Tap Into Your Grooveline with Meditation

Tap into your Grooveline with Music

We are so busy most of the time these days. Between commuting, traveling, work, school, children, family, friends, and life in general it can feel overwhelming. I was on my way, somewhere the other day and a song came on that took me back to my high school homecoming dance. Okay, I am about to date myself.  “Grooveline” by Heatwave came on and I was in the car singing, moving my head, shaking my shoulders and having a good run down memory lane. Why is that?

Did you know that music changes your brain chemistry? Have you ever heard a song from your past and you were flooded with memories? Music is a form of meditation and can be very healing.  The combination of words, music and images transports us to where we were at that time. The body is absolutely amazing. Did you know that your body will remember and recall your feelings and emotions from a specific experience?  Those feelings and emotions are stored your physical cells.  Awesome, right? It is so important to remember that your body has a memory and we want to manage our experiences to be positive, loving and nourishing so the recall of our memories are good.

We all experience stress on some level, stress is a natural part of being alive and human. Using music to manage stress is one way to help us through our daily experiences and hopefully lighten the stress load.  I am sitting here now listening to my Beautiful Calm audio by Ananga Siyver, a wonderful artist I met online a few years ago when I was doing online research. The first sound of the morning meditation took me to a place of peace.  The sound and the tone of that chord transported me to when I first sat down to listen to the audio program.

I am excited to announce that I will be facilitating my stress management program, Why Struggle? Managing Stress with Meditation, see the details below:

Stress Management Program
Saturday, September 17, 2011
12 – 1:00 pm
Covington Highway Branch
3500 Covington Highway
Decatur, GA 30032-1850
(404) 508-7180

You will practice meditating and learn helpful tools, tips and techniques that are portable and may be used any time. There is no charge for the program so please share the information with others.

Let me know what music moved you lately and what’s on your current play list. Leave your comments below.

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.

What do you move to?

Salsa dancing
I’ve made a commitment to do more cardio in my workouts so I’ve been riding the bike and walking on the treadmill. I enjoy  salsa dancing as a form of exercise and fellowship.  If  I could dance salsa all the time that would be great. I am committed to do more cardio in other ways so that means I need a little help to keep me pumped up. I was listening to one of my workout playlists which consists of 11 songs.

A few of the lyrics stuck in my mind as I was walking on the treadmill.  I love music and movies as great teaching tools and reminders of life lessons. Songwriters are artists and often say things more eloquently than we can through their expressions of songand art. A few excerpts from these songs are below – they are great reminders of things about life- these are a few wonderful reminders of  knowing who you are, being comfortable with who you are and being hopeful.

Who are you? are you really a gem – then don’t be a hard rock and pretend to be someone you aren’t

Lauren Hill’s –  Doo Wap Song -“That Thing Called Love” – for the girls – “don’t be a hard rock when you really are a gem. Respect is just the minimum.” For the guys – “How you gonna win when you ain’t right within…come again.”

Are you comfortable in your own skin?
Mary J. Blige’s – “Work That”
“Let em get mad
They gonna hate anyway
Don’t you get that?
Doesn’t matter if you’re going on with their plan
They’ll never be happy
Cause they’re not happy with themselves ”

What are you hopeful about?

India Arie’s – “There’s Hope”

“There’s hope.
It doesn’t cost a thing to smile.
You don’t have to pay to laugh.
You better thank God for that.”

Music changes your brain chemistry and helps when you exercise.  One of my workout playlists is below:

Whatta Man- Salt & Pepa
 I Am Not my Hair- India Arie
We B. Doing it -Quincy Jones
Georgy Porgy- Eric Benet
There’s Hope – India Arie
Doo Woop(That Thing) – Lauren Hill
Bring it On – Seal
Hit the Road Jack- Ray Charles
Shoop- Salt & Pepa
Just Fine- Mary J. Blige
If That was your Boyfriend – Michelle Ndegeocello.

Let me know any lyrics that resonate with you by leaving a comment below.

Affirmations – How to make them work for you

You are Loved!

You are Loved!

What do you think about most of the time? Are your thoughts positive, negative, neutral?When something doesn’t go the way you want, what is your first thought? Our thoughts are constantly running around in our minds. Sometimes we forget that we can manage our thoughts. What we focus on expands in our lives. When we learn how to shift our focus from what we don’t want to what we do want, miracles happen.

Learning to use affirmations is one way to shift your focus from what you “don’t” want to what you “do” want.  Affirmations are positive statements of truth and change. An affirmation can reflect how you truly feel about yourself, “I am unique.” Affirmations can also help you move to where you want to be, “I relax and allow my inner spirit to guide my life.”

Your subconscious mind is like a video recorder that never stops running, it picks up sounds, ideas, thoughts, and feelings. Whether you believe them or not, affirmations make an impact on your subconscious mind.  These statements help you train and focus on what you “truly” want in your life. When you realize the power that you have to manage your thoughts and emotions you move into a new understanding of how to truly engage with life.

I recommend you think, write and say affirmations to continue to impress your subconsciousmind. You can think them throughout your day and definitely focus on them whenever you find yourself feeling stressed, anxious, depressed or having feelings that are not positive. Here are a few of my favorites. Enjoy!

• I am a unique divine expression of love.
• I am available to receive more good than I have ever imagined.
• I am alive, alert, awake and enthusiastic!
• I believe my path is mine alone and I know that I am where I should be at this time, space and place.
• I relax and allow my inner spirit to guide my life.
• I design all areas of my life with ease and grace.
• I am grateful for all the teachers and lessons of my life.

When you find yourself focusing on what you don’t want – try one or all of these affirmations to jumpstart your thoughts back to where you truly want to be. Remember you have the power to create the life you want to live.

Let me know your thoughts by clicking the comment button, I’d like to know what you have to say.

NOTE: You may save this article, send it to a friend, or use it in your online publications, provided the above attribution paragraph remains with the article with at least one active link and you make no changes to the article or its title.

Be Still: Why Do That?

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 morning I sit on my sofa, I close my eyes and 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.

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.

Click here for to listen to a sample meditation from my upcoming CD, Be Still: Learn to Meditate in 10 Minutes a Day.

Share your thoughts or meditation practice below in the comments.

Check out my article on Salsa Dancing!

Bailando Salsa! (Dancing Salsa)

 When was the last time you tried something new? When was the last time you stepped out of your comfort zone? Are you living life, or just simply existing? Think about the last time you did something new, if you can’t remember, it has probably been too long. Why not simply try something new?

About nine years ago a friend invited me to go to a “latin dance” club.  I had no idea what that was and I didn’t want to go.  I was over the going out to club thing and had done enough of that in my twenties.  She and another friend went without me.  The next day she came back bragging about how much fun they had and how it really was not likea typical club, on and on. Yeah, sure. The next week she kept bugging me about going.  I went. I went to shut her up. Well, that was how I started dancing salsa.  I stepped out of my comfort zone, tried something new and I found another way to truly enjoy life. Salsa dancing has become one of my favorite activities, it’s great exercise, the music is wonderful, I’m learning another language and having fun with a group of diverse people who enjoy life.In January I celebrated my 46th birthday salsa style.  A group of my salsa crew came out dancing with me at the Sanctuary and I got to do one of my favorite things, DANCE.  Every  birthday I thank my good friend, Ade, who got me to “step out of my comfort zone” to try something new.  And now, I can’t stop trying new things.  You never know when you will find your own “salsa.” If you are interested in more information about salsa in Atlanta, GA check out Afrisalsa – (www.afrisalsa.com) a cultural organization to promote cross cultural activity.  Anana Parris Harris is the CEO of Afrisalsa, she will add you to the mailing list for her classes and let you know when we go out dancing.  You can also check out www.salsaweb.com – look for the cities guide and find a local spot to check out the salsa scene.  Try something new, step out of your comfort zone, and remember, LIVE LIFE with Passion!  Hope to see you on the dance floor.