Be Grateful

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MAKES

How do you start your day? Before I even open my eyes I raise my arms up to the skies and say, ” thank you, God” for another day. I breathe in the clean air and say, “thank you, God” for another day to be alive and to be of service while I am here. I just lie in bed for few moments and allow that blessing to envelop me like a warm blanket.

There are people that woke up this morning and found someone in their home who was not breathing. There are people who woke up this morning and received news that a loved one had transitioned.  There are some people who did not have a bed to sleep in. Be grateful.

When I am at home, my husband, TD, and I usually both say a morning prayer while we are still in bed to guide and direct our day. Yes, for those who did not know, I married Td Robinson in December 2014. What a blessing he is, and that’s another blog post.I am very grateful. Be grateful.

This morning, in Albany Georgia as I was dictating this blog post, my Yorki Poo, (my mother’s dog) Lacee  just snuggled up to me. At home Lacee has been sleeping on the pillow next to the bed. This was new after years of sleeping in the bed. I am pretty sure she was grateful to be
in the bed sleeping with me. Be grateful.

Thank you God, for waking me up this morning with my physical body intact. Thank you for my sight, taste, touch, hearing, smell and intuition. Thank you for all of the blessings that I receive and the abundance of my life. I am here to serve. Help me know the right words
to say at the right time to the right people. Allow your grace to help me discern the places I need to go today and allow me to be connected with my personal guidance system (PGS) for all of my decisions this day and every day.

I do a series of stretches while in bed to show appreciation to my body since I’ve been sleeping. I take another deep breath in and exhale. I rise out of bed, stand and do a few calf raises with my arms raised and say thank you again. I sometimes do additional stretches while standing. And by this time Lacee is looking at me as if to say, ” can you let a dog out?”  If I move too slowly, Lacee will snort. I let Lacee out and say ” thank you, God”  for Lacee because I know we will be walking soon.  I am grateful to have Lacee to walk. Walking Lacee gives me a way to start my day with exercise and that is a form of meditation, a walking meditation. On my morning walks with Lacee I usually walk in silence and listen and get great ideas. That’s another blog post.

Thank you God. I say “thank you, God” constantly throughout the day. “Thank you, God” is my moment to moment mantra, a simple phrase that expresses a powerful thought. When I’m faced with something that seems painful, sad, upsetting, I take a deep breath and say thank you, God. In all things, give thanks.

A special thanks to my girlfriend, Regenna London, who inspires me with her 40 Day Plan. Regenna is doing a blog post every day for 40 days, along with other amazing things, she is a life coach and certified personal trainer as well, check her out at Tuninguplife.com. If the people around you don’t inspire you, find some new people to be around. It really is that simple.

Don’t forget to take time to be still, get clear, and choose well. “Thank you, God” for the ability  and interest in writing again.

This is part of how I start my morning. I’d love to know how you begin your day. Share your thoughts with me below and hopefully we can share ideas, insights, and offer an inspiration to someone today.

Meditation Moments: Take a Break (2:22)

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Greetings,

Do you jump out of bed and start your day in a hurry?  Do you look up and realize that 3/4 of your day has passed and you don’t know what happened? Did you stop at any point in your day to just savor a moment? You are not alone.
Many of us (myself included) are off and running from the time we get up until we retire at night.

Enjoy this short (2:22) break during your day, come back often or save for future reference…and of course, please share with others.

Click below and enjoy!

 

Be Still: We DID THAT!

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Meditation in process

Posted on the conference room doors at the office 🙂

Be still, we did that! I am so thrilled that the first Meditations and Conversations session on April 26 had six participants who accepted the invitation to recharge, replenish and reconnect using meditation and breath work as a foundation. A few of the comments shared by the attendees are below.

“I felt refreshed, lighter and brighter.” Yolanda

“ I felt relaxed, happy and could just be. “ Surayya

“ I learned how to have quiet time to make myself relax.” Antoinette

“ I felt relieved.” Tracy

I was so excited after the program on Sunday I invited a few co-workers to “take a 10 minute break” at 3:00 pm on Wednesday.  Five people, in person, and two people via phone gathered quietly in the conference room and allowed themselves to sit, breathe and “just be.”  Feeling relaxed, focused, rejuvenated were some of the feeling expressed from the 10 minute session. After our meditation several people asked when we would do that again. I honestly just followed my instinct and I hadn’t thought about doing it again… or had I?

Later that day I remembered I had an idea for an Office Meditation Group (OMG) several months ago and I blew it off. I had even talked about it with one of my Toastmasters members.  I’m learning daily that certain ideas must be implemented and not remain idle. I’m also learning to listen, obey and act on the insights and ideas I receive. I have learned that it is “because of the silence” and not “in the silence” that I am able to gain clarity and make better choices.

On Friday at 3:00 pm, six of us gathered for 10 minutes to stop, breathe and focus. When I opened my eyes and saw the look of relaxation on the faces of my co-workers, I smiled and sent a thank you to the universe. I’ll be scheduling regular 10 minutes sessions based on popular demand.

Meditation is so many things. Mental focus. A muscle. A tool.  It’s like trying a food you have never tried, you just don’t know if you will like it until you take a bite or a few bites. And there are times you try a food and don’t like it, at a different time you try the same food and enjoy it. I encourage you to take a bite and give meditation a try. The next Meditations and Conversations session will be on 5/24 @ 2:00 pm.

My audio program, Be Still: Learn to Meditate in 10 Minutes a Day is available on ITunes, CD baby, Amazon and other online locations.  Be Still has been designed with 10 minute meditations to ease you into the practice of meditation. There are tons of apps and sites now for guided meditations, meditationoasis.com (site and app) and
anxietyslayer.com–  (site and app). I also enjoy listening to Your Present: A Half-Hour of Peace by Susie Mantell to help me relax into a restful sleep.

If you are local to Atlanta please visit Juiceez & Etc.  20 Jackson Street SE Atlanta, GA 30312 on
Sundays @ 2:00 pm and Wednesdays@ 6:30 pm for Guided Meditation and Sound Vibration Therapy with Surayya Abuldmateen. You can also check out Yogahive.org for meditation, yoga and more.

Please share your thoughts below in the comments.

Be Still: Why do that? Updated

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Meditation-Om. The sound of the word can create images of monks sitting crossed legged chanting words you don’t understand.  Or maybe people in flowing robes espousing words of universal love.  Forget your preconceived ideas of what you may think meditation is and focus on the results of regular practice. Take a moment to imagine a day that starts out peaceful and clear and well executed. Silence is a way to add to your spiritual bank account. Peace of mind, clarity and focus are some of the results of regular meditation.

Meditation is the process of letting go of the thoughts in your mind so you can release and recharge. Meditation for me is the process of going inside to reconnect with myself. It allows me to let go. I have become more clear and focused and that allows me to make better choices.When meditation was first suggested to me it didn’t make sense.  Being still?  Are you kidding? What could I learn from silence? I was a talker. Who would I talk to? I enjoyed thought provoking conversations.  I didn’t get it at all. My connection with my inner spirit was probably there but it was temporarily disconnected due to lack of funds.  At 30 I had not learned that the currency required for my spiritual bank account was in the form of being still. I was being proactive by seeking out information from sources like people, books and classes.  I was not interested at all in being still.  Stillness didn’t seem like a way to learn anything.

In 1995 I started dabbling with meditation a few times a week.  I didn’t want to commit to the practice.  I was afraid to be still. I was afraid of what I might find out about myself. Quiet Barbara scared me. I started meditating very slowly and with hesitation. I was still not convinced I would really benefit from silence. It took several years before I decided to create a daily spiritual practice that included some form of meditation.  I used a guided cassette daily in the morning and learned to be still.  When I decided to embrace meditation as a natural process for growth and development I began to understand the power of silence. I saw myself grow like a newly watered flower.

Now, I won’t leave my house without my meditation time. If I am running late, I will be 5 minutes later.  Meditation recharges my internal batteries. Every day I sit and I close my eyes,
I breathe in and out and I sit in complete silence. In the stillness I have a reverence and an appreciation for my life.  I give thanks to The Creator for all people and experiences I have had and the ones I will create.  In the five to ten minutes of complete silence I allow my thoughts to do what they will, sometimes they tell me what I need to do, sometimes not. I allow my meditation time to develop as it will. It is because of the silence and not always in the silence I gain clarity.

My daily meditation practice reminds me that I have a lot more to learn about myself and life.  I have learned that I need to be still to get clear so I can choose well. After meditating my spiritual bank account is full and I am ready to create the day I want. Be Still: Yes, I must do that.

If you’ve ever wanted to try to be still or meditate, come enjoy an hour of breath work, meditations, and conversations designed to help you relax, recharge and replenish your spirit. I will be leading a meditation group at Juiceez & Etc.  20 Jackson Street SE Atlanta, GA 30312

Meditations & Conversations

Dates: 4/26, 5/24, 6/28, 7/26, 8/23, 9/27, 10/25, 11/22

Time: 2:00 pm – 2:15 pm  Registration
2:15 pm – 3:15pm  Meditation
3:15 pm – 4:00 pm Conversations

Cost:  $10

Click here for my audio program, Be Still: Learn to Meditate in 10 Minutes a Day.

Share your thoughts below in the comments.

Opportunities for giving

It’s that time of the year. We see Give…Give…Give… EVERYWHERE. Yesterday I donated blood at the American Red Cross  and had an interesting conversation with the people assisting me. Usually when I give blood I can get in and out very quickly, I have good veins and I don’t usually have issues with blood flow. Denise did the initial questioning and set up prior to the actual blood donation and started the process. I was prepared and started reading my book, Brida, which a friend just recently passed on for me to read.

As I sat reading my book, Georgia was called over to assist Denise and after a few moments I asked what was happening. Georgia made some adjustments and my blood began to flow generously. Joshua came over to check on me and to end the donation process. The holiday season is always an opportunity for conversations around a lot of topics, giving being near the top of the list.

He was quite passionate about giving and concerned about the emphasis on giving gifts during Christmas. Joshua talked about how so many Christians focused so much money and energy on buying gifts. We chatted and I reminded him of the power of ONE…Every ONE. I suggested that he could be an example to others of how to share that loving, giving spirit that comes with the holiday year round. I laughed and reminded him that his name was Joshua, from the Bible, and he smiled in recognition of the story of his name. Every day we have opportunities to be examples of how we “say” we want the world to be. We are the ultimate examples of living by our example.

I have been donating blood for several years. I’ve gone from donating about once a year to at least 3-4 times a year. Taking time out of my day (about 1 hour or less) a few times a year is one of the ways I give throughout the year.

Share your thoughts about how you give year round, I’d love to hear from you! See an original poem of mine below:

Opportunities
by Barbara J. Faison

Every day we have opportunities around us.
Every day we have fear walk up to us.
Every day we have love run away.
Every day we have choices we must make.
As this day unfolds make your life as you choose.
As this day springs to life, choose what you will bring forth and do so with love, honesty and compassion.
As this day goes on, continue to share your abundance with others.

Opportunities are all around us.
We have an opportunity to:

Offer assistance to someone in need.
Share a kind word.
Speak to a stranger.
Give from our heart.
Believe in good things.
Inspire others to soar!
Love someone patiently.
Hope for the best.
Expect kindness.
Be kind.

As this day ends, be grateful for the beauty you have experienced.

How Are You Living by Design?

How are you living by design?

In 2009,  I took a few months to “be still” so I could “get clear” and then “choose well.” I started drinking fresh “live” juices as a part of my diet, I vacationed in Puerto Rico and was able to enjoy the company of great friends, wonderful weather and of course, salsa dancing.  I have been fine tuning my personal guidance system (PGS) and I am continuing to create the life experiences I desire.

Social media has continued to climb in usage from Facebook, to Twitter, to You Tube.  I’ve returned to embracing aspects of technology including Facebook and this blog as ways to stay connected.  As human beings we have the power of choice. We often forget that we have the ability to fully engage in life or to simply live our lives on auto pilot. I am choosing to “Live by Design.”

It’s been 10 years since I wrote my book, Why Struggle? life is too short to wear tight shoes and yes, I’m still meditating daily and still recommending everyone, (yes, everyone can benefit) take at least a minimum of five minutes (300 seconds) to be still…so they can get clear… and choose well. Here’s a quick meditation for you. This one minute meditation will remind you to BREATHE – http://bit.ly/8GQ5th.

If you are looking for stocking stuffers  or gifts for the holiday season, I’m offering several specials on my website, www.dontstress.net, for my book and cd.

I’m completing my program, “Live More, Stress Less” in a few weeks and will be offering this course as well as a few other programs live and virtual programs in 2010.  I am on Facebook and would enjoy connecting with you if we aren’t already connected you can reach me at facebook.com/barbarafaison.

Please share this blog with your friends, family, colleagues or organizations.  If you are interested in mini-workshops, group sessions or book clubs, email me at barbara@dontstress.net.   I also want to know what things you are doing to create the life you desire.

Remember to take the time to be still, get clear and choose well so you can Live By Design.

Going Home

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Lacee

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Mom The Sage

“I’m going home, to a place where I belong where your love has always been enough for me… Cause these places and these spaces are getting old. I’m going home.”   Lyrics from Home by Chris Daughtry

Going home for me means I am going to visit my mother, the Sage of life. We have our usual things that we do on my monthly visits that I have learned to treasure. If I arrive on Friday and I am not too tired we sit and talk. On Sat morning we eat a great breakfast after I get up…no matter what time. At home, I sleep in and enjoy being in a place filled with loving memories.

During and after breakfast, we chat…and chat…and laugh. The weekend is filled with fried fish on Saturday evening and leftover fish and grits for Sunday breakfast and a lot of life talks  and laughter with the food. While we are chatting, Lacee, my mother’s lovable Yorkipoo, usually jumps in my lap. Lacee has figured out our routine. Food fellowship, then out for fun! Lacee uses this time to remind us that as a “lapdop” she wants her “lap” time before we get out in the streets. Lacee also knows that I will take her for a long walk before we leave. When feels like we have laughed and chatted enough she will jump down and look at me with those puppy dog eyes as if to say, “Are you ready yet?”

When she sees me put my shoes on she starts running in a circle from sheer excitement. After we walk Lacee comes back and drinks some water and plops down on the cool tile floor. I shower and mom and I are off to run errands and continue to enjoy our time together.  Going home and spending time with my mother is a ritual I treasure that is priceless.

Home is one place I can rejuvenate, recharge, regroup, relax and be reminded of the simple pleasures of life. I am HOME… a place where I belong.

Where do you go or what do to recharge? I would enjoy your thoughts.

How are you living? (Part II) Fresh Juice Recipes

my green juice

                                               Fresh Juice Recipes

I decided to list the fresh juices I have been trying and some recommended
suggestions from friends who have been juicing longer than I.  As I get better with
the combinations I will share the amounts, right now I’m just looking at what I have
andguessing what amounts will produce the amount of juice I want, it’s pretty fun.

This is getting interesting and I’m getting creative as Gregory notes in another post.
Here are the juices I’ve freshly juiced thus far along with the others from friends.

Barbara’s Juice Combos
8/29/09 – Pineapple and pear – VERY YUMMY!
8/30/09 – Spinach, celery, parsley, kale & apple
8/31/09 –  Leek, spinach, romaine lettuce, celery, a little bit of red pepper and
ginger – pretty SPICY
9/1/09 –     Cucumber, romaine lettuce, parsley, celery, kale, apple and a little bit of
ginger – light tasting
9/2/09 –    Spinach, red kale, apple, a little bit of giner, celery, and parsley – I had
some leftover stuff and and threw it all in the batch
9/3/09 –    Celery, cucumber, red kale, spinach and a little bit of ginger
9/4/09 –    Red Kale, red bell pepper, gala apple and little bit of ginger
9/5/09 –    3/4 cored pineapple, 1 grapefruit, small sliver of ginger
9/6/09 –    1/2 cored pineapple, 1 pear, 1 peach, small sliver of ginger – YUMMY!
9/7/09 –    carrot, apple & a small sliver of ginger – Pretty good
romaine lettuce, dino kale, celery, apple, a small sliver of ginger -good

9/8/09 –    Romaine lettuce, dino kale, celery, apple, a small sliver of ginger -good
9/9/09 –    8 carrots, 1 gala apples, sliver of ginger – Pretty good- made about 12 oz.
9/10/09 –  1/2 Cantalope – Pretty good – made about 5 oz.
9/11/09 –  Dino kale, spinach, green apple, sliver of ginger – okay.
9/12/09 –  Pineapple, pear – good
9/13/09 –   Dino kale, 1 small beet root, celery, romaine lettuce, sliver of ginger (okay)
9/14/09 –   Dino kale, 1 small beet root, celery, romaine lettuce, sliver of ginger  (okay)
9/15/09 –  1 small beet root, celery, romaine lettuce, sliver of ginger (okay)
9/16/09 –  1 small beet root, celery, romaine lettuce, sliver of ginger (okay)
9/17/09 –   Dino kale, 1 small beet root, celery, romaine lettuce, sliver of ginger  (okay)
9/18/09 –   Dino kale, 1 small beet root, celery, romaine lettuce, sliver of ginger  (okay)
9/19/09 –   1 small beet root, celery, romaine lettuce, sliver of ginger (okay)
9/20/09 –   1 small beet root, celery, romaine lettuce, sliver of ginger (okay)
9/21/09 –   Carrots, 1 gala apples, sliver of ginger – Pretty good
9/22/09 –  endive, romaine lettuce, apples, ginger – (too strong ;-(

Here’s one from Gregory Fitzpatrick, thanks for the amounts. 🙂
Carrot, beet, parsnips, and ginger. Try starting out with 2 or 3 parsnips,
1/4 of a medium size beet, 1/2 the length of your thumb of ginger, 5 carrots.
Yummy. Then play with it on amounts.

Asia Hadley, likes kale and apple,  thanks for sharing. 🙂 Check out her blog at http://beaconsfrontline.com/

There are many resources on juicing and benefits of doing so you can
search to check out different thoughts about it.

Here’s a great overview from my Wellness Center- Life Empowerment Institute:
http://www.trustedhands.com/content/juicingarticle.html

I’ d love to list your favorite juices and suggestions, so please share. I can’t wait to
to see what you come up with.

How are you living? Part I- (Healthy Eating)

Embrace Change
How am I treating my body?

Living by design means to consciously create the life you want to live.
Every moment of our lives we are making choices that will have a tremendous
effect on what we do.  Some of the things we might do include eating, talking,
drinking, laughing and sharing our life experiences.

A few things to consider as we are creating the lives we want to live:

How am I treating my body? What type of loving care am I giving my body to
show my appreciation? Am I eating (most of the time) foods that are nourishing
and healthy?

Last week I agreed to support a friend who had started juicing fresh fruits and
vegetables.  I believe that if things come into my life a few times, and I am paying
attention, I need to act on them.  When Kym mentioned that she was doing
fresh juices, I knew I had to do something; the third time was the charm.
I own a very nice juicer from over four years ago when I played around with
fresh juices then. Plus, my chiropractor, Dr. Cara has been recommending
that I add it back into my diet for awhile now.
So, off to juicing I go.

I made the commit to start to add fresh fruit and veggie juices into my eating plan
and I’ve been enjoying getting creative with the options.  I’ve listed below a few
juices I’ve tried.

Green veggies:
*Spinach, kale, celery, parsley, romaine lettuce, apple
*Cucumber, romaine lettuce, parsley, celery, apple
*Romaine lettuce, kale, apple, ginger – my favorite so far

Fresh fruit juice:
I had 2 pears that were on their way out, I mixed with some fresh pineapple…YUMMY

Let me know how you are living and appreciating your body with healthy foods and
nutrition.  If you have a favorite juice, please share with us.

Opening the door

Opening the door to being still

Opening the door to being still

Five Ways to find time to “Be Still”

Greetings,
Okay, here’s the deal.  I have so many people tell me they can’t find the time to Be Still so they can Get Clear…and then Choose well.  Here are a few ways to add this essential practice into your life.  Some of these may be a bit amusing, but they have been proven to work.

1.  When driving in the car – don’t turn on music or radio or talk…simply
drive and pay attention to what’s around you.
2.   When in the bathroom – at home or work – take an extra few minutes
and  close your eyes and breathe in and out for a few moments.
3.   When you take a lunch break – go to a room or outside and sit and take
in a few conscious breaths.
4.   If you have children, I’ve been told going into the closet is a great place
to hide out for a few minutes.
5.  When you get to work or your destination…sit in the car for a few
minutes and breathe in and out.

Remember, taking the time to Be Still and connecting with your breath plants you into the PRESENT moment.  Focusing on breathing takes away your emphasis on thinking and puts you in a state of BEING.

Let me know if any of these work, or if you any thoughts you would like to share.

PGS- Personal Guidance System

  Your PGS

PGS – Personal Guidance System

I just returned from Puerto Rico; the beautiful people, weather and of course salsa dancing helped me relax, recharge and rejuvenate.  Walking on the beach enjoying the sand, I was reminded of how important is is to be still, get clear and choose well.   I was reminded of how important it is that I connect with my PGS…read on.

I received a great surprise gift for Christmas, a GPS system.  This great piece of technology helps me find my way to a destination and even offers points of interest on my journey.  I can connect with this tool to be sure that I make it to many places, often unknown to me.  I have friends who use their GPS exclusively to get around on a daily basis.

We all have a PGS- Personal Guidance System – inside of us – all we have to do is connect. Your PGS is inside you and waiting for you to tune in and connect.  If you start using this system, you can connect with it anytime to remind you of where you are and where you want to go.  Simply be still and ask. When I take the time be still, I connect with my PGS and start that moment from a place of peace, calm and focus.  Here are a few steps to help you start connecting with your PGS:

1.  Find a place where you can be alone for a few minutes. ( you decide how long that is)
2.  Sit in a comfortable position with your back straight.
3.  Relax your hands and close your eyes.
4.  Start to recognize your breathing and sit and breathe.
5.  Allow your thoughts to flow – don’t try to control your thoughts.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on how you connect with your PGS, please leave a comment below.

How are you treating life these days?

Barbardos- June 2008

Greetings,

How are you treating life these days? Yes, that’s right. Instead of saying, “How are you doing? Or How’s life? I started asking people, “How are you treating life?” Hmmm…now that’s different right? It makes you think about what YOU are doing in your life. A dog is a dog. A cat is a cat. As human beings we have the power of choice. We often forget that we have the ability to fully engage in life or to simply live our lives on auto pilot. To truly LIVE Life is a choice. Making specific and conscious choices is what I call, “Living by Design.”

1999, I wrote my book, Why Struggle? Life is too short to wear tight shoes as a mini compendium of ideas, thoughts, philosophies and tips for helping me manage life’s unpredictable changes and to help me learn to Live by Design. Around that same time I started dabbling with meditation and relaxation techniques but I didn’t quite dedicate myself to the practice.

Being a student of life and growth, I decided I would give meditation a try, why not? Sitting and being still was very challenging at first- now, I don’t start my day without at least 600 seconds (10 minutes) of silence or meditation. A few months ago I released my meditation cd, Be Still: Learn to Meditate in 10 Minutes a Day  and I have been truly honored by the positive responses.

Daily we brush our teeth, shower and prepare ourselves to go out into the world. Meditation is mental hygiene. It is one way to prepare our mind for our day. Meditation provides mental clarity. Consistently meditating as little as 3 minutes a day ensures more focus, greater clarity and less stress. At work or in our careers we train ourselves about things we don’t know. Why not train your mind to manage your thoughts and emotions more effectively? Why not use this amazing tool to create what you want?

Do you have 600 seconds a day that you can devote to yourself? Don’t you deserve 10 minutes a day to be with yourself? In less than 10 minutes a day you can start making changes in your life that will impact every choice you make with more awareness and clarity.I’m offering several specials on my website, www.dontstress.net, for my book and cd.

ONLINE Special Pricing – available at www.dontstress.net.

Be Still CD – $15.00 (regular price- $16.95)
Be Still CD Special – 3 CD’S for $45.00
Be Still MP3 – Download Available immediately for only $13.00
Why Struggle? Book – 1 for $9.95
Why Struggle? Book Special – 3 for $25.00
Don’t Stress Special – 1 book + 1 CD – $24.95

Take a 5 minute break…Listen to a sample meditation from Be Still:Learn to Meditate in 10 Minutes a Day
Please take five minutes for yourself and be still, get clear so you can choose well. You can listen to a five minute sample from the CD several ways:

1. Click this link to listen through streaming: http://www.byoaudio.com/play/WdX5zMwx
2. View relaxing images and listen at You Tube. (be sure to leave a comment)
3. Visit my website, www.dontstress.net and listen to samples.

Please share this email with your friends, family, colleagues or organizations.  If you are interested in mini-workshops, group sessions or book clubs, email me at barbara@dontstress.net.

Remember to take the time to be still, get clear and choose well. Create a the day YOU want to live.