5 Tips To Stay Fit While Traveling

After a recent trip to Tampa, Florida attending fitness seminars for 5 days and hanging out with guys like Craig Ballantyne of Men’s Health magazine and fitness icon Shawn Phillips, I started to pick up on some of the secrets these guys use to stay in awesome shape even while traveling.

1. Workout No Matter What. After a busy 5 days of sitting on my butt in meetings and seminars I still managed to workout 4 out of the 5 days while in Florida. Which is even more than I workout at home!

The first day I got together with some fellow trainers and we trained together in the hotel gym. It wasn’t very big but had enough to get a great workout using our bodyweight and a few dumbbells.

Then the next day along we all headed to the local Powerhouse gym to get a great workout in a more upbeat gym atmosphere.

Whether it’s a quick hotel room bodyweight workout, a hotel gym workout or a Powerhouse gym workout, just make sure you do some exercise while traveling to offset all the sitting down on airplanes and in meetings.

2. All You Can Eat. The great thing about traveling to new cities is experiencing new places to eat. But if you’re not careful you could be paying the airline’s extra weight on the way home, and I am not talking about your luggage…

So do what all the fit trainers did every morning to start their day off right; eat a nutritious breakfast. Even though our hotel served a FREE buffet breakfast every morning, most everyone who is in great shape skipped the bacon and breads and had a huge freshly prepared omelet stuffed with veggies with a little fruit on the side, me included. Keep lunch small with a salad or whole grain wrap so you don’t get sleepy during the afternoon meetings, and enjoy a nice dinner with some lean meat and veggies and even a glass of wine.

3. Drink Up. I don’t mean spend your nights at the hotel bar getting sloshed. I mean drink lots of cold refreshing water. It will keep you full and focused and your mind off the donuts and croissants sitting across the conference table.

It’s really easy to drink lots of H2O during these hotel conferences as they usually serve you pitchers of water in your meeting rooms and in the big conference rooms. Just to be sure you always have water on hand, pick up a couple of litres of spring water at the hotel gift shop and keep on ice in your room.

4. Ditch the Cab. If you are up for some sight seeing or heading to a nearby restaurant for dinner, ditch the cab fare, get some directions and walk there instead. Google Maps on your smart phone works great for this! Walking is a great way to see a new city and burn some calories. Strolling back to the hotel after dinner is a great way to end the evening and ease the guilt from that decadent dessert.

You can also try to find a park or gym a couple miles away and walk or run there to get your heart pumping and your warmup out of the way.

5. Recharge. If you’re traveling solo, staying at a hotel is a great way to get some extra rest and relaxation. You get the bed to yourself, and you have no worries of the kids jumping in the bed at the wee hours of the morning.

It’s also a great time to catch up on some work or read that book you have been trying to get through. A dip in the hotel pool and a hot sauna afterwards might be just what you need to recharge your batteries before you get back on the road.

So there you have it, The 5 Best Ways To Stay Fit While Traveling so you still recognize yourself in the mirror when you get home…

20 Meditation Tips For Beginners

Although a good number of people try meditation at some point in their lives, only a small percentage actually persist with it.

This is unfortunate, as the benefits are enormous. One possible reason is that many beginners do not start with an appropriate mindset to make the practice

The purpose of this article is to provide 20 practical recommendations to help beginners get past the initial hurdles and integrate meditation as an ongoing practice in their lives.

1: Make it a formal practice. Set aside a time in the day that is your meditation practice time.

2: Only meditate for as long as you are enjoying it. It is especially important in the beginning that meditation is not a chore.

3: Do yoga or stretch first. Firstly physical activity will draw your own awareness into the body and away from your mind. A practice like yoga loosens the muscles and tendons allowing you to sit more comfortably.

Additionally, yoga opens the body not only at the physical level but also
at subtle level, which facilitates movement of energy in the body.

4: Pick a specific location in your home to meditate. Ideally the place you choose will be somewhere that does not have much activity at other times. Two reasons for doing this are, the subconscious is conditioned by repetition, so by going to the same place at the same time each day to meditate you can get in yourself to expect to meditate when you are there.

The second reason is that when you meditate you begin to create a particular vibration in that spot. With time and meditation and place will become increasingly attuned to this energy of meditation, again making it easier for you to meditate when you are there.

5: Make sure your will meditation time is respected. if you live with others make sure that they understand that you are not to be disturbed while you are meditating. Equally for yourself make the same commitment, for example if your phone should ring, be aware of it and continue your meditation.

6: Create some representation of sacred space in your meditations spot. This should obviously be what is meaningful for you, maybe an actual altar with pictures and objects, or maybe just a special rug and your meditation cushion.

7: Use ritual if it helps you. This doesn’t have to be elaborate it could be as simple as lighting a candle, or a lighting incense. The repetition of a ritual before you
meditate, is again conditioning preparation for your body and mind.

8: Commit for the long haul. When you begin with the clear idea in your mind that the greatest benefits from meditation will accumulate with time, and see it as an
ongoing process, you are less likely to give up in frustration.

9: Meditate with understanding. Get clear in your mind exactly what you think meditation is and what it will be like before you start. Invariably everybody does have ideas and expectations like this, it is very helpful to make them conscious before you start.

10: Be clear of your motivation to begin meditation. When you understand your reasons and objectives in beginning meditation you are more likely to find a practice or technique that will work for you at that time.

11: Begin with a particular practice that you have actively chosen and commit to doing it for a given time period. Many beginners are constantly jumping from one to type or technique of meditation to another. Your meditation practice is a relationship with yourself, it will not deepen if it consists of one night stands.

This is not to say that the practice or technique you begin with is the one you stay with for the rest of your life, but a relationship is best left when you know exactly why it is that you are leaving, and not done simply on an impulse.

12: Educate yourself. Confusion and misunderstanding is primarily caused by ignorance. Find a good teacher, or online community where you can get answers. Read some books on meditation and spiritual practice.

13: Notice if frustration starts to creep into your practice. If you notice this happening take some time to explore what is going on for you, what expectation is not being fulfilled. Then examine the expectation itself, what is it based on.

14: Be honest with yourself. As I said meditation is a relationship with yourself, you are the most important person you need to be straightforward with, and meditation
is a key place to practice this.

15: Be prepared for some discomfort. It is normal in the beginning to experience some physical discomfort when sitting to meditate. Most people are not accustomed to sitting still, other than maybe slouched on a couch. Your
body needs time to develop strength and openness in the right places to allow you to sit comfortably and alert.

Sooner or later discomfort will also be experienced at the emotional and mental levels. If you are not consciously prepared for this it is likely to deter you from continuing.

16: Until you are well versed in your meditation practice it can be very beneficial to use a recording to guide you. This will help your mind to let go of concern about what you are doing, and the recording can act as a guide until you no longer need it.

17: Start to look for moments of awareness during the day. Finding space to be consciously present during everyday activities is a wonderful way to evolve your meditation practice.

Take advantage, of the time spent waiting in traffic, waiting in line, waiting for anything, to become present to yourself and what you are experiencing within
yourself. Look for such opportunities in your day, however brief, simple as they are taken radically change or experience of life.

18: Do it together. Meditating with a partner or group can have many wonderful benefits, and can improve your practice. When meditating with others many people say that it improves the quality of their meditation. However, it is necessary to make sure that you set agreed-upon ground rules before you begin.

19: Don’t stress about it. This may be the most important tip for beginners, and the hardest to implement. Many people in beginning meditation become anxious about whether they are doing it right or not, or whether something they experience should be happening or not. The article, meditation is practice, goes into more detail regarding this.

20: Invest in a good, comfortable meditation cushion. If you need other things to allow your body to sit comfortably in without strain, get them. If you set yourself up with the things that you need, you are removing a future potential pitfall to your practice.

Meditation is one of the greatest gifts that you can give yourself, like any lasting and meaningful relationship it takes energy and commitment, it takes understanding and tolerance.

If you put these things in to your practice meditation will become your best friend, and powerful resource.

3 Reasons Why Your Personal Growth Can Make or Break Your Love Relationship or Marriage

Ellen feels as if her life is in pieces. Her relationship with her husband Rob is usually strained and distant. Her work is dull and doesn’t pay much. And her friends aren’t all that much fun to be around– when she actually makes the time to go out with them.

Even though Ellen knows it’s past time for her to make some improvements to her life, she can’t even think about how to begin. It seems that if she chooses to work on herself, her marriage will suffer. But if she focuses in on her marriage, what happens to her own personal growth?

Believe it or not, the improvements that you make on a personal and individual level can exponentially improve your love relationship or marriage.

The beauty of it is that your personal growth can soar along with positive changes that you make in your relationship too.

It’s all inter-connected…mostly because both of these relationships involve you.

You and you, as well as you and your partner.

Even if this isn’t news to you, it’s likely that some of the time you forget this important point.

Too often, people get overwhelmed. They see too many habits and dynamics that they’d like to work on in their lives, but they feel like they have to choose.

The quandary can seem to be: “It’s me or my relationship.”

How wonderful to be reminded that you truly don’t have to choose.

Here’s why some people feel torn…

Let’s say that Ellen has decided to take a self-empowerment class. She is hesitant to tell Rob because she guesses that he’ll react negatively– and he does. Rob tells her that he’s concerned about the money and the time that she’ll be away from home. This cramps his style because it means that he has to be home alone with their young children one evening a week for the duration of the class.

Inside, Rob is also worried about what being more “self-empowered” will mean for Ellen. Will she be angry all of the time? Will she make more demands of him? Will she eventually leave him?

Ellen and Rob have created a scenario in which neither of them can grow and neither of them can flourish.

But it doesn’t have to be this way.

Personal growth can and does have beneficial effects on love relationships and marriages.

Here are just a few examples…

*Self esteem translates into greater mutual respect.
What do most couples want from one another? Well, there are a lot of things. Among the complaints that many people make about their partners, one is that they don’t feel respected.

Guess what?

In the majority of relationships, not only is there weak communication of respect between the two people, but there is also lagging self-respect within each individual.

Notice that I said “weak communication of respect.” This is because no matter how much your mate might respect you, it’s impossible to hear his or her expressions of that respect when you don’t believe it about yourself.

You have to feel it about yourself in order to hear it from your partner. Conversely, you need to feel secure about your own self worth to not feel threatened or less than your mate.

In both cases, the stronger and healthier your own self esteem, the more aware you both will be of the respect that is felt for one another.

*When your partner isn’t your everything, you two are freer to be more to one another.
In her book, Committed: A Skeptic Makes Peace with Marriage, Elizabeth Gilbert writes about the virtual epidemic of dissatisfied married people in the U.S.

By comparing approaches to marriage in the U.S. with those of other cultures– particularly those in developing nations– Gilbert comes to the conclusion that women in the U.S. expect their husbands to be everything for them.

Lover, co-parent, best friend, emotional support, financial support, etc.: the expectations that American women have of their husbands (or long-term boyfriends) is huge when compared with the more limited expectations that women in other cultures have of their men.

I agree with Gilbert that not all heterosexual relationships in the U.S. involve such all-encompassing expectations. The constraints on women (and men) in some developing countries is not preferable to the relative freedoms that women in the U.S enjoy– particularly when it comes to marriage.

The point here is that when a woman or man expects his or her partner to be EVERYTHING, disappointment is sure to follow. Nobody can be your everything.

Make consistently connecting with your mate a priority. At the same time, be willing to reach out to friends, extended family, your spiritual community, your book club or your soccer team to fulfill particular needs.

This actually allows you to come to your partner already feeling filled up and more available to share in the joy and love that you have for one another.

*When you keep discovering yourself, there’s always something exciting to discover in your partner.
There’s a commonly held belief that after a period of time, a couple will settle in together and the passion and spark will die down– or die out completely.

Many people assume this to be true and they come to terms with this being a reality for them.

The real truth is this…

The spark between you and your partner may change and fluctuate over time, but it does not have to dwindle or die. You can keep the passion hot between you and your mate by staying open to your own personal growth.

Think about how exciting it can be when you happen upon a book, interest, technique or way of living that really resonates for you. It can feel as if the world is turned on its head, in a great way!

This new growth within you is a discovery– perhaps it feels like a new you has been born. Even if your partner has no interest whatsoever in this thing that has grabbed your attention, he or she can benefit.

If you can set aside any attachment you might have to your partner joining in with you and believing that this new thing is as great as you do, the spark will spread to your relationship.

Focus in on the feelings of renewed passion and excitement. Let those feelings carry over into your conversations, walks, chore-time, lovemaking and just hanging out moments with your partner.

Celebrate the spark that now glows in your eyes and see the spark in your partner’s eyes.

Meditation – Staying Awake While Meditating

Why is staying awake while meditating important?

Falling asleep is certainly relaxing, and can be good for you, but to get the full range of benefits from your meditation you need to have your brainwaves in the alpha and theta ranges. When you are asleep, your brainwaves range from theta to delta. Meditation should be a state of relaxed alertness (primarily alpha brainwaves).

Try the following tips to stay awake.

1. Don’t lay down. Laying down may be the comfortable way to meditate, but it is also the surest way to have trouble staying awake. Find a comfortable posture for meditating, but not TOO comfortable.

2. Don’t meditate where you sleep. A comfy chair may be a great place to meditate – unless its the one you fall asleep in while watching TV. Anyplace where you regularly sleep is likely to trigger a sleep response in your body.

3. Create slight discomfort. If you are too comfortable to stay awake, try turning the thermostat down, sitting in a harder chair, or otherwise creating a minor irritation that will be enough to keep you awake, but not distract you too much.

4. Try meditating in a new place. Using a chair set in the back yard, or doing your meditation in the car at a nice park can be a good way to get out of a rut and wake up your mind.

5. Use an automatic wake-up position. Rest your elbows on the chair arms and have your hands comfortably up in the air. If you begin to sleep, your arms will fall, waking you up. Many meditators have used positions that prevent sleep in this way, without being uncomfortable.

Sleep is good, but meditation is more than relaxation. It should help you develop a sense of peace and relaxed alertness. If meditating has become nothing more than your favorite sleeping aid, start using these tips today to get back on track.

A Look at Meditation

I’ve counseled many people from every background and led workshops and lectures about self-empowering topics for about 25 years. Over that time, I saw a need. Everyone was searching. What they were looking for was unclear, many times. But the search was on. While I could meet many of their immediate needs, through counseling, they still needed a source, or connection with who they really were.

This was not a religious pursuit, per se, but a spiritual one. We all need to know our inner self. And the best way for us to get there is through meditation: a quiet time of some sort–contemplation. So out of that need, I saw an answer. Spreading information about basic meditation became my mission.

Almost all of the information I received about meditation over the years was through personal experience–trial and error. I did not read any books on the subject. They all seemed too deep and philosophical. And many times, the books included a whole cultural exploration. This is good for someone looking into historical information, or perhaps a religious belief. But just to know the basics of what meditation is and how to do it, there wasn’t anything.

I’ve been able to connect very well with the groups I’ve spoken to because I’ve been in their shoes. I had first hand experience looking for my own inner self. And so, the column you see here will explore for you, the personal experiences of the proverbial searcher.

I had just graduated from high school, and was looking for some kind of personal project for the summer. Since I lived in a very small town, and it was in the 1960’s, I was very surprised to find a yoga class being offered at the nearby middle school. I was always open for the new and different, and this fit the bill.

I joined the class as soon as I could and found myself in some very strange positions. But there was one position that I kept going back to. It was sitting cross-legged with my hands resting on my knees, palms up. It immediately made me sit straight, and my spine was relaxed.

While practicing this position at home, a strange thing happened. I began to feel unusual. There wasn’t any way I could describe it. But it was a kind of light-headed feeling–almost like dropping off to sleep–but I was awake.

I asked the instructor about it on the very next session. She assured me it was fine. But I had my reservations. So I stopped. I didn’t go back to the class. And I didn’t continue with the yoga practice.

I found out much later that I was beginning meditation. The instructor must have been concerned about giving too much information about yoga philosophy and the spiritual traditions of Eastern India.

Our community was extremely slow about accepting new ideas. She was probably reluctant to introduce something new that could cause problems. So the yoga positions were only taught as an exercise.

I imagine many new or different ideas were stifled in the beginning. Some hesitate to share information for fear of being rejected or ostracized. And some of us hesitate to look at new information because we’re afraid of rocking the boat.

As you explore the concept of meditation, you will learn about the varied benefits that can be brought about by meditation, including health, emotional release, and self- empowerment. You will realize that meditation is about ease. Moving one step at a time.

The Purpose of Meditation
Meditation is a way to connect with the inner self, or what some believe is the Divine Spark of God that we all are. It is to become quiet: to allow all outside disturbances to fade away, to be comfortable with the quiet. That quiet, or silence, which is allowed in, can calm the mind, restore the body, and define a spiritual path.

Let’s take this opportunity to try a sample meditation on for size. Remember that this is a sample. It gives us the chance to practice. And in practicing, we learn.

Bringing In A Quiet Moment
Take a moment out of your busy day. Go for a five-minute walk by yourself. Pay attention to the sound of your footsteps. Let it become even with your heartbeat. When this rhythm within you overrides the sounds of the day, take a deep cleansing breath. Look at the sky. Watch the clouds. Just enjoy the moment. This is the skill of meditation. It is nothing harder than that: just taking a moment, and relaxing into it. Allow your mind to relax into it.

This is just a very quick way for everyone to get some idea of what meditation is like. There are plenty of different types of meditations, as many as there are people. It requires a few undisturbed minutes, dedication and a desire. It will open up a whole new world for you. Just give it a try.

What Everyone Needs to Know about Extramarital Affairs

Recent statistics suggest that 40% of women (and that number is increasing) and 60% of men at one point indulge in an affair. Put those numbers together and it is estimated that 80% of the marriages will have one spouse at one point or another involved in an affair. That may seem like a very steep number. However after two decades plus of full time work as a marriage and family therapist, I don’t believe that number is off the charts. I worked with a great number of people involved in affairs who were never discovered.

The possibility that someone close to you is or soon will be
involved in an extramarital affair (any of the three parties) is extremely high.

Maybe you will know. You will see telltale signs. You will notice changes in the person habits and behavioral patterns as well as a detachment, lack of focus and reduced productivity. Maybe you will sense something “out of character” but be unable to pinpoint what it is.

It is not a given that he/she will tell you. Those hiding the affair will continue to hide. The “victim” of the affair often, at least initially, is racked with anger, hurt, embarrassment and thoughts of failing that preclude divulging the crisis. It might be important to confront the person with your observations, depending on the status of your relationship with the person.

It is important to understand that extramarital affairs are different and serve different purposes. Out of my study and experience with hundreds of couples I’ve identified 7 different kinds of affairs. Briefly, some affairs are reactivity to a perceived lack of intimacy in the marriage.

Others arise out of addictive tendencies or a history of sexual confusion or trauma. Some in our culture play out issues of entitlement and power by becoming “trophy chasers.” This “boys will be boys” mentality is subtly encouraged in some contexts. Some become involved in an affair because of a high need for drama and excitement and are enthralled with the idea of “being in love” and having that “loving feeling.”

An affair might be for revenge either because the spouse did or did not do something. Or the revenge may stem from rage. Although revenge is the motive for both, they look and feel very different.

Another affair serves the purpose of affirming personal desirability. A nagging question of being “OK” may lead to usually a short-term and one-person affair. And finally, some affairs are a dance that attempts to balance needs for distance and intimacy in the marriage, often with collusion from the spouse.

The prognosis for survivability of the marriage is different for each. Some affairs are the best thing that happens to a marriage. Others serve a death knell. As well, different affairs demand different strategies on the part of the spouse or others. Some demand toughness and movement. Others demand patience and understanding.

The emotional impact of the discovery of the affair is usually profound. Days and weeks of sleeplessness, rumination, fantasies (many sexual) and unproductively follow. It typically takes 2 – 4 years to “work through” the implications. A good coach or therapist can accelerate and mollify the process. I don’t recommend “marriage” counseling, at least initially.

The devastating emotional impact results from a couple powerful dynamics. Trust is shattered – of one’s ability to discern the truth. The most important step is NOT to learn to trust the other person, but to learn to trust one’s self. Another is the power that a secret plays in relationships. THE secret exacts an emotional and sometimes physical toll that needs to be acknowledged and dealt with.

How can you help?

Those in the midst of their affair crisis told me they need this from you:

1. Sometimes I want to vent, get it out without censor. I know sometimes I will say what I shouldn’t be saying. It may not be nice, pretty or mild. Please know that I know better, but I need to get it off my chest.

2. Every so often I want to hear something like, “This too shall pass.” Remind me that this is not forever.

3. I want to be validated. I want to know that I am OK. You can best do that by nodding acceptance when I talk about the pain or confusion.

4. I want to hear sometimes, “What are you learning? What are you doing to take care of yourself?” I may need that little jolt that moves me beyond my pain to see the larger picture.

5. I may want space. I may want you to be quiet and patient as I attempt to sort through and express my thoughts and feelings. Give me some time to stammer, stutter and stumble my way through this.

6. I want someone to point out some new options or different roads that I might take. But before you do this, make sure I am first heard and validated.

7. When they pop into your mind, recommend books or other resources that you think I might find helpful.

8. I want to hear every so often, “How’s it going?” And, I may want this to be more than an informal greeting. Give me time and space to let you know exactly how it IS going.

9. I want you to understand and welcome the ambivalent feelings and desires. I would like you to be fairly comfortable with the gray areas and the contradictions about how I feel and what I may want.

10. I want you to be predictable. I want to be able to count on you to be there, listen and speak consistently or let me know when you are unable to do that. I will honor that.

Affairs are powerful. Affairs are costly. They affect family, friends, colleagues and employers. Affairs are also an opportunity – to redesign one’s life and love relationships in ways that create honor, joy and true intimacy.

Human Empowerment Lessons from the Dog Whisperer

Even if you don’t live with a dog, you may be familiar with the National Geographic Channel’s program “Dog Whisperer” starring Cesar Millan. Each episode features Cesar working with families, individuals and their dogs.

In virtually every episode the dog whisperer gets troubled dogs on the road to rehabilitation and people better trained as owners. Cesar offers a set of core truths learned by working with dogs and watching and interacting with dogs just about his whole life.

Believe it or not, we think that the lessons taught by this dog whisperer can help you live a happier, more empowered life. Of course, we humans are different than our canine friends. There can be pack mentalities in our family, friend and work environments though we don’t advise you to always try to be the pack leader.

Much can be learned when you follow another person’s leadership as well. At the same time, who wouldn’t want to experience the sheer joy that is apparent in a dog’s “smile” with his or her tail wagging? Look at a happy dog-whether he or she is running after a ball, leaping into a pond, or quietly lounging on the floor. Wouldn’t it be great to feel that contentment and spark for life more of the time?

Be in the moment.
We’ve all heard this suggestion before but how many of us really follow it? With the humans he works with, Cesar Millan often points out how in the moment dogs are. They don’t tend to react from the past unless their humans have taught them to. According to Millan, it is not a dog’s way to hold a grudge, anticipate a negative event, or live in the past. That, unfortunately, is a human tendency. And it’s one we can unlearn!

When you find yourself thinking ahead to your to-do list, last night’s argument with your spouse, an upcoming parent- teacher conference, the end of the month bill paying, or even a longed for vacation– STOP! It is such a common occurrence to spend your present worrying about the future or rehashing the past. So when do you get to live?

Take time to look around and feel within yourself. What is going well for you right here and now? It could be something as “small” as the crystal clear cloudless blue sky that graces your day. How do you feel at this very moment? Now is the time for appreciating your life and now is the moment for celebrating what you have and what you want.

Let your feelings flow.
As Lily walks her pet dog Goldie, she notices the ease with which Goldie seems to move through life. Even though she was scolded for sticking her nose in the trash can, Goldie doesn’t let that ruin her day. In fact, it seems to Lily that Goldie experienced the momentary “oops, I’m in trouble” and then moved on. Lily wonders to herself why it seems so difficult for her to do the same. Sound familiar?

From time to time dogs can also become stuck in challenging emotions. This is sometimes what brings Cesar to a family. Whether it’s a dog too afraid to walk on linoleum floors or one who is terrified of loud noises, Cesar works with the dog to help him or her move through those fearful feelings. It is a process that takes time, patience and perseverance, but in the end the dog is happier and more at ease with life.

We all know that when we’re stuck in particular feelings, it seems like everything else going on in our lives fades to the background. It might be anger, panic, grief or some other emotion that became lodged in our consciousness after a traumatic event or even something more subtle. In the midst of the stuck feelings, it might even seem like we’ll never be truly happy again. But it doesn’t have to be this way.

No matter what the apparent cause of emotions that appear to dominate our lives, we can move through those difficult feelings and let them go. There are many ways to release when you are stuck.

For some people creating a ritual around letting go is helpful. You might burn old letters in a fireplace. Others find working with a coach or participating in a therapy such as breathwork freeing. Making time for quiet reflection and meditation is almost always useful. Try to stay focused on your emotions and not on the events around the emotions.

You may realize that some of the beliefs you have about yourself, your life and the initial event are a large part of what’s keeping you feeling stuck. Know that at anytime you can change your beliefs.

Take a good look at the dog in your life or just one walking down the street. If it’s a happy-looking dog, soak in the example and allow yourself to feel the joy that’s available to you. Now wag your tail and smile!

Dealing With Change In A Positive Way…

Some of you reading this article may be old enough to remember the Elton John song with the line that says, “The change is going to do you good.”

So here’s an interesting question–If change is so good for us, why do most of us fear change so much?

There’s an incredible new book we’ve been reading called Dragon Spirit and in it the authors talk about change. They say that change is inevitable, things will change and nothing is fixed in place or time.

Now while this is not news to most of us, many of us still cringe inwardly when changes occur in our lives, especially when we perceive the changes to be negative.

The truth is that change is happening in every moment whether you are consciously creating the change or not and we can use that change to create a better life.

When change happens, we have two choices. We can either embrace the change and move forward into a new life or situation or we can stay stuck in the past. Keeping things as they are or staying in the past is always okay if it’s a conscious choice.

Change creates challenges when we don’t look at our lives as they really are and don’t embrace the change to consciously create our lives from an empowering place.

In our relationship and our lives, we have learned a great deal about change from each other. Susie has always viewed change with varying degrees of apprehension. She’s lived in the same house for 30 years and changed jobs infrequently. Otto, on the other hand, has lived in well over 20 or 25 houses in his lifetime and has had even more jobs so change has been a big part of his experience.

What Susie has learned from Otto about change is to expect it and that change is not a “bad” thing. Otto has learned from Susie that if you’re going to make a change in your life, make sure that you are conscious about the reasons for making those changes.

If change is an “issue” in your life, here are some questions to ask yourself to help you to move forward.

1. Are you recognizing and embracing the changes going on around you in every moment?

2. Do you keep doing the same things over and over in the face of change that keep you stuck in the past?

3. What can you consistently do to create your life the way you want it?

If change is certain, on-going and inevitable, an important truth to recognize is that it’s what we do in the face of those changes that determines the outcome of our lives and our happiness.

So, we encourage you to look at the change in your life with a sense of wonder and possibility. The author Pema Chodron encourages us to “relax into the truth of change.” Welcome it as if it were a long-lost friend and not an enemy. If you do, you’ll see glorious “changes” in your life.

“Change is the elixir of life. Stating a simple truth, happiness is ours when we respond and adapt with enthusiasm to changes when they appear.”

Is Exercise Safe for Asthmatics?

An asthma patient generally has sensitive air passages, or airways, resulting in difficult breathing for the patient when these air passages are irritated from an atmospheric change.

As mentioned earlier, it is crucial to note that some sports will have a higher probability of inducing attacks in an asthmatic. However this does not mean that an asthmatic cannot exercise safely.

If an asthmatic is looking for a safe sport, researchers point to swimming as the best possible sport for asthmatics – as the breathing required rarely if ever causes chest tightness among swimmers. Although, participating in another form of exercise that would require exactly the same about of oxygen to circulate might not cause the same reaction in the participant.

Of course, some asthmatics will experience acute attacks when they enter the swimming pool. Researchers needed to find an explanation, and it did not prove difficult to explain the reason. Some asthmatics are very sensitive to chlorine, as an irritant. Thus, it is not possible to state that swimmers who are asthmatic do not have attacks. Complete guide to asthma and asthma treatment.

Running of any type is often a terrible idea for asthmatic patients as it will, in some people, trigger an almost immediate attack. However, recent treatment advances have enabled some athletes who were previously unable to run for more than a few seconds to adapt their exercise routines to include running.

If an asthma patient is in a situation where they are breathing heavily, it may trigger the start of an asthma attack. Common instances of heavy breathing include not only exercising, but also the breathing tests required for the diagnosis of asthma.

Yes, if you are an asthmatic you should exercise. There remain many choices for type of exercises and sports. Asthma-afflicted athletes should get an appointment with a sports medicine specialist who will be able to address athletic medical issues with the patient. The specialist may also be able to provide useful tips and innovative treatment methods to the asthmatic that other physicians might not have considered trying.

Sports which involve short bursts of activity interspersed with short periods of rest make great activities for the asthmatic. Some examples include; swimming, team sports like football or softball, volleyball and yoga or Pilates. Generally, the time required for exercise induced acute attacks to occur is six minutes of constant heavy breathing.

As inspiration to continue exercising and participating in sports, it is key to notice that many past Olympians have also been asthma sufferers who managed their condition carefully, with the input and treatment plan of their physician.

These steps, if followed in combination with a personalized asthma treatment plan, will help the patient to have a successful and healthy exercise routine:

*Warm up properly, and do not forget to cool down.
*Avoid exercising in dry, cold air. If it cannot be avoided, be sure to cover both mouth and nose.
*Stay in good physical shape – Staying healthy will increase an athlete’s ability to successfully avoid asthma attacks during exercise periods.

Many patients will require not just a preventative or reactive medication, but a tailored combination of both types of medications in order to provide them with maximum relief from their illness. Most physicians agree that the desired outcome it to get the maximum relief from the minimum amount of medication.

Using Breath as a Focus

What is your focus?

What is the main focus in your life? Is it finding a job, or keeping the one you’ve got, just to pay the rent every month? Or is it always searching for that special someone who can make you happy?

Society has evolved a way of believing, that keeps us always limited to the physical plane. Stuart Wilde, noted author of The Winds of Change, among other revolutionary books, tells us of what he terms ‘the tribe’. We all belong to a tribe, so to speak– group of peers that we can relate to in some way or other.

We may be Methodist, Italian, a wood-worker, a member of the Smith family, a woman, and so on. And each group we belong to dictates, to a certain extent, what we will think, what we will wear, where we are to live, how we make a living, and so forth. It will try to keep us in a tidy little box.

Whenever we may have a new, never thought of idea, the ‘tribe’ will not allow us to follow through with it. It keeps us close to what is known. The tribe is threatened by anything unknown. It keeps everything stable and secure. A thought outside of the box could ruin the whole paradigm of the tribe. The very existence of the tribe would be threatened if things changed too much or too fast.

Being part of the human tribe, keeps us all working very hard just to make a living. Television and printed media have produced marketing techniques through commercials, as well as, through regular programming and news reports that keep our minds directed at purchasing. All we strive for all day long is to purchase that which the tribe has determined necessary.

Driven to succeed

We have now become so driven to succeed in material wealth and external relationships, that we seem to find no time for our spiritual growth.

One way to connect and grow with our spiritual self is through the breath.

The breath is vital to your life. The Creator gave this glorious gift to you on your birth day. Cherish it. Use it to the best of your ability. Fill your lungs with the love and joy of the universe.

Breath is used to relax the body and mind, to take us to a high state of peace, and create experiences in our lives.

Conspirators in the breath of life

It is our God given talent to be able to create our experiences. Whether we know it or not, our mind is constantly creating for us what we think. If we recognize our oneness with God, and the connectedness we have with that God Spirit, we can realize that we, and God are co- creators or ‘conspirators’ in the breath of life.

Conspirators? What an odd choice of words. Let me guide you through a spirit given understanding that I have received.

Genesis 2:7 ‘And the Lord formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.’

Conspire: a Latin word meaning ‘to blow together; harmonizing; to breathe; to make an agreement or act in harmony.’

Knowing this, we realize that we create just the same as God has created. Maybe it’s on a smaller scale, because we are only ‘infants’ in the creation process. (We need much more practice in conscious creation.) Realizing that we are able to create is the first step in visualizing our own reality.

Every time we take a breath, we are creating our world around us. You must look at and appreciate your life experiences, because if you don’t, you are just denying your own existence—your own creation!

Every time there is a problem or challenge in life, we have an opportunity to change it. Honestly, it can be as simple as changing your mind.

Although that seems too simplistic, it really is quite powerful. After recognizing the challenge, we have a moment, when we breathe, to change our energy.

Taking time to breathe

Let’s say that your spouse comes into the house, after a bad day at work. You managed to get home from your job about five minutes before. Your loved one does not seem so loving, coming into the house with a headache and complaining that dinner isn’t ready yet.

What do you do? Your day wasn’t any easier. Do you jump in to the moment, arguing your defense? Or do you take a moment to breathe, re-focus your energy and create a better environment?

There is always a chance to change–to make a different choice. By taking a breath, it gives the mind a moment to refresh.

This concept can be used in many other levels in your life. You can create harmony and peaceful vibrations. There could be no limit to the manifestations available. Use it for deepening meditation, increasing intuition, creating healing environments, and with global peace efforts.

The breath can be a key element to society’s spiritual evolution, especially if used in groups of like-minded people. This is the tool to new beginnings—a new start in the new millennium.