Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Becoming Mindful

Mindfulness  = awareness….. Becoming aware of ourselves, our thoughts, our grace and love for self and others.
If you haven’t heard, being “mindful” is “in”! It’s not your grandmother telling you to mind your manners or your father telling you to mind his line of vision to the TV screen.  This mindfulness is an amazing concept brought about by author  Dr. Jon Kabat Zinn. His work, and others, can be found archived at the Center for Mindfulness at the University of Mass. Medical School.
Some mindful links and resources :
Mindful - a wonderful site on learning to be mindful at work, in our relationships and within….
Omega Institute - offers a variety of mindful events and meditations year-long

For more info on these links to mindfulness visit The Happy Healer.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Seeing Beauty....

Hooray for photos! and the love of photography! Check out my guest blog at Ari Hunter's "See Beauty" posts on her site :)

She's SO talented and has some amazing photo work!!!!


Thursday, September 1, 2011

we're moving...

HI there! sorry it's been a while, but,  I've moved! 
Please continue to follow me at:

I've got lots of new links and videos to check out too!
I'm also working on an "energy healing kit" - available later this year... be sure to follow to get your free kit :)

I've also added a photo blog!!! www.animafoto.wordpress.com

thanks for following!


Saturday, March 5, 2011

Fairies & Tales

As a teacher, and coach, I often, unknowingly, add a bit of “therapy” into my lessons. Working with teenagers can be a challenge, but, it can also be very rewarding, and a great learning opportunity too.
I was sort of  “forced” to revisit the tale of Pinocchio this week with my students. Carlo Collodi, the author of the original “Pinocchio,” knew in 1881 about the “tales” coming from the mouthes of babes. His story is well versed by almost every child today. When asked “what’s Pinocchio about?,” students will usually says “long noses and lies.” Yes, they know the basic concept and revisiting their (not so long-ago childhood) isn’t something they seem to enjoy too much either.
“Why would Pinocchio fall for that?,” they ask as they watch him dig into the groud to plant gold coins. “That’s absurd! Who would fall for that?” they continue. So, I stop the DVD and ask “Were you 5 yrs old once? Would YOU have ‘fallen’ for that joke from the cat and the fox?” They stop and quickly scan back 10 or so years, “oh, yeah, I see.”
And they do see, but how quickly we forget! Is it not fun to watch a childhood film when you’re 15 or 16? My years of experience have shown that answer is a “no, it’s not so fun.” But why? Answers?:
“We’re not babies any more.” – “That’s so old!” – “We GET it already!” – “This is so boring.” etc…. And yes, while some of that may just be true for a teenager, I ask them to take it a step further, then answer this: “If this were true (blue fairies, talking puppets, etc.)  wouldn’t it be a fun place to live?”  I usually get boughts of silence or an occassional “ok, she’s gone over the edge now!” remark. But I remind them that at 4, 5, even 6 yrs of age, they did live in the fairy tale world and it was wonderful. The fairies were beautiful and the puppets were friends. Talking animals and bugs were fantastic! (the cricket is my favorite in Collodi’s tale – I equate him to a sort of Buddha-Jedi Master!)
It’s a world we all were familiar with – at one time. We let that go as we allow ourselves to believe our thoughts, fed to us by others, and hence, let go of our fairy tale world. It doesn’t mean that world can’t be revisited. Maybe you remember fewer fairies and more butterflies. Maybe the childhood world you recall was full of playmates and friends, animals and waterfalls. But know that , at one point, this happy place did exist and we just allowed ourselves to forget it and leave it behind.
If you take this literally, good. If not, allow yourself to find a quiet time each day and meditate on this idea. Some Reiki Masters and therapists call it “Inner Child” work – it is, and it’s not.  This work, this type of meditating will bring you to your happiest childhood moments and surroundings. It may take some time, and you may not get there immediately but don’t give up. Work on meditating for just a few minutes if you’re new to this, then, gradually, extend the amount of time. Write down some of the memories that come to you after you’re done meditating. If you still find it difficult to locate your land of fairies, think of a favorite color or simple object as you meditate. 
Enjoy and allow the flow of visions to move through you.

Below are a few FairyTale Etsy finds! :

Visit my new blogs at:

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Building Blocks

Keeping it short, but sweet, for today... I like building blocks - for all ages. I tell my students (adults and teens) to look at learning as building blocks - always use what you've learned to build with, and keep building.
My love for photos follows the "building block" theory too - literally. I love to edit photos and "play" - for me, it's pure therapy! So, recently I took a few "blah" photos and made blocks with them. = a lot of fun and a few new, more lively, images.
If you're finding yourself a bit "stuck" - think in terms of building blocks. Jog your memory and use what you know, build on top of that and soon enough you'll find your therapy, your fun and lots of other interesting moments abound!

And, of course, some Etsy "block" finds:

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Fear Not!

If I had to pick one phrase from my childhood to have TRULY learned, it would be “don’t be afraid…”  Try it, pick something you just wish you had listened to years ago.
My selection comes from the fact that now, so many years later, I TRULY understand what fear is capable of, and how fear can hold a person, a community, a nation, back – way back.
Intuitive diagnostics on humans show that fear (and anger, also, fear-based), is the primary cause of so much of our daily stress and tension. Just listen to your body for stress, you know what hurts and where. But, why? Why does it TRULY hurt? If you’re honest with yourself, you may find that a lot of your aches and pains, from stress, originate in fear.
Fear of what? I’m not afraid of anything. I’m not 4 years old any more. No, you’re not 4 any more, but some of the fears that you have carried with you may stem from when you were 4, or 6 or 10 years of age. Fear of not having enough, fear of not being enough, fear of disappointing someone, fear of making a mistake – they’re all fears we’ve encountered, but we may just not have dealt with them when we did first encounter them, and ever since, we’ve carried them with us.
Good news! You don’t have to do that any more. Confront your fears. Sit quietly each day, meditate – it’s fear medicine. A potent potion which will, in time, help put your fears to rest. As you meditate pay attention to any aches, pains you may feel. You may want to journal what you find as well. After discovering what fears may be ailing you, confront them – head on. Otherwise, they will continue to cause you distress.
There are two wonderful resources that can help you identify your pains with your fears: 1. Louise Hay Heal Your Body A-Z  and 2. Deborah King and her “Truth Heals Chakra Chart.”  There are , of course, many other authors and teachers on this subject, however, I’ve found these two to be most helpful for my understanding of fear and the body’s responses.
If meditation isn’t something you have tried before, there’s no time like the present! And speaking of which, the present is all we have. Right now, that’s it. So, what a great time to get rid of the fears you’ve been holding on to. They don’t serve you now.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Get Running!

I took, what felt like, my first "real" run yesterday. It was the first beautiful day after weeks, no, months, of snow and ice. Everyone must have felt the same way, there were lots of runners and joggers in the park with me.
This was a liberating kind of run, and when I was done, I could tell that there was a lot more to what I had just done than put some sneakers on.
I can't remember ever loving running. In fact, I've despised it, for a long, long time. At the same time, I've admired all of those people I see on the roads, running with such grace. I love being outside, and I've wanted to run like them, but it just was a "no" - in my mind -always. Then, the first nice day comes about and there I am, SO excited to hit the blacktop. What happened? I still don't know the exact trigger, but what I do know is that little 45 minute run was one of the best things I've felt in a long time. I felt every muscle in my body, every nerve, and it was amazing. The sensation was overwhelming.
My friends encouraged me to use one of the new applications to start into my new-found mysterious torture, and they were SO right. Having a little "trainer" on my Ipod was exactly what I needed. Without my music, the beauty of the park and that little trainer's voice, I don't know that I would have been able to finish the first day's training.
After 45 minutes I was done, I was sweating a bit, my face was bright red and I was out of breathe. I felt like jello. But I wanted to keep moving, so I just kept walking. I cried and laughed and thanked every part of my body for helping me complete my first day of a "real" run.
Truth be told, after all of these years, I can run. I just told myself that I didn't want to, that I wasn't good at it and despised it - that's that the part that held me back, my own mind. Of course, I won't say this was easy. Yes, I can walk a good 10 miles if I want to -and I love it. But running, well, it's going to take some time. I did love how it made me feel. I can't wait to hit the road again tomorrow. Looking forward to the pain, and proving my thoughts wrong.
Ps - did I mention my first 5K is in May?  :)

A few of my Etsy finds for the running theme :)