Summer Fun – Laughing Medicine

Thank you to all who missed me last week.  I was not physically able to write about this topic then.  And as always I use my own advice so I’m laughing now.  Laughing at limitation, illness, insanity, cruelty, hypocrisy, my own daily trials.  That’s right.  I laugh at all of it.  It has no real power over me.  I decide what kind of life I’m going to live by what I value and what thoughts I choose to entertain.

We’ve had this discussion before so this is a refresher.  Our thoughts are critical to the quality of life we live and to aging gracefully.  Today I want to talk about another aspect of this that we often forget.  Many of us are aware of the fact that our thoughts can change how we physically feel.  You think about a lost love and suddenly you feel sad.  You think about someone who did you wrong and suddenly you’re angry.  This happens all day long but what about the other side of that coin?

Did you know that you can use your body to change your thoughts?  Just get up and go for a brisk walk or go to the gym for a cardio workout.  You will find your thoughts tending more toward health and wellness.  After a great workout, you don’t go down a bottle of scotch.  You want some clean refreshing water.  That’s one of the positive effects of physical activity.  

One of the best ways to change your thoughts is to laugh.  The physical activity of laughing changes the chemistry in your body sending more oxygen into your system.  A good belly laugh makes you feel lighter, freer and happy.  Oxygen is energy to the human body.  We breathe it in for life.  When we laugh we take in big gulps of oxygen and you can actually see the immediate effects in our countenance, our skin perks up, there’s more light in our eyes, we come alive!

When you’re laughing in the moment, there is no past. There is no future.  There is only now and you’re completely engulfed in it.  You could have been crying just before but now you’re in a completely different space.  Believe me there is so much to laugh about.  If you only realized your own innate power, you would laugh uncontrollably at the world and all its insanity.  When people are laughing with each other, they are much less likely to kill each other.  When people are laughing with each other, they are much less likely to say or do something cruel and inhuman to each other.  When people are laughing with each other, they feel the human connection.  When people are laughing with each other, they have more compassion for themselves and the other person.  When people are laughing with each other, there is a space to recognize love.

You may say, ‘Well I don’t have anything to laugh at right now.  My life is really a mess.’  Really?  That’s when you laugh the hardest.  You laugh at yourself for accepting such a low state of affairs.  You laugh at any people who are trying to beat you down.  Aren’t they ridiculous?  You are an eternal soul that they will never be able to destroy.  You must laugh at that and bring yourself up from the depths of despair.  What if your life is empty and boring?  Laugh at that.  Laugh at all the decisions you make every day that ensure you will continue down that path to emptiness and boredom.  Start laughing at the complete insanity of wandering through life without taking control.  If you’re bored, start thinking about other people and how you might help them.

Laugh long and hard.  Laugh until the tears flow.  My grandma used to laugh so hard that her belly giggled.  I laugh just thinking about that.  She lived a long fruitful life.  Laughing is one of the prime keys to graceful aging.  You should try it today.  For more on wellness and graceful aging, visit me at JaniceWoody.com and here’s to your Lifetime Health!

Advertisements

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!

 

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!

 

Be Aware of Your Body in this Space

Hopefully  by now you are staying active for life.  I see my clients taking this on each day.  Some of them went down that slippery slope to “the old life” but they are seeing that all it takes to get back on track is to simply start over.  You will start over as many times as you need to get to the goal.  That is what life is about.  Starting over.  This is your power to deal with anything life presents.

One of the foundations of  my meditation practice is starting over.  When your mind takes you off on a fantasy or some worry, you simply start over and return to an awareness of your breath.  It’s that simple and that daunting.  We get so frustrated with the idea of starting over when this is our true power in this life of distractions.

So you started over and went for a 15 minute walk this time.  As I’ve said before, if you don’t have 10-15 minutes for yourself, you are a slave.  BREAK FREE!  Here’s a little tip for making a jailbreak.

Be aware of your body in this space.  So you got out on your 15 minute break from work or your lunch half hour and you decided to walk.  Great!  Instead of plugging in your iPhone earplugs to listen to music, plug into your inner world and listen to your body.  It’s speaking to you every day.  Are you listening?  Start by taking 5 minutes of your workout session, walk, run, swim, whatever and just listen.  What is your body telling you?  Make friends with it.  To be a good friend to anyone, you have to first be a good friend to yourself.  Is your friend needing some affection and comfort?  Is your friend saying “Please lay off the fried food.  You’re slowing me down.” Is your friend feeling invigorated and excited about having a healthy body?  Listen, feel your body in this space.  Feel your feet hitting the ground, your legs moving through the water, your body flying through the air as you go for that lay-up and put the ball into the basket.  Feel it.  Be in the moment, paying attention to all your senses, listening.

Listening is the greatest gift you can give a friend.  Be that friend to your body.  Listen with an open heart and follow your intuition about what comes next.  When you’re in the moment, you’re less likely to have injuries.  You’re more deliberate like the tiger placing his paw very carefully with each step as he approaches his prey.  Be very deliberate and aware of your body in this space.  You will discover that staying active IS for life and you will want nothing else.

If you got anything from this post, please like it and share it with your friends.  Also visit me here at JaniceWoody.com for everything on wellness and graceful aging.  Right now I’m offering my local friends in the Tampa Bay area a great service of The Pantry Hook Up.  Find out more about it here at The Pantry Hook Up.  Here’s to your Lifetime Health!

 

SMART HEALTHY LIVING

All month we’re focused on being active.  It’s part of a smart healthy lifestyle.  So much of the time my clients are focused on food and how to eat for good health.  Being physically active is just as important as the food you eat.  Changing your diet will only take you part of the way down the path to good health and wellness.  The other two components are living an active lifestyle and being spiritually connected to your source.  None of us operate independently no matter how empowered we think we are.  Being mindful and aware of our bodies needs helps us stay in the flow of good health.

Create an activity routine for yourself.  We have routines for other areas of our lives.  Some people routinely check their Facebook account, email, text messages, etc throughout the day.  Here’s an idea!  Check in on your physical movement throughout the day.  When’s the last time you got up to :

  • go to the bathroom!? 😨😳
  • take a walk?
  • work out at the gym?
  • attend a dance class?
  • put in that cardio workout CD?

Be aware of your movement or lack thereof.  It will keep you mindfully connected to your overall health and wellbeing.

SAVE THE DATE – April 2, 2016 – Mainlands Clubhouse in Pinellas Park, FL – 9 to 1

I will be participating in Smart Healthy Living health fair.  If you’re in the area, drop by and talk to me about your health.

HEARS TO YOUR LIFETIME HEALTH!

Have you considered cleaning up your diet?

Well, well, well.  It’s that time of year when we think about cleaning up our act when it comes to diet and exercise.  This an area calling for mindfulness and awareness.  There is so much information out here on the web and hearsay from friends of friends.  Sometimes it can be very confusing when you’re trying to figure out what to eat to stay healthy or to regain your health and strength.

I have always been a proponent of following your own intuition and listening to your body.  Notice how you feel after eating certain foods.  This is the simple way to determine what’s right for you and your metabolism.  And your metabolism can change over time.  So don’t be surprised if you can eat a lot of wheat products now but weeks from now you find that a gluten free diet works better for you.

I also like to incorporate more raw foods in the diet.  Here’s a great video talking about how you might do this.  Enjoy!