explain what their friendship means to you. Either send or not.

 

Write a break-up letter to a negative person or event in your life. Get all those negative feelings out of you and on to paper. It is perfectly fine not to mail the letter.

Write about your happiest time. How you felt, what was it, how can you recreate that happiness?

 

Write a fiction story. Come on, be brave. No-one is going to read it unless you want them to. Nurture your creative side!

 

Use images as prompts

 

 

Ok, you get the idea…now write!

The new game…Wisdom of Wolves

Wisdom of Wolves

An old Indian chief was teaching his Grandson about life. He said, “There are two wolves fighting inside each of us. One is evil. It is pride, greed, anger, jealousy, hate, and resentment, while the other is good. It is love, humbleness, faith, hope, happiness, and courage.”

The Grandson asked, “Which wolf wins?”

The Chief replies, “The one you feed!”

Think about which wolf you are feeding.

Here is some food to feed our good wolf:

  1. Make a goal, a small achievable goal.

The key to making lasting change is to break things down into small achievable goals. We have a tendency to jump from point A to point Z and then we become overwhelmed. If we move from point A to point B, in small achievable increments we feel a sense of accomplishment even if it is a small one. When you move slowly along, achieving small goals, you will be able to connect the dots eventually and will have a solid line from point A to point Z.

  1. In dropping an old behavior, put a new one in it’s place

Behaviors that have been done over and over again become a habit. A habit is performed almost mindlessly or effortlessly throughout the day. If you drop that habit without replacing it with a new better behavior, there exists a slice of time in your life that just begs you to go back to the old habit. So, put another habit in it’s place.

 

  1. Making Good

A trigger is anything that reminds you of a behavior, good or bad. Making good triggers, or reminders is important to develop new, good habits. It is important to choose a trigger that will alert you to do the behavior at the right time and in the right place. Until you have developed your habit, your trigger will be there to remind you. For example, you want to drink more water. Leave your glass out by the sink to remind you. Leave a note in the appropriate spot, a signal, or even set a reminder on your phone, but you get the point. Triggers are crucial to developing new habits.

4.  Ambiguity or Uncertainty

Be specific what new behavior you want to develop or stop doing. Being uncertain leaves room for our ego to sabotage us. And remember, it is just a small achievable set to start out with, but make sure you know exactly what it is and how it will affect you in the long run. Knowledge is power. Ambiguity or uncertainty is an excuse for us to procrastinate.

5. Take it one day at a time

Be patient with yourself. Tell yourself you will make it through this day. Then when you do it is a notch on your belt. Set your goal for the next day. “I can make it through this day as well. Might just be “I can make it through the next hour”, or the next meal, or the next meeting. It can be overwhelming thinking of doing this certain behavior forever. When breaking it down, and bringing ourselves back to the present moment, doing the behavior for that moment or that day seems very manageable. Saying we are never eating sugar again seems almost overwhelming. Our ego gets in our way trying to sabotage us by saying “wait, what about your Granddaughters birthday in 3 months?!?” But, if we say, I’m not eating sugar at this meal, it seems very doable. Or, even break it down into minutes or hours. I’m not eating any sugar in the next hour. A small achievable goal. Be the wolf, the strong, confident, powerful wolf. You can do it!

Make it a game…Wisdom of Wolves

Our thoughts determine our feelings. Putting too much thought into negative feelings is feeding that bad wolf, (as well as our bad ego). Thoughts become feelings which influences our performance. Try thinking of those negative thoughts and events as a game. A game you control. In order to win you have to make a positive move or thought. This can make you feel empowered. A game you can win with just a few positive moves.

In feeding that good wolf, you must learn to identify the thoughts or actions that are a problem to you. Never think “I suck”, “I’m not good enough”. You are good enough, you don’t suck, stomp on those thoughts! Make that positive move with positive self-talk and challenge that bad wolf; “Bring it on sucker!” , watch those negative thoughts float into the clouds and disappear, or even better yet, watch the good wolf devour those bad thoughts, she rips them apart and in doing so feeds the good wolf. Check mate, game won. Acknowledge the mistakes you make, learn from them, and tell yourself they are done.

Negative people feed the bad wolf inside you. Do not for one second let their comments affect you. Don’t play into their negativity! They want you to react, they want to hurt you. They aren’t worth the energy you are spending worrying. Let their negativity go. You are in charge of this game. What they say cannot penetrate your thick coat. In your mind, watch your thick wolf’s coat repel the negativity, make no comment, smile and the good wolf is fed, and checkmate another positive move.

The good wolf needs to breathe. Take a slow deep breath, sucking in all the strength of the universe. The Universe offers all it’s strength if we ask. In your mind as you inhale slowly, ask for strength and feel the healing energy fill your lungs. Exhale slowly blowing out all the negative energy. Do this several times when you feel anxious. Relaxation, it is a positive move in your game.

Your game takes practice. Remember, start slow. You will eventually learn the all moves that help you the most.

You be the good wolf in your mind! Play the game and win!

Willpower isn’t what you think

If you are feeling bad and mad at yourself for not having the “willpower” needed to lose weight, I’ll make you feel a little better. Willpower isn’t a part of our moral fiber like we have been lead to believe for years. We aren’t “weak-willed”. Modern neuroscience has discovered that willpower is a simple brain function carried out by the anterior cingulate cortex which is also responsible for rational decision making. After making crucial decisions and resisting food, and non-food temptations, all day, we fall into a “willpower gap” and our will power is depleted. Modern living and modern eating has damaged our simple brain functions. I look forward to teaching you how to heal those simple brain functions, which will leave us happy, thin, free of food obsessions. Body, Mind, and Soul Support Solutions, in Elko, Nevada has health and wellness groups which can teach you some simple principles of neuroscience which affect our health, happiness, and weight loss. Knowledge is power, and learning more about how our brain deals with certain foods and stimulus is key to understanding what  we are doing to our bodies by eating certain foods such as sugar and flour and drinking mass quantities of alcohol. The more we understand the sooner we can take control. Call to reserve your spot in one of our classes or make an appointment for a one on one consultation.