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Walking the Path of Peace

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The other morning, while walking my dog, Logan, at the nature preserve near my house, I ran into a dear old friend named Harry. Harry is not his real name. Rather it is one he chose when he fled to the US from his home in Burma decades ago. Harry always greets me with a big smile and handshake, followed by a hearty laugh,“Good morning, kind sir” he says. Harry is the epitome of the Buddhist expression, Walk the path of peace. “Only when you live in truth, can your heart be at peace,” he reminds me often. I asked Harry what he thought of all the recent changes in his home country, including the election of the beloved Aung San Suu Kyi. He smiled from ear to ear. “Things are changing fast in Burma, he explained. “The democracy underway is like being a little bit pregnant. As a rebel fighter many decades ago, I fought for freedom against an oppressive regime, but I had to flee to save my life, so I came here to the land of the free. I have waited a long time for this in my country, but this is only a baby step. We shall see. Once you have the taste of freedom, you can never eat dirt again.” Harry ended his conversation this day by taking me to his car and showing me some photos of his hometown in Burma. I walked home with new sense of appreciation of the path of peace we strive to walk in our efforts for a better world.

Stress Tip for the Day:

Today give thanks for your freedom, particularly the freedom to speak your mind without being arrested. Give thanks for living in a country where freedom is honored. The “path of peace” is a path of conscience, being conscious of your thoughts, words and actions in an effort to make this a better world, all of which is done with an open heart. No matter where you walk today, walk with a sense of conscience. Speak the truth (always with diplomacy). Be kind to your fellow neighbor (this includes all humans). Smile as you greet people, no matter who they are. Walk proud of your heritage, yet walk humble as a planetary citizen, doing good for all. This, Harry reminds me, is how you walk the path of peace.

Links, Books and Movies Worth Noting:

A new movie, The Lady, about the life of Aung San Suu Kyi will be released soon. It depicts the story of one of the most amazing triumphs of the human spirit and it is highly recommended.

Quote for the Day:

“Fear is not the natural state of a civilized people.” —Aung San Suu Kyi

Photo for the Day:

Harry asked me NOT to take his photo. He still feels rather sensitive about keeping a low profile in the land of the free. So in honor of his homeland of Burma, I downloaded an image off the Internet (with credit and thanks to the photographer). 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 12 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 (7e) and the newly released, A Beautiful World: The Earth Song Journals. He can be reached through his website: www.brianlukeseaward.net

© Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D.

Adaptation; The Art of Graceful Change

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If there is one thing in life that’s constant, it’s change. A change of jobs, a change in relationships, a new addition to the family, a dramatic change in finances, or even climate change (and all this may bring to each of us). Change is a big part of life (how boring life would be without some change). By and large, people do not like change, particularly change they cannot control. As they saying goes, “The only person who likes change is a wet baby.” The rest of us don’t like change! But change is inevitable. We cannot stop the winds of change, but we can adapt to them. Ironically, adaptation is another word for change. When faced with change, we can fight it (not recommended), or we can move gracefully with the flow. Those who fight change often do so with words, in the form of grieving (more commonly called bitching). While grieving is considered healthy and hence, essential, prolonged grieving is not beneficial. Adaptation begins with an attitude, then quickly becomes a strategy for moving on, moving with the flow. Some call adaptation resiliency! No mater what you call it, make the transition gracefully.

Stress Tip for the Day:

Adaptation beings with a new mindset. Sometimes it’s acceptance. Other times it may include creative problem solving (getting from point A to point B gracefully). Where in your life do you feel stuck? Once you have identified this situation, create a strategy to help you adapt and move with, rather than against the winds of change. Some people call adaptation the art of being a chameleon. Others refer to adaptation as augmenting your inner strength and power. There are many ways to adapt to a situation and do it gracefully. No matter what action you take, adaptation beings with a positive attitude.

Links, Books and Movies Worth Noting:

Here are a few links with more information about coping with change:

http://www.aliveandwellnews.com/self-help/how_to_cope_with_change.shtml


http://ezinearticles.com/?Coping-with-Change:-Develop-Your-Personal-Strategy&id=51313


Quote for the Day:

“Both tears and sweat are salty, but they render a different result. Tears will get you sympathy; sweat will get you change.” — Jessie Jackson


Photo for the Day:

While I was doing some work with the US Army in Hawaii last year, (the Wounded Warrior program of returning soldiers with PTSD), Jeremy Grooms took time out of his duties as my host to demonstrate his meditation technique. To be sure, returning soldiers go through a HUGE process of adaptation as they return from the war theater to civilian life. Thanks Jeremy!

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 12 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 (7e) and the newly released, A Beautiful World: The Earth Song Journals. He can be reached through his website: www.brianlukeseaward.net.

© Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D.

Sugar, Stress and Your Immune System

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If you are like me, you might find yourself growing increasingly alarmed by various news sources regarding the quality of our food today. Currently, food labels contain more verbiage of what is not inside the package that what is actually in it. I taught a course on the topic of Nutrition at the University of Colorado for over a decade, and nearly every guest speaker I brought in spoke of the dangers of consuming too much sugar. If you are fan of the show, 60 Minutes, you might have seen their recent segment on the dangers of a high sugar intake. What I learned most from my guest speakers (and reinforced with 60 Minutes) was the influence of sugar on the immune system. Stated simply, sugar destroys the integrity of the immune system. When your immune system in compromised, then so is your health. Stress can also compromise your immune system. And, it’s no secret that when people are stressed, they tend to eat junk foods, processed foods and foods high in sugar content, which only adds more compromise to one’s health status. This is not to say that one should never have any sugar. What we teach in nutrition is this: Everything in moderation.

Stress Tip for the Day:

How much sugar do you consume in a day? Research shows that the average person consumes their body weight in refined sugar each year. YIKES! That’s a lot of sugar! Rather than reach for something sweet with little or now nutritious value, opt instead for some fresh fruit (in season is the best). Sugar from fresh fruit is called fructose, and unlike refined table sugar, it contains vitamins and minerals making it a much better choice. The fiber helps too. Remember, a few sweets every now and then is OK, but keep things in moderation. Healthy boundaries with food are essential.

Links, Books and Movies Worth Noting:

The following are some links to the hazards of an over consumption of sugar, including the 60 Minutes segment.

http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=7403942n

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/john-r-talbott/sugar-health_b_1396609.html

http://nancyappleton.com/141-reasons-sugar-ruins-your-health/

http://www.wellsphere.com/healthy-eating-article/sugar-its-dangers-hit-the-news-thanks-to-dr-robert-lustig-s-youtube-video-nightline/1051619


Quote for the Day:

“The bottom line is that sugar upsets the body chemistry and suppresses the immune system. The stronger the immune system the easier it is for the body to fight infectious and degenerative diseases.” —Nancy Appleton, Ph.D., author, Licking the Sugar Habit

Photo for the Day:

Honey roasted cashews (a photo I took for a slide show called The Low Stress Diet) may taste great, but only a few, even if they were bought at Whole Foods! Know your limits, and like everything else, practice healthy boundaries.

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 12 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 (7e) and the newly released, A Beautiful World: The Earth Song Journals. He can be reached through his website: www.brianlukeseaward.net

© Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D.

Embrace Your Destiny!

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Two of the hardest questions you can ever ask yourself are these: “Who am I?” and “Why am I here?” These are great questions to ask and we should revisit these questions with great frequency, as most likely the answers will change each time the questions are asked. These two questions, perhaps more than any others, are the hallmark of human spirituality. Your purpose in life is your destiny. It is revealed in the work you do, the friends you make, and the light that shines from your heart through your eyes. You know when you are fulfilling your destiny because things simply flow. Each of us has a meaningful purpose in life. What derails our efforts to fulfill our destiny? A great many things do, from laziness and apathy to scores of distractions (more commonly known as addictions). Sometimes roadblocks on life’s journey can reveal one’s purpose, as best described in this sage passage: A person often meets his destiny on the road he took to avoid it. Joseph Campbell described one’s destiny this way: “Follow your bliss.” Good advice! So today ask yourself this question: “How can you best follow your destiny? The world is waiting for your reply.


Stress Tip for the Day:

How would you best describe your bliss? What makes you happy? Are you doing what makes you happy? If not, why not? How can you best fulfill your destiny? Try this: First, sit quietly and clear your head. Breathe. Take a deep breath and breath again. Keep clearing your head. When your mind stops racing, pose this question: how can I best fulfill my purpose in life, my destiny? Pause, breath and pause again. Then take a deep breath again. Let the answer come to you without forcing a response. It will come as a word or a short phrase, not a half hour soliloquy. It may even take a few tries to hear the answer without ego distortion. You’ll know when you get the answer… it will bring a smile to your face.

Links, Books and Movies Worth Noting:

Here is an essay/blog on finding your destiny… Enjoy!


http://ezinearticles.com/?How-to-Find-Your-Passion-So-You-Can-Fulfill-Your-Destiny&id=374395


Quote for the Day:

“The two most important days in your life are the day you were born, and the day you find out why.” — Mark Twain

“As far as we can discern, the sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light in the darkness of mere being.” — Carl G. Jung


Photo for the Day:

A sidewalk artist in Florence, Italy brings beauty to the eyes of tourists like myself. He was fulfilling his purpose, and definitely following his bliss. 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 12 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 (7e) and the newly released, A Beautiful World: The Earth Song Journals. He can be reached through his website: www.brianlukeseaward.net

© Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D.

Embrace Your Destiny!

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Two of the hardest questions you can ever ask yourself are these: “Who am I?” and “Why am I here?” These are great questions to ask and we should revisit these questions with great frequency, as most likely the answers will change each time the questions are asked. These two questions, perhaps more than any others, are the hallmark of human spirituality. Your purpose in life is your destiny. It is revealed in the work you do, the friends you make, and the light that shines from your heart through your eyes. You know when you are fulfilling your destiny because things simply flow. Each of us has a meaningful purpose in life. What derails our efforts to fulfill our destiny? A great many things do, from laziness and apathy to scores of distractions (more commonly known as addictions). Sometimes roadblocks on life’s journey can reveal one’s purpose, as best described in this sage passage: A person often meets his destiny on the road he took to avoid it. Joseph Campbell described one’s destiny this way: “Follow your bliss.” Good advice! So today ask yourself this question: “How can you best follow your destiny? The world is waiting for your reply.

Stress Tip for the Day:

How would you best describe your bliss? What makes you happy? Are you doing what makes you happy? If not, why not? How can you best fulfill your destiny? Try this: First, sit quietly and clear your head. Breathe. Take a deep breath and breath again. Keep clearing your head. When your mind stops racing, pose this question: how can I best fulfill my purpose in life, my destiny? Pause, breath and pause again. Then take a deep breath again. Let the answer come to you without forcing a response. It will come as a word or a short phrase, not a half hour soliloquy. It may even take a few tries to hear the answer without ego distortion. You’ll know when you get the answer… it will bring a smile to your face.

Links, Books and Movies Worth Noting:

Here is an essay on finding your destiny… Enjoy!


http://ezinearticles.com/?How-to-Find-Your-Passion-So-You-Can-Fulfill-Your-Destiny&id=374395

Quote for the Day:

“The two most important days in your life are the day you were born, and the day you find out why.” — Mark Twain

“As far as we can discern, the sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light in the darkness of mere being.” — Carl G. Jung

Photo for the Day:

A sidewalk artist in Florence, Italy brings beauty to the eyes of tourists like myself. He was fulfilling his purpose, and definitely following his bliss. 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 12 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 (7e) and the newly released, A Beautiful World: The Earth Song Journals. He can be reached through his website: www.brianlukeseaward.net

© Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D.

Italy Calling: Please Join Us In Tuscany this September (21-30)

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Last year’s group trip to Italy was simply “magical,” so much so, that I decided to plan a second trip back to the heart of Tuscany this year, with a side trip to Assisi (my patron saint is Saint Francis—just had to go there, even if it’s only for a long lunch) and our final three days are in Venice. If you have ever wanted to see these regions of Italy, traveling in the safety of a small group, with some dedicated time (about an hour) each morning for meditation, restorative yoga, music therapy and guided imagery, not to mention some fabulous meals and a gentle immersion into the Italian culture, history, art and ambiance, then please …join us! We have THE best tour company and guides that will make this trip a trip of a lifetime. This trip is open to anyone including couples. Italy is calling.. start packing your bags.

Stress Tip for the Day:

The name of this 10 day-trip is: The Spirit of Italy: Eat, Walk, Meditate, and the trip’s theme is taking care of yourself. This trip will be a time to recalibrate your mind, body and spirit back to a healthy balance of living, with some life skills to take back home to integrate back into your life. Vacations can be stressful, but based on the comments from people who went last year, our trip was a flawless effort of relaxation and comfort. This year’s trip will be the same, perhaps even more so. We have 5 spots left and we have no doubt this trip will fill up soon. If you have any questions, please email or call me and I will be glad to answer them for you (303) 678.9962. One of the subtle underlying themes of this trip, based on the slow food movement, is to slow down to a comfortable pace of life… to enjoy life.

Links, Books and Movies Worth Noting:

All the information you will need about this trip can be found by clicking this link:

http://www.brianlukeseaward.net/tripstoitaly.html

The PDF brochure with registration form can be accessed by clicking the link below:

http://brianlukeseaward.net/spirit_of_italy_2012.pdf

Quote (s) for the Day:

“Life offers you a thousand chances. All you have to do is take one.” — Frances Mayes, author, Under A Tuscan Sun

“A person who has not been to Italy, is always conscious of an inferiority.” —Samuel Johnson

“Certainly, in Italy, nobody takes light for granted.” — Barbara Steele

Photo for the Day:

Every street in Italy looks like it was filmed in a movie (and perhaps was). This photograph depicts the flavor of Pienza, a small walled city in which scenes from the 1968 movie, Romeo and Juliet were filmed.

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 12 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 (7e) and the newly released, A Beautiful World: The Earth Song Journals. He can be reached through his website: www.brianlukeseaward.net

© Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D.

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Good Vibrations: The Healing Sounds of Music

It’s no secret that music can stir the emotions. Music holds the power to either excite or calm the mind/body. As the expression goes, “Music soothes the savage breast.” Of all the means to relax, listening to music is thought to be one of the most common (with the advent of the Ipod, perhaps THE most common). Yet research in the field of music therapy reveals that not all music we relax to proves to be relaxing! First and foremost, the most relaxing type of music is that which is instrumental, be it jazz, classical, new age, etc. Music with lyrics draws in the analytical thoughts of the left- brain (the same thought processes involved with fight or flight) and this only keeps the stress response in gear. Of course the tempo of music is important, yet equally important is your perceptions of the music (whether you like it or not). You may think that you take in the sounds of music through your ears, but in truth you take in music through every cell in your body, via the properties of entrainment. Sound is energy made audible. Music is sound. Fill your ears with the most relaxing music today.

Stress Tip for the Day:

Pull together a new playlist of relaxing music. Try to include selections from a host of genres including classical, jazz, and ambient new age compositions. Burn a few copies of this Music Rx, one for the car, one for the bedroom when you go to sleep at night, and one for the living room stereo. Rather than watching TV this week, pick a night and simply listen to nice relaxing music. Close your eyes and drift along as if the music is a river of energy that sweeps you away. Release any judgmental thoughts and allow the music to clear your mind of stress.

Links, Books and Movies Worth Noting:

Today I would like to list some of my favorite musicians whose music I use to relax by:

James Owen Mathews: Liquid Strings

Secret Garden, White Stones

Beethoven: 7th Symphony

Keola Beamer, Blue Water Dolphin

Eversound Music: One Quiet Night

David Lanz, Christophori’s Dream

Pat Metheny, If I Could

Jim Wilson, Northern Seascape

Quote for the Day:

“Music was my refuge. I could crawl into the space between the notes and curl my back to the loneliness.” Maya Angelou

“When I hear music, I fear no danger. I am invulnerable. I see no foe. I am related to the earliest times, and the latest.” — Henry David Thoreau

Photo for the Day:

Every year, I host a potluck and Irish music house concert, usually around St. Patrick’s Day. This year’s party was one of the best, due in large part to the great music by Adam Agee, Jon Sousa and Emily Dawson pictured here (not to mention the great spread of delicious food!) Thanks to all who came to share a great meal, memories and tunes. See you next year!

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 (7e) and the newly released, A Beautiful World: The Earth Song Journals. He can be reached through his website: www.brianlukeseaward.net

© Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D.

Be Creative….Think Different!

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There are many types of effective coping techniques, but my favorite is creative problem solving. Creativity is very empowering… if not liberating. To take an idea and make it a reality, now that is something! Necessity, it is said, is the mother of invention. Necessity could be another word for stress. When we are pushed (or painted) with our backs against the wall, we can either pout, or be creative. Always choose the later. Creativity isn’t just an attribute for artists or musicians; it’s a birthright for everyone. You ARE creative! Creativity begins with imagination and ends with hard work (organizational skills) to make the inspiration become a reality. Creativity is a right and left-brain activity. Sadly, creativity isn’t taught in schools these days, though I wish it was. It is never too late, however, to exercise your creative muscles. Be creative.. think different!

Stress Tip for the Day:

Grab a pen and paper and make a list of your top five stressors. Then pick one and work to creatively solve the problem. To do this, follow these steps: 1) define the problem. How would a 5-year old see your problem? How would an Eskimo or alien from a distant galaxy see your problem? Once you have it defined, then come up with five (5) viable solutions (and one off-the wall, crazy, ludicrious idea). After you have a list of possibilities, pick the best one and then make it happen. When all is said and done, take time to evaluate… and if the solution is still elusive, start over again…. The creative problem solving process is never a straight line. Today (and every day) see yourself as a creative person. Don’t let fear negate your highest potential as a creative luminary. And given the state of the world today, don’t be shy with your creativity skills. We need them!

Links, Books and Movies Worth Noting:

Although I haven’t bought it yet, I have come across a new book called Imagine. From the interviews I have heard on NPR, the author seems to explore the concepts of the creative process and to this add new information gathered from research based on functional MRI’s of what’s going on in the brain during the creative process. AND… if you have not read Steve Job’s biography, I highly recommend it. Very inspiring and it will surely give you many ideas to ponder. Think Different, Steve reminded us. Great advice!

http://whywereason.wordpress.com/tag/the-creative-process/

http://www.amazon.com/Imagine-Creativity-Works-Jonah-Lehrer/dp/0547386079

Quote for the Day:

“Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration.” —Thomas A. Edison

“Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren’t used to an environment where excellence is expected.” — Steve Jobs

“If we did all the things we are capable of, we would literally astound ourselves.” — Thomas A. Edison

Photo for the Day:

Today’s photograph is part of a project I am working on called the Doors of Perception. This particular door speaks to the creative process (those who attended last fall’s mountain retreat had a chance to see this project in it’s embryonic stage). I photographed this tree, door and windows in Ireland, though not all in the same place. 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 (7e) and the forthcoming, A Beautiful World: The Earth Song Journals. He can be reached through his website: www.brianlukeseaward.net

© Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D.

Spring Equinox: A Reminder of Life Balance

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Today is the first day of spring, a day when the amount of sunlight equals the amount of darkness. It is a day of balance and it is a reminder for us to live our lives in balance. All too often our lives are thrown out of balance with work responsibilities, relationships, finances, technology, all the things that can cause day-to-day stress. Balance is an inherent part of the human condition. The human body strives for balance, a name we call homeostasis. The ancients used nature as a guide to lives our lives, taking cues from the sun, the moon and planet earth herself to remind us that while things may slip out of balance, they always come back to balance. We would do well to honor our natural connection to the world.

Stress Tip for the Day:

Take a hint from nature today and live in harmony with the earth energies. Step out into the fresh air. Greet spring with open arms. Take a walk in the woods. Buy some cut flowers. Reflect on your life and take note of what appears to be out of balance. Then do what you can to right it. Breathe!

Links, Books and Movies Worth Noting:

Pick up a coffee-table book on nature and spend some time getting lost in the photographs.

And if you haven’t read the book, Stand Like Mountain, Flow Like Water… consider picking that up for a good read too!

Quote for the Day:

“Be aware of wonder. Live a balanced life – learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some.” — Robert Fulghum


Photo for the Day:

This is one of my favorite nature photographs, taken in St. Lucia, one of the prettiest places on the planet. 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 (7e) and the forthcoming, A Beautiful World: The Earth Song Journals. He can be reached through his website: www.brianlukeseaward.net

© Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D.

Unconditional Love (Is there really any other kind?)

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Love, it is said, is the glue that holds the universe together. Love has been the focus, obsession and subject of a great many conversations over the eons of time, but this kind of love, romantic love, is but one color of love’s rainbow. The totality of this magnificent rainbow is the divine light of altruistic compassion; an open heart. Fear and anger can close the heart’s door. Unconditional love is an expression of compassion that asks not of reciprocation. It is the pure gift that neither asks nor expects anything in return. Unconditional love, true love, is love without a hint of ego; quite the opposite of stress. Stress, exhibited through unresolved issues of anger and fear, is the epitome of ego. There are those who say that the human condition is not capable of existing without ego. Don’t you believe it! There are others who say that the human species is going through an amazing transformation, dare I say, evolution; a transition from the motivation of fear to love; unconditional love. This evolution is a choice that each of us invited to make, quite regularly. No matter where you are on your own human journey, when you come to a fork in the road and must choose between fear and love, always choose love. In doing so, you assist the Universe to become one with it.

Stress Tip for the Day:

The daily practice of meditation is a great way to quiet the noise of the ego, so that you may hear the wisdom of the soul to follow your true path in life. Take time each and every day to sit still and calm the noise in your head. Learn to observe your thoughts and the emotions so strongly tied to them. The symbol of unconditional love is often represented by a golden white light. Close each meditation session by surrounding yourself in this light. In doing so, you may find that your ability to shift out of fear-based thinking becomes much easier. Finally, remember this: Unconditional love not only applies to all others, but yourself as well.

Links, Books and Movies Worth Noting:

One of the best books I can recommend to you, even if you have already read it is the classic book, The Road Less Traveled, by M. Scott Peck; it’s always worth a second browse!

Quotes for the Day:

“The ultimate lesson all of us have to learn is unconditional love, which includes not only others but ourselves as well.” — Elisabeth Kuber-Ross.

“True love begins when nothing is looked for in return.” — Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Photo for the Day:

Indeed, love is symbolized by a great many things, not the least of which includes flowers, in this case, a water lily. 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 (7e) and the newly released, A Beautiful World: The Earth Song Journals. He can be reached through his website: www.brianlukeseaward.net

© Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D.

Happy St Patrick’s Day!

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I just returned from the Emerald Isle and it was a great trip indeed. We often speak of the “luck of the Irish,” but anyone who delves into their history knows they have had some pretty hard knocks over the past 1,000 years, including most recently a national bankruptcy. From the 800-year occupation of the British, through the Great Famine to the fiscal problems of today, Ireland rises it’s head and moves on with grace, dignity and humor. What they might call luck, we call fortitude, certainly something to lean on in times of stress. What we call the divine, they call magic. We would all do well to call ourselves Irish today.

Stress Management Tip for the Day:

Take stock of your fortitude today. Take time to count your blessings. See yourself as lucky and see the divine as magic! Put on some green today and make those Irish eyes smile! Slainte!

Links, Books and Movies Worth Noting:

Here is a list of some of my favorite Irish Movies, any of which would be great to view tonight:

1. Waking Ned Divine

2. The Secret of Roan Inish

3. My Left Foot

4. Into the West

5. Ondine

6. The Field

7. Ryan’s Daughter

8. The Committments

Quote for the Day:

An Old Irish Blessing

May the sun always shine

on your window pane,

May a rainbow be certain

to follow each rain,

May the hand of a friend

always be near you,

May God fill your heart

with gladness to cheer you,

May your blessings be many

to the sunshine above you

May your life bring you gladness

and always, God love you.

Photo of the Day:

I took this photo last summer in County Wicklow near Glendalough. I thought they were shamrocks, but was told later that day that shamrocks are very tiny (1/4 the size of these)… most likely these are simply clover… but Irish nonetheless. 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 (7E) and his forthcoming book, A Beautiful World; The Earth Songs Journals. He can be reached through his website: www.brianlukeseaward.net

© Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D.

Holy Moments!

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My plane has just landed in Shannon Ireland and I am exhausted, but in a good way. I flew the red-eye flight last night from Newark, NJ. Usually I try to sleep so I am not a zombie the next day (toothpicks please!) But last night I couldn’t even think of sleeping. As luck would have it, I had a window seat on the left side of the plane flying east, giving me a perfect northerly view of the Aurora Borealis. Curtains of green light shimmered over the horizon for hours. It wasn’t just amazing. It was Divine. I truly felt honored to see such a sight, and it was nothing less than magnificent, spectacular, holy. To be honest, life is filled with countless magnificent moments; those moments when we realize we are part of something much, much bigger, and in the realization of this connection, a magical alchemy of consciousness occurs, a union of our humanity and divinity, where the supernatural become natural and the ordinary becomes extraordinary. Last night was one such holy moment for me. When we can see ourselves as something of a much larger picture, then the perspective pulls our lives into focus and makes things much easier to handle. I wish you many holy moments each and every day!

Stress Tip for the Day:

Invite these holy moments into your life today. Ask to become aware of the extraordinary and the supernatural in everyday life. Become conscious of the bigger picture and make yourself available to the Universe to co-create your reality with divine guidance. Take delight in the little miracles. Take delight in the big one’s too. And when all else fails, remember this. YOU are a miracle too!

Links, Books and Movies Worth Noting:

If you scroll to the bottom of this page, you can view the first chapter of the Earth Songs meditation film I made a few years ago, with many holy moments. Enjoy!

http://www.brianlukeseaward.net/earthsongs.html


Quote for the Day:

“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as thought everything is a miracle.” —Albert Einstein.

Photo for the Day:

With camera in hand, I was ready to take some photos of what I saw last night at 35,000 feet, but alas, nothing came out, save the memories in my head. This photo appeared on a recent Facebook posting today and all credit goes to the photographer in Iceland (whomever this might be. Thanks!) It didn’t look quite like this from the plane, but it was impressive. 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 (7e) and the newly released, A Beautiful World: The Earth Song Journals. He can be reached through his website: www.brianlukeseaward.net

© Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D.

Imagine!

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Imagine living at your highest potential! What would that look like? What would that feel like? What could you do with your life? Spiritual luminaries suggest that, like the caterpillar, we too have what scientists refer to in the caterpillar as imaginal cells. There is absolutely nothing in the cellular structure of a lowly caterpillar that even hints at what it will become upon emerging from it’s chrysalis. These imaginal cells allow for a most remarkable transformation, allowing the caterpillar to reach it’s highest (and most beautiful) potential. Spiritual luminaries suggest that we too have a type of imaginal cell structure. It manifests as we take time to go inside (the human chrysalis, not to be confused with the Man Cave) and really cultivate our spiritual growth. Butterflies the world over are regarded as a symbol of the sacred. Butterflies symbolize the path of the soul emerging from a hardship, transforming into it’s destiny of breathtaking beauty, transcending the mundane into the sublime. Your metamorphosis is calling…..

Stress Tip for the Day:
You don’t have to crawl into a cocoon and hide from the stress of society to wait for these imaginal cells to do their work. Making the transformation from the mundane to the sublime is a change of attitude. Imaginal cells are your keys to empowerment, and they are VERY REAL. This shifting paradigm of thought moves you from victim to victor, and allows you the liberation to take flight. Ask yourself today what thoughts limit your potential? What perceptions hold you back from who you want to be, where you want to go and what you wish to accomplish. How can you release the chains of these perceptions and set yourself free? Imaginal cells are not magical for the lowly caterpillar, nor are they magical thinking for you. It’s your destiny calling… The caterpillar has to make a conscious choice to change. So do you, if you wish to fly to new heights. It’s time to use these imaginal cells. Your destiny is calling….

Links, Books and Movies Worth Noting:
Here is a link from one of my favorite people, Bruce Lipton, about imaginal cells: Enjoy:
http://www.brucelipton.com/newsletter-archive/imaginal-cells-and-cultural-creatives-crisis-ignites-evolution/

http://www.brucelipton.com/newsletter-archive/imaginal-cells/

There are scores of books and movies about the triumph of the human spirit. Some of my favorites include St. Ralph (movie) Life and Death in Shanghai (book) and Enter the Void (movie). The book by Richard Bach, Illusions is also a great read. Consider cocooning up with an inspiring movie or book to awaken/activate your imaginal cells today.

Quote(s) for the Day:
“What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the master calls a butterfly.” —Richard Bach, author of Illusions

“There is absolutely nothing in a caterpillar that tells you it’s going to be a butterfly. ” —Buckminster Fuller.

May the wings of the butterfly kiss the Sun
And find your shoulder to light on

To bring you luck, happiness and riches

Today, tomorrow and beyond.

— Irish blessing.

Photo for the Day:
Butterflies frequent my backyard garden all the time (a divine message?) This tiger swallow-tail butterfly looks stunning among the purple phlox… 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 (7e) and A Beautiful World: The Earth Song Journals. He can be reached through his website: www.brianlukeseaward.net

© Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D.

How Did You Sleep Last Night?

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It’s amazing to think that for the amount of time people spend sleeping (one-third of our lives) how most people don’t spend much thought (or money) on good quality bedding. While stress plays a huge role in insomnia, yet

What you sleep on (e.g. sheets, pillow cases, mattress pads, mattresses, blankets, comforters, etc.) contributes greatly as a factor known in sleep study circles as “sleep hygiene.” If you were to ever spend a night in a high-end hotel, you would immediately know the difference in what constitutes great bedding: down pillows, soft mattress pads, 1000 count Egyptian cotton sheets, down comforters, etc. As they saying goes, if you don’t spend time and money on the best bedding for maximum comfort, you are robbing yourself of a good night’s sleep. As one friend of mine adds, “There are many people sleeping on King or Queen size beds, but they sleep like peasants.” Aside from keeping technology out of the bedroom for a great night’s sleep, premium bedding is a must for how you should spend one-third of your life.

Stress Tip for the Day:

Quality bedding isn’t going to removing all the stress in your life, but it’s a great start. The art of calm involves all of the five senses, and the sense of touch is an important one to consider when considering a good night’s sleep. The hotel I stayed at which was a revelation in quality bedding was the Beverly Wilshire Hotel. They have a person who specifically answers phone calls on how to order/purchase the sheets, pillows, comforters, etc., well what you will ever get at Bed, Bath and Beyond. Consider making an overhaul of your bedding so you can sleep like a queen or king.

Links, Books and Movies Worth Noting:

Here are a few links to more information on the topic of sleep hygiene.

http://helpguide.org/life/sleeping.htm

http://stress.about.com/od/lowstresslifestyle/f/sleep.htm

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2010/10/02/secrets-to-a-good-night-sleep.aspx

Quote for the Day:

“For you to sleep well at night, the aesthetic, the quality, has be carried all the way through.” —Steve Job.

Photo for the Day:

While at the Dromoland Castle in Shannon Ireland last year, I took this photo thinking that one day I might use this for a blog entry… And this was a King size bed with great bedding. 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 (7e) and the forthcoming, A Beautiful World: The Earth Song Journals. He can be reached through his website: www.brianlukeseaward.net

© Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D.

How Did You Sleep Last Night?

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It’s amazing to think that for the amount of time people spend sleeping (one-third of our lives) how most people don’t spend much thought (or money) on good quality bedding. While stress plays a huge role in insomnia, quality sleep surface is essential for all kinds of reasons. What you sleep on (e.g., sheets, pillow cases, mattress pads, mattresses, blankets, comforters, etc.) contributes greatly as a factor known in sleep study circles as “sleep hygiene.” If you were to ever spend a night in a high-end hotel, you would immediately know the difference in what constitutes great bedding: Down pillows, soft mattress pads, 1000-count Egyptian cotton sheets, down comforters, etc. As they saying goes, “If you don’t spend time and money on the best bedding for maximum comfort, you are robbing yourself of a good night’s sleep.” And as one friend of mine adds, “There are many people sleeping on King or Queen size beds, but they sleep like peasants.” Aside from keeping technology out of the bedroom for a great night’s sleep, premium bedding is a must for how you should spend one-third of your life.

Stress Tip for the Day:

Quality bedding isn’t going to removing all the stress in your life, but it’s a great start. The art of calm involves all of the five senses, and the sense of touch is an important one to consider when considering a good night’s sleep. The hotel I stayed at (decades ago) which to me was a revelation in quality bedding was the Beverly Wilshire Hotel. They have a person who specifically answers phone calls on how to order/purchase the sheets, pillows, comforters, etc., well beyond what you will ever get at Bed, Bath and Beyond. Consider making an overhaul of your bedding so you can sleep like a queen or king.

Links, Books and Movies Worth Noting:

Here are a few links to more information on the topic of sleep hygiene.

http://helpguide.org/life/sleeping.htm

http://stress.about.com/od/lowstresslifestyle/f/sleep.htm


http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2010/10/02/secrets-to-a-good-night-sleep.aspx

Quote for the Day:

“For you to sleep well at night, the aesthetic, the quality, has be carried all the way through.” —Steve Jobs.

Photo for the Day:

While at the Dromoland Castle in Shannon Ireland last year, I took this photo thinking that one day I might use this for a blog entry… And this was a King-size bed with great bedding. 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 (7e) and the forthcoming, A Beautiful World: The Earth Song Journals. He can be reached through his website: www.brianlukeseaward.net

© Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D.

Honesty IS the Best Policy

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Why do people lie? Perhaps every reason can come down to one: FEAR; trying to protect ourselves from some perceived danger (real or imagined). So great are the dangers of lying that one of the great 10 commandments advises us not to engage in this behavior. Yet people do. Politicians lie. Husbands lie. So do wives. Students lie. So do professors. Children lie, as do parents. Even priests lie. We manipulate the truth to our advantage, yet in doing so we give our power away. People try to rationalize their lies by calling them white. In an effort not to hurt others we sugar-coat the lie to make the situation palatable. It takes courage to tell the truth. Diplomacy helps. So does humor. In the words of Chaucer, “Many a truth be told in jest.” Today we are living in a world with many lies, from personal to global interests. When trust is lost by those we lie to, it is ever so hard to regain. Living in a cloud of lies, black, white or gray only deepens our separation from happiness. Step into the light.

Stress Tip for the Day:

Make it a point to rise above the habit of twisting the truth for personal gain or pleasure. Speak not only your truth, but truth in all things, from the personal to the universal. Replace the filter of fear with the translucent filter of compassion in action through words. If necessary, add the filter of humor. Time is too short on planet earth to keep secrets and hide insecurities with words. Come clean with your thoughts, ask for forgiveness (as well as offer forgiveness, if need be) and sleep easier knowing you have a clear conscience. Honesty is always the best policy.

Links, Books and Movies Worth Noting:

Here are a few links on the topic of honesty and stress:

http://turnonyourinnerlight.com/Honesty.html

http://www.deepermeditation.net/stressadviceblog/archives/stress-addiction-compulsion-and-honesty.html

Quote for the Day:

“Tell the truth, it’s easier to remember.” — Mark Twain

Photo for the Day:

This photo has absolutely nothing to do with today’s blog topic, but it was too good a photo not to share. We have had some MAJOR winds blow through here in Colorado the past few days, enough to blow over a couple of semi-trucks, and that’s no lie. 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 (7e) and the forthcoming, A Beautiful World: The Earth Song Journals. He can be reached through his website: www.brianlukeseaward.net

© Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D.

A Stress Free Vacation: A Magical Trip to Ireland this Summer

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Dear friends, fans and colleagues,

I am taking a group of people to Ireland this summer and we have 4 coveted spots left. We would LOVE to have your join us. This will be the last year I take a group of people to Ireland so this is THE year to go. If the past two years group trips are any indication, then this year’s Spirit of Ireland Journey will also be quite the magical adventure; a trip of a lifetime… with enchanted memories and lifelong friendships. Unlike most Ireland vacations where people take lots of photos and drink pints of beer, our trips include doing some energy work for planetary peace and healing at various sacred sites (stone circles, portal dolmens and monasteries). We will certainly see some amazing sights in County Donegal, County Mayo and County Galway (providing some great scenic photo opportunities, including a few castles) and spend our evenings listening to some wonderful traditional Irish music (and yes they will be serving pints there as well). My tours to Ireland are based on having the “authentic Irish experience,” which is why we travel in a small group and visit sights even the locals like to keep secret. You don’t have to be of Irish ancestry to enjoy this trip, but those who care the Celtic gene in their DNA will be buzzing for years to come. Please consider joining us this year.

Stress Tip for the Day:

As we all know, vacations can be stressful, YET there are certainly vacations that are nearly stress-free. The Spirit of Ireland Journey is one such vacation. We include in this trip morning meditations, music therapy, guided mental imagery, and wonderful support groups, more commonly called “real friends.” If you have ever thought about taking a trip to the Emerald Isle, this is the year, and this is the trip. Traveling in a small group (16-20 people), having someone else do the driving (they drive on the other side of the road), having the hotels taken care of, and traveling with superb guides who know the locations of the sacred sites, know the history of the country, the politics, the spirituality makes for an unforgettable and more rewarding experience.

Links, Books and Movies Worth Noting:

Below are links to the Trips to Ireland link on my home page as well as a link to the PDF brochure with all the information which includes the registration form on the last two pages. If you have any questions please feel free to email me.

http://www.brianlukeseaward.net/tripstoireland.html


http://brianlukeseaward.net/2012_spirit_of_ireland_journey.pdf


Quote for the Day:

May the road rise up to meet you,

May the wind always be at your back,

May the sun shine warm upon your face,

The rains fall soft upon your fields and

Until we meet again,

May God hold you in the palm of His hand.

Irish Proverb

Photo for the Day:

Ireland is a country filled with stone monuments, from portal dolmens and stone circles marking the summer or winter solstice to scores of castles and monasteries. This photo was taken last year of our wonderful group at the Poulnabrone Dolmen, a sacred portal tomb in County Clare, Ireland.

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 isthe 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 (7e) and the forthcoming, A Beautiful World: The Earth Song Journals. He can be reached through his website: www.brianlukeseaward.net

© Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D.

Like Water for Chocolate: Cooking With Love

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In a conversation with a good friend the other day, the subject of food came up. Not merely just good quality food, but the preparation of food. Not the avoidance of Teflon (though this is a great idea) but the inclusion of intention with the slicing, dicing and stirring. We both agreed that the most important ingredient included in any recipe is love. If we accept the premise that thoughts and emotions are energy, then we must also accept the fact that one’s intention while preparing the food is actually infused into the meal. Anyone who has savored a specially prepared home-cooked meal where the art of cooking becomes a process of adoration and passion knows that the food simply tastes better! The same can be said at great restaurants where the chef places quality over quantity. Now think for a moment about the preparation of fast food, junk food, processed food and the like. Not much love there. Just the negative energy of corporate profits; often listed as additives, preservatives, hormones, antibiotics, herbicides, fungicides, pesticides, petrochemical fertilizers and genetically modified organisms. If you ever saw the movie, Like Water for Chocolate, then you understand the concept of love as an ingredient. Once you get it, eating food without this ingredient is barely possible.

Stress Tip for the Day:

Today (and from here on out, everyday) make a habit to be conscious of the foods you eat in terms of energy. How are the foods prepared? Remember that convenience may be great in the short term, but the payback, as they say, is a bitch (code for many chronic health problems). When you prepare your meals, turn off the TV and put on some of your favorite music. If you cook with a spouse, friend or children, infuse the cooking process with great stories and or funny jokes. Fill the kitchen with good vibrations. When you eat, eat consciously. It is also important to add a word about the slaughter of animals for food. It’s a well-known fact that animals killed in a state of fear flood their muscles (meat) with stress hormones, which are then consumed when eaten. For this reason alone make a habit to eat free range meats when possible, as these animals tend to be sacrificed more humanly.

Links, Books and Movies Worth Noting:

I googled the words, “cooking with love” and of course, there is a website and book with this title. So… here is the link. Enjoy!

http://www.cookingwithlove.com/


Quote for the Day:

“Considering all of the additives, preservatives, pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, antibiotics, petrochemical fertilizers and hormones in our food supply these days, saying grace before a meal takes on a whole new meaning.” — Brian Luke Seaward

Photo for the Day:

I am going to lose points today for not having a photo of chocolate, I just know it, but I ate it all before I thought to photograph any. Oops. This photo was taken at the renowned Flagstaff House in Boulder and I can say with great certainty, that all meals are made with love as the essential ingredient. Bon Appetite!

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 (7e) and the forthcoming, A Beautiful World: The Earth Song Journals. He can be reached through his website: www.brianlukeseaward.net

© Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D.

A Meaningful Purpose and Health

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Current research reveals what intuition has suggested all along: Those people who have discovered and engaged in a meaningful purpose in life tend to live longer and for that matter, healthier lives. Conversely, those people who feel like their lives have no purpose tend to have many health related issues. And how can anyone forget that the vast majority of heart attacks are known to occur on Monday morning. The implication being that a lack of a meaningful purpose chokes the human spirit which then wrecks havoc in the body. A meaningful purpose in life, it should be noted, is the hallmark of spiritual well-being. It is fair to say that one’s health status is a complicated phenomenon. Yes, there are biological factors, and hereditary factors, even environmental factors. But let us not forget the health of the human spirit, which contributes so greatly to our physical health as well. When allowed to bring forth it’s vibrancy, the human spirit ignites every cell in the body to hum with happiness.

Stress Tip for the Day:

Time to take stock in your life today. What gives you meaning? Is it your family? Perhaps your job/career? Is it your passionate hobby? It makes no difference what it is, only that you have something passionate to live for. In the course of our lives, we will have many meaningful purposes. As one chapter closes we must become aware of what the next chapter will be, even if we have to write it ourselves. There are many spiritual luminaries who will tell you that accessing your meaningful purpose in life is THE most important aspect of being alive on the planet earth. So what is your passion? What matters most to you? Do you merely think about what matters or does your passion call you to do more than think about it; in essence act on it. A meaningful purpose in life calls you to engage in life. Take time to listen and answer to this call.

Links, Books and Movies Worth Noting:

While there are many, many books to suggest, if you have not read Victor Frankl’s classic book, Man’s Search for Meaning, please make it a point to read this book ASAP.

And while there are many movies that may inspire you, please consider viewing St. Ralph!

Quote for the Day:

“He who has a why to live can endure any how.” —Friedrich Nietzsche

Photo for the Day:

Today’s photo is an image I took of the Skogafoss Waterfall in Iceland. Though I may have already used this image in a previous blog entry, I think it’s worth looking at again. I hope you agree. 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 (7e) and the forthcoming, A Beautiful World: The Earth Song Journals. He can be reached through his website: www.brianlukeseaward.net

© Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D.

Malnutrition in America

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When you hear the world malnutrition, images of starving young children in Africa typically come to mind. In the richest country in the world, however, the word malnutrition takes on an entirely different meaning: Empty calories! It’s hard to imagine that in a country where obesity is nearing epidemic proportions, that the word malnutrition comes up, but along side obesity we have a HUGE problem with malnutrition. People may be stuffing their faces, but in actually starving their bodies. Processed foods, junk foods and comfort foods, while certainly convenient contain few if any vitamins and minerals, hence the expression “empty calories.” By denying your body these important nutrients, you are actually starving your body of the necessary nutrients for healthy metabolism. The human body has an amazing ability to compensate… to a point. Then all hell breaks loose with regard to the proper functioning of the cardio-vascular system, the immune system, the reproductive system and so on. The end result is a host of chronic diseases.

Stress Tip for the Day:

Make a habit to eat nutrient dense foods. Example: an apple is more nutrient dense than a Hostess Twinkee. An orange is more nutrient dense than a candy bar. You get the idea. Try to be more conscious about your food choices. It’s OK to have a dish of ice cream (once in a while). It’s OK to have chocolate, but not everyday at every meal. You get the idea. When in doubt, reach for fruit and veggies (organic if available). Make each meal a nutrient dense meal.

Links, Books and Movies Worth Noting:

Here are a few links for more info on this topic

Donna’s Top Ten Nutrient Dense “Super Foods”

http://tkranch.com/faq/nutrient-dense-foods.html

http://bruisedfruits.net/2814/nutrientdense-foods-diet.html

Quote for the Day:

“It shouldn’t be long before we see chocolate bars bearing FDA-approved health claims. (When we do, nutritionism will surely have entered its baroque phase.) Fortunately for everyone playing this game, scientists can find an antioxidant in just about any plant-based food they choose to study.” —Michael Pollan

Photo for the Day:

I could have taken a photo of junk food, but I didn’t have any in the house (healthy food boundaries) so to remind you the significance of empty calories I took a photo of an empty plate!

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 isthe 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 (7e) and the forthcoming, A Beautiful World: The Earth Song Journals. He can be reached through his website: www.brianlukeseaward.net

© Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D.

Avoiding Genetically Modified Organisms (GOM’s) Frankenfoods

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When Mary Shelley wrote her book, Frankenstein, she was making a philosophical statement about the grave dangers of technology (even back then, 100 years ago). Today, we have much greater dangers and many of these are in the foods we consume. Splicing a gene of a flounder fish into the DNA of a tomato to withstand lower temperatures is one such example (is it a vegetable or animal now?) Splicing genes of the herbicide Roundup into corn is another, and there are many, many more. A few years ago the EPA (note, not the FDA) banned some corn products because it was considered too toxic for human consumption, including Kellogg’s Corn Flakes and Taco John taco shells (moreover, many Monarch butterflies died on their migration route through the US as they fed on the corn pollen.) In fact, the biggest problem with GMO’d foods is food allergies, a problem which is skyrocketing as a health issue these days. That’s right, food is now a stressor to your body. Estimates suggest that over 70% of the foods sold in your local grocery store are “Franken-foods,” including corn and corn products (from chips and popcorn to high fructose corn syrup), to soy and soy products, tomatoes, canola oil, sugar beets (table sugar), salmon, pigs and much more. Europe has banned GMO’s. sadly, in this country they are not labeled as such. The politics of food in the US is very dicey (thank you, Monsanto Corporation!) The only way to know you are NOT eating GMO’d food is to buy and eat organic foods. Let the buyer beware!

Stress Tip for the Day:

Time for all of us to clean up our act about the foods we are eating. Your body will thank you. Begin by buying and eating more fruits and veggies, ORGANIC fruits and veggies. Next, if you do eat meat, try to opt for free-range meats. Cows are supposed to eat grasses, not corn. Corn, as we now know is GMO’d. The cows eat this and you eat the cows (hamburger, sirloin, etc.). These toxic chemicals are now in you (and often get stored in your fat tissue). Prefer to eat wild salmon rather than farm bred salmon. And please do yourself a favor and watch this TEDx talk: It may save your life:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KLjgBLwH3Wc&sns=fb


Links, Books and Movies Worth Noting:

There is no shortage of information on this topic, but if interested, I highly suggest you start with the book, Seeds of Deception, by Jeffry Smith. Here are a few more links of interest:

http://www.naturalnews.com/028245_GM_food_side_effects.html


http://www.invigorate360.com/reviews/top-10-dangers-of-genetically-modified-food/


http://www.businesspundit.com/10-genetically-modified-foods/


Quote for the Day:

“We have entered an era of genetically modified foods, which are just that — genetically mutated foods that are not necessarily better for you. The health implications not only to humans but also to the environment is a hotly contested debate; the introduction of genetically altered food could have serious consequences, such as allergic reactions and increased resistance to certain antibiotics. Two of the prime targets for genetic engineering — soy and corn — are America’s cash crops.”

—Brenda Watson and Leonard Smith, The Detox Strategy: Vibrant Health in 5 Easy Steps


Photo for the Day:

A cornfield in Colorado! Due to the strong winds these days, the pollen from GMO’d corn is now thought to contaminate ALL corn grown in the US, making a mockery of anything called “organic corn.” Just saying…

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 (7e) and the forthcoming, A Beautiful World: The Earth Song Journals. He can be reached through his website: www.brianlukeseaward.net

© Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D.

Embrace Your Shadow

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We all have a dark side. A side of us that is less than flattering. A side of us that can be rude, even offensive, and most definitely one that shows prejudice. This dark side is an aspect of the ego that, in moments of insecurity, brings others down to build itself up. Politics is filled with “shadows.” So is the workplace environment. Renowned psychologist Carl Jung referred to this aspect of ourselves as “The Shadow.” In moments of stress many people exploit their shadow. Abdicating the driver seat, they let the ego careen out of control with rude comments, racial slurs, inappropriate gestures and other less than civil behaviors that end up only causing more stress. These are NOT proud moments, but sadly, they are quite common in the human condition.Carl Jung was an advocate of embracing the shadow, not exploiting it. Through his writings and lectures he encouraged people to engage in personal reflection. In doing so, one examines these thoughts, feelings and behaviors and reflects on shedding light on this dark corner of the mind to raise one’s consciousness. This reflection process must be a daily event. It was his belief that by embracing the shadow; moving from a place of fear to love, one would train the ego to work through stress and rise above it.

Stress Tip for the Day:

How do you embrace your shadow? You can begin with a regular meditation practice. Learn to observe your thoughts, your feelings and reflect on past situations with a detached ego. What did you do? Why did you do it? Why did you REALLY do it? What was the underlying intention? What can you learn from it? How can you stop yourself from repeating this behavior? Embracing the ego does not mean to beat yourself up for past behaviors. It means to domesticate the ego so that you can learn from these experiences and move on. Much like polishing a gemstone, there is friction in the observations and pain in the remembrance of our less than desirable behaviors. But when a gemstone is polished, is a beautiful sight to behold. Take time today (and everyday) to embrace your shadow. In doing so you will find a deep-seated comfort that will prove immeasurable the rest of your life.

Links, Books and Movies Worth Noting:

If you wish to read more about the concept of the shadow, here are a few more links:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shadow_(psychology)

http://ieric2010.hubpages.com/hub/Carl-Jung-and-the-Shadow-An-Introduction


Quote for the Day:

“There is no coming to consciousness without pain. People will do anything; no matter how absurd, in order to avoid facing their own soul. One does not become enlightened by imaging figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious.” —Carl Gustav Jung

Photo for the Day:

Perhaps there is no better metaphor for the shadow than a lunar eclipse. This series of photos was taken last December during the early morning lunar eclipse, where Earth’s shadow covered the moon. Enjoy!

PS. Even the earth’s shadow over the moon is very brief.

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 (7e) and the forthcoming, A Beautiful World: The Earth Song Journals. He can be reached through his website: www.brianlukeseaward.net

© Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D.

This Moment Called Now

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In the course of everyday stress, it is quite easy to become flooded, if not haunted by thoughts and feelings of the past… or anxiety of what may occur in the future. Becoming lost in the past or future robs us of the present moment; truly a divine time zone. I received an email over the weekend with news that a dear friend had passed away; a fatal heart attack. He died while on a Celtic music themed cruise ship in the Caribbean. Tom was one who loved traditional Celtic music. He lived for it. And he died doing what he loved. Surrounded in the vibrations of Celtic fiddles, penny whistles, guitars, banjos and Uilleann pipes, there was only this moment called now for Tom, and he taught us this in many ways. The news of the loss of a loved one can bring up many emotions, not the least of which includes grief, regret, anger, sorrow and doubt. While all of these emotions are valid, let us not forget to live in the moment. Living in the moment means to enjoy the stimulation of all the senses, whether it be music, food, art, roses or the wisp of wind through your hair. Living in the moment means to be present with your thoughts and feelings as you experience these sensations. Living in the present moment means to live life without regrets. A full heart is a happy heart.

Stress Tip for the Day:

Living in the present moment is the true nature of mindfulness. And living in the present moment includes vanquishing feelings of guilt (past) and fears (future) that rob us of the present moment. When you consider all the wasted time on guilt and worry you begin to realize just how precious the present moment really is. The news of one’s death becomes a time to gain perspective on what is important. So today, take time to be grateful for what you have (starting with the gift of sight, sound, taste, touch and smell). Ask for forgiveness from those you may have hurt, forgive others for their inappropriate actions, tell close friends and family you love them, because you never know when your last moment might be. Enjoy the present moment; truly it is all we really have.

Links, Books and Movies Worth Noting:

Perhaps there is no better way to honor Tom Piggot’s love of Irish music, not to mention his velvet Irish tenor voice, than to share this video of him singing the song, The Parting Glass. Enjoy!

Quote for the Day:


Death is nothing at all.

It does not count.

I have only slipped away into the next room

Everything remains as it was.

—Irish Saying (shared by Anne Kearney, thanks Anne)

Photo for the Day:

One of Tom Piggot’s favorite places in Ireland was the Cliffs of Moher. In his honor, I selected this image as a tribute to him. Tom you are beautiful soul and the world will be a lesser place without you. Thanks for your great love of Irish music, Irish people, the beauty of the Emerald Isle and your passion to share this with all you encountered along the “enchanted way.” Safe home, my friend!

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 (7e) and the forthcoming, A Beautiful World: The Earth Song Journals. He can be reached through his website: www.brianlukeseaward.net

© Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D.

Entrainment: What Everyone Should Know

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When two fireflies land on the same branch, they begin to flash their lights in unison, like lit bulbs on a Christmas tree. Birds of a feather often fly in unison (entrainment). It’s a well-known fact that (some) women who live together or work together begin to have their menstrual period on or about the same time. The science behind the physiology is called “entrainment” and it comes to us from the field of physics. When two objects of like vibration are in close proximity, the object of lesser (weaker) vibration will begin to match the object of stronger vibration. Noted scientist Christiaan Huygens discovered this with pendulum clocks centuries ago. It’s now a law of physics Entrainment is best described as the conservation of energy. We learn from the field of quantum physics that everything is comprised of energy. Our bodies (not just the physical, but mental, emotional and spiritual bodies) entrain to various vibrations in our surroundings, from high-tension power lines (known to promote cancer) to cell phones (also associated with cancer) to music. Cancer cells vibrate at a different oscillation than healthy cells. Understanding a little more about entrainment is advantageous to your health. And…by understanding the concept of entrainment, you begin to have a better appreciation for the concepts of harmony and coherence, not just poetic concepts, but ideals in which to live your life. Stated simply, stress is the opposite of harmony!

Stress Tip for the Day:

Have you ever heard the expression; the tension was so think you could cut it with a knife? What you are sensing is the vibration of stress. Today become more aware of your surroundings by taking time to sense the energy, including your workspace, people (and their emotions), even food (does it contain a healthy vibration? Hint: processed foods have little if any healthy vibrations.) Music is a great way to entrain the mind into a state of relaxation, but the best music is instrumental and the best instrumental music for relaxation is that which is a bit slower (which is why classical music works). At the end of the day, turn off the TV and computer and put on some headphones and entrain to some soothing vibrations….of tranquility.

Links, Books and Movies Worth Noting:

Perhaps the best book to add to your library about this topic is the landmark book by Robert Becker called Cross Currents. To this we could add the classic book, Vibrational Medicine by Richard Gerber.

Below is a link of a video shot near the river Shannon in Ireland of some starlings flying in a cloud… Entrainment from our feathered friends….enjoy!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CEgSlRarcC8&feature=colike

Quote for the Day:

“When the universe is in harmony with man, the eternal truth is known and felt as beauty.” —Tagore

“Gracefulness has been defined to be the outward expression of the inward harmony of the soul.” — William Hazlitt

Photo for the Day:

Well, I don’t have any photos of fireflies, but if you ever saw the movie Winged Migration then you know that birds (even fish for that mater) use the law of entrainment. Here is a photo of some birds in flight… And by the way, Happy Groundhog’s Day.

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 (7e) and the forthcoming, A Beautiful World: The Earth Song Journals. He can be reached through his website: www.brianlukeseaward.net

© Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D.

Stress … and Allergies

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I read several years ago of a study done at Harvard. The purpose of the study was to determine if stress had any affect on allergies. Turns out it does, quite significantly. The more stressed you are, the greater your reaction to allergens. When people who showed an allergic response to a host of things (e.g., cats, pollen, dust, etc.) were taught various relaxation methods, including meditation, and then exposed to the same allergens, there was no (or very little) allergic response. It was concluded that the stress hormones greatly aggravate the body’s allergic response. The take home message is that relaxation techniques are essential to maintain a sense of homeostasis. On a similar note, I read with great interest today of a recent study reported that exposure to plastic compounds (known as PFC’s), found in Teflon coatings, fast food containers, microwave popcorn bags, even stain resistant carpeting,, etc., have a negative impact on kid’s immune systems, particularly the effects of vaccinations. YIKES! The conclusions of this new study suggest sthat these chemicals may be weakening the entire immune system; most likely not just in children, but in everyone.

Stress Tip for the Day:

Take time each day to sit quietly and relax. Listen to soft instrumental music. Close your eyes and focus on your breathing. Sit still for 5- 10 minutes each morning and clear your head. Release your fears, anxieties and frustrations with each breath. As you do this, you will see that you have an inner strength that will guide you through the day. Additionally, make a habit to remove as much plastic in your life as possible, from the way you prepare your food to the toilet seats and clothes you wear (opt for cotton and wool over synthetic polymers made from petroleum products). Honor your immune system today!

Links, Books and Movies Worth Noting:

Last year I picked up a book called Plastic: A Toxic Love Story. I HIGHLY recommend reading this book to become more educated about the dangers of repeated exposure to these petroleum products so prevalent in our lives.

Here are some links for more information about stress and allergies:

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/08/080814154327.htm

http://www.everydayhealth.com/allergies/can-stress-worsen-allergies.aspx

Quote for the Day:

“The difference between an itch and an allergy is about one hundred dollars.” —Anonymous

Photo for the Day:

I took this photo for my college textbook section on pet therapy. Many people are allergic to cats (it appears to be something in the cat’s saliva which is found on the cat’s coat when they wash themselves… Be sure to wash your hands before you touch your face. Equally important, be sure to meditate, if you are allergic to cats…and see what happens.

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 (7e) and the forthcoming, A Beautiful World: The Earth Song Journals. He can be reached through his website: www.brianlukeseaward.net

© Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D.