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Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Nature Heals You -- 10 Ways to Enjoy it

Growing up in Manhattan in New York City I realized the power of getting outside with nature. Central Park, Carl Schurz Park (where Gracie Mansion is and the Mayor of NYC usually resides) and even the garden on the roof of my 5 story walk up apartment building were my getaways. After visiting any of those places I would feel revitalized. Now living in upstate, NY nature is all around me and I am very grateful I need to just look out my window to be amazed by the beautiful mountains and trees. I never quite knew WHY I felt better after visiting these places but as I have learned the last 18 months -- nature is one of the easiest places to feel at peace, be still and connect with the world as a whole. Even if you are ill there are ways to connect with nature that will enliven you. Nature can heal and relax you in so many ways -- here are 10 of my favorite ways to connect with nature.

1) Walking
Whether alone or walking a dog, walking is great for you and gives you time to be quiet and let your mind wander. I have written about walking and what it means to me previously. Growing up a city girl I loved to walk and it was typical to walk several miles in one day without even thinking about it. Now that I am in a suburban/rural area I have to become more conscious that I am getting my walking in. I am lucky enough to live by a park that I can walk to and use for long walks either in the woods or in the big open fields. If you are ill, walking may seem difficult but even a short walk down your block/road or driveway and back will get your heart pumping and will let you experience different scenery. I was fortunate when I was ill that I did have to get out every day to take my kids to school, do errands, etc. even though many days I just wanted to stay in bed. I know when you are in chronic pain and ill -- the house can seem like a prison. Getting out and breathing fresh air is healing and will change your mood and inspire you. Walking can be very meditative when you are alone if you are able to stay in the moment and just take in your surroundings. I also greatly enjoy walks with friends or my family as a way to connect with them.

2) Exercise

There are so many wonderful exercises to do outside. Take advantage of the nice weather and explore an activity or sport you have been interested in. I took up cross country skiing when I knew I would be living in a climate that is cold 6 months out of the year. My son takes tennis lessons (free via our wonderful recreation center) in the summer. We have a pool that we are in quite often. My husband was a spring board diver through high school and college and coached diving afterwards. Get a friend interested in doing something with you -- jog, shoot basketball hoops at a local park -- anything but get out and work up a sweat in the great outdoors! Even throwing a Frisbee will get your heart rate up and bring a smile to your face.

3) Gardening

I was brought up in NYC where I had the least green thumb of anyone I knew. If a plant or flowers were brought into my apartment -- I felt it was being given a death sentence. Now, understanding my self talk better -- I realize a lot of that came from me saying to myself "I can't grow anything". When you state something repeatedly and believe it -- it usually will come true! When we moved upstate I told myself I would learn how to garden. While I am no Martha Stewart I am quite happy to say my perennial garden is very substantial and I am grateful I even know what a perennial garden is! I am learning more every year about growing vegetables and herbs and it is my hope this year to go to my garden when I need a salad for all the ingredients. When my hands are in the dirt during gardening I feel transported and very relaxed. Not to mention it can be a heck of a workout -- pulling weeds, digging holes, pushing a wheelbarrow around, squatting, raking and watering can all make those muscles burn. If you live in a city you can maintain plants and herbs in your house or volunteer to help out at a community garden. YES - I GREW these sunflowers -- I would have never thought it possible! ;-)

4) Sit Under a Tree, in the Grass or near flowers and JUST BE

It is meditative to just sit and be with nature. Included in the incredible webinar course offered by Oprah and Eckhart Tolle on his book "A New Earth" are worksheets that accompany every chapter's lessons. I would like to include an activity from the worksheet for Chapter One for you to try.

"Spend some time in
the presence of something you consider beautiful—a flower, a gem, a piece of artwork, etc. As you look at the object, try to see it without naming it mentally. When we appreciate beauty in this manner, a window opens into the formless, and into a state of gratitude. See if you can experience that and write about your experiences."

5) Read or Listen to Music Outside

When I ran my desktop publishing business in NYC I was lucky enough to set my own hours. I would wake up at 6AM and work until 11AM. I would then walk to Central Park (5 blocks from my apt.) and relax from 11:15-1:15 and then return home refreshed to put in a another few hours of work. Sometimes I would people watch but mostly I would read, listen to my discman (no IPODs then) and rejuvenate myself. I would let go of the work I had done and not think about the work I was going back to. I continue to enjoy occasional walks with my IPOD and reading outside on my back deck where I can feel the sun on my face and listen to the birds in the background.

6) Be Near or in Water

Whether it is swimming, kayaking (my favorite), canoing or just sitting on a beach or by a lake ... water has a soothing aspect to it. I mentioned Carl Schurz Park before and one of the reasons it was my favorite park was it was by the East River. No, not the prettiest of rivers but it was calming to sit on a bench and look out at the water and think or just take myself out of the hustle and bustle that accompanies living in NYC. It was the closest getaway from my house and I spent many teenage angst years there contemplating life. When I had my first official date with my husband I took him there and it changed the way he looked at NYC. He subsequ
ently proposed to me by the East River which was the best place he could have picked!

7) Picnic

For years my husband and I celebrated "date night". Each week we would get out of the house and go out to eat, go meet up with friends or go for a walk. My fondest memories are just packing some sandwiches and some water and having a picnic dinner somewhere. My kids absolutely LOVE picnics and willingly will pack lots of food and snacks in a backpack to bring to a park to sit and eat. Something about eating outside on a picnic blanket makes us smile. Treat yourself if you don't want to pack up the whole family... pack a few healthy snacks and some water and a blanket or one of the wonderful, reusable Neat Sheets and be outside and enjoy your next meal.

8) Meet Up with a Friend(s)

Just sitting outside and noticing the world around you with a friend or friends brings new topics to mind and gives you a new kind of energy than just sitting in the house. Agree to meet up with a friend at a local park or if you have a backyard meet up there to relax together. In the summer time we entertain a lot and whether it is by the pool, by the fire or just sitting around in some chairs -- it is always a lot of fun and being outside brings a new dimension to "hanging out". My good friend Angela at my local park -- she is my most frequent walking buddy and we have shared many great talks walking at this park.

9) Go to a Playground and Swing on the Swings

Yes you might have to go after hours to ensure not getting the children too upset. ;-) But swinging on a swing can be freeing and fun. The pumping of your legs as the movement takes you higher is liberating and I can never imagine being sad while swinging in a swing.

10) Go to an Open Field or Top of a Tall Building

The park near my house was an airplane field so when I am in it I can look up and see mountains all around me and realize just how small I am in the scheme of things. The same is true when you go to a tall building and look down and all the people, vehicles and other smaller buildings. You can accomplish the same thing by looking up at the stars at night. When you realize just how vast this Universe is, even your "biggest problem" can shrink down to miniature status.

These are ten of my favorite ways to enjoy nature. Being outside (even if you are ill) has healing qualities, the sun's Vitamin D and the feel of fresh air in your lungs.... Being with nature has helped some of my "grandest dilemmas" shrink away to nothing. Try some of these outdoor activities and feel, enjoy and be grateful for nature's soothing and healing qualities.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Jill Bolte Taylor -- Stroke of Insight -- A Brain Researcher who had a stroke and studied it as it happened -- A Must see TED talk

When Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor, neuroanatomist (brain researcher) realized she was having a stroke she decided to study the experience. Her talk at the TED conference brings to light the difference between the right and left brain hemispheres and also has surprising correlations with consciousness and ego. She watched and was aware as her ability to talk, decipher speech, use her limbs and recognize things disappeared and experienced what happened when the right side of her brain took over. Her story is a miraculous one and is very in line with a lot of the studies I have been doing the last 18 months on consciousness and being. Please watch the following video -- I assure you that you have never heard anything similar and it will stay with you.

Dr. Taylor decided she wanted to study the brain because of her brother who suffers from schizophrenia. She worked in the Harvard Department of Psychiatry and was a also an advocate for NAMI (The National Alliance on Mental Illness). She wanted to know and understand the biological differences between the brains of those who are "normal" as opposed to those diagnosed with schizophrenia and similar illnesses. She was also studying how the cells and the 2 hemispheres of the brain communicated. Through her stroke she was able to experience this first hand.


Her hemorrhage was in the left side of her brain which controls linear and methodical thinking. The left side of your brain uses your past experiences to categorize, it picks out details of your experiences and makes associations and also projects thoughts about the future. The left side will also send you messages as "remember to go shopping" and is your constant mind chatter and self talk. The left side is essentially what Eckhart Tolle calls "the ego" and always makes sure that you know you are "separate from others".

The right side of your brain is about now, or as Eckhart Tolle calls it "consciousness". The right side of your brain thinks in pictures and it learns kinesthetically through the movement of our bodies. It is our senses but is NOT our language and our labels on everything. It is silent and is energy and it is what connects us to everyone else.

You have to watch the video and listen to Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor's explanation of all she went through to save herself during her stroke. All the realizations she came across and all the distinctions she was able to make. Her profession as a brain researcher allowed her to recognize what was happening each step of the way. It took her 8 years to fully recover from her stroke and now she is spreading her message which is a very important one.

Eckhart Tolle in "A New Earth" talks about the importance of being in the now and quieting the mind chatter. When Jill suffered her stroke her mind chatter was suddenly silenced for her. In "A New Earth" Mr. Tolle talks about trying to observe things but not label them rather just experience them and feel their energy. Jill Taylor lost all perception of where her body ended and the world around her began -- she was one with the other energy around her. When you listen to Eckhart Tolle speak you can sense his peacefulness and how present he is. When Dr. Taylor's left brain hemorrhaged she was thrust into the silence and beauty of being present only through how the right brain perceives the world.

During Dr. Taylor's eight years of recovery she needed to relearn how to read, walk, talk and write again. She goes into her recovery in detail in her book, "My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist's Personal Journey". What stayed with Dr. Taylor was the experience and the importance of the right brain to us all. She points out that we are two very different entities just as Mr. Tolle does. Mr. Tolle talks about the ego and consciousness and she describes it as your left and right brain functions. By reading "A New Earth" and other readings and practicing the methods within you can begin to experience moments where your right brain is in control or "consciousness". I have experienced moments of this and boy is it beautiful. Dr. Taylor ends her speech by acknowledging we can all decide which side of the brain we want to live out of -- the left which is how our ego identifies, labels and separates us or our right which is peace, consciousness, being aware of our senses in the now and our connection with everyone.

By taking the Oprah and Tolle FREE Webinar -- you learn about this and about awakening as they take you chapter by chapter through "A New Earth". The course only has 2 weeks left but they leave all the lessons on the Oprah site for free or you can download them right to your IPOD. I highly recommend listening to this course however you can and joining the millions world wide who have already done so.

Jill Taylor made this amazing talk at the TED conference this year. If you have not visited the TED site or signed up I highly recommend doing so. TED stands for Technology, Entertainment and Design and gathers the top people in these areas to one conference to talk about "An Idea worth Spreading" and they each have 20 minutes to do so. I have seen some of the best speeches in my life by watching talks in the TED library. It is free to sign up and if you like inspirational or thought provoking videos -- be warned -- you might spend hours mesmerized and unable to leave this incredible site!

I am actively coaching although I have limited time slots available. You can contact me for a free 1/2 hour consultation. I am always available for comments, questions and suggestions either right here or by emailing me at jennymannion@yahoo.com. Please share this video with others.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

5 Steps for Embracing Change

If you read my last post, "An Interview, Superwoman and Life Changes" you know that my life will be going through some major changes in the next 6 months. (Hence my only posting once a week now on Thursdays until September). While my immediate reaction to my husband living 5 hours away all week was not the most happy (understatement of the year) ;-) -- within 2 days of processing I was able to heal and let go go of all of the negative "what ifs" and embrace the positives of the situation. I have to admit it is very convenient that I am constantly learning about consciousness, healing and challenges in life. When something comes up in my own life it seems I attract all the resources in which to learn. I will start with a post by a good friend Camille Strate on "The Art of Change", talk about my own experiences this last week and give my 5 steps for Embracing Change. Whether it be moving, divorce, job change, health or any other change that comes up that might have your gut reaction saying "oh no" there are ways to not only cope but embrace change and look forward to the journey and life lessons it will bring.

Firstly the lovely Camille's article on "The Art of Change"

Why in the world do we resist change so hard? Why is it that the moment we're faced with change we get so pessimistic? Why do we think that change will always equal disaster? It's such an odd thing to me that we do this (and believe me, I'm just as guilty sometimes!). When faced with any kind of change, whether it be a new landlord or a new job or the first wrinkle on your face, we go into a tizzy and start hyper-ventilating like we're about to be strung up on a rack. It's so....silly?

I got to thinking about this the other day when I was told that the property I rent is on the market. Apparently, the current owners have decided they'd rather take a loss than hold on to their many properties, in lieu of some other new adventure. My breathing immediately became shallow. I could feel the sweat on my hands and that icky tickle in my belly. OH NO! WHAT NOW? My first and instant response was that this could NOT be good. Why? Why did I immediately go there? Why did I automatically assume that a new land owner would make my life difficult? How could I know this? Why didn't I, instead, think to myself, "well, this could be a grand adventure. This could be just what the doctor ordered. This could be terrific!" Nope. Went in the opposite direction of those thoughts and I did it in a blink. SHEESH!

After I regained my balance, I got to thinking about the way I USED TO look at change. When I was a kid and I found out something new was about to happen, I'd get all excited. I would have a million 'super-cool' possibilities run through my little head, like I'd just found a magic lamp and the genie was about to pop out and grant wishes. I was the most optimistic little Being you'd ever meet. So what happened? How did I go from that creature to this one? How did I lose that optimistic perception of the world? When did I decide that change meant 'BAD'?

As I sat and pondered these things, it suddenly occurred to me that these thoughts of doom and gloom were a result of old tapes being played by someone else. Fact is, my whole life has been pretty charmed and no matter what kind of changes I've ever faced, I have ALWAYS ended up in a better place. Whether it meant moving to a new home or a new city or a new boyfriend (LOL!), it was always BETTER than before the change occurred. So where did this come from? Perhaps there's some residual contamination from those around me who ARE the kind of people who think change is death. Or maybe it's just some weird thing that happens after a certain age. Once we are faced with our own mortality, do we automatically see all change as a sign that death is moving closer? If this is the case, why are we so afraid of death? We all know that sooner or later we're going to leave these shells we call bodies and move on to some other realm of Being. So what's all the fuss about?

I have decided that I'm going to adopt the perspective of a 10 year old. I'm going to look at any change that's offered as a means to an adventure. I'm going to look at the possibilities as opportunities for growth and expansion. I'm going to embrace change, regardless of the form it takes. I'm going to live like all that could ever come to me is GOOD. Because the moment I bring my thoughts to this place, every single thing in my world looks like a brand new gift. It's all wrapped in pretty paper with a bow on top, and I have no idea what's inside. But you can bet I'm excited about seeing what it is! Perhaps if we all embraced change this way, we'd have fewer people on Xanax and more people living in enthusiastic anticipation. Perhaps, regardless of our 'age' or station, we could finally say YES to Life. After all, the only moment we ever have is this one. Why not make the most of it?


Camille's words and story are close to my heart because I had a similar reaction 2 weeks ago when Ray and I decided it was the smartest decision for our family for him to take the job 5 hours away. My mind said, "What, you mean I am going to have even LESS time than I already have?" "But he is my best friend and we're so close and we barely get time together as it is -- I will only see him 2 days a week?" "I will be a single mom 5 days a week and have to cut back on work?" "How will this affect our relationship?" "My children will miss their daddy". My "Pain body" (see "Thoughts Affect Your Body" for a description of Tolle's "pain body") was in full control as was my ego and my level head and consciousness just showed itself in glimpses. The good thing was I KNEW it would get better and that anything I face now is temporary, life "is as it should be" and I needed time and quiet to process my emotions for peace to shine through.

Tolle in "A New Earth" talks about the phrase "This too, shall pass". Tolle states, "These words have a deeper purpose: to make you aware of the fleetingness of every situation, which is due to the transience of all forms -- good or bad." "When you become aware of the transience of all forms, your attachment to them lessens, and you dis-identify from them to some extent." He later says..."Once you see and accept the transience of all things and the inevitability of change, you can enjoy the pleasures of the world while they last without the fear of loss or anxiety about the future." Mr. Tolle also gave a perfect analogy on the webinar he and Oprah are doing together this past Monday. He compared life to a tapestry (Just like Carol King does here) and change is a rip in that tapestry. You can either concentrate on that rip and feel like part of you is gone or you can look for the light that shines through the hole. I have talked a lot about "A New Earth" and the webinar and it seems like every week this book helps me in new ways. I cannot recommend it highly enough.

The last 2 weeks I have gone through many stages and I now am excited about what the next months will hold. I will be spending even more time with my children. It used to be when Ray got home at 7PM I was out the door for a walk by myself or with a friend... Now I will have to mix it up and figure out another time for me to walk, exercise and get alone and friend time. This job will bring HUGE financial relief which of course is wonderful. By only posting once a week on this blog and not hanging out with Ray at night, I will be able to put more attention into my invention being manufactured in a timely manner and on mediation and education. Yes, there will be adjustments and I am not saying it will be a cake walk (this post had me looking that term up on Wikipedia). I know I will have to "mix up my old routines a bit", my relationship with Ray will enter a new stage of growth, I will have an awesome summer with my kids by our pool and taking them to the various lessons they take at the neighborhood parks and it will allow for me to spend more time by myself at night to pursue reading, meditation and to learn more about myself. I look forward and embrace the life lessons that lie ahead.


1) Expect a Gut Reaction and Emotions

It is most people’s natural reaction to resist change. Expect some emotions – do not criticize yourself for whatever your immediate reaction is. Whether it is feeling angry, sad, crying laughing, negativity… recognize these feelings for what they are – JUST the beginning of the change. Change even if it is a “good” means your old way of being is no longer – allow yourself time to process this and pay attention to the emotions it brings out in you. You can learn from this experience of being aware of your emotions.

2) Give Yourself Time to Adjust

Know that change takes time to adjust to. Don’t say “NO – it can’t change” – that just won’t get you anywhere… accept it and try and be flexible and go with it. Reasons for the change and the circumstances will play out in time… give it time to work itself out and do not feel you have to accept everything overnight. Remember that "this too shall pass" and the life lessons will be displayed in time.

3) Give What is Staying the Same Attention as Well

If the change is big -- then keep up some familiar things. Remind yourself there may be one or two aspects of your life that are changing but not EVERYTHING will change. Give gratitude for what is constant and what you love…. Reassure yourself that not everything will change just because some things have. I know this change still has me staying in our home (which I love and consider my dream home), I still have my close friends and mother that will offer me support if I really need it..... embracing these constants somehow makes it easier to deal with what is changing.

4) Get Support

Do not try to bottle up your feelings to yourself. Seek support from friends, family or loved ones – talk it out – laugh, get a hug, a calm ear and perspective and some reassurance. I am not one who usually asks for help but I know if not for my close friends (thank you so much Mom, Angela, Julie and Camille) -- this adjustment would be MUCH harder to get through.

5) Find the Good in it and Embrace It

Some changes are harder to find good in – illness, death, or financial loss and others can feel like the end of the world. Sometimes you have to look very hard to find the blessing in such changes, but there always is one. Every change brings with it life lessons and allows us to grow wiser and stronger and learn to make better decisions. Change gives you a new set of circumstances and puts you further along your life path.

I am very grateful to be entering this new chapter in my life and for the opportunity being offered to Ray. I am thankful for the support system I have and for my children being old enough to understand they will still be seeing daddy on the weekends and that this is temporary. I am ecstatic that I get to keep on blogging (even though it will be less) and that in September when Christina starts school I will be able to have more time than I have had in the last 9 years! I am appreciative that I get to spend my last full time at-home mom time concentrating on my wonderful children and showing them just how important they are to me. I am thankful that Ray will come home every weekend and that time with him will seem even more precious. Thank you everyone for the supportive emails I have received -- they mean more than I could ever say.

I am enjoying coaching and have seen such good results with my clients. I look forward to unveiling all the testimonials in the fall with the launch of jennymannion.com. I am available for the free 1/2 hour consultation and as always I recommend reading my ebook and doing the worksheets if you have some healing you feel needs to be addressed (whether it be emotional of physical). I am always reachable at jennymannion@yahoo.com.

Thank you Camille for the use of your post.... here is the information on how to reach Camille: Camille Olivia Strate is an author and coach who takes great pleasure in helping folks 'remember' who they are. Camille has many other wonderful articles. Her latest book, "Whispers" is now available in eBook format. Visit her personal site at www.joyzachoice.com

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

An Interview, Superwoman and Life Changes

Wow has this been a week! I feel like I have said that a few times before but this one tops them all by far! It truly proves life is a roller coaster filled with ups and downs and to hang on tight and try your best to enjoy the ride. I have given my first interview on my ebook with Nickolove Lovemore a wonderful life coach, I jumped into the street to protect my 5 year old daughter from being hit by a car on her birthday and my husband has just accepted a job five hours away from us so now we will only see him on weekends. And to be technical all of this has happened in the last 5 days!


I interviewed today with Nickolove who is a really inspirational person herself and who I met through selfgrowth.com. She has her own coaching program which you can learn more about at her Skyline Coaching Blog. She and I got along very well and I can definitely see working with her more in the future. It was wonderful to be asked about my healing journey and to share my Paging Me System in detail with her. The interview is available here and is an hour long.


On my daughter Christina's 5th birthday, last Friday, we went out to a new restaurant in town. It was my husband, my son Alex, Christina, my mom, step-dad and me. We were so happy to get a parking spot almost right outside the restaurant because street parking is pretty hard to come by in my town at that time and it was COLD outside for April 4th! When we left the restaurant we all walked to the car with me and my kids in front and my son opened the curb side mini-van sliding door for he and Christina to get in. Christina walked up to the door at which point the adults were talking, commenting on the restaurant and were approaching the car. Christina in a split second decided she was NOT getting in that side and would run into the street (in back of our car) to get to the side her car seat was on. I yelled at her to stop which she took as a challenge and she ran faster. Considering we live in a very low traffic area cars don't go by our street as fast as the downtown area that we were in. She is also very determined and strong willed with a mind of her own -- she has taken her hand out of mine several times in her school parking lot and tried to run and I thought I had made my point and she would not do that again. I realized she was a few inches from being hit, that the cars had the green light and were speeding and this is where the Universe took over -- I leaped, pulled her toward me and slid between the cars and we both narrowly missed the oncoming car which sped past us. Several cars after it slowed because they had seen what happened but there was no way that car would have stopped since she was walking between 2 cars that were both taller than her and allowed for no visibility. We both lay there on the ground a minute processing what happened. Christina felt embarrassed more than anything and just had some dirt on her knees. I had made sure I didn't weigh down on her when I landed so got pretty scraped up but the only casualty was my favorite black jeans that were ripped to shreds (as is my knee). My family was in shock and Ray said "that was like Superwoman". Yes, it felt like I was Superwoman and now I can relate to the stories about a mom's super human strength. I have heard stories of mothers lifting cars to get their kids and I finally "get it". I certainly hope Christina got the message of the dangers of cars but will be reviewing it daily nonetheless. Today when we walked by a particularly HUGE Suburban I asked her what she thought would happen if that hit someone or something going fast.... She grimaced which is a step in the right direction and it might sound morbid to keep rehashing it but I hope to NEVER be that scared for one of my children's lives again.


The same day my husband told me he had gotten a job offer from a company five hours away from us. It would mean being away from Monday 4AM - Friday 6PM but he would be making 4 times his yearly salary here. Due to many circumstances our finances could SURE use that boost and we have decided he will take that position. It helps that it is also a very good move for him to learn the latest technology in his field and that as a consultant there he will have more freedoms than he did here as an employee. He will also be doing something he loves and excels at so on many levels I am very excited and happy for him.

This decision was not made easily despite the money and opportunity offered because Ray and I are very close and it is very difficult imagining not being with him 7 days a week and the kids not seeing him every day. After thought and talk though this story came to mind that I wanted to share with you in case you had not heard it yet.....

In a small town in Louisiana during the fall, it started raining. The rain was strong and long and began flooding the area. This one man was in his house as his neighbors were all evacuating. One neighbor asked him why he was not leaving and he said "The Lord will provide." Time passes and the first floor of his house is totally flooded so he goes upstairs. Through his window he sees a rescue boat. The man driving the boat tells him to get onboard. He turns to the driver and smiles and says "The Lord will provide." Time passes again and the second floor is flooded so he goes up onto the roof. Another rescue boat comes by and the driver tells him to get onboard. Again, he turns to the driver and smiles and says "The Lord will provide." The rain keeps on coming down and now all that is out of the water is his chimney which he clings to. A helicopter flies by and the pilot calls down on his loudspeaker for the man to climb the rope ladder he extended. The man smiles at the pilot and says "Thank you but the Lord will provide." Finally, the rains keep on coming down and the man drowned. When the man got to the "pearly gates of heaven" he asked God "why didn't you provide for me in my time of need?" God said, "What are you talking about? I sent 2 boats and a helicopter"

Ray was offered a job a year ago and we did not take it because it was far away and we held hope that he would get something closer. This job is an even better opportunity and my thought is if he does not take it -- it would be like the above story and us saying "it's ok -- the Lord will provide". The Universe has provided him and our family with this opportunity in this time when the US economy has been making it challenging for many to find jobs -- we are grateful and we are not letting this opportunity pass.

Of course this means many more jobs and tasks for me during the week so this will affect the already small window of time I have to work. (2 1/2 hours/weekday while Christina is in nursery school and late at night when the kids are in bed and I am exhausted). I have gone through so many emotions these last few days. It is very calming to know even as wild as my mind may race for a little bit, I am now cognizant of my thoughts and aware enough to know "it will be okay" and that "life is as it should be". My first thought was to stop blogging until my daughter starts full time kindergarten in the fall. This thought was accompanied by severe sadness in emotions. While some might say "that's bad -- why did you allow yourself to get so upset?" I am fortunate that through my studies and by taking Mr. Tolle/Oprah's class to know that recognizing emotions and allowing yourself to experience them is not a bad thing. The emotions I experienced after thinking I would give up blogging for a while had me then looking for an alternative. I suspected I was too close to the situation to think clearly enough to see one but did have it as an intention that "there must be one".

As most bloggers or people who read blogs know, it is recommended that you blog AT LEAST 3 times a week. Not only that but it involves networking, reading other people's blogs, continually educating yourself so you have intelligent things to write about as well as social bookmarking, learning techniques, etc. and I LOVE ALL of it. I love the people I have met through blogging, reading other's ways of looking at the world, continuing to learn and the satisfaction of writing something I am proud of. I went to my chiropractor this week who made an excellent suggestion. My chiropractor's office is a place I LOVE going once a month not just for the adjusting and massage but for the whole atmosphere in his office. He is very "aware" and has seen my transformation and he and his wife run a wonderful practice together and are inspirational in the way they treat people. Anyway... ;-) Dr. Joe told me that it is a lot easier to cut back on something and pick up the pace again than it is to totally stop and restart. Yes, it sounds so simple but I have been so caught up in the "right way to blog" that it is something that never occurred to me. I had even read recently of one of my favorite bloggers, Albert of "The Urban Monk" cutting back on posting a little bit and remember thinking "good for him"...he is concentrating on his studies and his own life...yet when it was time for me to be creative and come up with an idea to keep it going I blanked.....

So... what this means is I will be writing 1 post/week for each blog; Heal Pain Naturally and Kid's Non Violent Computer Game Recommendations until the fall. I will also not be doing monthly newsletters but will do them when I get an opportunity. In the fall when my daughter begins full day kindergarten I will have more time to myself than I have had in the last 9 years of being an at-home mom. I will return to blogging MUCH more regularly and hopefully launch my new site jennymannion.com which will have both blogs, coaching information and much more. I cannot tell you how happy I am that I can continue to blog. I hope that this will also ensure I do 1 quality post a week because I will be able to really think about what one topic I want to write about.

This last week I feel like I have grown tremendously in so many ways. Yes, I am still human and have not by a long shot reached Mr. Tolle's level of awareness but boy have I made great strides. This was the first time the thought of giving up a job was met with sadness and it was important for me to reinforce JUST how much this blog and getting my message out means to me. I have found my passion and am living it. I love coaching and helping others and while for the next five months I might have to cut back on the hours doing so -- five months is not a long time and I believe there is a reason for this as well. I need to be more present for my kids these next five months. This is my last long alone time with my daughter at home with me most of the day, this is the first summer where my daughter is old enough to take a variety of classes and my son will be riding around the neighborhood on his bike and hanging out with his friends. I WANT ours to be the house that kids come to and I don't want to be feeling the pressure of finding 3 good topics to blog about while playing with my daughter and making sure my son and his friends aren't doing anything too dangerous (oh the lives of 8-10 year old boys)!

There are truly life lessons in every situation. Maybe Christina's experience was another way of the Universe telling me what is most important now. I am listening to the Universe and am so grateful to have learned my life's lessons when I did to be aware enough to receive them. I will continue to interact with readers, bloggers and learn so I can continue to share my journey with you. Thank you for your support and patience as I enter this changing time in my life. This truly is my joy, passion and I am so happy and grateful to have found it and to be able to continue it.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Heal Pain Naturally featured in Carnival Of Healing

Hi all, I apologize for my lack of posts the last week (Only 1 ) :-( It would take pages to tell you all that is going on and I am working on a synopsis of some of the occurrences.... In the meantime I wanted to tell you my post "Healing From Within" is featured in The Carnival of Healing found on Astrid Lee's wonderful blog, "Therapuetic Reiki". Please check it out -- it has many good articles from "Confessions From a Recovering Father" by my friend Alex Blackwell to "How to Quit Smoking or Help Someone Quit Smoking" by Debra Moorhead and many more. You will surely discover some great blogs to check out by visiting.

Thank you for your patience and I will be posting soon with some more details of the latest excitement in my life from saving my daughter from a speeding car hitting her on her 5th birthday to my husband being offered a job 5 hours away -- life sure has not been boring and I am just taking some much needed time to process it all so I can write about my learning experiences.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Thoughts Affect Your Body

This week I have found two GREAT things to read on how thoughts affect your body. My good friend Angela told me of an article written by Robert Moss of Parade Magazine and featured on MSN titled "Thoughts Can Heal Your Body". Anyone that has read my blog or e-book knows this is EXACTLY what I talk about and how my thoughts were instrumental in healing myself of chronic pain and several chronic illnesses. I also have been participating in the Tolle/Oprah Webinar and this week Chapter 5 "The Pain Body" from Mr. Tolle's "A New Earth" was being discussed. Mr. Tolle is wonderful at explaining how the "voice in your head" and your thoughts play an integral part of who you are and how your body is affected.

Robert Moss's Article

Mr. Moss points out that new age thinking has been saying thoughts affect health for a very long time and now medical research is proving it true. I have talked before about pysychoneuroimmunulogy and am thrilled that there are many studies being done now to prove JUST how powerful the mind is and how our thoughts are connected to our health. I highly recommend you read Mr. Moss's article "Thoughts Can Heal Your Body" because he does an excellent job of citing studies and making recommendations to help you change your thoughts. From meditation as a stress relief, to the placebo effect, to hypnosis and visualization.... Mr. Moss shows how all of these are evidence of thoughts contributing to your health. Mr. Moss cites studies that sports psychologists have done that prove skiers whether just visualizing a race or actually performing the race -- the body reacts as if it is the same. In the movie "The Secret" they talk about the same thing with other athletes picturing a race versus running the race -- the body believes you are participating in whatever activity you are visualizing and will react the same way. Again, Mr. Moss has lots of studies referenced in his article and I highly recommend reading it.

My Experience with Thoughts Affecting MY Health

You can see how if you are always thinking "I am sick" your body will believe this and respond accordingly. In my last article "Healing from Within" I go into how you must face some issues to really understand what your body is trying to communicate to you by manifesting physical symptoms. I BECAME my illnesses for years because tests and doctors were telling me JUST how sick I was and that I would not get better. NEVER did anyone suggest that my thoughts might be contributing to my illnesses and might also help me heal my illnesses. With my "Paging Me System" that I summarize on Alex Blackwell's blog, "The Next 45 Years" several of my points deal with thoughts. Shifting Attention, Gratitude and No Negative Self Talk are all points where you have to become cognizant of your thoughts and work to change any negative habits that have formed.

Shifting Attention

Upon waking when I was sick every ounce of my attention would go to my hurting limbs. Shifting attention to the one tiny part that was healthy and feeling grateful for that part -- was a powerful way to "think my way healthy". Certain thoughts become habits and we all know habits usually do not change over night. The most important part is to be patient with yourself. I had heard for 6 years JUST how SICK I was from doctors and I believed it because tests "proved it". It took a few weeks for me to catch myself any time I told myself I was sick or was concentrating on a part that hurt and to become actively conscious of those messages. Turning those message around to "I am SO healthy because my fingers feel good" took some time and effort but soon became effortless because THEY were my new habit. Psychologists say it takes 3 weeks for a new habit to become just that -- a habit. Three weeks is not long at all considering how long most habits have been in place. I know I had at least 5 years of concentrating and telling myself JUST how ill I was and by 3 weeks the new habit was formed.

"The Pain Body"

Tolle explains in "A New Earth", "Any negative emotion that is not fully faced and seen for what it is in the moment it arises does not completely dissolve. It leaves behind a remnant of pain". He later states, "The remnants of pain left behind by every strong negative emotion that is not fully faced, accepted, and then let go of join together to form an energy field that lives in the very cells of your body. It consists not just of childhood pain, but also painful emotions that were added to it later in adolescence and during your adult life, much of it created by the voice of the ego. It is the emotional pain that is your unavoidable companion when a false sense of self is the basis of your life. This energy field of old but still very-much-alive emotion that lives in almost every human being is the pain-body."

When I read Mr. Tolle's description of the pain-body it resonated thoroughly. I addressed consciousness and forgiveness in my last post "Healing From Within" and this very much comes into play with facing and dissolving the pain-body. If you are carrying around a heavy burden from the past and every time you think about it you become upset all over again -- how do you think that will affect your body? If you are bearing a grudge or are blaming someone or yourself for something -- how will THAT affect your body? Similarly if you are caught up worrying about your future and what WILL be and what might never be -- how will your body react?

Everyone has had many ups and downs in their own lives -- that is life. Dwelling on the past or worrying about your future does not serve you in a positive manner. Mr. Tolle talks about the "Power of Now" and being conscious and I believe this is the easiest way to start accessing your thoughts and REALLY start to listen to what you are telling yourself. Consistent negative thoughts will affect your body -- emotionally and physically. After all if you are not controlling your thoughts, who is?

Take steps to become more conscious. Follow the steps Mr. Moss outlines at the end of his article, start reading "A New Earth" and do Mr. Tolle's exercises as well as participate in his Webinar with Oprah, read my e-book and start applying the Paging Me System. There are a lot of ways to actively become more conscious, start recognizing and changing past habits and ensure that your thoughts are actively improving your life and making it the best it can be instead of hindering it and causing you emotional and/or physical pain.

I am a Mind/Body connection mentor and offer a free 1/2 hour consultation. Please contact me at jennymannion@yahoo.com or via Skype at Jennifer.Mannion if you would like more information.

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