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Showing posts from January, 2016

Spiritual Wellness

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Garden Labyrinth  (c) 2015 LMRN
On college campuses across our nation, the awareness that students, in order to learn and achieve, need wellness of mind, body AND spirit has increased.  For years, college administrators, especially in state run schools, have pushed for excellence in curriculum and provided various ways to maintain the physical wellness of students, but found promoting spiritual wellness unnecessary.
Today, many colleges and universities actually have departments in which "Wellness" is not only taught, but promoted among both students and staff.  A great example of this is found at the University of New Hampshire. There, Spiritual Wellness is explained, taught and promoted.  
Some examples of ways that they encourage students and staff to maintain their Spiritual Wellness is by walking labyrinths,  creating mandalas, meditating and doing yoga. (The college provides all of these modalities on campus.) 
Signs of Spiritual Wellness include: 
Development of a purpose i…

Hibernating with Bear Spirit

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Photo Credit: Public Domain Image 
Bears hibernate. We learn this as young children in fairy tales, folklore and picture books.  When winter comes, bears find a nice cozy cave and sleep the winter months away...well, sort of.
The fact is that hibernation doesn't mean that bears "sleep."  They go into a state known as "torpor," from which they can wake quickly and easily if need be. The state of consciousness that bears enter is more akin to the meditative state of a practiced yogi.  The bears bodily functions slow down, but if they need to wake, they can and do.
Bears teach us a great lesson in caring for ourselves. Like the bear, we, too, need to have periods of total rest. Times when we slow everything down so that we can process all that has happened, heal and return to balance. Each winter, I remember this - seems easier to remember when it is cold, icy and snowy outside.  Each winter, the call of Bear Spirit invites me to "hibernate."
How can humans …

A Healthy Self

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photo credit: Linda M. Rhinehart Neas (c) 2015
In order to have balanced health, we must be healthy in mind, body and spirit. Low self-esteem keeps many from this balance.  Low self-esteem is like a fog that descends upon us, keeping us from seeing what lies ahead, what possibilities exist.  

Where does low self-esteem come from?  Most commonly, it is the result of insidious emotional abuse from childhood, although, happy children can fall into emotionally abusive adult relationships that destroy their self-esteem, also. According to the United Nations' World's Women Report 2015, over 47 percent of women in the United States have experienced some form of emotional (also termed psychological) abuse in their lifetimes. 

The biggest reason for this form of abuse is that it is cyclical. The abused becomes the abuser, over and over again. Healthy behavior isn't modeled and isn't known. Sadly, many people don't understand that abuse can be emotional. They have been trained …

For Everything There Is a Season

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"For everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven:" Ecc 3:1

Recently, I heard this beautiful folk song again after many years. What it reminded me was that we live in a world of duality - Yin and Yang.  We cannot have one without the other.  Too much of one thing and not enough of the other causes gross imbalance, as we have seen in our world today.  So, as the Ancestors have told us, from every culture on the planet, that we must strive to walk the middle way, strive to maintain balance, strive to stay on center.

In meditating on this, I came to see that I was working too much. Each day I "played" less and less. My health has not been great recently. I wondered at the connection, but not for long, because I know that stress weakens our immune system and I was stressed.  

What to do? First, I evaluated what I HAD to do and what I could let go of - WOW!  What a weight off my shoulders when I did that!  Second, I looked at what brought me joy,…

New Beginnings

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Photo Credit: Linda M. Rhinehart Neas © 2015
As the sunrises on this first day of the new year, what new beginnings will find you waiting?  For me, I want to begin this year striving towards becoming healthier in mind, body and spirit.  
Over the past several years, I have gained unwanted weight, not quite finished about 4 books and felt a sad disconnect to Spirit.  As of today, I want to become more mindful of what I eat, what I read/watch/ think about and increase my daily spiritual practice of more than a fleeting check-in.
Not sure how I will do all this...perhaps you have some suggestions? If so, leave me a comment to consider. 
May all our new beginnings be blessed with bounty.  Namasté!