Why should I be thankful for my body? ~ Patricia

Patricia, Most of us go to work, eat, sleep and live our entire lives without thanking our body for the miraculous work it does. You should be thankful to your body because it works very hard for you; your heart beats 3.3 billion times in your lifetime, you breathe 6 quarts of air every minute, and you expel 1,000 pounds of feces a year. Recent research had proven the critical nature of the mind-body connection, demonstrating that each cell of your body has an intelligence that is in constant communication with the master intelligence in the brain. Stop for a moment, take an inner tour of your body, and express how grateful you are for all the support.Your brain stem and your heart were the first organs formed in your mother's body. Your heart and your brain have been working since your conception, day and night, year after year. Thank your organs in your body for the gift of life, especially when your body has been assaulted by drugs, alcohol, food, sleep deprivation, diets, depression, stress, anxiety, and the environment. Begin with the top of your head and move down organ by organ. Continue this process, acknowledging and showing gratitude for every organ and system of your body. 

How do I start journaling? ~ Kelli

Kelli, Research shows us there are health benefits to writing your thoughts, emotions, and experiences down on paper. To begin journaling: Choose the best time of day to journal. Take five minutes in the carpool line, when you get back from lunch, or before you go to bed. If you have more time, journal more; if not, make it a disciplined practice to do it for a few minutes once a day.Choose a journal that you love. You may want to keep one at work, one in your car, and one in your drawer by your bed so you can use it at a free moment in your busy life. I keep a beautiful one by my bed and a small one in my purse. You can use your laptop for the quick and easy journaling or your thoughts and feelings. Write your intimate authentic feelings about the experiences in your life. Writing the words helps take pain, grief, and anger out of your body.Write continuously and don't worry about your grammar, spelling, or punctuation.You may feel more expressive of your feelings by drawing instead of using words. 

How do I take a cleansing breath? ~ Adriane

Adriane, To take a cleansing breath:Inhale deeply into your belly, through the nose (if you can't, use your mouth), bringing the air deeply into the lower lobes of your lungs. As you do this your abdomen will rise. On your out breath, your abdomen will sink back into your spine.Be aware of your ribs. Experience your rib cage expanding and contracting with each deep breath.Inhale to the count of five, and then hold for a moment and then exhale to the count of five.Notice how clear your mind feels, how refreshed your body feels, and what strength and power you experience. Set an alarm or have reminders on your mirror, in your car, or at your desk to take cleansing breaths during your busy days and don't forget to pass it on to your children, spouse, and coworkers. It is the gift of life, literally.

What is apathy? ~ Lorie

Lorie, Apathy is a real death sentence to your life. When you just don't have curiosity, don't care, and don't get involved in life, you are dead. Apathy is seductive because you just sit on the sidelines of life, criticize others, and do nothing. Whatever philosophy, spirituality, or religion you espouse, none of them honor apathy. Apathy is living as a zombie in a dynamic, exciting world. The most horrible events and injustices in the world can occur under the guise of apathy. Remember apathy is the opposite of love.

How can I stop worrying? ~ Maya

Maya, Worry is negative guided imagery. When we allow our minds to imagine what "could" happen, it is nothing more than negative guided imagery. Our worries are not real, but worrying will rob you of your life. The fact is most of your worries will never happen, and worrying will only keep you living in a state of fear and uncertainty. Worry creates incredible stress chemicals and will make you sick. Wouldn't you rather live in a state of confidence and happiness? Every time you worry, stop immediately and say a one-to-five word affirmation to stop this nasty habit. Worry is nothing but a bad habit that does nothing good for your life. When I began to worry, I smile and say, "I am so grateful for my life." Gratitude is an antidote to worry.

What is living from the inside out? ~ Hailey

Hailey, I have come to see that the path to one's true Self comes from living from the inside out. It is the keystone teaching of all the great religious and spiritual teachers throughout time. Whether it is Jesus, Buddha, Lao Tsu, Confucius, Mohammad, Gandhi, Thoreau, Emerson, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Mother Teresa, Father Thomas Keating, or a host of other great holy leaders, their teachings can be distilled down into one basic message: Look within, listen, and live from your center.The Bible, the Torah, the Koran, and Upanishads, the Vedas, the I Ching, the Discourses of Buddha, the Midrash, and the Bhagavad Gita - all of the seminal religious texts in our world - are grounded in teaching us how to live from the inside out. Each sacred text may have different nuances, diverse methods, and varied perspectives on how to live from the inside out, but the essential message is the same.Not only is this message found in the minds of great teachers and the sacred texts, we also see it reflected in nature and science. Every tree has heartwood at its center every organic system evolves from the inside out. All species share in the awe-inspiring design of this magnificent universe.Living from the inside out is the only way to find balance and truly experience an authentic sense of happiness in our lives. As we individually, and as a community, define true happiness, it must be grounded in a commitment to organically living from our core - that sacred space of vital energy and unlimited potential. Clearly our world, our families, and our selves cannot be sustained if we do not choose, on every level of our lives, to live from the inside out. We must become intimate with ourselves and be happy and in balance inside ourselves, before we can truly experience happiness with another person, our families, or our communities.When you choose to live from the inside out beginning from this very moment, our planet will shift from what it is now an unsustainable dying system, to a flourishing and sustainable system for every part of our human family and for every forest, river, and bird on Earth.

How can I find direction in life? ~ Lauren

Lauren, We have our own inner global positioning system (GPS). When we choose to accept responsibility for our own happiness, we become aware of our internal compass. Our internal GPS will guide us. We can choose to be more aware of internal GPS, pay attention, and then choose the direction of our life. Just like the GPS in our automobiles, we are given the information, we are guided, but we are not forced to follow or listen to the directions. We don't have to turn where the GPS tells us to turn, we always have free will. It is our guide, our beacon, our light calling us to live an intentional life. We can ignore it, and many of us do. Our internal GPS is programmed in the direction of happiness. The destination is already keyed in, it is certain. We can trust the process with confidence.You may go down some bumpy roads, travel through uncertain weather, but just listen to the voice on your inner GPS, follow the map. There are certain things that can damage your trust of your inner GPS. These are shame, fear and anger, they create uncertainty and chaos.

What is my authentic self? ~ Brooke

Brooke, Your authentic Self is when you feel at one with your Self and your experience. You experience a sense of energy, power, and connection. The ancients used to call this "the place of knowing." You "know" you are aware and fully present. This is an experience of fullness and communion. It feels as if you are living in a state of grace. It is your original Self before you were influenced by the effects of your primary family, society, school, and other experiences that began to define and shape your life.Many of us have experienced fleeting moments of our authentic Self. For you, it may have been when you were passionately lost while reading a book, having no sense of time or place because the story was so real. Maybe you were playing the piano, while your fingers were playing a score and your body and soul were the music. Or, were you writing an essay with your heart, and noticed your fingers trembling as you became the words? Close your eyes for a moment, take a deep breath, and journey back to your childhood. Remember a time or a place where you felt a communion and connection with your authentic Self. Do you remember experiencing confidence, peace, and power? If you recognize that place of bliss you were at home with your authentic Self.