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Monthly Archives

March 2011

The Importance of Lipids

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Can we talk about fats for a moment? With all the news about obesity
these days, fats have gotten a bad reputation. Here are some facts to
consider: Nearly every cell needs fat to help constitute the cell membrane (the external barrier that helps keep what needs to stay inside the cell and prevent things from getting inside that don’t belong.) Brain cells need fat as well. So do many hormones
(particularly the sex hormones, known collectively as the sterols, from
which cholesterol is used). Lipids are fats that are liquid at room
temperature. Some fats are essential in that your body cannot make them (it can make cholesterol and sunlight on exposed skin helps this process). The two essential lipids are Omega 3’s and Omega 6’s. Processed foods are very high in Omega 6’s (sunflower, safflower, canola oils). The American Diet is typically low in Omega 3’s (which is why you hear so much about this these days). Good sources of Omega 3’s are cold water fish, such as salmon, and flax seed oil. Oil’s can go rancid when exposed to light and heat (which is why it’s a good reason to store most oils in the fridge). Rancid oils can act like free radicals and destroy cell membranes (very bad for the health of the cell).

Stress Tip for the Day:
March is celebrated as Nutrition Month, so let’s go out in style. Consider incorporating healthy oils (lipids) into your diet on a regular basis. It’s also a good idea to avoid transfats (hydrogenated oils). They may be good to promote long shelf life for boxed food in the grocery store, but even bacteria won’t go near transfats—and neither should we. Transfats act like free radicals, and speculation suggests an association between transfats and cancer and heart disease. When purchasing oils for cooking, find oils that can withstand high heat (it should indicate this on the back label). And remember, eggs are good for your sex life.

Links/Books/ Movies Worth Noting:
For further reading, here are some good links to check out:

http://www.learnyourlipids.com/learn.php
http://www.forgottenfat.com/tips.php

Quote for the Day:
“Cholesterol is only one of the important lipids in the body and is not the only factor associated with heart disease. There are two other important lipids in the body: triglycerides, which provide energy to cells, and phospholipids, which are used in the structure of cell walls and in the insulating sheath that surrounds nerve fibers. All these lipids are made up of basic building blocks called fatty acids.” – Ronald L. Hoffman, M.D.

Photo for the Day:
Oh yeah…There is one more purpose of fat in the body. It serves as a protection to various organs, like the heart. And of course, keeps us warm when cold. These La Jolla Seals would know about cold. Enjoy!

Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D. is an internationally renowned expert in the fields of stress management, mind-body-spirit healing and stress and human spirituality. He is the author of over 10 books including the bestsellers, Stand Like Mountain, Flow Like Water, Stressed Is Desserts Spelled Backward, The Art of Calm, Quiet Mind, Fearless Heart and Managing Stress (6E). He can be reached through his website:www.brianlukeseaward.net

© Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D.

Boosting Your Immune System

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Reports from various sources suggest that over half of Americans are
walking around with a suppressed immune system. A suppressed immune system does more than make you a target for colds and the flue; it sets the state for various forms of cancer as well. Experts suggest, based on many findings, that there are three primary reasons for a suppressed
immune system: 1) Stress, 2) Poor sleep habits (insomnia) and 3) Poor
dietary habits). This sounds like the entire American population!
Research now proves, without a doubt, that the stress hormone, Cortisol, destroys white blood cells, after it does all it’s other
“fight or flight” responsibilities (increasing blood sugars and blood lipids for energy production). Stress is also a precursor for insomnia (over half of the insomnia cases report chronic stress as the reason for repeated poor sleep habits). One of the primary purposes of sleep is restoration. The inability to “restore” the body during 7-8 hours of sleep certainly affects all aspects of physiology including the maintaining the integrity of the immune system. Finally, the immune system requires the constant replenishment of vitamins and minerals (and proteins) to do its job effectively. Fast foods, processed foods,
junk foods and comfort foods are called “empty calories” because, by and large, they contain few, if any, vitamins and minerals. Some findings even suggest that sugar destroys white blood cells as well. It’s time to honor your immune system by treating it better.

Stress Tip for the Day:
At the start of this week, consider pulling in the reins on some less than desirable behaviors. Gravitate toward healthy foods, get in the habit of going to bed (without any tech gadgets) to ensure 7-8 hours, and now that spring is officially here, get outside for some daily exercise.
Your immune system will thank you.

Links/Books/ Movies Worth Noting:
There are many books to recommend for today’s blog theme, but the book The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan is a great place to start. I also would recommend his sequel, In Defense of Food. Michael was also interviewed for the documentary, Food, Inc., which I also highly recommend.

Quote for the Day:
“Eat at least one meal a day for your immune system.” — Brian Luke Seaward

Photo for the Day:
Today’s photo is a picture taken of Norman Island, part of the British Virgin
Island’s (the inspiration for Robert Louis Stevenson’s novel, Treasure Island). Enjoy…. and Relax.

Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D. is an internationally renowned expert in the fields of stress management, mind-body-spirit healing and stress and human spirituality. He is the author of over 10 books including the bestsellers, Stand Like Mountain, Flow Like Water, Stressed Is Desserts Spelled Backward, The Art of Calm, Quiet Mind, Fearless Heart and Managing Stress (6E). He can be reached through his website:www.brianlukeseaward.net

© Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D.

Comic Relief: Friday Morning Humor

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I receive a humorous email from a friend in Ireland this week with the heading, “Why Teachers Drink.” While I certainly found this email humorous, I can tell you first hand that several of my former students, enrolled in my nutrition course at the University of Colorado, wrote similar type answers on their exams. In fact, I decided to add some of my favorite responses to this list (see Definition of Terms). Is America education in rapid decline? I’ll let you decide. In the mean time, I hope that these answers put a smile of your face. Where these students lose points in intelligence, they certainly make up for it in creativity. Enjoy!

Question: Explain briefly what hard water is:
Answer: Ice

Question: What type of attractive force or bond holds the sodium ions and chloride ions together in a crystal of sodium chloride?
Answer: James Bond

Question: What is a Nitrate?
Answer: Much cheaper than a day rate

Question: What did Mahatma Gandhi and Genghis Khan have in common?
Answer: Unusual names

Question: Name one of the early Roman’s greatest achievements:
Answer: Learning to speak Latin

Question: Name six animals which live specifically in the Artic
Answer: Two polar bears & three, no four, seals

Question: Name the wife of Orpheus, whom he attempted to save from the underworld:
Answer: Mrs. Orpheus

Question: Where was the Declaration of Independence signed?
Answer: At the bottom

Question: Where was Hadrian’s Wall built?
Answer: Around Hadrian’s Garden

Question: What is the highest frequency noise that a human can register?
Answer: Mariah Carey

Question: The race of people known as the Malays come from which country:
Answer: Malaria

Word Problem: Steve is driving his car. He is traveling at 60 feet/second and the speed limit is 40 miles per hour. Is Steve speeding?
Answer: He could find out by checking his speedometer

Definition of Terms: Please define the following terms and provide an example:

1. Free Radical
Answer: Nelson Mandela

2. Candida
Answer: Country north of America

3. BMR
Answer: Bowel Movement Reaction

4. Health Food Guidelines
Answer: Don’t eat the yellow snow

Stress Tip for the Day:
Try to find something funny to lighten your heart today… and every day.

Links/Books/ Movies Worth Noting:
Decades ago Norman Cousins, the patron saint of humor therapy, watched many funny movies to help heal him of his disease. With stress levels so high these days, comic relief might be the perfect antidote or stress relief Rx. So with this in mind, this weekend I would like to recommend one of my all time favorite movies, What’s up Doc? staring Barbara Streistand and Ryan O’Neill to lift your spirits and put a lasting smile on your face.

Quote for the Day:
“If you stare at a carton of orange juice… because it says, “concentrate”… you might be a Redneck.” —Jeff Foxworthy (Blue Collar Humor)

Photo for the Day:
I took this photo outside a bookstore in Manchester, Vermont. Pretty funny!

Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D. is an internationally renowned expert in the fields of stress management, mind-body-spirit healing and stress and human spirituality. He is the author of over 10 books including the bestsellers, Stand Like Mountain, Flow Like Water, Stressed Is Desserts Spelled Backward, The Art of Calm, Quiet Mind, Fearless Heart and Managing Stress (6E). He can be reached through his website:www.brianlukeseaward.net

© Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D.

The Sin of Intolerance

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The other night I was invited to a friend’s house for a dinner presentation on her recent trip to Rwanda. In an effort to come to terms with the genocide, the people of Rwanda are going through an intense period of truth and reconciliation. I had seen the movie, Hotel Rwanda, but hearing stories from someone who had been there were heart-wrenching. Over 1 million people died in 100 days. Deaths came by way of machete and bullets, mostly machetes. Countless people were hacked to death.

What fueled the fire between the Tutsis and Hutus was a radio station in the capitol that aired non-stop negativity, hatred and intolerance toward the Tutsis. Believe it or not, there was a time quite recently that everyone got along just fine. When the airwaves, filled with incessant vitriolic hatred blasted nonstop, things changed dramatically. It was no big leap to see the parallels between the hatred spread over the airwaves there and the negativity that fill our nation’s talk radio shows and cable news programs. The dots begin to connect themselves. In times of stress, negativity only feeds more negativity. Negativity poisons the human spirit. It spreads like a virus to other stressed people and begins to feed upon itself into emotional anarchy, and it begins with intolerance!

Stress Tip for the Day: It’s not just enough to NOT listen to intolerance broadcast over the airwaves. Ultimately, this is no better than sticking your head in the sand. It’s important to let the voice of compassion rise above the voice of ego. As the expression goes, “the sin of intolerance leaves innocent blood on one’s hands.” Rwanda may seem like a far away place, yet if you think something like that couldn’t happen here, please remind yourself about the shooting that took place in Tucson recently. Inoculate yourself from this emotional virus by opening your heart. Compassion is the metaphorical antidote to intolerance.

Links/Books/ Movies Worth Noting: If you haven’t seen the movie, Hotel Rwanda, consider it a must see movie and add it to your list of movies to watch… soon.

Quote for the Day: “Intolerance is itself a form of violence and an obstacle to the growth of a true democratic spirit.” — Mohandus Gandhi

“I never will, by any word or act, bow to the shrine of intolerance or admit a right of inquiry into the religious opinions of others.”— Thomas Jefferson

Photo for the Day: This photo of The Milles Collines Hotel was given to me by my friend, Seana Lowe Steffen (www.Restorative-Leadership.org), for the purpose of today’s blog. This is the hotel now known the world over as Hotel Rwanda, where the hotel manager Paul Rusesabagina safely hid his fellow countrymen and literally saved thousands of lives. Thanks Seana!

Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D. is an internationally renowned expert in the fields of stress management, mind-body-spirit healing and stress and human spirituality. He is the author of over 10 books including the bestsellers, Stand Like Mountain, Flow Like Water, Stressed Is Desserts Spelled Backward, The Art of Calm, Quiet Mind, Fearless Heart and Managing Stress (6E). He can be reached through his website:www.brianlukeseaward.net

© Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Stress Management Irish Style!

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Today is a day when we all celebrate being Irish. Being of Irish ancestry (the McNulty clan) and having been to the Emerald Isle a few times, I can tell you there is much to celebrate: Here are some fun facts to ponder about our Irish brethren:

• The most common surname in Ireland is Murphy.
• The Celtic harp, not the shamrock, is the symbol of Ireland and can be found on the Irish Passport and the back of the 1 EU coin.
• The style of dance known as “River dance” was created when the British outlawed Celtic music and dance centuries ago, hence people learned to dance with little motion from the waist up so that it appeared from the outside of pub windows that nothing was going on.
• Bono (of U2 fame) is the only person who has been nominated for an Oscar, Grammy, Golden Globe and Nobel Peace Prize.
• Although Enya has never performed a live concert (other than the Academy Awards), she has sold over 70+ million albums.
• Like Switzerland, Ireland is a neutral country.
• The expressions, “Tying the knot” and “honeymoon” are original Irish expressions
• The Blarney Stone is actually part of a castle wall (the Blarney Castle). To kiss the stone, you have to climb to the top of the castle and lay on your back over the edge holding on to guard rails.
• The world “galore” comes from the Gaelic words “go leor” which means “plenty.”
The Irish don’t use the expression, “Top of the Morning.” This line was created by two screenwriters for a Bing Crosby movie of the same name.
Speaking of movies, the Cliffs of Moher, one of Ireland’s most popular tourist attractions, were filmed in The Princess Bride as the “Cliffs of Insanity.”

Stress Tip for the Day:
You can start by wearing something green today, but if you really want to practice stress management Celtic style, start by wearing a smile. The Irish pride themselves by not taking themselves too seriously (this comes from 800 years of British occupation where they nearly lost their religion, language, music and culture), and… they have a great sense of humor! Smile!

Links/Books/Movies Worth Noting:
Here are my top 10 Irish movie recommendations:
1. Waking Ned Divine
2. My Left Foot
3. The Secret of Roan Inis

4. Michael Collins

5. The Commitments 6. Ondine
7. Book of Kells

8. Into the West
9. In the Name of the Father

10. The Wind that Shakes the Barley

• Also, if you get a chance to see the PBS special, The High Kings, don’t miss it.

Quote for the Day:
“May your blessings outnumber the shamrocks that grow, and may trouble avoid you wherever you go.” — Irish Blessing

Photo for the Day:
There were a great many images to choose from, but the Cliffs of Moher are one of the top tourist sites in the country. So to honor Ireland (and the perennial favorite movie which has nothing to do with Ireland, The Princess Bride) here is a photo of the renowned Cliffs of Moher. Enjoy!

Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D. is an internationally renowned expert in the fields of stress management, mind-body-spirit healing and stress and human spirituality. He is the author of over 10 books including the bestsellers, Stand Like Mountain, Flow Like Water, Stressed Is Desserts Spelled Backward, The Art of Calm, Quiet Mind, Fearless Heart and Managing Stress (6E). He can be reached through his website:www.brianlukeseaward.net

© Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D.

Stay Clam, Be Prepared!

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Natural calamities, like the earthquake and tsunami in Japan this week, are hard to predict with certainty, yet basic preparedness for crises, any crises, is essential for everyone. Living in Colorado may seem like a safe place, yet in this dry climate brush fires are common—often forcing evacuations from homes, sometimes for days. Regardless of where you live, from recent events we have all learned that it is quite wise to be well prepared. This includes, but not limited to, stocking a three-five day supply of drinkable water, food, energy (e.g., flashlight batteries, candles, matches, etc.). Friends often remind friends here in Colorado to carry an extra supply of clothes and blankets when traveling in the mountains, in the event of dramatic changes in weather.

Being prepared isn’t a fear-based reaction. Being prepared is a level headed response, in the event there is a disruption of one’s normal daily routine. Being properly prepared allows you to live comfortabely “in the moment.” Before the comfort of 20st century lifestyles, people knew to be prepared, with stocks of such things. By and large, as Americans, we live a very comfortable lifestyle and we have become disconnected with the cycles of the natural world in which we live. Preparing for such events that can disrupt one’s comfort levels is always good stress management.

Stress Tip for the Day:
Make it a point to be prepared for a crisis or natural disaster that one hopes will never happen. Consider assembling a crisis kit, including first aid supplies, water, food, etc. Equally important, consider typing a list of names and phone numbers to contact or be contaced, in case of emergency (I.C.E). Include having a copy of this in your wallet or purse. Don’t procrastinate with this kit, get started today. And consider having a similar type kit in your car as well.

Links/Books/Movies Worth Noting:
Searching the web for sites, one will find no shortage of links to help you get prepared.
Here are just a sample, and they all seem to list the same items.

http://www.ready.gov/america/getakit/

http://www.cdphe.state.co.us/epr/calculator/index.html

http://www.dhs.gov/xcitizens/editorial_0711.shtm

Quote for the Day:
“Be Prepared!” —Boy Scout motto.

Photo for the Day:
The photos and video footage from Japan is both riveting and devastating. To counterbalance the stress from those photos I thought a nice relaxing image might be in order, specifically one from the Virgin Islands. Please keep the people of Japan in your thoughts and prayers and were possible please consider donating to their cause.

Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D. is an internationally renowned expert in the fields of stress management, mind-body-spirit healing and stress and human spirituality. He is the author of over 10 books including the bestsellers, Stand Like Mountain, Flow Like Water, Stressed Is Desserts Spelled Backward, The Art of Calm, Quiet Mind, Fearless Heart and Managing Stress (6E). He can be reached through his website:www.brianlukeseaward.net

© Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D.

Brain Freeze in the Information Age!

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Recently Michael has been no stranger to headaches. They come every day, usually right before lunch, sometimes much early. It’s not that his eyes that are tired, or that he’s hungry. It’s his mind. It’s over-saturated with information. Sitting in front of a computer screen, one hand on a smart phone, and an Ipad within arm’s reach, the circuits of his brain are simply maxed out, resulting in repeated bouts of “cognitive meltdown.” That’s when the tension headaches appear. Michael is not alone. For others, however, the backwash of sensory overload shows up through different physical maladies including TMJ, migraines, lower back pain, or repeated colds, (the association between stress and disease is colossal, and well documented.) Cognitive meltdown, also referred to as ‘cognitive paralysis,” begins with poor attention span, but quickly moves to poor memory, poor decision making, poor reaction time and even chronic bouts of insomnia. Research reveals that chronic stress such as this, is not good for brain cells. Simply stated: chronic stress ages brain tissue.

While it’s true that the mind craves stimulation, it also necessitates downtime where there is no stimulation, hence allowing time to process bits of necessary information and make sense of it all. This after all, is one purpose of meditation—clear thinking. It’s fair to say that the fascination, if not addiction, with “screen time” has become a new form of stress: sensory bombardment coupled with information overload. Never before in our lifetimes have we been inundated with so much information. This bounty of facts, figures, opinions, perceptions and beliefs, all within a few keystrokes or mouse clicks is taking its toll, not only on personal health but ultimately quality of work productivity as well.

Eric Clapton got it right with his CD titled, Unplugged. We should all take his suggestion to heart. Unplugging from technology regularly and giving the mind a chance to process, unwind and problem solve is essential for optimal health and well-being. Another term to describe being unplugged, is “healthy boundaries,” a premium stress management coping technique. So establish a healthy boundary with technology. Dedicate time away from the computer, smart phone, and other e-gadgets. Make a habit of engaging in physical exercise (without the Nano Ipad). Your brain and most likely your friends will thank you.

Stress Tip for the Day:
Please, don’t become roadkill on the information super highway. Take time to unplug from screen time so as to allow your unconscious mind a chance to process what information you have been absorbing. And while you are at, take time to sit quietly and meditate each day to cleanse your mind. You’re brain will thank you. So will your friends and family.

Links/Books/ Movies Worth Noting:
See if you can get your hands on the March 7th edition of Newsweek. The cover story, Brain Freeze is well worth reading.

Quote for the Day:
“ I finally get meditation… It’s like deleting old emails.” —8th grader, HealthQuest Program Sunset Middle School

Photo for the Day:
When most people think brain freeze, they think eating icecream too fast. I didn’t have a photo of any icecreame, but I do have lots of photos of icebergs…from Greenland. Enjoy!

Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D. is an internationally renowned expert in the fields of stress management, mind-body-spirit healing and stress and human spirituality. He is the author of over 10 books including the bestsellers, Stand Like Mountain, Flow Like Water, Stressed Is Desserts Spelled Backward, The Art of Calm, Quiet Mind, Fearless Heart and Managing Stress (6E). He can be reached through his website:www.brianlukeseaward.net

© Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D.

In Search of the Blue Pearl

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Like so many others many years ago, I too read the book, Eat Pray Love (and then saw the movie). I was particularly interested with the mention of the “blue pearl” that the author, Liz Gilbert, was invited to “find.” The blue pearl, of course, is a metaphor for purity of thought, intuition and divine insight. The blue pearl is found when one masters the art of meditation (increased concentration that leads to increased awareness). While the blue pearl may be metaphoric in nature, it is best represented by the pineal gland, a pea size organ located in the center of the brain. And…while physiologists know that the pineal gland is responsible for creating melatonin, there is much left unexplained of its nature. Rene Descartes (Mr. I think, therefore I am) attributed the pineal gland as the place where the soul resides within us. And while it’s actual color is more red than blue, since it has a neural connection to the eyes in terms of light (also known as the third eye), the color associated with the pineal is blue. (Note: some mystics associate the pineal gland with the crown chakra, too). The search for the blue pearl, the rarest of all pearls, is an inside job. In the words of one mystic: Meditation on the Soul is very powerful. The essence of this spiritual practice is to concentrate and be aware of the “seed of consciousness” or the “blue pearl” at the center of the head, and eventually become one with the higher soul. – Master Choa Kok Sui,

Stress Tip for the Day:
The next time you meditate, place particular attention on the center of your head (between your ears.) In your mind’s eye picture a vibrant blue light emanating from this tiny organ of the brain, the pineal gland. In your mind’s eye create the color blue and let it surround your head. If you can image that blue light enters your eyes, directly toward the pineal gland. In this day and age of multiple distractions, taking time to connect with and cultivate your inner awareness is always a great idea. This meditation theme makes no promises of greater intuitive skills to pick the next winning lottery number, rather it is a clarion call to cultivate a regular meditation practice in which to cultivate a senses of inner peace.

Links/Books/ Movies Worth Noting:
If you haven’t read Eat Pray Love, I highly recommend it. More than just “ Chick Lit” it is a story of the hero’s journey. For those of you who are familiar with my concept of the Seasons of the Soul”, consider this: Italy (the Centering process), India (the Emptying Process), Indonesia (The Grounding Process) and the book itself, the telling of the story (the Connecting process). I also highly recommend seeing the movie. And if you ever get a chance to hear Liz Gilbert in person, you will be glad you did.

Quote for the Day:
“… a brilliant blue light, the size of a tiny seed, that appears to the meditator whose energy has been awakened. The Blue Pearl is the subtle abode of the inner Self. ” — Swami Muktananda

Photo for the Day:
Sometimes symbolic images make for great teaching tools, so I searched around the house for a couple of items that I could photograph for today’s blog entry. Perhaps by sheer coincidence, the shadows of the image gives an image of an eye. Enjoy!

Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D. is an internationally renowned expert in the fields of stress management, mind-body-spirit healing and stress and human spirituality. He is the author of over 10 books including the bestsellers, Stand Like Mountain, Flow Like Water, Stressed Is Desserts Spelled Backward, The Art of Calm, Quiet Mind, Fearless Heart and Managing Stress (6E). He can be reached through his website:www.brianlukeseaward.net

© Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D.

Ten Reasons to Join Us in Ireland

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The unofficial countdown has begun for the Spirit of Ireland Journey in 2011. We pride ourselves on an authentic experience of the true Irish/Celtic traditions. What makes this trip different than most is that this journey isn’t just a vacation to a pretty place, it’s a calling to offer healing energies, healing intentions, prayers and compassion at various sacred sites on the Emerald Isle for environmental stability and world peace while at the same time establishing lifelong friendships with people of like mind and hearts. Not to mention this is a culturally rich experience, par excellence! When people share a unique experience such as this, not only do reciprocal personal healings occur, but bonds of friendship form that last a lifetime. We have 3 spots left to round out our special group of 22. The final payment deadline is March 30th. For many reasons that time/space won’t allow, most likely this may be our last group trip of this type. If you are tempted to join us, this is the year!

Here are some GREAT reasons to consider joining us in Ireland:
1. We have two (2) private musical house concerts with some of the most revered folk musicians in all of Ireland gracing the stage.

2. A night of cultural entertainment awaits us as we take our seats in the Natural Folk Theater for a production of Conn Lirr, a Riverdance/swan lake type fairytale of epic proportions.

3. We have a whole day with spiritual luminary P. J. Curtis (close friend and colleague of the late John O’Donohue) who will share his remarkable knowledge of Celtic spirituality, lore, and wisdom.

4. A trip to the beloved Aran Island or Innishmere (weather permitting), something even most natives haven’t done.

5. A trip to Skellig Michael, an Island sanctuary and the beginning of the Archangel Michael Ley-line (weather permitting) with a special healing ceremony.

6. Not only a tutorial on beginning photography, but you will receive a CD-Rom of 40 professional photographs of the Southwest Region of Ireland to use as screensavers or prints.

7. Three (3) music CD’s containing many of my favorite Celtic/Irish songs (and I have quite the extensive library of Celtic music!)

8. Each person will receive an autographed Doors of Ireland poster from…yours truly.

9. A chance to experience authentic, live Irish music in several local pubs, and try your hand at singing a song (or reciting a poem, if you wish).

10. If you are looking for a way to make a difference in the world, joining a group of like-minded healers is one way to unite these efforts for the common good of humanity.

11. Be forever changed and enlightened as a “peace ambassador” for the world.

Notable Links:
For more information, please cut and paste the link below into a browser:
http://www.brianlukeseaward.net/tripstoireland.html

Quote for the Day:
“There is a quiet light that shines in every heart…the gift of the world is our first blessing” — John O’Donohue

Photo for the Day:
Today’s photo is a scene of perhaps the most famous stone circles in Ireland, The Drombeg stone circle, a neolithic site created to honor the winter solstice, a site we will visit while in Ireland. Not as big as Stonehenge in England, but in its own way, equally impressive.

Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D. is an internationally renowned expert in the fields of stress management, mind-body-spirit healing and stress and human spirituality. He is the author of over 10 books including the bestsellers, Stand Like Mountain, Flow Like Water, Stressed Is Desserts Spelled Backward, The Art of Calm, Quiet Mind, Fearless Heart and Managing Stress (6E). He can be reached through his website:www.brianlukeseaward.net

© Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D.

The Assistance of Spiritual Aids

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What does Glenda, the good witch of the North (Wizard of Oz), Father Christmas (The Lion The Witch and the Wardrobe) Yodo (Star Wars) and Gandalf (Lord of the Rings) all have in common? Renowned mythologist, Joseph Campbell, in describing his template for the hero’s journey, highlighted the significant aspect: The Assistance of Spiritual Aids! No matter who we are, where we are going or what we are doing, we are never alone. We are always in the presence of a team of divine guardians to help us—whenever called upon to do so. Psychologist Carl Jung also found this to be true, so much so that he had the following words carved in stone over his front door, “Called or not, the gods are here.” Author Sam Levenson said it like this, “Walk with the knowledge that you never walk alone.” Stressful times can certainly make us feel abandoned or disconnected. While we are always connected to our divine source (whatever you conceive this to be), it is unresolved issues of anger and fear that cloud our metaphorical vision to make us feel isolated and cut off. It is the ego, in moments of weakness, that perpetuates the belief of separation, abandonment, even punishment. As the expression goes, There is no I in the word teamwork.

Stress Tip for the Day:
Never deny yourself the opportunity to ask for help from the unseen world in whatever way your faith supports. One way to ensure that the assistance of spiritual aids is received is to “domesticate” the ego, and one of the best ways to do this is by adopting a regular meditation practice. Learn to tame the ego, who’s negative voice often drowns out the voice of reason, when stressed. Take time to cultivate a relationship with the divine, whatever you choose to call this, whatever you perceive this to be. And….Let the force be with you!

Links/Books/Movies Worth Noting:
One of the most remarkable books I have ever read is the book, SOUTH, by Ernest Shackleton, the captain of the ill-fated ship, The Endurance. Forced to abandon this ship due to ice floes near Antarctica , Shackleton and his crew were able to survive 2 years of frozen hell. How, do you ask? Read his account in his autobiography, SOUTH, but here is a tip: He will be the first person to tell you he didn’t do it alone. He had divine assistance.

Quote for the Day:
“Some of my best friends don’t have bodies.” —Ram Dass

Photo for the Day:
Capturing a photo of guardian angels and spirit guides has appeared elusive to me so far (are they camera shy?) Some people suggest that orbs that show up in digital cameras are traces of the angelic realm. Who knows? Instead, I would like to share a photo of the Milky Way I took last fall in Tahiti. It’s a BIG Universe….

Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D. is an internationally renowned expert in the fields of stress management, mind-body-spirit healing and stress and human spirituality. He is the author of over 10 books including the bestsellers, Stand Like Mountain, Flow Like Water, Stressed Is Desserts Spelled Backward, The Art of Calm, Quiet Mind, Fearless Heart and Managing Stress (6E). He can be reached through his website:www.brianlukeseaward.net

© Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D.