Thank You Life (by Gary van Warmerdam)

Thank you for this Breath
Thank you for this Inhale
Thank you for this Exhale
Thank you for this Life

Thank you Heart
Thank you for this Pounding
Thank you for this Pulsing
Thank you for this Love

Thank you Feet
Thank you for this Walk
Thank you for this Run
Thank you for the Dancing

Thank you Eyes
Thank you for the Sunrise
Thank you for the Sunset
Thank you for all the Colors

Thank you Ears
Thank you for the Music
Thank you for the Rhythm
And thank you for the Stillness

Thank you Hands
Thank you for the Caressing
Thank you for the Clapping
And thank you for the Holding

Thank you Mouth
Thank you for the Nourishment
Thank you for the Wine
Thank you for the Kisses

Thank you Nose
Thank you for the Flowers
Thank you for the Pines
Thank you for the Sniffles

Thank you Arms and Shoulders
Thank you for the Carrying
Thank you for the Burdening
And thank you for the Hugging

Thank you Voice
Thank you for the Expression
Thank you for the Word
Thank you for the Gift of Creation

Thank you for this Day
Thank you for the Light
Thank you for the Stars
Thank you for the Night

Thank you Self
Thank you for the Laughter
Thank you for the Play
Thank you for You

Thank you for the Emotions
Thank you for the Joys
Thank you for the Tears and Sorrows
Thank you for the Richness

Thank you…

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Food For Thought

  • “The only Zen you find on the tops of mountains is the Zen you bring up there.” – Robert M. Pirsig
  • “If I could define enlightenment briefly I would say it is ‘the quiet acceptance of what is’.” – Wayne Dyer
  • “Waking up this morning, I smile. Twenty-four brand new hours are before me. I vow to live fully in each moment and to look at all beings with the eyes of compassion.” – Thich Nhat Hanh
  • “Be soft. Do not let the world make you hard. Do not let pain make you hate. Do not let the bitterness steal your sweetness. Take pride that even though the rest of the world may disagree, you still believe it to be a beautiful place.” – Kurt Vonnegut
  • “Often the pain we feel is the breaking of the shell that encloses us.” – Baron Baptiste
  • “He who lives in harmony with himself lives in harmony with the world.” – Marcus Aurelius
  • “We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.” – Maya Angelou
  • “Imagine that every person in the world is…

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My 15 Favorite Meditations

We’re in the middle of a discussion about meditation. I’ve been setting you up for this for months, explaining the various health benefits of meditating and becoming parasympathetic. Now, are you ready? Below I’ve explained the fifteen most common exercises I practice on my meditation cushion. I recommend choosing one and sticking with it for five to twenty minutes. Like I always say, start on the short end and gradually work your way up to longer periods of meditating.

Breathe in and out through your nostrils and keep your eyes gently closed (unless otherwise specified). My meditation instructor, Victor Parachin, recommends doing yoga and meditation in a two-to-one ratio; for example, stretch for twenty minutes and then meditate for ten. Typically when I meditate, I start with a simple phrase, such as saying to myself “in” as I inhale and “out” as I exhale. After a few minutes of that (once my mind has calmed down a bit), I then transition into a different meditative exercise. There are thousands to choose from, but here are just a few of my favorites:

  1. Count your inhalations/exhalations: Take a nice, long, deep breath in and out through the nose and then…
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The Importance of Self-Care

Self-care: two four-letter words. Taking care of ourselves is a foreign concept that’s often given a bad rap because it’s labeled “selfish” and thus invokes feelings of blame and guilt. This is indeed something that we all tend to struggle with. From what I’ve noticed, the problem seems to be two-fold; first, it seems like we don’t understand how valuable we are and second, our schedules are much too busy. We become our last priority because there is always 148 other things to do (most of which have a dead line or due date).

I’ve known most of you for a while now. I can verify that you are a priceless masterpiece that is amazing, strong, worthy, beautiful, unique, capable, magnificent, talented, admirable, likable, and wonderful. That being said, you need to treat yourself with the utmost acceptance, honor, dignity, respect, kindness, and appreciation. (When you think like this, you’ll automatically take care of yourself. Knowing our value naturally leads to self-care.)

Taking care of yourself isn’t about partaking in certain activities (i.e. yoga and meditation); self-care is going to look different for everyone, but it’s always centered around forming a commitment, adopting a new mindset, and starting…

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Creating Sacred Space in Your Home

As a holistic practitioner, I look at the whole person when they walk through my front door. We are much more complex than just what meets the eye. As a result of my interest in helping people in all aspects of their lives, it’s not uncommon to indulge in discussions of religion and spirituality.

Creating sacred space in your home is something that anyone can do, regardless of your religious beliefs (or lack thereof). This is something that is personal to you. I’m going to simply define sacred space as a part of your home/life that is filled with meaningful things that touch you, inspire you, and motivate you to live a life of love and compassion.

The concept is that your sacred space is going to externally reflect what you’ve already internally cultivated. By creating sacred space, you are dedicating an area of your home for spiritual practices such as yoga, meditation, journaling, prayer, worship, chanting/singing, reflection, introspection, surrender, etc.

Sacred space doesn’t have to be an elaborate self-standing altar or shrine filled with ornate statues and decor; it could be as simple as placing a photo of a loved one next to a thought-provoking quote on…

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Meditation 101

As someone who combats stress on a professional level, I have quite a bit to say about the subject. I could easily fill this newsletter with a dozen very practical, very helpful tips on learning how to unwind, de-stress, and relax. This is such an important topic because it’s been estimated that stress is responsible for up to 80% of disease; that’s a pretty staggering statistic.

Dr. Don Colbert says in his book Deadly Emotions, “Stress is not about events and experiences nearly so much as it is about a person’s perception of the circumstances that occur in his or her life. A person’s stress level has to do with what a person believes.” (pg. 22). One of my gurus (Dr. Wayne Dyer) says, “There is no stress in the world, only people thinking stressful thoughts.” Minor stress symptoms, such as headaches and heartburn, cannot be ignored. Before long, you may experience major symptoms such as heart failure or stroke. At that point, it may be too late to turn your life around. Now that we see the link between our mind (which dictates our stress level) and our physical and emotional health (which is tremendously affected by stress), don’t…

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