Health

Taking Care of Your Brain

I’ve been reading quite a bit about nourishing our bodies, removing the toxins, what to eat, and what supplements to take, if any, to help us treat our bodies well.  I don’t claim to be an expert at this, but I’m always happy to share what I learn with others.

Of course, knowing what we now know about the drugs that our doctors give us to help us “live” longer, the dangers we face when we eat a slice of bacon (said facetiously), the poisons we willingly put in our body, eat margarine, butter is bad for you, etc., we all know that scientific knowledge needs to be looked at carefully, and we need to discern what is right for us. Having said all that somewhat tongue in cheek, I need to tell you that I am not a medical doctor, nor am I a scientist. I offer you information, and it is up to you to determine what you want to do with it. As I read more, I will be posting blogs – so keep checking in, okay?

Now that is done, here as some interesting things I have learned about the brain:

  • Your brain contains about a hundred billion neurons, and another trillion support cells.
  • Most neurons fire five to fifty times a second, twenty four hours a day, seven days a week.
  • Your brain weighs about three pounds – about 2-3% of your bodyweight.
  • It needs 25% of the glucose in your blood. (I wish the rest of my body were as efficient!)
  • 60% of the dry weight of the brain consists of healthy fats (Omega-3, Omega-6 and Omega-9)
  • The neurotransmitters that carry information from one neuron to another are built from even smaller parts, assisted by biochemicals.
    • Example: Serotonin – is made from tryptophan with the aid of iron and vitamin B6.  Serotonin supports your mood, digestion, and sleep.
  • Significant shortages of dozens of nutrients will harm your body and your brain.
    • Vitamins B12, B6, and folate shortages will create a depressed mood
    • Vitamin D shortage causes a weaker immune system, dementia, and a depressed mood. Severe shortage will cause rickets.
    • DHA shortage will cause a depressed mood
    • Eating healthy foods and supplementing where necessary will bring more energy, resilience and well being.
    • Small changes in the neurochemistry of your brain can create big changes in your mood, resilience, memory, concentration, thoughts, feelings and desires.
    • It is vital that we also protect our brain from negative factors like toxins, inflammation, and stress

“Every man can, if he so desires, become the sculptor of his own brain”
― Santiago Ramón y Cajal

ACTIONS

What I am learning is that you can’t do it all at once. Changes in the way we eat, the way we live, and the exercise we get can only take place one step at a time. Over our lifetime we have become addicted and/or habituated to what we put in our mouth, the things we do in our daily lives that are not healthy for us, taking the word of medical personnel as gospel (there is a reason it is called practicing medicine), and getting limited amounts of exercise. Just as we have been working on our mind and spirit over the last weeks, we must also begin to work on our body. Why? Because it affects our mind and our spirit, and we want to continue to grow and prosper, and to create balance in our lives.

So, my word of caution. Read these actions that I am suggesting. Pick one or two things each week to begin to change. Talk to your doctors to get their input and permission.  Get blood work done along the way for documentation as to what your body is doing with the changes you are making. DO NOT stop taking any medication without your doctor’s approval.

Pay attention to how your body feels as you change what you are doing.  Start becoming aware of what your body is telling you, and shift accordingly.

Nutrition

  • Eat 3-4 ounces of protein at every meal.  This is about 21 g of protein at each meal. This will give you vital amino acids plus help regulate blood sugar and insulin. But this really depends on you – the individual. Western nutrition says we should consume .36 grams of protein per 1 lb of body weight. This doesn’t work out mathematically for the most part, because it assumes we are all very active people. Which we aren’t. So, do the research based on you and your lifestyle.
  • Blood sugar – the bane of my life. Let’s keep it under control, shall we? This means we must cut out the white stuff – sugar and white flour carbohydrates. When we eat too much of the white stuff, our insulin levels rise – and then they crash – leaving us tired, fussy, and our minds foggy. And, when our insulin is high much of the time, you begin sliding down the slippery slope toward type 2 diabetes.  So, let’s talk about carbs….
  • The general recommendation is to have 5060% of your calories come from carbohydrates.If you are on a 2000 calorie diet, 1000 – 1200 calories should come from carbohydrates. Since carbs contain 4 calories per gram, you should eat between 250 and 200 grams each day.  Carbohydrates are the body’s main source of fuel, so you must eat carbohydrates in order to function. However, if you are already pre-diabetic or a type 2 diabetic, you should control your carb choices carefully. Again, the amount you really need is based upon your gender, lifestyle and weight.
    • Good Carbs – Whole grains, legumes and oats. These are complex carbs which contain longer chains of sugar molecules which usually take more time for the body to break down and use. This provides you with energy. Fruits and vegetables are actually simple carbohydrates, but the more fiber they contain changes the way the body processes their sugars and slows down their digestion, making them a bit more like complex carbohydrates
    • “BAD” Carbs – sugar, white flour carbohydrates, rice, potatoes, pastries and dessertscandy, artificial syrups, soda. These are simple carbs and should be minimized as much as you can. They are composed of simple-to-digest, basic sugars with little real value for you body. The higher in sugar and lower in fiber, the worse the carbohydrate is for you.
    • Scenarios
      • A woman who wants to lose weight might want to eat between 30-55 g carbs per meal
      • A man who wants to lose weight may be able to eat about 50-65 g carbs per meal
      • A woman who wants to maintain weight can bump the carb intake up to 45 – 60 g carbs per meal
      •  A man who wants to maintain weight should be able to bump up carbs to 60 – 75 g carbs per meal
      • An active woman (we are assuming that the previous scenarios were not active J) can take in as many as 56-75 g carbs per meal. This is because your muscles use insulin more effective when you are active. This reduces insulin resistance and helps decrease blood glucose levels
      • An active man moves up to about 65 – 90 g carbs per meal
      • A woman with Gestational Diabetes should eat between 30 – 60 g carbs per meal. Your baby needs nourishment from you all day long (24 hours), so it’s important to spread calories and carb loads evenly throughout the day, eating snacks as necessary to keep your counts level.
  • Glycemic Index –  (http://glycemicindex.com/about.php )The glycemic index (GI) is a ranking of carbohydrates on a scale from 0 to 100 according to the extent to which they raise blood sugar levels after eating. Foods with a high GI are those which are rapidly digested and absorbed and result in marked fluctuations in blood sugar levels. Low-GI foods, by virtue of their slow digestion and absorption, produce gradual rises in blood sugar and insulin levels, and have proven benefits for health. Low GI diets have been shown to improve both glucose and lipid levels in people with diabetes (type 1 and type 2). They have benefits for weight control because they help control appetite and delay hunger. Low GI diets also reduce insulin levels and insulin resistance.

Recent studies from Harvard School of Public Health indicate that the risks of diseases such as type 2 diabetes and coronary heart disease are strongly related to the GI of the overall diet. In 1999, the World Health Organisation (WHO) and Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) recommended that people in industrialised countries base their diets on low-GI foods in order to prevent the most common diseases of affluence, such as coronary heart disease, diabetes and obesity.

  • Eat lots of dark-colored fruits and vegetables, such as blueberries, kale, beets, carrots, and broccoli. These foods contain important nutrients that support memory, protect your brain against oxidation, and may reduce the risk of dementia.
  • Take a broad-spectrum multi-vitamin and mineral supplement. Look for 5 – 10 times daily dose of B vitamins, and 100% of the daily dose of minerals
    • Most of us don’t get all the vitamins and minerals we need from the food we eat. This could be a time factor in that we don’t have or take the time to prepare fresh fruits and vegetables on a regular basis. But, more importantly, when we purchase our food from a store, rather than grow our own, we lose the valuable nutrition that comes into the fruit of a plant in the last 2-3 days before it is fully ripened. This is because the produce is picked before it is ripe so that it will survive the time it takes to transport it from field to store, and subsequently to your home.  This is one reason why you see a huge growth in Farmer’s markets and local produce stores.
  • Take 2-3 capsules of a high quality fish oil. You are looking for at least 500 milligrams of DHA (decosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaonoic acid). If you don’t want fish oil – try a combination of flax oil and DHA from algae, but fish oil is the most effective way to get Omega-3 oils into your body and brain.
  • Drink PH balanced or alkaline water to reduce the acidity in your body. I drink Kangan® water, and have been for about six months now, and I feel so much better.

Protect

  • Avoid toxins.Of course, there is the obvious: don’t sniff glue, buy organic vegetables if you can to eliminate pesticides, don’t stand upwind of gasoline fumes, be careful of household cleaners, and so on. Be careful about alcohol. Alcohol makes you feel a buzz by depriving brain cells of oxygen. And, then there are the not so obvious toxins we ingest daily – fluoride in our drinking water and toothpaste and chlorine in our drinking water.
    • Fluoride is more poisonous than lead and just slightly less poisonous than arsenic. It is a cumulative poison that accumulates in the bone over the years. It can cause skin eruptions such as atopic dermatitis, eczema or urticaria. Gastric distress, headache and weakness have also been reported. Mayo Clinic reported that fluoride increases hig fracture rate and bone fragility. Procter and Gamble found that as little as half the amount of fluoride used to fluoridate public water supplies resulted in a sizable and significant increase in genetic damage. The National Cancer Institute has indicated that 10,000 or more fluoridation-linked cancer deaths occur yearly in the United States; cancers such as liver, oral, bone, and osteosarcoma. It has also been shown to inhibit enzyme systems, damage the immune system contribute to calcification of soft tissues, worsen arthritis and cause dental fluorosis in children. And, surprisingly, recent studies show that it is not effective in reducing tooth decay.
    • Chlorine – when combined with certain phytochemical nutrients have been discovered to form cancer causing substances. This discovery includes familiar foods including soy, fruits, vegetables, tea, many health products, and some prescriptions.
  • Reduce inflammation. When your immune system activates to deal with an infection or allergen, it sends chemical messengers called cytokines throughout your body. Unfortunately, because these chemicals can linger in your brain, it may lead to a slump in mood and even depression.

Practical steps you can take would be to wash your hands often, and avoid foods that set off your immune system. Many people are allergic to gluten grains (wheat, oats, ruy) and/or dairy products. You can go get medical tests, or test this on your own. Just go to zero with both these food groups for two weeks and see if you notice a difference in your health. If you do, stay away from them.

  • Go play physically every day! Not only is it fun, but it promotes the growth of new neural structures, including the birth of new brain cells.
  • Relax. The stress hormone cortisol sensitizes the fight-or-flight alarm bell of the brain and weakens the area (hippocampus) which helps put the brakes on stress reactions. And, since the hippocampus is critical for making memories, a daily diet of stress makes it harder to learn new things or put your feelings in context.
  • Sleep. Get plenty of sleep. You’ve probably noticed that when you don’t get enough good quality sleep, it is harder to concentrate the next day. And did you know that memories of the day are “filed away” in the brain while we sleep? People who suffer from sleep disturbances often experience memory problems. But many sleep disorders are treatable, so speak to your healthcare provider if you experience trouble falling asleep, bothersome wakeful periods during the night, or snoring (which might suggest sleep apnea—a disorder that causes interruption in breathing during sleep).
  • Statins. Review the literature that has come out on statins and the affect they can have on the functionality of your brain. Alternatives to also review are: red yeast rice, niacin, plant sterols, psyllium (in Metamucil), flaxseed oil and soy.

This is only a small part of what I am learning, and I can’t wait to share more.   If you are interested in learning more – watch for blogs at http://georgiafeiste.com – it is my intention to begin sharing what I’m reading and trying on my own to become a much healthier person as I move fully into the next chapter in my life. My doctors just want to give me another pill rather than help me learn, and I’m already taking 3 too many. My goal is to be healthy, without drugs.

Georgia Feiste, President of Collaborative Transitions Coaching, Inc., located in Lincoln, NE, and Phoenix, AZ, is a personal growth and leadership coach, writer, and workshop facilitator.  She is also a Usui Reiki Master and EFT practitioner.  Her passion is success grounded in purpose and passion, standards of integrity and priorities in life.  You can also find Georgia on her website, Collaborative Transitions, Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.   Georgia may also be reached at (402) 304-1902 if you wish to schedule a 30 minute complementary consultation.

Reiki Supported by Medical Studies

For those of you interested in Reiki, but remain somewhat skeptical – please read this article about the acceptance and use of Reiki in many major medical facilities and the controlled experiments that have scientifically proven that it works.

Reiki Really Works: A Groundbreaking Scientific Study

See all 7 photos

After decades of often disputed validity, the effectiveness of Reiki, a holistic energy treatment is gaining new respect within the medical community. Not only are highly reputable medical facilities throughout the U.S. offering patients alternative healing programs such as Reiki, those facilities are analyzing the benefits of their programs and are submitting them for review and compilation. The results are nothing short of remarkable.

A Brief Explanation of Reiki

Reiki is an energy healing treatment that works holistically; on the whole body, mind and spirit. Not a system of religious beliefs, Reiki is simply a relaxing treatment whereas natural healing vibrations are transmitted through the hands of a Reiki practitioner (acting as a conduit) to the body of the recipient. The purpose of a Reiki treatment is to relieve stress and pain, induce relaxation, release emotional blockages, accelerate natural healing, balance subtle bodies energies and support other medical modalities including traditional therapies.

The International Center for Reiki Training has estimated that there are 4,000,000 people throughout the word who have taken at least one level of Reiki training. There are three traditional levels of expertise.

Today, Reiki is offered free of charge in more than 800 American Hospitals as a means to accelerate the healing process and to alleviate pain.

Those hospitals are listed on this PDF document which may be downloaded here.

 

Reiki healing treatment – joaonelson.net

Why Reiki Has Been Discounted

For years Reiki, along with other methods of holistic therapies were looked upon with disdain, even contempt from medical associations, practitioners, mainstream scientists and clerics. The idea that the human body was permeated or surrounded by an invisible, etheric body of “life force energy” was considered to be no less than nonsense.

These negative conclusions were formulated on the premise that “life energy” fields such as those accepted in China as Chi or qi, in Japan as ki and in India as prana , were “unseen” and “immeasurable” by traditional research or scientific instrumentation.

But now all that is changing.

Controlled Experiments, Improved Reporting

There’s never been a comprehensive list of controlled, evidence-basedresearch that was accessible to the holistic, medical, and scientific communities. It wasn’t until 2005 when William Lee Rand, founder and president of the International Center for Reiki Training and a pioneer in worldwide Reiki awareness formed the Center For Reiki Research and developed what is now known as The Touchstone Process.

What is The Touchstone Process?

The Touchstone Process is actually a peer review method for analyzing the current state of scientific studies done on Reiki programs in hospitals, clinics and hospice facilities throughout the United States. The process of critique is rigorous, impartial, and consistent and incorporates the best practices for scientific review.

William Lee Rand began formulating The Touchstone Process after developing the Reiki In Hospitals website, considered to be the most comprehensive compilation of hospitals offering Reiki treatments throughout the world.

The Touchstone Process is unique.  Never before have there been so many worthy studies of Reiki gathered, analyzed and evaluated within a single source.

What Are The Findings?

The most recent data analyzed (during 2008-9) shows strong evidence that Reiki is indeed responsible for a positive biological response in both humans and animals.

The strongest evidence (rated “excellent” in the Process) was reported in the most carefully controlled of all experiments; non other than laboratory rats. In both 2006 and 2008 stressed-out lab rats received Reiki treatments and they all showed significantly reduced stress, anxiety and depression responses. “Sham” or bogus Reiki treatments were given to the placebo group and they showed no reduction in stress, anxiety or depression.

Testing in humans performed between 1993 and 2006 showed ratings from Satisfactory to Excellent, all suggesting that the benefit of Reiki treatments were positive in controlling pain levels in humans. There were some “confounding variables”, which is typical in hospital (as opposed to laboratory) studies; however, the placebo Reiki treatments in this experiment were by contrast ineffective in controlling pain.

Other examples of Reiki studies performed in hospitals and universities may be found on this related site for Reiki research.

Reiki practitioners treat faculty and staff from Columbia University Health Sciences and New York-Presbyterian Hospital at Employee Health and Wellness Day

Vital Signs

New York Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Campus conducted one of the first studies ever performed to determine the effectiveness of Reiki treatments on the autonomic nervous system. This “blind, random study” included a Reiki treatment group, a “sham” treatment group and a “control” group. The testing began with all participants at “baseline” autonomic nervous systems levels. The results within the Reiki treatment group showed a lowering of these levels including heart rate, respiration and blood pressure. These positive results led the team to recommend further, larger studies to look at the biological effects of Reiki treatment.

It’s interesting to note that Columbia/Presbyterian was one of the first hospitals to offer Reiki as part of their Integrative Medicine Program (CIMP). The now famous cardiovascular surgeon, Dr. Mehmet Oz brought tremendous attention to Reiki when he invited Reiki practitioners to treat patients during open heart surgeries and heart transplant operations. Dr. Oz is often quoted as saying, “Reiki has become a sought-after healing art among patients and mainstream medical professionals.”

Words of wisdom from an internationally recognized Reiki Practioner and author who had been published in peer-reviewed medical journals

Reiki: A Comprehensive Guide
Here’s Pamela’s lovely book
Amazon Price: $8.50
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Reiki Passes Tests with Flying Colors

There have been many other controlled studies submitted to peer-journals and to The Touchstone Process for review. Ailments and disorders that tested favorably to Reiki treatment include:

1. Post operative pain after tooth extraction

2. Cognition in elderly, related to dementia/Alzheimers

3. Pre-operative relaxation and post-op pain

4. Pain in chronically ill patients

5. Depression and stress

6. Well-being in Reiki practitioners

As of 2009, The Touchstone Process has evaluated 25 test studies that appeared in peer-review journals evaluating the merits of Reiki Treatments. Taking into consideration only the most rigorously controlled studies, the team reported that 83% showed moderate to strong evidence in support of Reiki as a viable, therapeutic healing modality.

Only one study proved solidly negative and that was for the treatment of fibromyalgia-associated pain levels. As is the case with conventional drug treatments, not all therapies prove to be effective.

personaltao.com

Thinking Positively

Despite these findings and the impressive number of highly reputable hospitals offering Reiki Treatments to patients, there will be those who continue to deem Reiki and other forms of energy-medicine as being “nonsensical”.

As recently as 2009, reviews of randomized studies”of Reiki research conducted by Edzard Ernst, M.D., Ph.D. and his colleagues at the University of Exeter, concluded that most were poorly designed and presented insufficient evidence to suggest that Reiki was an effective method for healing any condition.

That same year, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops came out with a statement urging Catholic health-care facilities and clergy not to promote or support Reiki therapy. They issued a statement emphatically concluding that Reiki cannot be an effective method of healing “within the findings of natural science or in Christian belief”.

One can only look to the future of science and the evolution of scientific testing, evaluation and responsible reporting which began with The Touchstone Process to alter these perceptions.

imra.org

The good news is that in a press release dated Sept. 15th, 2008, The American Hospital Association President and CEO Rich Umbdenstock stated, “”Complementary and alternative medicine has shown great promise in supporting and stimulating healing. It’s one of the many tools hospitals look to as they continue to create optimal healing environments for the patients they serve.”

According to a 2008 AHA the survey, 84 percent of hospitals indicated patient demand as the primary rationale in offering complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) services including Reiki and 67 percent of those surveyed stated “clinical effectiveness” as their top reason.

65 of those hospitals are listed on the Center for Reiki Research’s website including-

  • Duke Integrative Medicine, Durham, North Carolina
  • New York Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center Campus, New York, New York
  • Yale–New Haven Hospital, New Haven, Connecticut
  • Sharp Memorial Hospital Inpatient Cancer Support Services, San Diego, California
  • Children’s Hospital Boston, Boston, Massachusetts
  • Citrus Valley Medical Center Cancer Resource Center, Covina, California

In addition, the American Medical Association (AMA) has added Complimentary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) treatments to their directory of billable procedures.

Here are links to other medical journal articles on the positive effects of Reiki

Conclusion

A spokesperson from Columbia Integrative Medicine Program at the New York Presbyterian Hospital (CIMP) perhaps expresses it best, saying,

“I find the practice of Reiki very rewarding, as a practitioner. Patients have reported deep relaxation and a sense of profound healing, after one session. I feel that Reiki is a huge asset for any hospital setting, because patients sense that they are in a truly caring environment.”

As Reiki continues to become “a huge asset” for the hospital setting, analytical reporting such as The Touchstone Process continues to add to the much needed pool of evidence that Reiki is indeed a worthy, effective method for facilitating the healing process; one that can contribute to the betterment of patients everywhere and to the betterment of our health care systems.

© Copyright Green Lotus, 2011. All rights reserved

If you reproduce this article, please credit Green Lotus with a link to http://greenlotus.hubpages.com. Thank you!

Letting Go and Moving On

This is a blog about personal growth.  I am not faithful in my writing here, because mypersonal growth takes me in multiple directions.  My marketing coaches tell me to pick a niche and stick with it.  That is the only way I will grow readers, and perhaps get clients.  This is difficult for me because my interests are fairly eclectic, as are everyone’s.  I read books that capture my interest, I go to church and learn, I am interested in my health (more so as I get older and things start feeling my age), and my work takes me in many directions.  In short, I am living my life.  And my days ebb and flow on that current.

I have decided that for this blog to work for me, I am going to share what I am interested in, what I am learning, and the meaning making that has for me.  If that also works for you, please join me.  Converse with me – I will answer you.  Share your opinions, even when they are different from mine.  I will seek first to understand your point of view, and have a dialogue with you.  This is where we practice the skills I often talk about in my leadership training:

  • Discerning our values
  • Developing our vision and mission
  • Setting goals and making values based decisions
  • Having fun
  • Being creative.
  • Listening, and being empathetic
  • And, so on

Today, one third of January has passed.  My word this month is JOY.  I am faithfully posting on Facebook each day what I am joyful for each morning and evening – and my followers tell me they are truly enjoying those brief statements.  I hope they recognize the everydayness of those thoughts, and that some days, like them, I have to look for the very small things because there are no huge JOY moments to talk about.

Last week was a growing experience at our church, Unity Lincoln.  We participated in Discovery Circles to find out what it is, or who, the church wants to be.  Over the weekend, we held full workshops on Making Peace With Your Past, along with a Healing Circle on Sunday afternoon.  The purpose?  To learn to be truth seekers, open and honest with each other at all times.  To call each other on it when we are being less than our best – with love and respect.  And, it was about forgiveness, letting go of what was so that you can begin to live what is.

I’m glad I participated – I relearned what I already knew.  I identified situations I need to forgive because the feelings they stir up haven’t served me well in my life.  I knew them before, but I wasn’t done with them.  These are additional opportunities for growth – and to offer myself compassion and acceptance, and rest in the joy of who I am today.  Because, I am perfect, whole and complete in the eyes of the Universe.

I have been drinking Kangan water for three days now.  A friend of mine is supplying me with the water so we can get a taste (no pun intended) of the changes it can induce in us before we take on a major investment in the machine.  Karl and I, along with Joe, are taking a hard look at the food and drink we put in our bodies, and doing some research on the affects of our “meat and potatoes” American diet.  Karl is struggling to give up his daily “dinner”, and the sandwiches he normally eats each day.  I am struggling to identify what I want for my breakfast besides the traditional breakfast food I really enjoy.  We are such creatures of habit, continually falling back into what we learned and lived as children.  It is difficult to make the adjustment to a different lifestyle, and a healthier life, because we must break lifelong habits.  Each day, we are consciously making the decisions we need to make and continuing to do the research we feel necessary to find what is right for us.

Last night, Big Dog had a seizure for about 30 seconds.  Afterwards, he paced throughout the house for about an hour and a half.  He stopped frequently to drink, but often stood at the water bowl as if he wasn’t quite sure what he should be doing or how to lap up the water.  Once we got him to lay down, he began to whine, and then to howl as only an Alaskan Malamute can.  I sat with him, giving him Reiki, for almost an hour until he laid his head down to sleep.  The remainder of the night was quiet, but sleep was elusive for us.  We didn’t know if this was the beginning of something new for him.  He is over ten years old now which is the lower limit of his life cycle.  Malamutes generally live between 10 – 12 years, and it may be his time to transition.

This morning, I am joyful we made it through the night with Byron.  He is a good dog, and so very loving of his humans.  We have had him in our home since 2006 when Joe moved in with us, and he has become part of our family, becoming our dog when Joe moved out in 2010.  It is my wish to help him through this toward whatever end we are headed.

The values I am living today are:  love, patience, generosity of spirit, focus and a willingness to be vulnerable.  Completing and posting this blog fulfills all of those.  Thank you for being part of my community.

Georgia Feiste, President of Collaborative Transitions Coaching, Inc., located in Lincoln, NE, is a personal growth and leadership coach, writer, and workshop facilitator.  She is also a Usui Reiki Master and EFT practitioner.  Her passion is success grounded in purpose and passion, standards of integrity and priorities in life.  You can also find Georgia on her website, Collaborative Transitions, Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.   Georgia may also be reached at (402) 304-1902 if you wish to schedule a 30 minute complementary consultation.

The Dance of Life

The definition of vulnerable I love comes to us from Dr. Maria Nemeth, author of Managing Life’s Energies.  It is: “to allow the winds of life to blow freely over your soul.” To be vulnerable using this definition is to say ‘yes’ to whatever life brings you.

Someone once told me that God sends us opportunities all the time, moment by moment.  We only need to recognize the opportunity for what it is and be ready to reach out our hand (or our heart) to grasp hold of it.  If we fear taking that risk, and hold our hand close to our body or turn away, that opportunity will go right on past us and land in someone else’s hand.

Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to be over, it’s about learning how to dance in the rain. ~ Author unknown

Sometimes life’s opportunities are difficult.  They require us to focus, to be intentional and to take mindful and meaningful action.  Many of us will step away from difficult situations out of fear.  We run from the risk, the difficulty, and the energy required to fully experience the stretch and growth that comes from participating fully in the dance.   When we are vulnerable, we take the risk to tackle what has been handed to us, opening ourselves up to being wounded or hurt, “allowing the winds of life to blow freely over our soul”.

The journey between who you once were and who you are now becoming, is where the dance of life really takes place. ~ Barbara DeAngelis

It comes down to trust.  Trusting in yourself and the Source of all that is.  By saying ‘yes’, by taking the risk, you step into your power and move freely and gracefully in the flow of life. It does not mean that it may not be difficult, but trust and allowing yourself to be vulnerable gives you strength you may not have known you had.

In my mind, this means sharing your thoughts and feelings, your joys and your fears.  It means daring to be who you are at all times.  It means living your values, even when it is difficult.  It means opening your heart and your mind to accept others where they are, and to be willing to honor them as they take their own risks.  It means being willing to listen to what others have to say, and honor that it is right for them at this point in their journey.

Most importantly, it means embracing the curliness of life, looking for the power and the good in everything that happens.  And, dancing the dance of life for all that it is, even when it is raining.

Do we always succeed?  Not always.  But it also means having compassion for ourselves when we fail – because we tried and we were willing.

Georgia Feiste, President of Collaborative Transitions Coaching, Inc., located in Lincoln, NE, is a personal growth and leadership coach, writer, and workshop facilitator.  She is also a Usui Reiki Master and EFT practitioner.  Her passion is success grounded in purpose and passion, standards of integrity and priorities in life.  You can also find Georgia on her website, Collaborative Transitions, Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.   Georgia may also be reached at (402) 304-1902 if you wish to schedule a 30 minute complementary consultation.

Reiki Share – What Is It and What Are The Benefits?

Over the last several months, we have been sponsoring a Reiki Share on Saturday afternoons at Collaborative Transitions Coaching for our students, and other Reiki practitioners in the area who would like to participate.

What Is It?

There are two Master/Teachers in the room participating in the share experience, along with several people trained in Reiki I and Reiki II.  We use this time as a forum to talk about developments and experiences we have had over the last one to two weeks, to try new techniques or swap tips on methods and hand positions we have found useful.  It is also a time for practice for newly trained practitioners.  More importantly, the more Reiki you receive, the more you heal and the more energy will flow through you so you can help others.  It is a great place to “swap” sessions with each other.

In addition, we are using this time to give Reiki to those who want it, but may not be able to afford it.  We have one client who shows up faithfully every week.  The Reiki we give her helps her to relax so she can get the full benefit of her chiropractic care, helping her heal from a spine/neck injury that nearly killed her.  It also allows her to go to the park and play with her five year old child.  Without the Reiki, her healing was slow and painful.  Now, she is making tremendous progress toward a strong recovery, and looking forward to a normal life once again.

What are the benefits?

Not only is it a wonderful experience to have two or more people treating you at once, the state of relaxation you reach is much deeper.  It also takes much less time to complete a full session since you share the hand positions among the group, with each person working on one side of the body only.  If you have at least six people there to give Reiki, you can cover all of the body and the legs, feet, arms and hands, as well.  Many more people can receive treatment in a relatively short period of time, with each person receiving Reiki for ten to fifteen minutes.

One of the things we have found is that when Reiki is shared in groups, we don’t pay quite as much attention to the traditional hand positions.  It is difficult sometimes to get several people in one small area.  However, we believe this is compensated for by the number of people treating one area:  there should be more than enough Reiki to go around!

What are we learning?

Reiki practitioners in the area are combining their Reiki training with other energy healing practices.  One of our participants works with Quantum Touch, and Shamanic healing at the same time as Reiki.  Several of us are familiar with Donna Eden’s Energy Medicine and have combined some of her meridian information and holds with the Reiki hand positions.  This works extremely well, and is enlightening in a Reiki Share situation.  We give feedback as receivers of the treatment in order to validate a practitioner’s intuition so that they might grow in confidence in interpreting what they are feeling.

Working with a Master/Teacher during a Reiki Share is an opportunity for further learning and refinement of the work that you do.  It is an opportunity to ask questions, validate intuition, and to become better through practice and a deeper connection with others.

Our Reiki Shares provide us with a platform for giving and receiving of support, encouragement and healing that is rarely found in today’s world.  It is an experience to be remembered!  And, one we would like to share.  If you like this idea, join us or start a Reiki group yourself.

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To hire me for Leadership and Executive Coaching programs, Retirement Coaching, Personal Growth Coaching, Wellness programs, Reiki or EFT, email me at Georgia@CollaborativeTransitions.com

Thank you for reading and for being part of this community – it means so much to me.

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New Year’s Resolutions – Why They Don’t Work

I’ve read many articles over the last several weeks about New Year’s Resolutions.  Most of them talk about how you fail year after year because you aren’t setting goals.  The reality is that most of the New Year’s Resolutions ARE goals.  These resolutions aren’t much different than the goals you set throughout the year, and struggle to keep, and often fail (although there is much to be learned through failure).  I’d like to share some thoughts with you about how you might achieve better results  in 2011.

Your New Year’s Resolutions express sincere and genuine intentions.  They are based upon your dreams, wishes and hopes for your future and the future of your families.  Often they are developed because of your desire to eliminate or reduce problematic behavior; behavior you may often view as a sign of weakness and wrap in a sense of shame.  You assume that by eliminating this behavior, you will accomplish your goals.  And, when you don’t meet the goals, you may  look outside of yourself quite frequently at how others may have curbed the change in some way, obstacles that got in the way, or beat yourself up because you didn’t have the will-power or self-control to make it happen.

When viewed in this context, you can see why your resolutions rarely lead to significant change despite your clear and focused intentions. 

What you aren’t taking into consideration are those deep-seated beliefs you hold that may be getting in the way.  You need to look internally at the commitments you have made to yourself over the course of your life that stop you cold when working to facilitate change.  They create an enormous force field that resists change in many aspects of your life.  You developed them as a way to protect yourself, and the behavior you are trying to change is an effective and often brilliant way to do that.   

We are complex beings.  When you recognize you have multiple and competing goals/intentions, you increase the possibility of making significant changes because you finally understand what makes change so very difficult. 

It is fairly easy to recognize the behaviors you may have embarked on as protective measures.  It is far more difficult to determine why you developed them.  Here is the question.  What do you believe about yourself or situations that occur that you hold as truth.  And is that truth valid?

Are you confused yet?  Let me give you an example.  I have made a New Year’s Resolution to commit to right eating, physical vitality, and resulting better health.  There are way too many behaviors I identified that stops me from fulfilling that goal to list here, but if you are interested let me know and we can talk about them.  The interesting part of this exercise is that when I looked at the reasons underlying the behaviors, I squirmed in my seat quite a bit.  This process made me very uncomfortable.   Some of the reasons:  I made a commitment a long time ago that 1) I would never look disheveled or less than professional when I am out in public.  2) Exercising interferes with my work time.  3) Exercising interferes with my relaxation time.  4) Not enough time in the day to do everything I have committed to doing.  5) I would rather read, learn and gain knowledge. 6) Etc.   

What I learned by looking deep within me:  My truth is that I believe “If I don’t work hard, I am nothing.  Exercise and physical health is not going to “get me anywhere”. “   That blew me out of the water!  Of course that is not truth – but it gets in my way EVERY time. 

Here is the good news – by being aware of my assumptive truth now, I am better able to take the steps to do what I need to do to keep my commitment to myself to eat right, exercise and increase my physical vitality.  The TRUTH is – without keeping this commitment, I am unable to “get where I want to go” because I will not be healthy enough to do so.  And, it’s my intention to be around a very long time!

Georgia Feiste, President of Collaborative Transitions Coaching, Inc., located in Lincoln, NE, is a personal growth and leadership coach, writer, and workshop facilitator.  She is also a Usui Reiki Master and EFT practitioner.  Her passion is success grounded in purpose and passion, standards of integrity and priorities in life.  You can also find Georgia on her website, Collaborative Transitions, Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.   Georgia may also be reached at (402) 304-1902 if you wish to schedule a 30 minute complementary consultation.