Monthly Archives: Jan 2017

Mind Health, Spirituality
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What’s the Deal with Gratitude?

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This week I wanted to share about Gratitude and its importance in our happiness. It is a bit of a hot topic lately so I felt it was important to explain what’s behind all the buzz…

Gratitude has a psychology behind it. It’s more than the simple recognition of what you have like a car, a family, a healthy body, a safe country to live in, running water, hot water, and such… Gratitude is an art, an act of mindfulness. And it is also extremely powerful because it is loving. All things loving are powerful, all things fearful are weak and will fail. That’s an important note to remember.

Gratitude is a natural response. It shows up when we are given something loving or when we recognize that something is amazing, beautiful or genuinely awesome. But as we go through our daily lives we may forget that the simple conveniences which adorn our lifestyles are equally worthy of gratitude and that through our acknowledgment of them, we are improving our state of mind.

Now, I am not suggesting that you be grateful for a spoon every time you use it, you have to be practical. But it doesn’t hurt to stop for a moment here and there and develop your sense of appreciation for your life. And what you are really accomplishing here is so much more than feeling good, you are attracting more goodness into your life!

Any of you who are aware of the Abraham-Hicks material would be familiar with this wisdom (if you haven’t checked them out yet, I highly recommend you do so!), that you can only attract that which you are energetically aligned with. So, if you want to attract positivity, it is only going to come from feeling positive. This is where gratitude really comes in handy. By noticing that which you are grateful for you are placing your powerful mind in a state of positive attraction.

We are always attracting as the law of attraction is a law of the mind. In my work, I call it the Law of Perception. That which you focus upon you will perceive and therefore it is real for you.

So, you see, the law of attraction is a very real concept, one that is always at work in our lives. Our strength comes in using it correctly; for ourselves, not against ourselves.

Gratitude ignites a positive attraction experience.

Now, when implementing gratitude you are implementing mindfulness and creating a mental experience. I invite you to focus upon that which you are grateful for frequently. Take the time to get into the feel of it. Associate with it and bring it into the moment. Relate with it and let the feeling grow within you.

Stay with it.

This is a powerful mental exercise which reduces stress, disciplines your mind and brings goodness forth to you.

Now, a big part of gratitude and attracting, is that you feel worthy of these positive things. You are worth of everything beautiful in the physical world, and more. The only way we can hurt ourselves and limit ourselves is through our own ego’s decision which stems from a feeling of unworthiness.

“Only you can deprive yourself of anything. Do not oppose this realization, for it is truly the beginning of the dawn of light. Remember also that the denial of this simple fact takes many forms, and these you must learn to recognize and to oppose steadfastly, without exception.” A Course in Miracles – T.11.IV.4:1-3

So, remember to shake off any feelings of littleness and limits then get creating!

“Child of God, you were created to create the good, the beautiful and the holy. Do not forget this.”
A Course in Miracles – T.1.VII.2:1-2

You have no other functions then to forgive the negative and to create the positive! To help you get in touch with the love that you are, and to help you improve your life, I hope that you give true gratitude a try. It is an incredibly healthy, humble habit!

Love and Grateful for You,
Fiona

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Mind Health
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The Need for Preventative Mental Health

HealthyHappyLogoTurquoise

New Project Announcement! The Healthy, Happy Kids Initiative!

As an introduction to my new project I wanted to share about the need for Preventative Mental Health in our society!

First off, what is mental health? Mental health equates to a peaceful and confident mind with the individual willing to apply coping mechanisms to support them through ego (fear-based) upsets.

What do I mean by Preventative Mental Health?

I mean that there is a correct way and an incorrect way to think. To think incorrectly is what leads to issues such as anxiety, depression, lack of confidence, low self-esteem and the like. Thinking incorrectly is simply a mistake, a mistake we all make frequently. Mistakes don’t get punished, they get corrected. And that’s what preventative mental health is all about! It is about educating people on how their minds and thoughts function so that when fearful thoughts creep up, as they so often do, they can deal with them correctly and healthfully instead of giving into them and perpetuating them.

Let me be clear that it is okay to feel upset, those types of thoughts are part of our human experience, BUT, the key to preventative mental health is, that just because you have a fearful thought, doesn’t mean you need to hold onto that fearful thought.

Thoughts, as you well know, come from our minds as it is through thinking that our minds function. It is from our thoughts that we make all of our decisions and subsequently take our actions and shape our beliefs and value systems. The thoughts we choose to invest in are how we create our perspectives which in turn dictate how we function in the world.

Thoughts, therefore, are very powerful.

Preventative mental health, as mentioned above, involves the education of how the mind functions, presenting what we at the Healthy, Happy Kids Initiative, refer to as the “Laws of the Mind.” These laws are the fundamental principles which govern how we think, and without our awareness of these principles, we will utilize these laws incorrectly and therefore think incorrectly.

As an example, let’s take this particular law of the mind, “Your thoughts grow stronger the more you share them.” We understand this law mainly through what mainstream science presents when they speak of our neurology and how our habit systems become ingrained in our neurology through our repetition of them. But let’s delve a little further…

For those who suffer from anxiety, this particular law used incorrectly can be highly detrimental! Those who are anxious, (as you may or may not know) search for reassurance that their fear isn’t real by seeking answers through the people around them. Their search for solace from the fear by sharing the fear only strengthens the fear.

All fear stems from our investment in it, that we somehow owe fear our time and energy.

How wrong we are in believing in this…

If you’re afraid, then going to one person you trust for help can be quite beneficial. They can guide you peacefully through the fear and be a source of compassion. They can help you to feel through the fear safely and then be there to support you as you implement helpful coping mechanisms to dissociate from the fear. It is okay to ask for help, but it is not helpful to share the fear, share the fear and share the fear. In fact, when I faced anxiety a decade ago, I used this law to my advantage by going to my one trustworthy person and I would not name the fear, I would simply say that I was feeling anxious. Moment by moment, opportunity by opportunity, and with lots of practice, I overcame anxiety by letting go of my belief that I owed fear my investment.

So, through the correct implementation of this law of the mind, those with anxiety can learn to dissociate from their fears and not strengthen them. Very mentally healthy!

Complementing the laws of the mind are coping mechanisms! These mechanisms help us through ego upsets of all kinds. Fear, pain, sadness, anger, you name it, coping mechanisms can help you through! We all need help to get through tough moments.

One of my favourite coping mechanisms is the act of mindfulness, the drawing of your attention to being fully focused on what you are doing. For example, at this moment I am feeling my fingers touch the keys, I am also very aware of the music playing in the background and my fiancé’s breathing beside me. I am also aware of how peaceful I feel by bringing my attention to that which surrounds me. And I also feel my passion for the information of which I am sharing with you.

Mindfulness is a way of being! It increases our self-awareness, calms the mind and lightens our energy. There is a serenity which comes from being mindful for you are no longer caught in the web of thinking mindlessly. Mindless, aimless thinking is the source of so many problems which people do not realize, it is the source of anxiety, depression, reactionary behaviour, sadness and all other forms of mental upset. Without intervention on the part of the thinker, this type of thinking becomes habit and the results hinder any chance of a peaceful state of mind.

Through the art of mindfulness we learn to direct our thoughts purposefully which in turn trains the mind to not be aimless. As I said, this is an incredible coping mechanism which is worth implementing and practicing!

We, every one of us, is worth the effort for happiness and peace, and this all begins with our thinking. This is preventative mental health! It is our personal willingness and devotion that starts the ball of positivity rolling, we just have to choose it!

Love and Effort,
Fiona and The Healthy, Happy Kids Initiative Team!

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Mind Health, Spirituality
0

Getting Unstuck

The Brain is Plastic

I believe that one of the worst feelings we can experience is the feeling of being stuck. It is so unpleasant because what we actually are is formless, our essence is formless mind. So to be stuck within limitations is actually a very foreign feeling to our true nature. This feeling of limitation shows itself in different ways in our lives and can occur in one aspect of our life at a time or in many, either way, it’s never pleasant to think that this is how things need to be.

But notice the key word I used in that sentence, think. Just because we think something (judgment), does not mean that’s actually how it is. It is not without purpose.

Those who believe that they are stuck are missing a key piece of information, which is, the mind is malleable. If the mind is malleable then things can change.

This is nothing to fear for change is inevitable. But you do want to put your best thoughts into the changes which will naturally occur in your lifetime.

When you are feeling stuck it is your willingness which is going to be the catalyst for positive movement. Nothing positive can be accomplished without your willingness, a truth which is reflected in the law of the mind, the Law of Free Will. You need to choose before “it” can be done. This is a critical step in positive change!!

So, when you’re feeling like there is nothing positive for you in a certain situation, use that dissatisfaction as a power for good and kick your willingness for something better into gear!

Of course we can’t have willingness without a glimmer of positivity, so when faced with that glued-in feeling, do what you can to change your attitude. You can do this by listing the positive things about what you feel stuck in, for example, if it is your job you’re stuck in, find some qualities…

I’m grateful that my job is a safe job. I’m grateful that I love my office
neighbour. I’m grateful for the opportunity that I get to help people by doing my job. I’m grateful that I’m respected by my colleagues. So on and so on.

Nothing positive comes from dwelling on the negative. Certainly it is stewing in the negativity that diminishes your quality of life, your state of mind and ultimately your self-esteem and how you interact with others.

“Success is about more than simple resilience. It’s about using that downward momentum to propel ourselves in the opposite direction. It’s about capitalizing on setbacks and adversity to become even happier, even more motivated, and even more successful. It’s not falling down, it’s falling up.”
The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor

There is an opportunity in feeling stuck and it is that you get to pick out what you like and what you don’t like, what you’re willing to put up with and what you’re not willing to put up with. You also get to recognize any patterns (repetitive patterns are our flashing lights of what we need to forgive!!) and heal those patterns. Truly this is seeing things differently, positively.

When we look at life through a spiritual lens we see that all things are purposeful and feeling stuck is definitely purposeful. I have felt stuck many times in my life and it is this feeling which is oh so familiar now that I use it as a guide as to where I can improve. Do I need to immerse myself in my work more? Do I need to slow down and go for a hike in the mountains to clear my head? Do I need to have a strategy meeting about my next business steps? Or do I need to write out some personal goals to give myself some direction?

What I’ve learned is that it is vital to have a better attitude towards the “stuck” feeling because it is not a hindrance, it’s a motivator!!

Science has proven that the brain is plastic and it is this plasticity which proves that the mind is malleable because the brain is an effect of the mind. You can use this to your advantage so you can create your world!

So, beyond the pigeon-hole ego perspective, there is healing, opportunity, growth and life all around us!

See beyond!

Love and Movement,
Fiona

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Food, Healthy Tips, Mind Health, Spirituality
2

Slim Down by Feeling Good!

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Whenever I teach a class, I always get a question which pertains to diet. “Is there a way of eating spiritually?” “What should I not eat?” “As a spiritual teacher, do you drink alcohol?” And so on and so forth, and it all seems to be the same question asked many different ways.

These days the message seems to be that in order to be spiritual you have to be vegan, completely sugar-free or anything else that embraces strictness. Essentially what students and clients are inquiring about is, “should I feel guilty for eating meat, wheat, sugar or for drinking caffeine or alcohol?”

The answer is a resounding “No!”

As you continue down the path of mental health and spirituality you may notice that you have cravings for certain health foods, or you may feel the need to eliminate certain foods altogether. This has certainly been the case for me. I have definitely felt guided to eat more avocado and honey, drink more water and there is always a point in the day where I would step over my own mother just to get a cup of green tea! Just kidding Mom 😉

But as I have continued down my own path of spirituality, I have made changes to my diet all by following my inner guidance system. Eating is about slowing down, listening to yourself and enjoying the bites of goodness that you take.

The key thing to remember is that practicality is a must! As I always say, in regard to mental health practices or eating practices, if it isn’t practical, you’re going to find it hard to stay on track. So be chill about it and let your mind wrap around the new habits you’re creating.

But above all, don’t feel guilty! If you feel guilty for what you are eating then you are polluting your food with that energy and you are also inviting your body to reject what you’re taking in.

Remember what I wrote about in the blog sent the week before Christmas in regard to sacrifice… Sacrifice is an ego issue, a device designed to make you feel guilty and like a victim, so if you feel like you’re sacrificing then you’re identifying with your ego and again, you’re not going to stay on track for very long. So lose the sacrifice for it just reinforces your unconscious guilt!

Food is very important, it is a major part of what fuels us as beings and
contributes to how we behave in the world. We have a personal responsibility to feel good about it!

Eating, like anything else, begins as a mental process. Preparing our food, putting it on a fork and chewing and swallowing are the actions, but everything else around eating like, what to make? What should I eat? How do I feel about what I eat? These are the questions which fuel our mentality around eating.

If we don’t eat then we are crabby and reactionary. If we eat a lot of sugar, we end up being hyperactive and strengthen the body’s addiction to sugar. If we eat too much we feel full, sluggish and guilty. If we have too much dessert, we again feel guilty.

What are your thoughts like around food? Is it a healthy relationship?

A Loving Perspective of Self

The most important tip for maintaining a healthy attitude towards food is to maintain a healthy attitude about yourself. Caring about yourself and heightening your self-esteem are going to be your greatest allies in regard to eating healthfully!

Personally, I’m not a calorie counter. I couldn’t tell you the amount of calories in a slice of bread for I am so ignorant on the topic. I also can only give you a rough guess as to how much I weigh. To me the numbers aren’t important, it’s how I feel about myself which counts. I like to use the mirror as my gauge for how I’m doing with my eating and workouts. But the ultimate thing I use the mirror for is to look at myself right in the eyes and tell myself, “I love you.” Every day, after my shower I hold my hand over my heart and remind myself that my body is to be used as a communicator of love in this world and that I am grateful for what I am.

What this mirror exercise (popularized by Louise Hay) does is reinforce in my mind what my body’s true purpose is, an exercise which helps to eliminate ego judgments.

We all come in different shapes and sizes, none of which matter. A heart is a heart, a mind is a mind and that is how I choose to see myself and others. This is a very mentally healthy perspective because it keeps us all equal (which we absolutely are!!) and the body will follow the loving perspective of the mind.

So, when it comes to eating and drinking, I know that I’m fueling my body to do helpful things in this world and to enjoy the activities of my daily life. As a spiritual person I do drink coffee, red wine, Guinness and sometimes have meat (which I’m picky about but I do eat it from time to time) and also, there is no way in hell I’m ever going to give up on pasta! But I feel good about everything I eat because, like my thoughts, if I don’t feel good about it, I don’t want it.

Be comfortably you. Be gentle with yourself and let your mind get used to any healthy habits you want to create. These things aren’t done overnight, like our habit of relating with the ego, it takes time to switch our habits back to thinking with Love consistently.

So, with a healthy perspective in mind I wanted to offer up some healthy food choices which help slim down the tummy area (as this is the area of the body I hear the most complaints about, from both men and women).

Tummy Slim-Down Foods

Blueberries; these little gems are amazing for slimming down the stomach area. Splurge on Organic for if you don’t then you are missing out on the antioxidants which fight free radicals.

Oats; real oats! Not processed quick oats flavoured with palm sugar. Oats are excellent for slimming down stomach fat! I like to top my oatmeal with cinnamon, organic plain yogurt, honey and organic blueberries. Note: I have also stopped buying Quaker Oats and have switched to a local brand because Quaker is part of the problem of wiping out the forests in Indonesia for production of palm sugar and because I don’t feel good about that, I don’t eat their products (Watching my mentality!)

Green Tea; the ultimate tummy slimmer! Green Tea is loaded with antioxidants called catechins, L-Theanine, and ECGC’s (Epigallocatechin Gallate) which all boost metabolism. Green Tea also boosts your fat burning capabilities while you work out!

Water; Drink more water as it helps to flush out toxins and also helps your body to hydrate and actually eliminates water being held stagnantly in your system. Ideally you should be urinating once every hour.

Watch your sugar intake! The easiest way to slim down your stomach area is to be aware of hidden sugars. Cooking with fresh food and making your own sauces, salad dressings and soups can really help you eliminate added sugars put in food products by the food industry.

As a perk, here is my Blueberry Bran Muffin Recipe which I created when I was working as a Baker a few years ago!

Fiona’s Blueberry Bran Muffin Recipe

Ingredients
½ cp. Unsalted Butter, softened
½ cp. Maple Syrup
2 Eggs
1 Egg White
1 cp. Wheat Bran
1 cp. Oats
½ cp. Plain Yogurt
½ cp. Unsweetened Apple Sauce
1 tsp. Vanilla
¾ cp. Whole Wheat Flour
2 tbsp. Ground Almonds
¼ tsp. Salt
½ tsp. Cinnamon
¼ tsp. Nutmeg
2 tsp. Baking Powder
½ tsp. Baking Soda
1 cp. Blueberries

Topping

Ground Walnuts and Cinnamon

Directions
– In mixing bowl, cream together unsalted butter and maple syrup
– Add eggs and egg whites one at a time until smooth
– Add vanilla, plain yogurt then apple sauce
– Add wheat bran and oatmeal
– In a separate bowl, whisk together whole wheat flour, ground almonds, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking powder and baking soda
– Add dry ingredients into the mixing bowl mixture until just combined
– Fold in blueberries
– Scoop out generously (as these do not rise very much)
– Sprinkle with ground walnuts and cinnamon
– Bake at 325 F, for 18-20 min.

Enjoy!

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Healthy Tips, Mind Health
0

The Power of “Why?”

A new year has begun and many of us have begun focusing on our personal goals and what we want to achieve in the coming year, so in the spirit of growth, I wanted to offer up a way in which you can really mentally prepare and ultimately follow through on your goals.

Success begins with a simple question… why? This is the single most important question to ask yourself when it comes to initiating positive change in your life for without the answers, you will find it difficult to follow through.

Essentially it is all about association and dissociation!

A positive life change goal comes into our conscious awareness because we have already begun dissociating, where we desire to move away from something or habit which no longer serves us. Dissociation typically takes the form of dissatisfaction, whether in your job, your lifestyle, or in any area of your life.
There is nothing wrong with dissociation, in fact Esther and Jerry Hicks of the “Getting Into the Vortex” material (which is the true version of The Secret by the way), promote the idea that we chose to expose ourselves to the diversity of life in this physical realm. It is through our experience of diversity that we are able to identify that which we are attracted to and that which we are not.

Association is your identification with something. We associate with many things and it is these things which are our preferences and make us unique in our personalities.

It is through asking ourselves “why?” that we are able to pinpoint associations and dissociations, ideas which are then sent to the level of our subconscious mind and reinforced through our continual focus on them. So knowing why you are going to do something is what is going to help make the idea and goal stick!

I assure you that without knowing why you are doing something, you are making your path to goal achievement much harder!

Our associations represent our value systems and it is these intrinsic reasons which are much more important and vital to our success than any external reason.
For example, let’s play with the popular goal of losing weight…

A woman wants to lose weight… awesome, there are many obvious benefits attached to this goal like having a healthier body, or feeling confident while wearing a bikini.

But what if we got curious and invited this woman to ask herself truly why she is really wanting to lose weight? It may go something like this…

“Well, I want more energy to do things. My partner and I used to hike all the time and go for runs and now I feel like a totally different person and not in a good way. I have no energy and what makes it worse is that I feel like I’m a disappointment every time I say no to physical activity. I’m certainly disappointing myself. Then, there is our sex life. I don’t feel sexy and therefore we haven’t made love in quite some time. I’m insecure about my body and now I’m at the point that I’m losing the physical connection with my partner. I miss the intimacy in our relationship…. I want my sex life back!”

So, with a few simple why questions we can really delve into what the reasons are at the core of our goals. In the above example it was the value of no longer disappointing oneself, being a compatible partner and the recognition that she is losing out on many activities she once found enjoyable, activities which feed her soul.

In my life coaching training we practiced an exercise where we would ask our client to elaborate on their reasons for working on their goal by repeatedly asking why to every answer they gave. It was reminiscent of having a conversation with a curious toddler, but what’s wrong with that? Do we not have a right to be curious about our own reasons, tastes and distastes?

Our intrinsic values are important, they are our guidance system to who we really are and what we really want to achieve in this world.

When faced with goals, tap into your reasons, write them down and keep them visible! These reasons will be your motivation and you can easily create some new, healthy habits.

Love and Knowing Yourself,
Fiona

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Healthy Tips, Mind Health
0

The Power of “Why?”

A new year has begun and many of us have begun focusing on our personal goals and what we want to achieve in the coming year, so in the spirit of growth, I wanted to offer up a way in which you can really mentally prepare and ultimately follow through on your goals.

Success begins with a simple question… why? This is the single most important question to ask yourself when it comes to initiating positive change in your life for without the answers, you will find it difficult to follow through.
Essentially it is all about association and dissociation!

A positive life change goal comes into our conscious awareness because we have already begun dissociating, where we desire to move away from something or habit which no longer serves us. Dissociation typically takes the form of dissatisfaction, whether in your job, your lifestyle, or in any area of your life.

There is nothing wrong with dissociation, in fact Esther and Jerry Hicks of the “Getting Into the Vortex” material (which is the true version of The Secret by the way), promote the idea that we chose to expose ourselves to the diversity of life in this physical realm. It is through our experience of diversity that we are able to identify that which we are attracted to and that which we are not.

Association is your identification with something. We associate with many things and it is these things which are our preferences and make us unique in our personalities.

It is through asking ourselves “why?” that we are able to pinpoint associations and dissociations, ideas which are then sent to the level of our subconscious mind and reinforced through our continual focus on them. So knowing why you are going to do something is what is going to help make the idea and goal stick!

I assure you that without knowing why you are doing something, you are making your path to goal achievement much harder!

Our associations represent our value systems and it is these intrinsic reasons which are much more important and vital to our success than any external reason.

For example, let’s play with the popular goal of losing weight…

A woman wants to lose weight… awesome, there are many obvious benefits attached to this goal like having a healthier body, or feeling confident while wearing a bikini.

But what if we got curious and invited this woman to ask herself truly why she is really wanting to lose weight? It may go something like this…

“Well, I want more energy to do things. My partner and I used to hike all the time and go for runs and now I feel like a totally different person and not in a good way. I have no energy and what makes it worse is that I feel like I’m a disappointment every time I say no to physical activity. I’m certainly disappointing myself. Then, there is our sex life. I don’t feel sexy and therefore we haven’t made love in quite some time. I’m insecure about my body and now I’m at the point that I’m losing the physical connection with my partner. I miss the intimacy in our relationship…. I want my sex life back!”

So, with a few simple why questions we can really delve into what the reasons are at the core of our goals. In the above example it was the value of no longer disappointing oneself, being a compatible partner and the recognition that she is losing out on many activities she once found enjoyable, activities which feed her soul.

In my life coaching training we practiced an exercise where we would ask our client to elaborate on their reasons for working on their goal by repeatedly asking why to every answer they gave. It was reminiscent of having a conversation with a curious toddler, but what’s wrong with that? Do we not have a right to be curious about our own reasons, tastes and distastes?

Our intrinsic values are important, they are our guidance system to who we really are and what we really want to achieve in this world.

When faced with goals, tap into your reasons, write them down and keep them visible! These reasons will be your motivation and you can easily create some new, healthy habits.

Love and Knowing Yourself,
Fiona

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