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The Pathway To Timelessness February 28, 2013

Posted by nrhatch in Books & Movies, Health & Wellness, Meditation.
24 comments

Even if we can’t literally turn back the hands of time, might we erase the ravages of age by the thoughts we think?

In Ageless Body, Timeless Mind, Deepak Chopra summarizes a growing body of evidence which supports the conclusion that we can reverse certain signs of aging through application of mindful awareness.

Nothing holds more power over the body than the beliefs of the mind.

We can harness the Mind-Body Connection for healing and making other positive changes in our lives.

By renewing our intention to live active lives, we can improve our motor abilities, strength, agility, and mental responses.

When we insert an intention into our thought processes, such as, “My energy and vigor is increasing every day,” we control the beliefs that govern the aging process . . . instead of letting our beliefs control us.

What else can we do?

I expect you already know the answer to that question.

Donald-Duck-BaseballEnjoy regular physical exercise, lift weights (or do some form of strength training), eat right, get 7-8 hours of sleep, stay positive, explore new interests, rush at each day with open arms, maintain an attitude of gratitude, foster alert curiosity about life, and . . . meditate.

Pressing the “pause button” does our bodies good.

Meditation is a pathway to timelessness.

* Meditation produces profound relaxation and significant changes in breathing, heart rate, and blood pressure.  (Id., p. 163)

* Meditation reduces hormonal imbalances associated with stress, causing the aging process to slow down, pause, or slip into reverse.  The biological age of long time meditators may be 5 – 12 years younger than their chronological age when measured by blood pressure, vision, and hearing.  (Id., pp. 32, 164)

* Levels of cortisol and adrenaline are often lower in meditators and their coping mechanisms are stronger than average.  (Id., p. 162)

* In a study of 2,000 meditators, benefits were noted in 13 major health categories, including 80% less heart disease and 50% less cancer than in controls.  (Id., p. 165)

* Sitting in meditation with the eyes closed induces the nervous system to enter a state of “restful alertness” ~ the mind remains awake while the body goes into a deeply relaxed state.  (Id., p. 164)

* In the timeless present, the eternal now, we free ourselves from time constraints and experience ageless body and timeless mind.  (Id., p. 31)

* * * * *

LotusMeditation allows us to access our eternal core of inner silence.  In this state of pure awareness, we find creative inspiration, knowledge, and stability.  We experience a space beyond time.

Only let the moving waters calm down, and the sun and moon will be reflected on the surface of your Being. ~ Rumi

Be Here Now.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Rush At Each Day With Open Arms February 27, 2013

Posted by nrhatch in Books & Movies, Gratitude, Happiness, Life Balance.
22 comments

Even if we can’t literally turn back the hands of time, might we erase the ravages of age by the thoughts we think?

In Ageless Body, Timeless Mind, Deepak Chopra summarizes a growing body of evidence which supports the conclusion that we can reverse aging through mindful awareness.

One experiment involved a sort of “inner time travel” with elderly participants.  

In another “anti-aging” experiment, geriatric patients started a weight-lifting program with remarkable results ~ when beliefs change, aging changes.

In a third study . . .

Well, let’s save that for another day.  Instead, let’s discuss a few observations gleaned from the book as a whole.

Nothing holds more power over the body than our beliefs.

* Our cells constantly eavesdrop on our thoughts and beliefs.  A remembered stress, which is only a wisp of thought, releases the same flood of destructive hormones as the stress itself.  (Id.,  p. 5)

* Our cells map our experiences.  Stresses forgotten on a conscious level are imprinted there, emitting signals like buried microchips, making us anxious, tense, fatigued, apprehensive, resentful, and doubtful.  (Id., p. 12-13)

* Transplant patients may report an uncanny experience after receiving a donated kidney, liver, or heart ~ without knowing who the donor is, they begin to experience the donor’s memories and beliefs.  (Id., p. 22-23)

* When we focus on the positives, we send positive signals to every cell in the body, drowning out negative signals from the distant past.

* And vice versa.  When we focus on negatives, we send negative signals to every cell in the body, drowning out positive signals from the present.

We can harness the Mind-Body Connection for healing.

* Given placebo pills (“dummy drugs”), patients can kill pain, reduce gastric secretions, lower blood pressure, and fight tumors.  The pills are meaningless; the power that activates the healing is the suggestion alone.  (Id., p. 18)

Mickey-Surfer* If the mind is given the appropriate suggestion, the body produces the needed biochemical response.

* “Belief creates biology.” ~ Norman Cousins

* Inserting positive intentions into our thought processes, such as, “I want to improve in energy and vigor every day,” allows us to assert control over the beliefs that govern the aging process.  (Id., p. 19)

When we change our underlying beliefs, our bodies respond.

* Despair and hopelessness raise the risk of heart attacks and cancer, thereby shortening life.  Joy and fulfillment keep us healthy and extend life.  (Id., p. 5)

* By renewing our intention to live active, purposeful lives, we can improve our motor abilities, strength, agility, and mental responses.  (Id., p. 19)

* The Mind-Body Connection allows positive affirmations to work.

Physical exercise is the fountain of youth.

* When we give up physical activity and stop exercising, we invite a whole host of health problems into our physiology ~ heart and arteries deteriorate, bones become fragile, muscles atrophy, the risk of obesity increases, depression sets in, and aging accelerates.  (Id., p. 85)

* Regular physical exercise can reverse the most typical effects of biological age (high blood pressure, excess body fat, improper sugar balance, decreased muscle mass, etc.).  (Id., p. 67)

* Adopting a healthy lifestyle delays symptoms of aging by as much as 30 years.  (Id., p. 60)

Rush at each day with open arms.

* Every cell in the body is seeking fulfillment through joy, beauty, love, and appreciation.  (Id., p. 99)

* Learning new things and acquiring new knowledge and skills enhances our ability to stay young at a cellular level.  (Id., p. 25)

Mr-Rossi* We benefit physically and mentally from the intention to experience more energy, alertness, curiosity, wonder, enthusiasm, and creativity.

* “People grow old and die because they see others grow old and die.” ~ Shankara (Ancient Indian Sage)

Rush at each day with open arms ~ awake, aware, and filled with awe.  

Aah . . . that’s better!

Tomorrow . . . the pathway to timelessness.

Related post:  When Things Go Terribly Right (Raptitude)

What Are You Weighting For? February 26, 2013

Posted by nrhatch in Books & Movies, Exercise & Fitness, Health & Wellness.
18 comments

Even if we can’t literally turn back the hands of time, might we erase the ravages of age by the thoughts we think?

In Ageless Body, Timeless Mind, Deepak Chopra summarizes a growing body of evidence which supports the conclusion that we can reverse aging through mindful awareness.

One experiment involved a sort of “inner time travel” with elderly participants.  This landmark study established that so-called irreversible signs of aging could be reversed using psychological intervention.

To read more . . . Ageless Body, Timeless Mind, pp. 92-94. 

In another “anti-aging” experiment, geriatric nursing home patients started a weight-lifting program with remarkable results.

Gerontologists from Tufts University visited a nursing home, where they put a group of the frailest residents on a weight-training regimen.  Rather than exhausting or killing them, the increased exercise caused them to thrive.

Within eight weeks, wasted muscles came back by 300 percent, coordination and balance improved, and overall a sense of active life returned.

“Subjects who had not been able to walk unaided could now get up and go to the bathroom in the middle of the night by themselves, an act of reclaimed dignity that is by no means trivial.”

The youngest subject in the group was 87 and the oldest 96!

These results were always within reach of the residents; nothing new was added to the inherent capacity of the human body to reverse the effects of aging.

No . . . Lance Armstrong did NOT stop by to distribute steroids.

What changed?  Their beliefs.  When beliefs change, aging changes.  Once the residents believed that weight-training, even at age 96, would do the body good, they changed their daily habits and choices to accommodate those new beliefs and manifest the desired change.

Source: Ageless Body, Timeless Mind, p. 58

GymnasticsFor more on the mind-body connection . . . tune in tomorrow.

In the meantime . . . stop waiting and start weighting!

Conceive it.
Believe It.
Achieve It.

Aah . . . that’s better!

* * * * *

Suzicate has pressed PUBLISH on her book ~ Stepping Into The Wilderness.  It’s available from Amazon in Paperback or Kindle.

Or you can take your chances and enter to WIN a FREE copy!

Leave a comment on her most recent post, Here’s A Piece For Inquiring Minds, and you’ll be entered into Wednesday’s drawing.

* * * * *

Col is running a Caption Competition!   Think of a winning caption for his FUN and FUNNY photo and post it in the comment thread on his Blog.

Turning Back The Hands Of Time February 25, 2013

Posted by nrhatch in Books & Movies, Exercise & Fitness, Health & Wellness.
53 comments

Even if we can’t literally turn back the hands of time, might we erase the ravages of age by the thoughts we think?

In Ageless Body, Timeless Mind, Deepak Chopra summarizes a growing body of evidence which supports the conclusion that we can reverse certain signs of aging through application of mindful awareness.

One experiment involved “inner time travel” with elderly participants invited to a retreat where nothing published after 1959 would be admitted . . .

In 1979, Ellen Langer and colleagues at Harvard effectively reversed the biological age of a group of old men by a simple but ingenious shift in awareness.

The subjects, all 75 or older and in good health, were invited to a country resort for a week-long retreat.  They were not allowed to bring any newspapers, magazines, books, or family photos dated later than 1959.

The resort, set up to duplicate life twenty years earlier, included issues of Life and the Saturday Evening Post from 1959.  In keeping with the flashback, the only music played was 20 years old.

Subjects used 1959 as their “present tense” ~ “I wonder if President Eisenhower will go with Nixon next election?”

The research team made extensive measurements of the subjects’ biological age before and after the study, including markers such as physical strength, posture, perception, cognition, and short-term memory.

The premise of the experiment was that seeing oneself as old or young directly influences the aging process.

The results of this play-acting were remarkable.   Compared to a control group that went on the retreat but continued to live in the world of 1979:

* The subjects improved in memory and manual dexterity.  They became more active and self-sufficient.

* Impartial judges asked to study before-and-after pictures detected that the men’s faces looked visibly younger . . . by an average of three years.

* Measurements of finger length, which tends to shorten with age, indicated that their fingers had lengthened.

* Stiffened joints were more flexible.  Posture started to straighten as it had in younger years.  Muscle strength, measured by hand grip, improved, as did hearing and vision.

Professor Langer’s landmark study established that so-called irreversible signs of aging could be reversed using psychological intervention.

Source: Ageless Body, Timeless Mind, pp. 92-94 

In another “anti-aging” experiment, geriatric nursing home patients started a weight-lifting program with remarkable results . . . to learn more, tune in tomorrow!

In the meantime, enjoy some inner time travel and turn back the hands of time.

Aah . . . that’s better!

* * * * *

Suzicate has pressed PUBLISH on her book ~ Stepping Into The Wilderness.  It’s available from Amazon in Paperback or Kindle.

Or you can take your chances and enter to WIN a FREE copy!

Leave a comment on her most recent post, Here’s A Piece For Inquiring Minds, and you’ll be entered into Wednesday’s drawing.

* * * * *

Col is running a Caption Competition!   Think of a winning caption for his FUN and FUNNY photo and post it in the comment thread on his Blog.

If You Want A Garden . . . Plant Seeds February 24, 2013

Posted by nrhatch in Health & Wellness, Home & Garden, Nature, People.
46 comments

IMGP1674Last fall, I received a packet of magic beans.

Stunning violet purple pods that turn emerald green after cooking.

I put the unopened packet on my desk and …

Nothing happened.

Until I planted them.
And watered them.
And applied fertilizer.

After I took the necessary action, the beans sprouted.

Magic!

Once planted in fertile soil, they started to transform from hard pellets to lush green Royal Burgundy Bush Beans.

We are just like those magic beans.

If we want brilliant blooms tomorrow . . . we must sow the seeds today.

Aah . . . that’s better!  

Real Magic February 23, 2013

Posted by nrhatch in Magick & Mystery.
35 comments

Fantasia2Magic is illusion, right?

Smoke and mirrors?  With a bit of hocus pocus dominocus tossed into the top hat to throw us off the scent?

Or is it?

Have you experienced Real Magic in your life?  Have you observed unexplained and inexplicable coincidences and synchronicities?

Miracles, if you will?

What about intuition?

Mickey-Ta-DaaaHave you ever followed a hunch that turned out to be more than the whisper of the wind?  One that led you to the right place at exactly the right time?

A moment of serendipity?

Do you BELIEVE that there is more to life than we perceive through the five senses?

Or do you KNOW it?

When we are open to Real Magic, life flows, ideas manifest, miracles abound.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Full Steam Ahead February 22, 2013

Posted by nrhatch in Art & Photography, Blogging.
52 comments

The weekly photo challenge is FORWARD . . .

IMGP1355

Facing forward . . .

IMGP1806b

Facing forward . . .

IMGP0802b

Facing forward . . .

IMGP2877b

Keep moving forward . . .

IMGP3184b

Aah . . . that’s better!

The Fine Art of Disorganization February 19, 2013

Posted by nrhatch in Home & Garden, Humor, Life Balance, Mindfulness.
63 comments

Dory-&-MarlinSome people follow the maxim, “A place for everything and everything in its place.”

Others enjoy a more haphazard approach to life ~ having mastered the fine art of disorganization.  These fortunate folks never have to search for car keys . . . because they misplaced the car on their last trip to the mall.

These scatter-brained souls need never waste time rummaging around a mile high stack of post-it notes to find a stray phone number because:

(1) the phone has gone missing or its battery is dead
(2) service has been disconnected for non-payment of the bill
(3) while looking for the phone, they forgot who they wanted to call
(4) all of the above

Hint: The answer, for true masters of discombobulation, is almost always, “d.”

Of course, no one is completely organized/disorganized.  Instead, it’s a vast continuum from one extreme to the other.

Where do you fall?

Donald-Duck-BaseballAre your socks organized?  By color?  Or by amount of remaining elasticity?  Do you select each day’s outfit from a carefully tabbed and illustrated notebook of ensembles, sorted by season?

Are your DVDs and CDs alphabetized by artist and cross-referenced by genre?  Are you clueless when someone asks the whereabouts of your Junk Drawer?

What is this “junque” of which you speak?

Or are you at the other end of the spectrum, having raised disorganization to an art form?

Little-Miss-ScatterbrainDo you wear mismatched socks?  Or better still, shoes?  Do you store crackers in the fridge and bacon in the cupboard?

Do you buy groceries at the dry cleaners and fill up with gas at the Mexican Taquería?  Do you keep pots and pans in the bathtub or store bath towels in the kitchen?

Do you wear swimsuits in the winter?  And snowsuits in the summer?  Do you only remember to pay the power bill once the lights go out?

If you answered “no” to any of the last 9 questions, you have not yet mastered the fine art of disorganization.  You have room for improvement.

Or should that be disimprovement?  

Wait!  Is that even a word?  It’s looks funny.  Give me a minute . . . let me check the dictionary.   

Hmm . . . that’s odd.  I know it’s around here somewhere.  I’m sure I used it yesterday.  Right after I rewarded myself for organizing my desk.  Oh, wait. Maybe it was BEFORE I enjoyed that fresh-baked chocolate chip cookie.  

Mmm . . . cookies.  

I’ll be right back . . . 

 Aah . . . that’s better!

You Deserve A BREAK Today February 18, 2013

Posted by nrhatch in Gratitude, Happiness, Health & Wellness.
50 comments

Woodstock-&-Snoopy2The busier our days, the more we benefit from breaks and breathers to keep ourselves sharp and on the ball.

Think of it as a short Intermission in the midst of a concert.

Giving ourselves small (and large) rewards as we move through jam-packed days pays dividends in productivity, mood, and stress levels.

* After a meeting or completing a dreaded phone call, you might fix a cup of coffee or a pot of tea and enjoy it away from your desk.

* After wrestling and wrangling with the laundry, you might put your feet up and read a chapter of a delicious book or put on music and close your eyes.

Mickey-In-HammockOther mini-rewards:  a 15-minute power nap, a soothing bubble bath, a brisk walk around the block, a refreshing smoothie, meditation, yoga, sitting in the park, stretching, cycling around the neighborhood.

Other ideas?  What mini-indulgence would you choose?

Share below.

Larger multi-day tasks, once completed, call for more elaborate rewards and rituals.  Something that will make you smile for 2-3 hours.

* After completing and filing your income taxes, you might browse in a bookstore or enjoy an art exhibit at a local museum.

* After cleaning out the attic, garage, or your closets, you might schedule time for a massage at the local Spa.

Donald-Duck-Painting* After painting the living room or scraping barnacles off your boat, you might get tickets to a play.

Other 1/2-day rewards:  a picnic lunch with wine, cheese, and pastries, a trip to the zoo, a movie matinée, a sunset sail, dinner at a new restaurant you’ve wanted to try, or maybe just curling up in front of a roaring fire with the latest best seller.

Other ideas?  How would you choose to spend 2-3 hours rewarding yourself?

What about monumental tasks?  What type of reward would you enjoy after landing a new job, moving into new digs, finishing your first (or fifth) novel, reaching your goal weight, or training for and competing in a marathon?

How about a short cruise . . . on a boat that doesn’t catch fire and drift around the Gulf of Mexico for days without adequate food and facilities.  Or maybe a weekend get-a-way at a cozy bed and breakfast with your significant other. Or perhaps you’d enjoy a Stay-Cation to see the sights in your own backyard.

What’s that?

Tigger-BouncingYes, of course, completing the task is its own reward.

Give yourself a carrot anyway.
You’re worth it.

You deserve a BREAK today!

Aah . . . that’s better!

A Troop of Monkeys . . . on iTunes! February 18, 2013

Posted by nrhatch in Animals, Writing & Writers.
20 comments

Some time ago, Julie Hedlund did a guest post on SLTW about the children’s picture book she hoped to publish:

A Troop is a Group of Monkeys

More recently, I let you know about her upcoming Writer’s Retreat:

Writer’s Retreat . . . in Florence Italy!

And, now, I’m delighted to share her most recent news . . . released yesterday:

You can purchase the iTunes app, A Troop is a Group of Monkeys, HERE.

Aah . . . that’s better!

If you want to swing by Julie’s blog and see what she has to say about this exciting milestone  . . . Julie Hedlund, Gratitude Sunday