Heal Pain Naturally has MOVED

Heal Pain Naturally has moved to its new location -- please click link to visit and bookmark new location at Jenny Mannion.com. While you are there PLEASE also visit the Heroes of Healing Group Writing Project!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Healing From Within

The definition of the word "heal" is "to make healthy, whole, or sound; restore to health; free from ailment". Since I have first hand experience in healing myself this word means a lot to me and not a day goes by when I don't say to myself "I am SO grateful for my healing and health". Since I have healed myself not only do I NOT have Fibromyalgia, Benign Hypermobility Syndrome or Chronic Mono anymore but I have only had two colds in the last 15 months. Even those 2 colds I can attribute to me not getting sleep, not treating my body well, getting caught up in the stress of the moment and falling into old patterns of behavior. Once you understand JUST how much the mind affects the body anyone can put into practice what I have done and obtain better health.

I gave a synopsis of the method I adopted (and coach from) in a guest post on Alex Blackwell's Blog "The Next 45 Years" and I go into more detail of "The Paging Me System" in my ebook. Today I want to talk a little about what we do know about how the mind affects the body, about how consciousness affects your health and also discuss the role of forgiveness in being healthy.

Your Body Is Always Creating New Cells

This knowledge was my "AHA moment" for me in the movie "The Secret". KNOWING that my body is always creating new cells and replaces itself continuously. Understanding that WHERE your mind is influences what kind of cells your body is creating hit me like a ton of bricks. Dr. Deepak Chopra goes into this in much more depth in his book "Ageless Body Timeless Mind". The following quote from the book lays out the facts clearly, "The skin replaces itself once a month, the stomach lining every five days, the liver every six weeks, and the skeleton every three months. To the naked eye, these organs look the same from moment to moment, but they are always in flux. By the end of this year, 98 percent of the atoms of your body will have been exchanged for new ones." Followed a few pages later by "A lifetime of unconscious living leads to numerous deteriorations, while a lifetime of conscious participation prevents them."

This totally rang true on so many levels. I WAS my illnesses. I had been going to doctors for years to get these diagnoses and doing tons of research on what having these diseases meant for my life and for the future of my family. The doctors confirmed that I WAS chronically ill and gave me many diagnoses. They told me I would not get better and would be getting worse. I had a multitude of medical tests over several years that proved it so. But yet with this new information something snapped in me and I knew "I COULD and WOULD heal myself".

What does Being Conscious Have to do with Illnesses Anyway?

EVERYTHING! Your body hears what your mind is saying and more importantly HOW those words are making you FEEL. Are you on auto-pilot through the day or are you aware of your self talk? How do you react to others? What is your general mood? What are your most common emotions? Are you holding onto some anger or blame so tight that it consumes your daily thoughts making you feel drained and "bad"? Or are you able to notice but "let go" of negative feelings and move on to something happier and more productive? Think about it for a minute.... how did you feel the last time something unexpected that you perceived as negative happened? Did you think about it for a few moments, recognize how it made you feel but then decide to move on? Did you attempt to try to find the "good" in the situation? Most people will take one thing that didn't go their way and let it spiral them downward. Some will let something eat them up so badly they start experiencing physical symptoms; a headache, tension in their back, aches....

Eckhart Tolle in "A New Earth" defines emotion as "the body's reaction to your mind or a thought". When you think something (even if it is subconsciously) your body FEELS the result of that thought. Tolle describes a negative emotion as "an emotion that is toxic to the body and interferes with its balance and harmonious functioning. " Fear, anxiety, anger, bearing a grudge, sadness, hatred or intense dislike, jealousy, envy -- all disrupt the energy flow through the body, affect the heart, the immune system, digestion, production of hormones, and so on. Even mainstream medicine ... is beginning to recognize the connection between negative emotional states and physical disease."

After you have just talked to someone -- does the emotion that person was feeling rub off on you? I know there are plenty of people and situations that I could put myself in (but choose not to anymore) that would leave me feeling drained and defeated and sometimes physically in pain. I am sure you know some people that do the following -- you ask "How are you?" and you either get a smirk, complaint or an "Okay, I guess". How does it make you feel when you hear them respond like that? Eckhart Tolle states, "An emotion that does harm to the body also infects the people you come into contact with and indirectly through a process of chain reaction, countless others you never meet."

Throughout life EVERYONE has experienced "let downs", "chaos", "difficult times" and Yes, MOST have experienced the "less than perfect childhood". It is what you have taken and learned from these experiences that will make you stronger inside and out. If there are issues you have not come to terms with whether it be anger, blame, fear, self-esteem issues -- they will manifest in other ways. Healing these issues, facing them head on MIGHT cause some discomfort (emotionally or physically) but it will allow you to release them and become aware of how they have affected you for so long. There are many methods of letting go of past issues such as EFT or The Sedona Method but the one I find most effective for me is good old forgiveness.


Pardoning is the P of my Paging Me System and there is a reason it is first besides the fact that it worked for the acronym! I have written 2 posts so far about forgiveness, "Heal Pain by Saying I am Sorry" and "Heal Pain with Self-forgiveness". Aaron Potts of "Today is That Day" has a wonderful article on the Hawaiian practice of Ho'oponopono which is an easy yet powerful forgiveness technique to put into practice.

The thing that has helped me the MOST with forgiveness is really examining the situation I was hanging onto and coming up with WHAT I learned from that experience. Forgiveness of myself for bad judgment, mis-said things or actions I wish I could have taken back. Forgiveness of others for how I perceived what they said or what they did and what lessons I learned from the experience. Yes, even situations that when I would think back would make my blood boil -- those are exactly the experiences you need to revisit and learn from.

Dr. Deepak Chopra has one of my favorite quotes that I remind myself of often, 'Everyone is doing the best they can from their own state of consciousness". Most people that abuse were abused themselves, most people that spread gossip have grown up hearing gossip... these patterns repeat themselves and while it does NOT make what anyone did "okay" it makes it a little easier to wrap your head around and get yourself ready for forgiveness. A lot of "hard" life lessons result in us being stronger, some make us look a little closer at our life and we gain some insight as to what we will and won't allow to happen to ourselves. If you don't take some time to gain this insight in a way you are setting yourself up for the same things to be done to you again until you "get it".

Harboring anger costs you so much energy -- by letting it go you are telling yourself "I have spent enough of my life worrying, dwelling on this". You can choose to forgive and put the past behind you and decide to be present instead. The past can only hurt you if you keep bringing it up over and over again. If you figure out WHY what happened occurred and what you learned from it you can still have the memory but leave the emotions associated with the memory behind. It is by being PRESENT and not worrying about the past or the future that you can control your emotions and use them to bring you healing, health and happiness.

I have to reiterate that the Oprah/Eckhart Tolle FREE Webinar is nothing short of brilliant. Mr. Tolle is all about "awareness and consciousness and being in the now". This coming Monday, March 31 he will be discussing the Chapter 5 "The Pain Body" which is brilliant. In my post "Influences: People, Places and Things -- Make them Predominantly Positive", I have a short video of Mr. Tolle talking about "The Pain Body".

I have officially started as a mind/body mentor and my clients are seeing amazing results. I offer a free 1/2 hour consultation if you contact me at jennymannion.com or via Skype at jennifer.mannion

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Nurture Your Creativity to Relax and Rejuvenate

Everyone was born with the capacity to create. Whether it be through music, art, dance, writing, cooking or any other way you can imagine. When you connect with a creative outlet it brings you joy, a sense of wellness, healing and self-confidence. I have several creative outlets and grew up befriending many who had different creative interests. No one is saying to quantify how good you feel you are at creating -- whether you are an artist, musician, chef, author... just the act of creating is beautiful and holds so many benefits to your well being.

If you feel you want to learn more and deepen your skill at something creative there are tons of ways to nurture and learn more from online courses, courses in your community, swapping lessons with friends or simply "letting go" and creating without thinking. I find my best poetry and some of my best meals have been created when I am not "thinking" so much but just experimenting and "letting go".

I was the girl in class staring longingly at friend's doodles that were in my eyes works of art and thinking "wow, I wish I could do that". I made some of my closest friends in grade school by doing just that -- I guess someone gaping wide-mouthed in amazement and awe at your "doodles" kind of endears you to the person! ;-) I started writing poetry early and have written on and off throughout my life. I used to write mini plays for my friends and now get my writing in right here and through other projects. I could go on for QUITE a while about my love of dance as I did in my post "What Dance has Meant to me -- Can Dance Heal?" and a recent post about exploring different cultures. I also LOVE to cook and hope to learn more about other cultures of cooking. A dream is to go to a week retreat in Mexico to learn from the owner of Rosa Mexicano a beautiful and AUTHENTIC Mexican (No Tex Mex) restaurant in NYC.

Can you remember what got you excited creatively last or even as a child? Cooking? Singing? Dance? Painting? Journaling? It doesn't have to be something you even share with anyone else if you don't want to.... Is there something you wished you could do? Dance? Draw? Now with videos and online sites teaching you -- you can begin to explore some of these things without even leaving your home to find out if
it is indeed a passion. Do you enjoy to sing but get embarrassed or shy with others around? When you are alone BLAST that music and sing your heart out! Do you love to draw and want to learn how to be more confident in your drawing? Drawspace is a wonderful site for drawing lessons for FREE. Do you love to dance but don't "get out" quite like you used to? (Sigh.... doesn't THAT sound familiar?) Grab your kids or your mate or blast some music alone and dance through your living room!

Sometimes you don't even KNOW you have a creative talent until you try it. I wrote a post Andrea Leake who just had a feeling one day to draw wild birds and was amazed to find out she was an expert at it without even a single lesson. You need to try different things and listen to your intuition to discover all the creative processes that you can enjoy. There are many stories of people who use art to aide in healing. My step-mother, Darcy Lynn had cancer and wrote her book, "Myself Resolved" on how art helped her get through her treatments. She is a wonderful artist and her paintings continue to inspire me.

There is a reason hospitals have recreational therapy where patients dance, draw, sing... it is to enliven them and make them happy! Creating brings joy and a "letting go" of some issues you might have been preoccupied with. If you take a break to create something you will probably come back to the issue at hand with a much clearer picture and in a better space to deal with it. Creating relaxes, rejuvenates, gives your mind a break and gives you self confidence in the process. It doesn't matter HOW you do it. Do it for fun and the enjoyment. Do it to "let go" and relax. Do it to break up the routine of your day. Do it to create something different in your life and for a few minutes "just be" instead of thinking your way through the day. Creating will make you feel great, relaxed, rejuvenated and healed on many levels!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Inspirational Movies That Can Change Your Life

If you read my blog regularly, you know that after seeing the movie, "The Secret" I became inspired to learn all I could about the Law of Attraction and the Mind /Body Connection. It was because of the push that movie gave me for knowledge that I did heal myself of several chronic illnesses and chronic pain and that I am now healthier than I ever remember being. Books, movies, people all have the ability to change your life instantaneously if you are open and they resonate with you. Yes, I have heard the criticisms of "The Secret" and never did I say it was a perfect movie or that I believed and resonated with everything in it. But it did change my life. It makes me so happy to realize that even more inspirational movies are coming out. A few weeks ago I wrote about an ongoing project to finish and release the movie, "The Shift" that looks amazing. Now I will talk about one movie that is out now on DVD "You Can Heal Your Life" and one coming out very soon in theaters "The Opus Movie".

I started hearing about Louise Hay almost as soon as I began reading about healing, the mind/body connection and the law of attraction. I read bits and pieces of her writing, heard rave reviews on her book, "You Can Heal Your Life", watched some videos featuring her, saw her on Oprah and it was obvious she was inspirational and that she has changed MANY people's lives. I was excited when I heard about her movie, "You Can Heal Your Life". I looked into getting it shown in my town and is still something I think would be GREAT to pursue. Our town has definitely lost a bunch of stores, jobs and restaurants recently and I hear often of people "not having enough". Through my invention being manufactured in my town I am hoping to bring jobs to my community but I know it needs even more than that. I think showing the movie to many would inspire people and it is something I will look into some more and I recommend others doing as well for their own communities.

"You Can Heal Your Life" has a few other inspirational speakers such as Gay Hendricks and has many stories of people who have healed themselves of illness. Louise Hay has an extraordinary life story. After she had been teaching about healing from within because she had undergone a traumatic childhood filled with sexual abuse that she had healed herself of, she was diagnosed with cancer. She healed herself within 6 months. It is amazing to me that when I started to study the mind/body connection how many people had contacted me who had done just what I did -- healed themselves by using their minds when doctors offered no "cure". "You Can Heal Your Life" talks about affirmations but also really lays out how important feelings are behind the affirmations. It goes into how important it is to be "awake". Esther Hicks talks about how the feeling behind your words are what puts you in vibration with what you want to manifest. This movie is very powerful on so many levels.

"You Can Heal Your Life" takes many moments to show people throughout their days and what "negative self talk" might be going on. You NEED to be awake to hear these messages. You need to WANT to change the way you look at things. Many people do not love themselves -- this movie and Louise Hay enforce JUST how important it is to love yourself. There are so many positive messages in this movie and they give a lot of good affirmations to start with no matter what you want to manifest in your life. I can see this movie changing many lives and am very grateful for Louise Hay, Gay Hendricks, Esther Hicks and all the others that contributed.

Following is a preview from "You Can Heal Your Life" which is available now on DVD.

"The Opus Movie" has the following statement behind its origination on its site: "One dictionary defines an Opus as the most grandiose and memorable composition of a composers life and legacy. It is this definition that we wish to acknowledge. It is this definition that is the objective of the film The Opus. Every person born on the planet arrives with the potential to create an incredible Opus. But only some people do. Why is that? In this spectacular follow up to the Law of Attraction you will find amazing insights from Top Achievers and Teachers on how to turn your intentions into accomplishments. In The Opus you will be shown the formula and patterns Top Achievers use to create greater abundance in Wealth, Health, Relationships and self achievement."

What is the Opus then? "To Become the best, biggest, most incredible, abundant, and spectacular YOU possible." The Opus -- From Vision. To Plan. To Performance.

This movie has a lot of the same speakers from The Secret and MANY more. I first heard of it through Douglas Vermeeren who I came in contact through selfgrowth.com. Douglas is the creator and producer of The Opus. He has interviewed more than 400 of the world's top achievers and because of what he has learned, he is known around the world as "the achievement expert". This movie looks like it will almost pick up what The Secret left out which was talking about inspired action. Yes, the Law of Attraction is about Asking, Believing and Receiving but you must be conscious and listening to your intuition in order to take inspired action to make your intention a manifestation. I am very excited to see "The Opus" and I think you will be as well after watching this following trailer:

I have written before about how important it is to keep the influences in your life positive. The people, places, news, movies, books -- everything you surround yourself with -- you internalize and they affect you. These movies will help and inspire many and it is a joy to see the increase in these positive and inspirational films. To manifest you must be conscious and though I have recommended it before, "A New Earth" by Eckhardt Tolle and the Oprah/Tolle free webinar being given are great ways to achieve consciousness and really start listening to those inner voices.

I am now available as a Mind/Body Connection Mentor and can be reached at jennymannion@yahoo.com or via Skype: jennifer.mannion for more information. As always, I welcome comments, questions and suggestions.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Awareness Test -- Where is your Awareness?

I came across this You Tube video and had to do a post relating to it! I would love for you to take this quick awareness test before you finish this post.

Amazing huh? What were your results? If you, like me did not see the moon-walking bear you can understand the message of this video clearly. You only really notice what you are focusing on and it is easy to miss the rest. While this was a service announcement to warn you to watch out for cyclists (which of course is important) you can carry this message MUCH further.

What are you focusing on throughout your day? Are you making time to look around and appreciate the good and beauty all around or are you focused on the negative? I have addressed this in my post, "Are you listening to your self talk?" as to the messages you are telling yourself but it works the same with what you are seeing.

Are you seeing the traffic ahead or are you stopping to appreciate the world around you? Are you concentrating on those bills or are you stopping and paying gratitude for those checks that come in? Are you seeing that you are gaining weight or are you watching and paying attention to the food you are putting into your body? Most people eat without consciousness at all yet that subtle shift can help you to lose weight. Many people will complain about bills but not take that second to be grateful for their paycheck. A lot of people will curse in traffic rather than taking a moment to look around and notice the mountains, scenery or if you are in a city the changes taking place around you as well as all the interesting people. What you look at and take in you will internalize.

Oprah gave a great example of what I am talking about in her follow up show on "The Secret" a few weeks ago. She talked about how after having a master bubble blower on her show she was wishing for bubbles and said she couldn't wait to share bubbles with her God Daughter. She got back to her desk and there was a big package of bubbles with a silver bubble wand. She found out the bubbles had BEEN there for weeks and she had never noticed them before. Suddenly when she WAS consciously thinking about bubbles -- there they were.

What is right in front of you that is a gift that you are taking for granted? Are you seeing your spouse's quirks but not noticing all the great things they do? Are you noticing how your kids make a mess but not how much they are growing every day? You can apply this simple lesson to anything in your life. Set the intention.... "I will notice 3 things today that I did not notice before" -- and it will happen. Your life has good in it no matter how bad it may seem. Looking for the good will enable you to find it -- be sure to pay gratitude for it when you do - that is what enables you to find even more treasures!

I am enjoying the Oprah/Eckhart Tolle "A New Earth" class IMMENSELY. He talks a lot about awareness and it is not too late to sign up. Tonight is week 3 and you can always watch the class after the fact. It is free and you will learn a lot about being aware and consciousness.

I am a mind body connection mentor and offer a free 1/2 hour consultation. For more information email me at jennymannion@yahoo.com.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Law of Attraction Question: What do I do when someone important in my life does not BELIEVE in the Law of Attraction and I do?

This is the SECOND most common question I receive, right after "Do I have to stay positive all the time for the Law of Attraction to work?". People become very excited when first hearing about the Law of Attraction IF it clicks and resonates. They see how it has applied in their lives in their past and want to take action to bring more goodness rather than negativity into their future. But what to do when your "other half", a parent or someone else significant in your life disagrees? This raises several other questions which I will answer here. Will their "negative energy" stop YOU from achieving what you are aiming to attract? How do you CONVINCE the other person? What about if that person is very negative - won't that affect me? How do I pursue learning more when the other person is so against it? What do I do if I manifest something and they STILL don't believe?

Will someone else's negative energy stop you from attracting what you want into your life?

Only if you let it. Do you believe that the other person can stop you from attracting what you want? If you do you are calling it into existence. Only YOU control what you are attracting towards you. Are you thinking positive thoughts and listening to your self talk? Are you visualizing it? Are you feeling good about receiving it? Do you know in your heart you will receive it? Or are you telling yourself, "Well -- I really want this but I know because "______" doesn't believe I won't be able to get it". KNOW only you control what you are asking for and whether or not you will receive it.

How Do I Convince the Other Person that the Law of Attraction is real?

There are several aspects to this but the bottom line is it is not your job to convince them. People either believe something or they don't. If you try to force someone to believe something that doesn't resonate with them you are wasting your own energy and theirs. That being said you can examine things before giving up that they will ever believe. There are many different ways the Law of Attraction is presented. You have "Jerry and Esther Hicks and Abraham" who for MANY people embody "The Law of Attraction". Others will immediately discount their teachings because "anyone channeling must be faking therefore anything they say is fake". Some people love "The Secret's" explanation of the Law of Attraction and others call it "wishful thinking". Some swear by "The Master Key System" by Charles Haanel and others would simply not have the patience or understanding to read 24 parts about the world within and the world without. For me it was reading Wayne Dyer, Deepak Chopra, The Master Key System and listening to the audio book "The Secret" that resonated from the beginning.

The Law of Attraction can be presented in many ways. If you do want to try and give a good explanation of it to the "doubting person" in your life the best way is to:

1) Put it into practice for yourself and get a good feeling of it.
2) Read MANY different authors, blogs, articles and understand what each author's approach to teaching the law of Attraction is all about.
3) Think about which author has the best possibility of connecting with person that says they do not believe and present it to them that way.
4) Simply live it, manifest something using the Law of Attraction and show the person firsthand what worked for you.

My husband believed in the Law of Attraction from when I started learning but if he hadn't -- my healing certainly would have proved it to him. I was told I would only be getting worse by several doctors. Once I started learning about the Law of Attraction and the mind/body connection I was healed within weeks. This was AFTER 6 years of suffering. I adopted the Paging Me System to keep me conscious and in constant practice and there is no way after my family saw the transformation that anyone could doubt the power within.

What if this other person is really negative, won't that have an affect on me?

Again, only if you let it. Once you do gain a better awareness of your thoughts and your self talk you have much better control over what you internalize. You can hear someone say something negative, even comment on it but you don't have to let it affect your mood or how YOU are feeling. If you find it impossible to do this -- take notice of it but don't dwell in it. Look forward to the next time you can be by yourself -- and do something to make you feel better and get in a better space. Yes, my husband might act slightly annoyed when he is upset about something and I say "can you think of something positive honey?" but it makes him stop and think and upon thinking -- no matter how bad the situation at hand may seem -- he can come up with something that he is grateful for.

How do you pursue learning more when the other person is against it?

There are so many ways to learn about the law of attraction now. Books, you tube videos, online courses, blogs..... You do not have to agree with the people closest to you about everything. In fact, it would be pretty boring if we all did agree on everything. If this resonates with you -- study it, learn more and put it into practice. Most of the materials I learned from were free. You might get very excited when studying and want to share it and be frustrated you can't.... well then join in on a forum online or look for a group in your area that discusses it. It does no good to retell the person 20 different ways if they have expressed to you "they don't believe it" or "they don't want to hear it". KNOW it is true for you, understand it, manifest and then see what happens.

I know when you learn this and you KNOW it is true it might seem hard to keep it to yourself. There are people that are not ready and no amount of insisting will make it so. Oprah and Eckhart Tolle's class is an amazing example of awakening and consciousness and in their class they go into depth about people not being ready to hear certain things. If I had heard about all of this 5 years ago when I was beginning to get all my diagnoses, truthfully I don't think I would have "heard" or understood a lot of what came easily to me 15 months ago. Be patient, don't "blame" anyone for not being where you are in your life or not believing what you do. Nothing good could come of that and the more you persist the more they will resist.

What do I do if I have manifested something and they STILL don't believe?

As mentioned above, be patient. If they are going to believe in the Law of Attraction they will do so when they are ready. Do not let it stop you from practicing it -- if you have manifested using the Law of Attraction, you KNOW its power and there is no reason for you to stop. Move onto your next goal, visualize, ask, believe, take inspired action and receive. You can now create your life as you want it and maybe in time after many more manifestations it will make the person stop and say, "Wait a minute here... this is more than a one time thing -- look at all the changes he/she made -- MAYBE it is true after all?". Keep moving forward and do not concentrate on the other person's beliefs -- follow your own.

I am now available as a Mind/Body Connection Mentor and offer a free 1/2 hour consultation. Please email me at jennymannion@yahoo.com for more information or contact me via Skype jennifer.mannion..

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Prescription For Change

Anyone that knows this blog or me knows how I feel about the numerous drug ads on TV. Below is information so you can take action and tell the government to have an 800 number on the commercials so that people can report side effects. Please help me make this a reality. The sooner side effects are reported -- the more people can be helped. Thanks!

Here is the message from Consumers Union:

Endless drug ads on TV: do these drugs really work, and what about side effects? Are we hearing the whole story???

I just took action to make sure we know more about the benefits and risks of the drugs we take. Join me in urging the FDA to require drug companies to include a 1-800 number and website in all TV drug ads so consumers can report side effects. A better system for reporting problems means earlier detection of problems!

Click the link below and take action now!


To make it interesting -- the first 5 people to do this and email me at jennymannion@yahoo.com telling me so -- receive a complimentary copy of my ebook.

Thank you!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Explore a Different Culture to Find New Interests

Sometimes it is easy to get stuck in our own culture including our own recipes, exercise and music. There is a whole world out there to explore with SO many different nationalities to learn about. Growing up in NYC had me aware of MANY different cultures just by the diversity of people, languages and the numerous food choices. I love travel and while my travel experiences are by no means extensive I look forward to a lot of it in my future. I have always been fascinated with other cultures and have made an effort to incorporate many of them into my own life. Travel is the best way to explore another culture and Peter from "I Will Change Your Life" and "Pick the Brain" gives EXCELLENT low-cost travel resources in his post"The #1 Way to Shake up Your Life". If you are unable to travel there are still tons of ways to learn about other cultures including the internet right from your home.


I consider myself a true American because I was born here and am a mixture of many races and cultures. My dad has some Panamanian and Scottish in his heritage, spent a lot of time in Jamaica growing up (where we still have relatives) and we just found out there IS some Indian in my distant background from my Great-Aunt Maisie. My mom is all Italian-American. My mom's mom "nanny" spoke Italian although I only ever heard the "bad" words. ;-) I grew up waking every Sunday to the smell of my mom's homemade sauce. It wasn't until I went to college and was sick of eating Ramen noodles and cafeteria food that I called up my mom to get a play by play on how to make some of my Italian favorites; chicken cacciatore, meatballs, bracciole, lasagna....mmmm. After college I was able to give myself credit as a very good Italian cook with TONS of my own recipes but I definitely wanted to learn more.

As mentioned, because of being raised in NY I was exposed to lots of ethnic foods. (Sorry mom and dad for begging for Chinese food and only ordering white rice and wonton soup with the green things taken out for so many years). I grew up enjoying Mexican, Indian, Thai, Japanese and many other types of food but only ever knew how to cook traditional American and Italian meals. When I lived in NJ one of my closest friends, Aneeta was Indian and taught me a couple of recipes. I can now make an awesome curry chicken and samosas. I recommend trying out many different ethnic foods if you have restaurants in your area. If not, there are tons of recipe sites online that offer many different ethnic recipes.
I recommend all recipes.com for their World Cuisine section of recipes -- this site has great pictures and instructions for preparing.


I grew up taking dance lessons including jazz, modern, tap and ballet. I was a club kid in NYC during my teen years and after college so knew how to dance but never studied any other nationality of dance. It wasn't until after college that I took a belly dancing class and loved it. After that I took yoga classes, pilates and became interested in the way other countries exercise and dance. My friend Aneeta also introduced me to Indian dance. I had never heard of Bhangra before. It was love from when she showed me the first video and played me the music. With it's hard drum beat and the energetic dance moves I knew I had to get a video for myself. Below is the BEGINNING of the WARM-UP of the Bhangra workout video my husband (Ray) and I work out to.

You HAVE to smile while dancing to this. The beat is so intense and the moves are so lively. Dancing to Bhangra can lighten my day no matter what happened previously! Through you tube you can find more Bhangra or Irish Step Dancing or any other kind of dance/exercise you would want to learn more about. Through exploring different exercises you also become aware of different music.

I have to credit my father for introducing me to many different cultures of music while I was growing up. He has always been into world music and has had extensive collections. I enjoy MOST types of music. I think it is fascinating to learn what is traditional music for a country. I LOVE bhangra music and also enjoy Spanish, Irish, African, Pygmy and just about any other nationality or genre. World Music is a wonderful place to listen to different world music or watch videos. The video below is for my one of my favorite songs off of the Deep Forest CD which is chants of Pygmies mixed with a new age beat. This CD is still one of my favorites 10 years later and is amazing to relax to.

It opens one's mind to learn about what other cultures like and do and it educates you as well. Go ahead, pick one culture you have always wanted to learn more about and explore over the internet if you are not able to get there in person. Educating yourself of another culture might motivate you to plan for some travel, learn a new language, start an exercise routine you never knew about, eat and make food you have only heard about or to find music that really connects with you. There's nothing to lose and LOTS to gain. Who knows, you might even discover a new passion?

Friday, March 7, 2008

Eckhart Tolle & Oprah Web Course -- A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose

By now I am sure some of you have heard of Oprah and Eckhart Tolle's monumental free web course they are offering. Since this week I met quite a few people that had not yet heard of it -- I have decided to do a post to tell you this is truly something NOT to be missed. Week 2 of the class begins Monday but it would be quite easy to catch up. The class will be held every Monday at 9PM EST for a full 10 weeks (9 weeks left). Every week they will be discussing a chapter from Eckhart Tolle's book "A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose". You can logon to Oprah.com to get more info, sign up and watch week 1 or download it to your IPOD as a way to decide if you want to participate. The book you can pick up from the library, buy or download it to your amazon kindle and save on paper and money and have it within 2 minutes. You need to log on to oprah.com to get your free worksheets which ask very insightful questions to answer after every chapter. This past Monday over 500,000 people showed up to listen and it was inspiring to see JUST how many people are willing to open their minds and ears to listen to this important message.

So who Is Eckhart Tolle and what is "A New Earth" about? A New Earth is about becoming "conscious" and the shift that this world is undertaking and so desperately needs. My first encounter with Tolle was listening to the audio version of his book "The Power of Now". I love "The Power of Now" but find "A New Earth" in a better format and he offers very clear exercises to discover the inner you, awaken and differentiate yourself from your ego. I would find it hard to put it better than Amazon's summary, "In A New Earth, Tolle expands on powerful ideas to show how transcending our ego-based state of consciousness is not only essential to personal happiness, but also the key to ending conflict and suffering throughout the world. Tolle describes how our attachment to the ego creates the dysfunction that leads to anger, jealousy, and unhappiness, and shows readers how to awaken to a new state of consciousness and follow the path to a truly fulfilling existence."

The first week's video is a great one to watch. Eckhart and Oprah explain how "A New Earth" is very in-line with religion -- instead of against it as many think and is a major reason for some shying away from it.
I have covered posts that touch on issues covered in this book including listening to your self talk, consciousness and about two weeks ago I wrote a post called "Influences; People, Places, Things -- make them Positive" where I mention Tolle and the movie "The Shift". I feel Tolle and the movie "The Shift" are right on target about where our future is heading and are very important for people to become aware of. There are many discussions going on about this web course and "A New Earth" right now. From Facebook, to Oprah's Discussion Boards, to yahoo groups and one of my favorite blogs Evolving Times. There are so many people interested in this because of the importance. If you haven't experienced Eckhart Tolle's "A New Earth" yet I highly recommend it. I'm involved in quite a few discussion groups on it and look forward to talking with you and hearing your comments! I always make myself available to answer questions.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Face Your Fears and Empower Yourself

Eleanor Roosevelt understood fear when she said, "You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing which you think you cannot do." How true this is and this past weekend I faced two fears in one day and boy did I feel empowered! I skied down from the highest point on a hill where I cross country ski AND I made my first video to put up on youtube. By facing your fears you gain self confidence, empowerment and feel if you can overcome one fear -- the sky is the limit! H. Jackson Browne says, "Don't be afraid to go out on a limb, that's where the fruit is". I have found that fruit and how sweet it is!

I have always been a perfectionist. Being a perfectionist is a blessing and a curse. I now like to say I am a "recovering perfectionist" -- better to try something and learn from it than to never have tried! Yes, I strive to meet my goals and make sure I achieve them. I have a clean house, am a good cook, a decent dancer, am always educating myself and am usually in shape (gotta give me some allowance for the holidays -- oh, right it IS March isn't it?). ;-) But when I fear something -- BOY do I fear it! The thought of doing something badly does not sit well with me even though I teach my kids that everything takes practice. I am known to psych myself out of doing something if it is scary to me in any way. I also am known to not ask for help but instead be the helper for everyone else. So how do I conquer my fears?

It has been interesting cross country skiing in the same place for the last 4 years (the park near my house). It was an airport so it is VERY flat except for one hill that is great for sledding. When I first started skiing this hill looked ENORMOUS to me. I am not a downhill skier and my first and only experience downhill skiing was FAR less than perfect. ;-) (Okay here's the visual -- me falling down the mountain all the way from getting off of the chair lift -- wow did that hot tub afterward feel GOOD!) This past year I have overcome a lot of obstacles by healing myself and have found new strength. The first time I went out skiing this season I thought "that hill doesn't look so big anymore". I've gone down the more gradual part of the hill almost every time we've been out and it didn't seem scary. This past weekend the snow was perfect for skiing -- nice and packed down and slippery. There were three of us skiing (me, Angela and Jessica). When we went down the hill the first time I went down the gradual hill and it was FUN! Jessica chose the steep path and FLEW. We decided we wanted to do it again and I immediately started toward the gradual part which was my habit. I stood there contemplating the steep side of the hill and was VERY close to psyching myself out once again and saying "Ok gradual side -- here we go again". But I stopped myself and told myself "I am not afraid, what is the worst that can happen?, if I fall on my butt in the snow we'll all have a good laugh!" I went down the steep side and it was SUPER fast and I enjoyed it tremendously. I bet next year that won't even seem like a big hill to me.

My fear of seeing myself on video is much deeper. I don't ever remember watching a video of myself and not wanting to run from the room. I can't really explain it except that it has been with me as long as I can remember which made it a more difficult fear to ever imagine getting over. With all my blogging and with me wanting to be a life coach I KNEW I had to face this fear head on. My first attempt was a few weeks back when Simpleology had a contest and I said "This is IT -- I am going to enter". Well, after my first attempt which at playback had me wanting to run from the room again followed by my son saying, "you look SO MUCH better in person mommy" I was ready to put off conquering this fear for a WHILE longer!

It was then I decided I needed to watch other people who HAD done it and also ask for a little help (which as stated before -- is NOT a strong point). Once I decided I wanted to overcome this and stated it as an intention the resources came to me quickly! I am a big fan of Karen Lynch's at "Live the Power" who has recently started putting video of herself on her blog. I complimented on her excellent job and shared my fears and she sent me an email with excellent words of encouragement. I also just acquired a mentor, Karin Hiebert, who is wonderful on video and shares very similar personality traits as me. She gave me concrete advice on how to proceed and gave me an assignment to create a video response to one of her many videos. Okay -- now there was NO getting out of it. Rosa Park's wise words were perfect for this, "I have learned over the years that when one's mind is made up, this diminishes fear; knowing what must be done does away with fear". I KNEW I had to do it so now was the time to face one of my biggest fears.

I attempted to do the video in my dining room. The backdrop was perfect (one of my favorite paintings of sunflowers). But between my husband pumping up the kid's bike tires in the garage (a room away) and my kids running around and being their normal crazy kid selves -- I realized this was NOT the place. I took everything upstairs to my dressing/laundry room and set up shop. I took some deep breaths. I made sure I liked the backdrop. I talked out loud just once to the camera without taping to get in my head an approximation of what I wanted to get across. I took one last deep breath and decided "to let go of my fears" and to tell myself "whatever will be will be -- you can do this". This absolute calmness came over me right before I pressed record and it almost felt effortless. I KNEW I could and would do it. Afterward watching it -- I was okay. Did I think, "wow, what a cool confident woman, GREAT job?" Well... not exactly -- but I did not run from the room either. I was able to send it to Karin within a few hours of shooting it and put it up on you tube shortly after.

I got such a nice response from Karin, my family and friends that watched it and my son even said, "you look MUCH better that time mommy". Better yet, since then all these ideas have been coming to me of things I WANT to say on video. Will I stress out about it next time I make one? Probably a bit, but I know I CAN do it now. With practice I will get better and I know I will hear Karin's words of guidance as well as my own before making each video. Thank you Karin and Karen for your confidence in me and your encouragement -- it is GREATLY appreciated. I look forward to being a life coach and I believe making videos is a good tool for getting my messages out there as a coach -- that makes me even more motivated to continue.

Here it is.... my first attempt.... even a month ago I could not have imagined me posting a video of myself!

Go ahead, face your fears! It might turn out to be fun or you might not really care for whatever it is you attempt -- but if you don't try, how will you know? Marilyn Ferguson said, "Ultimately we know deeply that the other side of every fear is a freedom". How free I feel now that I have conquered these two fears and now I look forward to helping others face and overcome theirs as well! If you are interested in having me as your life coach/mentor please email me at jennymannion@yahoo.com or contact me on skype at jennifer.mannion. If you are interested in Karin as a mentor you can contact her through Skype at karin.hiebert or email her at karinhiebert@gmail.com.

I leave you with two other quotes on fear to contemplate:

Marcus Aurelius:
"If you are distressed by anything external,
the pain is not due to the thing itself,
but to your estimate of it;
and THIS you have the POWER to revoke at any moment

and Jane Addams:

"Our doubts are traitors
and make us lose the good we often might win,
by fearing to attempt

Monday, March 3, 2008

Book review: "What's YOUR Expiry Date?" by Patrick Mathieu

In January I entered a contest on Peter's "I Will Change Your Life" blog. The contest asked you to leave a comment on a guest post written by Patrick Mathieu on the methods you use in the morning to "Kick start your day". I was thrilled to win the book "What's your expiry date?: Embrace your mortality -- Live with vitality" by Patrick Mathieu. Patrick has an exceptionally inspirational story that involves his heart defects since birth, him being told he would not live past 30 and how he embraced this knowledge and decided to live in the present instead of worrying about the past or future. Patrick's message of "Enjoy Now" is one that we can all learn from and apply to our lives. Patrick's book is VERY easy to read and takes you through his phases (much like the the Kubler-Ross study) of dealing with impending death and his mortality. Unlike the Kubler-Ross study though Patrick takes it a step further and does not just ACCEPT his mortality but celebrates it and challenges you to do the same. Patrick was able to look at his diagnosis as not a death sentence but instead a wake-up call. I looked at my healing with similar eyes but the difference is I thought I was in for a lot of suffering but was never told that I would die.

Patrick's book woke me up to the fact that while life was MUCH better, I was looking to the future to how much better I would continue to make it instead of just living for "now" and appreciating every single moment.
"What's Your Expiry Date?" came at such a perfect time for me. I have been asking a few of my online favorites (Albert of "The Urban Monk" and Tim Ferris of "The 4-Hour Workweek" how to balance time when you LOVE what you do. Patrick's book answered this question for me. Yes, I LOVE doing what I do and I am very grateful to be sharing my story with many and touching lives. I am so excited to become a life coach and even touch more lives. But if today was my last day on Earth would I want it to be JUST about the progress my blog/writing will make and how many people I will influence? I would definitely want it to be PART of the day but not all. I have 2 wonderful children that are growing up too fast already that I want to spend QUALITY time with each day. I want to show my husband how important he is to me and how much I love him every day. I want to reach out to friends and family and make sure no one doubts that they are in my thoughts and that I am grateful for them. I want to make sure I do something for myself every single day whether it be a walk, dance, cross country skiing or simply meditating. THAT is what makes up my perfect day and that is what I now know I will strive to balance every day.

After reading "What's Your Expiry Date" I will look at my life differently. I have grown a lot in the last year and I am SO grateful for that. I am "present" and conscious more often but do find myself thinking about the future a lot. I am not saying to not think about the future and set goals -- setting goals is essential in knowing what you want and making accomplishments. But when you fit into what Patrick calls the "Once Trap" (ex. Once I get this raise, we will go on vacation...etc) it is easy to forget that what is important is here and now. My favorite quote from his book is, "Now is the only time we ever have". It is so important to choose what we are doing "now". What do you choose? Do you choose to be happy and do what you love? Do you choose to sit around worrying about things that might or might not happen?

Patrick maintains a wonderful blog at Power of Mortality where you can learn more about his book and his life. He also has a coaching practice and helps his clients live a life that is FEARLESS, FOCUSED and FREE FROM REGRETS. He offers a free 30-minute initial session. Patrick has a lot to share and I highly recommend picking up "What's Your Expiry Date" and learning more about his important message to "Enjoy Now".

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