Wisdom

Wisdom
Last week I spoke about concentration (ability to focus our attention) asking you to consider where your attention goes, your prana/life force/energy goes. If you missed it, read more here.

Today we speak about wisdom. By wisdom I don’t mean intellect. When I think of wisdom the words that come to mind are enlightenment or the recognition of the divine in each and every one of us. For me it is also a felt sense that emanates from having an open, or awakened heart. Perhaps wisdom is the “state” we arrive at through diligent, disciplined practices of generosity, patience and concentration. Sound familiar? When we become wise we start to notice how often our ego tries to “separate” us from other, and in so doing, from our very selves, closing our hearts.

Try it: Call someone to mind you have a challenging relationship with.  Now, start to peel back the layers of how they dress, what they look like, the car they drive, the house they live in, the job they have, how they act, etc. What is at the core?

Wisdom allows us to see, feel, understand that underneath the physical and material, there is an open and loving heart waiting to be noticed, waiting to be awakened, waiting to serve. This may sound “out there” or even “wrong” to some. However, when you talk with people who are truly full of love and joy, people who have no regrets in their life, most often they describe that sharing love has been the most important aspect of living and has brought them the greatest joy.

Years ago I read something to the effect of “on your deathbed, you won’t wish you spent more hours at the office”. If you are still with me reading this, stop here. Take a breath and imagine what I just said. Then feel it. Does your heart open just a little bit more? Or maybe you have to imagine losing someone you really love to help crack that heart open. How would it change you? I know how it has changed me.

Perhaps if we are lucky, when we look back we will realize through the cultivation of wisdom there is no difference between you and me. What seems a difference is really lack of accepting another fully.

To help me remember, here’s something I often say at the end of my yoga class: “Sit still. Notice your breath. Bow your chin to your chest as you silently allow the intellect of your mind to bow to the wisdom of your heart.”  People will often forget what you said…but they will remember how you made them feel. How do you wish to remembered?

Diligence

Diligence

Last week I spoke about the importance of having patience while doing the work to affect change. If you missed it, read more here. This week we turn to DILIGENCE.

It may sound like the word discipline, yet I feel it goes much deeper. I describe diligence as the desire and ability to put forth effort, exertion and perseverance in pursuit of our vision. We invoke diligence to save us from laziness. We act with diligence when we choose to focus on positive influences. Diligence is an on-going commitment to learning and growth. When we practice diligence, we stay the course, pay attention more deeply, re-commit as much as needed, and keep moving forward. One day we turn around and notice the path we have created, the life we have manifested. As we do this for our self we inspire those around us to do the same.

There’s a quote that reminds me about the gifts diligence bestows: What you vividly imagine, ardently desire, sincerely believe and enthusiastically act upon must inevitably come to pass.” -Paul J Meyer

Patience

Patience

Last week I spoke about the importance of having discipline when working toward a goal. If you missed it, you can read more here. This week I want to talk about patience. Sometimes when we are doing the work…it takes time to see “results”. Our will is tested. Our patience may run thin. In particular, if we are digging “deep” and really shifting our internal world, it can feel uncomfortable. There might be a tendency to want to rush the process. It is exactly in these moments when we must take pause and learn to surrender to the present moment, sometimes over and over again.

Perhaps the best way to explain this is by sharing with you the wisdom of Rainer Maria Rilke (1903, Letters to a Young Poet) that has helped me get through THE toughest times in my life: I would like to beg you dear Sir, as well as I can, to have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don’t search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer.”

Discipline

Last week I spoke about the importance of being generous and kind. If you missed it, you can read more here. This week I am compelled to speak of discipline.
We are one month into 2014. Many of us set intentions in the new year to improve something in our life. Maybe we vowed to eat better. How are we doing? During my recent talk about “The Five Keys to Health & Well-Being” a wonderful question was asked: “I know what I have to do, but how do I implement it”. What I heard was: “I need a plan and I need to implement discipline”. Just because we “decide” we want to eat better does not mean it will happen. It takes WORK, you know, that “four” letter word. In the absence of recognizing that anything worthwhile takes work, we will falter. Do you think I always “feel like” sitting in meditation, drinking kale shakes for lunch or shutting off the tv/phone/computer at night so I can get adequate rest? NO! However, I have learned that when I get lazy and lack discipline around the areas of my life that actually nourish me, a downward spiral ensues. And the spiral down takes away more energy and feels far worse than the discipline I had to exercise to keep me on the path. With this awareness, it becomes easier to have discipline.  I remember doing the work is part of it. And it’s OK. A quote comes to mind, “What you DO speaks so loudly that I can not hear what you SAY.” Let’s stop talking and start doing!!

Ten Reasons for Your Best 2014

Top 10 Reasons 2014 can be YOUR BEST YEAR YET!

10. Why not? Are you hoping it will be your worst year yet?

9. When you take time to set your intention for positive health & well-being, the universe will reward you.

8. Keep in mind setbacks are part of the journey and the growth. They test your will.

7. 2013 is over. Staying stuck in the past creates suffering and zaps you of the energy required to enjoy life.

6. While you are living this earthly existence why not challenge yourself to think positive? Even if you don’t win the lotto, doesn’t the possibility of it lift you up?

5. Love your life NOW. If you want something to change, fine. Go for it. In the meantime, love your life anyway. One day it will make sense. For now, trust.

4. Love is the possibility of possibilities. Without it, nothing changes.

3. Stay curious about life. Stretch yourself. The more comfortable you become with uncertainty and discomfort, the more freedom you will experience.

2. Commit to waking up. When you start to change on the inside, the outside changes.

1. Your choices, not your circumstances determine the quality of your life. Pay attention to your choices, especially the little ones. You take ownership of your life by taking ownership of your choices.

We are here to support you!

New Year’s Resolutions

New Year’s Resolutions

Did you know that 92% of all New Year’s resolutions fail? However much we WANT them to succeed, we need more than wishful thinking to make them happen. The most common type of resolution – to lose weight, get in shape, or improve our overall health – is also one of the hardest to stick to for so many.
Consider the following four tips people attribute their success to:
1) Make your resolution known: Share your intentions for better health with people you respect and trust.
2) Stay accountable: Track your progress and stay honest. Find someone you can be accountable to who inspires you.
3) Reward yourself: Treat yourself to smaller rewards along the way, and bigger rewards for bigger milestones.
4) Find a program, not just products that work: At the Sanctuary we can’t live without our Shaklee Weight Management & Weight Loss Products – yet this isn’t enough. You have to commit to a program in order to succeed long term.
Need help? We are here to teach, support & cheer you on! You can view our wellness services here.

Relax with Alternate Nostril Breath

Looking for an easy way to calm the mind, body and spirit?

Try Nadi Shodana: (nadi = subtle energy channel; shodhan = cleaning, purification; pranayama = breathing technique)

Here’s how: Sitting comfortably with a straight spine, relaxed shoulders, and a softened face, rest your left hand, palm turned face-up, on your left knee. Raising your outstretched right hand towards the face, turn down the ring finger and thumb so that they rest on your left and right nostrils, respectively. Press your thumb down to close the right nostril and breathe in slowly through the left nostril. Press your ring finger down on your left nostril, lift your thumb and breathe out slowly through the right. Now breathe in slowly through the right nostril, switch fingers, and breathe out through the left. Repeat this cycle of alternate nostril breathing for a total of 10 cycles, or longer as desired. Keep your eyes closed and breathe slowly and easily throughout.

You can use this technique before bed to help you sleep, throughout the day to keep you grounded, even during a bathroom break if you’re overwhelmed at work! Because this is so effective at clearing out blocked energy channels in the body, it’s also a great way to prepare your mind and body for your meditation practice.

Managing Stress: Stillness Speaks

One of the major contributors to aging is stress.  On-going stress not only ages us prematurely, it affects our daily quality of life! Stress also causes health problems. When our body is under on-going stress, our non-essential bodily functions shut down.  Yes, they shut down to self-preserve. This can cause serious digestive and reproductive issues, and negatively affect heart health due to elevated heart rate/blood pressure.  Finding ways to reduce stress will dramatically improve the quality of your life. Meditation, yoga and other breathing techniques are fantastic tools to help manage your stress.  Another tool is simply being quiet.

Try this: Allow yourself to drive, walk, run, sit, do “whatever” in silence. Silence can be profoundly relaxing–AND silence has its own message you might not be able to hear with all the usual “noise”.

Aging Well

We often get asked the question: “what is the secret to aging well?”. The answer: Live Well. When we live well, we look closely at lifestyle choices that include food, rest and love.

Take these steps to age slowly and well:

Stay Active: Walk, run, yoga, bike, do what makes you happy! Regular activity helps you manage stress, improve mood & manage weight.

Manage Stress: Chronic, on-going stress increases cortisol levels & effects everything from digestion to re-production and heart health. Reduce stress by practicing relaxation techniques such as meditation and breathing exercises.

Maintain an ideal weight: Being overweight is associated with a wide variety of aging diseases, including diabetes, colon cancer, hypertension, heart disease, and extra weight is hard on the joints. Get support if needed.

More Sleep: Lack of sleep can have devastating effects on our health, impacting our mood and even cold and flu resistance. Strive for a consistent sleep schedule. If your brain wont turn off or wakes you up, commit to meditation.

Stay Connected: The role of good social relationships is important to our overall health. As we age, having good social ties is linked to less depression, better cognitive skills, even a longer life.

Eat Fruits and Vegetables: Since only nine percent of Americans eat the recommended five servings of fruits and vegetables per day, the opportunity for improving health (and longevity) by improving diet is great.

Take a Multivitamin: Deficiency of vitamins B12, B6, C, E, niacin, folic acid, iron, or zinc all seem to mimic damage to DNA from radiation. Everyone should consider a good multivitamin to cover their base nutritional needs. View our favorite here.

Parabens & Breast Cancer

What exactly are parabens?

Why is it so important to us at BWS that the skin care products we use & sell are 100% paraben-free?

In short, parabens are low cost, highly effective preservatives with antibacterial and anti-fungal qualities that greatly extend the shelf-life of products. They are the most widely used cosmetic preservative in the US, and can be found in more than 13,000 products registered with the FDA. In fact, 99% of skin products meant to be left on the skin (such as lotions and serums) and 77% of rinse-off skin products (such as masks and cleansers) contain parabens! Yet parabens are a known allergen, and several studies have recently linked them to breast cancer, including one that found parabens still intact in 18 out of 20 breast tumors. Parabens are rapidly absorbed into the skin, at which point they bind to estrogen-receptors and mimic the hormone estrogen. There is now increasing concern that, because of this, parabens account for not only increased rates of breast cancer, but the prevalence of falling sperm counts in men and early onset of puberty in girls.

We’ve said it before but it bears repeating: all of the skin care products we use during facials and sell are 100% free of parabens…in fact none of the products here contain parabens, and that includes our cleaning products. We simply do not believe in using products that compromise your health and well being.