For Your Family:  Create a Garden

Gardens are the most magical places to behold.  Nature thrives without our help but when we work in conjunction with it, we get to create little bits of heaven in our environment.  Gardens signify our work with the divine, taking our knowledge and syncing up with what we do not completely understand, to create some beauty.  On your knees, hands in the dirt, planting a seed or placing a plant is inspirational.  It’s more than growing food.  The experience is grounding for us.  The very act of gardening connects us to the powerful energy of earth.

I can remember playing in my Grandma’s garden as a little girl.  It was the most amazing place to me.  I would play beside Grandma as she pulled weeds or picked the wonderful harvest.  I was constantly asking questions as children do.  “Grandma, what is that plant?  Why do the snakes come, Grandma?  What is that bug?”

Beautiful vegetables and fruit, roots and herbs, interesting bugs, sunshine, fresh air, the smell of earth, these all take me back to that time.  We ate directly from that garden.  Grandma would can some of the fruits and vegetables so we could enjoy them in the cold winter months.  Those are some of the best memories of my childhood and I’ve tried throughout my life to recreate that garden.

Sometimes it just isn’t possible to have that huge expansive beautiful garden, but what is possible?  You know that’s my favorite question.  It gets your mind working on possibilities.  It leads to being surrounded by containers of beautiful herbs, fruits and flowers, a little bit of magic on your window sill.  Think about how a patio container garden can yield a lot of food to feed your family.  If you can, concentrate on growing the things that are most expensive at the grocery store like greens and lettuce.  Plant an avocado tree if your climate will allow that.  Apple trees come in so many varieties that fit almost any climate.  If you just can’t do anything outdoors, try a hydroponic indoor garden.  You might be surprised at what you can grow.  Not to mention getting the benefit of better air quality.  People and plants were meant to live together.  The plants don’t need our help to grow but we definitely need their help to thrive. 

Do something nice for the plants in your life.  Nourish and water them.  Avoid spraying them with toxic pesticides.  You wouldn’t like it if they did that to you.  Plus, when you’re spraying that stuff, you breathe a little of it.  Bad news for the lungs and the rest of you.  Both you and the plant are choking on the bad air.  Eventually, all that stuff winds up in your kidneys and your liver and they don’t want it either.

What kind of garden will you create?  One plant on the window sill is a start.  It will look lonely and therefore attract more plants.  Before you know it, you have a garden.  Maybe one day I will manage to recreate my Grandma’s garden.  Until then, here’s to your Lifetime Health!  Come visit me at JaniceWoody.com for more on wellness and graceful aging.

For Your Family: Foster Expansion

If you have family, when is the last time you sat down to have a frank discussion about finances, your money, and what you value?

So many times families fail to have these conversations and the result is a group of people living in a dream world.  They conjure up fantasies about going on extravagant vacations but have no real financial stability to support those fantasies.  Instead of explaining that Disney World is not in our price range, we pull out the credit cards or go get new ones and make it happen.  We operate as though the money to pay for it will just materialize out of thin air.  In my world, that only happens for bankers.  They are the only ones creating money out of thin air.  For our families, most of us are working jobs and trading our time for money.  

Having those frank discussions about finances, money and what you value are what’s needed to get to the place where you can go on the vacation without tying a debt noose around your neck and jeopardizing your family’s ability to function.  Who said you have to take extravagant vacations every year?  Where did that idea come from?  Could it be television programming?  Internet travel deals?  Sit down and talk about the real costs of taking trips.  Make a list and be certain everyone understands how long it would take to generate the money for such a trip.  Maybe it’s a year.  Maybe it’s five years!  Does your family even have $1,000 in the bank for emergencies like a car breaking down?  Are you doing anything to get yourself off the hamster wheel of corporate production?  Can you live beyond each paycheck?

The topic of this blog is about fostering expansion.  One of the ways we expand and grow is by facing the reality of our situations in life and by making decisions and taking actions that deal with What Is.  Then we can make a way for what is desired.  So many people got caught up in ‘The Secret,’ but one of the key ideas left out of that phenomenon was the simple fact that you must take right action.  Yes, everything is created first in mind, using your powerful imagination and intuition but you must take right action to make any of those ideas a reality.  There are no short cuts in life.  They just seem that way at the time.  Later you realize the full price that must be paid.  The credit card bills do come due.

Expanding your mind by looking at what truly is in your world can be quite liberating.  It may also feel like sitting on a razor blade as Tibetan guru Chogyam Trunkpa described it.  But that experience of dealing with what is right in your face gives you a chance to just be with what is and acknowledge it.  Then if it’s not what you want, insight can come as to how you might change it.  If you don’t face it head on, you never have this opportunity to open up and see what there is to see, feel what there is to feel and know what there is to know.  None of that is possible until you sit on that razor.

A stay-cation can be a lot of fun and it’s definitely cheaper.  Maybe you can’t even afford a stay-cation.  What is possible for your family?  What could you do together that would foster family ties?  Maybe it’s a tank of gas to go visit a long distant relative.  Maybe it’s having everybody over for Sunday brunch and dinner with games.

Give your family a gift of expansion as we move into these wonderful summer months in North America.  Show them you really care for their wellbeing by having a frank discussion about what you value and how that relates to your money and finances.  No one can have true wellness and graceful aging if you’re saddled with debilitating debt and the worry and dis ease that comes with it.

For more on wellness and graceful aging, come visit me at JaniceWoody.com and here’s to your Lifetime Health!

For Your Family:  Set the Example

If you’re not living an amazing life right now, what would it take to change that?

What more is possible?  What would an amazing life look like for you?

Many times people will ask these questions and immediately move into a mode of, well I have to … followed by striving for some goal, some thing that, if only I could get that, I would be happy.  What if you already have an amazing life and you’re just not tuned into it?  What if everything going on around you is the greatest blessing in life?  Would you see it?  Would you have the discernment to recognize an amazing life?  As humans we always strive for something.  It’s part of our nature.  We are never satisfied and always looking to cure boredom.  Many of us drown our lives in entertainment because we are terrified of being bored.  To what else could you attribute the mindless checking of texts and email or scrolling through Fakebook or watching TV for hours on end looking, searching for something, anything to lock onto to make ourselves feel “connected.”

My amazing life is right in front of me.  I have work I love.  I have family and friends I love.  I have a healing body I love for its resiliency and strength.  All of these things are gifts from the divine put here for my enjoyment.  I’m connected at all times.  I can never not be connected for that is the nature of the Universe.  It is one song.  I seek to share my gifts so they can multiply and flourish.  Then when I ask that question, what more is possible, I start to get insights into how I can share more of me.  This makes me a blessing to others and more good things flow into my life.  And this helps me vibrate on a frequency of love and gratitude which brings more good things.

Oh, but what about the “bad” things?  Do you think they just stop coming?  Of course not.   Both the good and bad things are like thoughts we have when we meditate.  They come up, we examine them and then we release them and return our focus to what we want to experience.  We do this over and over, today and tomorrow.  We can choose to live in today and tomorrow, always coming back to our core focus, our amazing lives.

What is your amazing life?  Who’s in it?  Do you appreciate them?  When is the last time you told them how much you appreciate their presence in your life?  What would your life be like without them?  People and relationships with people are the most important things in our amazing lives.  All of the things we strive to get can be replaced.  But what happens when you lose people, relationships?  Whether they were good or bad, it leaves a scar, an empty place.

 I choose to share my amazing life with people who appreciate me and love to receive my gifts.  That’s all.  Let me know about your amazing life and how you share it.  Are you setting the example for everyone around you?  Come see me at JaniceWoody.com where I show people how to live an amazing life of wellness and graceful aging.  Here’s to your Lifetime Health!

 

For Your Family – Feed Others Good Food

Many of us prepare meals every day for ourselves and people we love.  What are you feeding them?  When I talk to people about their diets, this is what I hear.

“Oh, we eat really healthy for the most part.” Or “I’m on a diet (paleo, Atkins, “low carb”, Zone, South Beach, Nutrisystems).”  You get the idea.  And my favorite – “I’m on a diet an it’s working.” 

Of course it’s working!  You can lose weight on any diet.  I often tell my clients, you can lose weight on Beyonce’s cayenne pepper lemon juice diet.  The problem is not with the diet.  The problem lies in the thought pattern that led to the diet.  That thought that says, I’ll fix it quick with this diet. Then I can fit into that dress for my daughter’s wedding.  Or maybe I can get some love if I drop a few pounds.  Maybe then she will go out with me.  Or, my doctor said I need to lose 20 pounds.  He said I should be on a low carb diet.  I would love to kill that term “low carb” but I don’t believe in PC speech so I’ll leave that one alone.

What if we’re all delusional?  I’m being kind here because the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results!  How many times have you heard yourself saying any of those previous statements?  How many diets have you tried?  What happened when you came off the diet?  YES!  You gained back the weight!  Sometimes it was a little, maybe a few pounds, but then over time, you got it all back and more.  

I know what I’m talking about.  Back in the day, I went on a diet and lost 40 pounds.  But the story continues …  with all the elation over succeeding and making my goal.  Whoop! Whoop!  Then, the day of reckoning came.  My environment changed dramatically.  I went from working at home (a controlled environment) to working in an office with a bunch of junk food nazis.  Every day they brought in donuts, chimichangas, tamales, cakes, pizza, ribs.  Oh and did I mention this was a high stress working environment.  That’s a part of what was driving this incessant need for fat, salt and sugar.  At first, I was strong.  I brought my lunch every day and just rushed past the kitchen.  But you know the deal.  Someone would come by my cubicle and offer me a donut.  They would come by and say ooh, you need to try these tamales.  They are SOOOOO good.  Tamales, a particular addiction of mine at the time, were calling my name.  Janice Janice Janice!  I went down for the count.  When I regained consciousness, I was 40 pounds heavier.  Oh, I seem to remember losing that 40 pounds somewhere.  Well I found it!  Dam it!

Does this story sound vaguely familiar to you?  Yes?  This is the life story of America, the BIG, the BOLD, the Beautifully FAT!  And it all started with our thinking.  That’s where everything starts.  Remember everything is created twice, first in the mind, then in our physical reality.  Big fat butts don’t just materialize out of thin air.  We start out with fat butt thinking.

Now you may be thinking, where is she really going with this?  The title of this blog is Feed Others Good Food.  Yes, and there is a point to my rambling.  So many times the excuse I hear is this. “My husband won’t eat healthy food.” “You don’t understand.  My kids are really picky eaters.” “If it takes longer than 10 minutes, we’re going out to eat.”  These are all excuses to feed your loved ones garbage.  But guess who’s sitting at the table with them.

When you decide you’ve had enough of losing the same 20 pounds over and over again, you will make a lifestyle transformation of epic proportions.  The people who get to come along for the ride are your family and friends.  You won’t be able to in good conscience serve them over processed, pesticide-ridden, GMO, chemistry project “food”.  Your life and health will mean too much to you.  And by default, you will want your loved ones in on the game.  The game is REAL FOOD, brisk physical activity, and spiritual nourishment, a complete mind, body, spirit transformation.

To get yours started, come visit me at JaniceWoody.com.  Ask about how I may serve you some good food for thought to get yourself on the path to an epic lifestyle transformation.  Here’s to your Lifetime Health!

Budding Opportunities to Expand Your Mind

Wellness and graceful aging do not operate in isolation from the rest of your life.  At Janice Woody’s Lifetime Health the focus is on integrating mind, body and spirit.  None of this can happen without expanding your mind first.  Remember everything is created twice in this world.  First we envision it in mind then we can create it in our day to day reality.  Expanding the mind is key to having an enlightened society.  Expanding the mind involves trust and faith that we are being led to more clarity and understanding about being well and doing for others.

Part of being well is having peace of mind about all aspects of our lives:  spiritual, mental, physical, emotional and financial.  We will not have peace of mind without peace in all these areas.  The path to peace is strewn with many obstacles, most of our own making.

How are you expanding your spiritual life?  Are you conscious of who you are being in this moment?  Are you a spirit that supports life and living?  Are you being kind and gentle?  Are you being compassionate?  What will people say about you when you’re gone from this plane?

Is your mental life a scary dark street or a path of light?  Do you feed your mind good food for thought that helps expansion?  What is your physical life?  Are you consciously living in the space of your life each moment?  Are you disassociated from your body and somehow thinking that the weight will leave on its own or that you can eat garbage without suffering the consequences?   Is your body expanding due to poor choices?  Are you an emotional mess?  Are you in denial about the reality of your existence?  Are you spouting positive affirmations without doing the foundational work of admitting who you are, where you are and how you got here?  Are you using your emotional life to support yourself and others?  Are you taking action in life or just dreaming?

And lastly, is there peace in your financial life?  Do you understand the difference between an asset and a liability?  An asset brings you wealth and income.  A liability drains your resources, both physically and emotionally.  Are you acquiring assets or are you watching your resources slip away funding liabilities that leave you nothing to show for your life’s work?

Do you know that your children are your treasure, the greatest asset you have been given?  Do you treat them like precious jewels with gentleness and admiration?  Do you build them up and educate them about who they are and where they came from?  Are you laying a firm foundation that will allow them to prosper in life and ensure the longevity of your clan?  That is also wealth.  Don’t relegate their education to a slave factory.  Take on the responsibility to educate them about true freedom and the greatness of service to others.

When you’re laid to rest either in a grave or on a funeral pyre, will your legacy  be one of peace and expansion?  You may think all I have done here is raise more questions with no answers.  Everyone is looking for answers.  The answers lie inside you.  The way to bring them out is by asking the right questions.  Now is your budding opportunity to expand your mind.  Take it!

Please like this and share it with your friends.  Come visit me at JaniceWoody.com for more discussions on wellness and graceful aging.  Here’s to your Lifetime Health!

 

Budding Opportunities: Tend the Garden of Your Mind

“What a difference a day makes.  Twenty-four little hours.”  When you give yourself time to digest life, it goes down so much easier.  I’m having a health challenge and as always I am reminded to tend to my thoughts.  How easy it is to forget that we decide which thoughts to entertain on a daily basis.  It seems that they just show up sometimes as uninvited guests and we can’t do anything about that.  WRONG!  We must tend our thoughts as carefully as we tend our gardens.  What gets planted will grow.  If you plant watermelon seeds, you won’t get apples.  Seems kind of obvious, but many times we find ourselves entertaining thoughts of despair about our health and then wonder why things seem to be getting worse.

Yes, we have to be realistic and face whatever presents itself.  Once we’ve acknowledged it, then we decide how to think about it.  If the automatic response is panic, doom and gloom, then we find ourselves in the negative death spiral to hell.  The negative thoughts come pouring in and start to overwhelm the system.

However, there is another way to tend the garden of your mind.  Face reality.  What is actually happening?  Much of it will exist only in the mind.  Then adopt a perspective that leaves you options.  It’s amazing how just having a choice can lift your spirits and raise your energy to see the possibilities in life.  It’s very easy to decide that everything is falling apart.  But what if it isn’t?  What if you can make a different choice?  What if you can see things from a different perspective, one that has you winning for a change?  Or at least gives you a fighting chance?

The way this life works is we have dark clouds and rain, then we get sunshine and flowers.  Neither is good or bad.  It simply is.  The thought seeds we’ve planted determine what sprouts in the fertile soil of our minds.  If we welcome the clouds and rain, we have a perspective that this will bring juicy watermelons.  If we welcome the sunshine, we enjoy a walk in the park or wandering in our garden picking the sweet fruit.  What we harvest is what was planted.

If we are planting negative thought seeds, the harvest will be disappointing at best.  What we will have to eat will only irritate the system and make life stressful, dark and cloudy like the sky on a rainy day.  Plant seeds that empower you.  Plant seeds that give you options.  Plant seeds that feed and nourish your soul.

The dark clouds always part and then there is sun.  “What a difference a day makes.  Twenty-four little hours.  You’ve got the sun and the flowers where there used to be rain.  What a difference a day makes.  And the difference is you!”

If you’re singing along with me right now, hit the like button and share this with your friends.  You’re welcome to come visit me at JaniceWoody.com.  Here’s to your Lifetime Health!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Budding Opportunities – Birth of the Warrior

I am giving birth to the warrior now in Level 2 Shambhala.  How profound that I would be birthing the warrior on Mother’s Day weekend.

 My first experience giving birth lead to the emergence of a truly magnificent soul named Changa Bavu Mukasa.  His name means iron-like force and he emerged as just that.  I will always remember how he arrived, with a long introduction and much fanfare.  My water broke at 7 months and as I sat in the hospital for another 7 days waiting for his arrival, I wondered who is this person.  He came down the birth canal with an attitude and when they laid him on the table beside me, he looked up at his father and me with a look of “oh, so you’re the ones I got!”  

Thus proceeded the journey of a warrior into listening and hearing.  We all had our hearing faculties at the time.  Little did we know what was to come.  Changa lost most of his hearing over a year later due to meningitis.  It was fitting that the logo for his namesake CHANGA is an African Zulu warrior.  When we gave birth to CHANGA (Collective Housing and New Growth Alternatives) we had no idea what would happen or where it would lead us.  We just wanted to promote deaf-friendly housing.  It gave birth to a whole movement that others are promoting now and bringing forth new living spaces that serve the needs of the deaf and hard of hearing.  Thank you Changa for inspiring the creation of this grand idea in our lives.  We weren’t the first to attempt it, but in the age of the Internet, we were probably the first to give it more light.

The warrior is being born anew in me this weekend.  It signals a movement into a new realm of healing, growth and transformation.  There is much to be healed through working with contentment, joy, fearlessness and wisdom.  I salute all those on the path with me.  It takes great courage to birth the warrior.  Having to sit with all that arises, acknowledging and accepting.  No fighting is required.  Non-resistance is a key tool of the warrior.  Realizing that all that comes up to challenge you is for you, for your growth, for your healing.  The warrior knows that whatever is needed in every situation is contained within it.  There is no need to bring the moving van, just an open set of eyes and ears, an open heart.

 In some Native American tribes, the young brave went off on a spirit quest to sit with whatever arose, acknowledging and accepting.  He faced his fears and moved through them.  I learned that fearlessness is not about the absence of fear.  It’s facing fear and moving beyond it.  We can’t have fearlessness without fear.  Just as there’s always a little nugget of sadness in all our joy.  Birthing of a warrior is what’s required of an individual.  Birthing of a warrior is what’s required of a people to survive and thrive.

 May you be happy.  May you be free from suffering.  May you be at peace.  May you be brave and give birth to a warrior.  As always, please like this and share it with your friends.  Come sit with me at JaniceWoody.com for more on wellness and graceful aging.  Here’s to your Lifetime Health!