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19 Apr
10 Apr

Is there something that humans just don’t understand about life?

CWG Book4_Cover_04.cdrYes—and it’s huge

 By Neale Donald Walsch


How is it possible for seven billion human beings to all want the same thing—safety, security, peace, prosperity, opportunity, happiness, and love—yet be unable to produce it for any but the tiniest percentage, even after thousands of years of trying?


I pose this question wherever I appear on my speaking tours, but I rarely get a satisfactory answer.


That’s because most people do not understand the nature of the problem. As a result, we keep trying to solve the problem at every level except the level at which the problem exists.


First, we try to solve the problems as if they were political problems. We author legislation, we pass resolutions, we issue declarations and sign documents, we create governments and then, by vote or by force, dismantle the governments we have created—we try everything we can think of politically, and yet we are faced with the same problems today that we have faced for centuries, and indeed, for millennia.


So we say, obviously these are not political problems. They must be economic problems. And we then try in every way that we can to manipulate how cash flows around the problems. We throw money at them (as in the sending of foreign aid), or we withhold money from them (as in the imposition of economic sanctions). We try everything we can think of economically, and yet we are faced with the same problems today that we have faced for centuries, and indeed, for millennia.


So we say, obviously these are not economic problems, they must be military problems. And then we shoot bullets at them and drop bombs on them and fire missiles into them. We try everything we can think of militarily, and yet we are faced with the same problems today that we have faced for centuries, and indeed, for millennia.


So we say, it’s time to stop the fighting and go back to the bargaining table. We need to negotiate a settlement. And the cycle starts all over again. We pass more resolutions, then we impose more sanctions, then we drop more bombs, all the while crying out plaintively: “There must be a solution somewhere.


Yet the problem facing humanity is not a political problem, it is not an economic problem, and it is not a military problem. It is a spiritual problem, and it can only be solved by spiritual means.


My Conversations with God book series—the first entry of which was published in 1995—has been read by millions and been translated into 37 languages worldwide, and I have been answering questions about the content of those books for over 20 years. So I have some well-worn opinions on what I call “humanity’s dilemma.”


It seems to me that nothing we are doing is working. Our political systems clearly are not working. Our economic systems clearly are not working. Our ecological systems clearly are not working. Our health care systems clearly are not working. Our educational systems clearly are not working. Our social systems clearly are not working. And saddest of all, our spiritual systems clearly are not working.


Nothing that we have created to produce a better life for all of us is producing that outcome for the largest number of people. In fact, it is worse than that. They are actually producing exactly the opposite.


It is time to arouse humanity from its slumber. There is obviously something we don’t understand, both about life and about God, the understanding of which would change everything.


I have catalogued what I consider to be humanity’s major misunderstandings in my latest book, Conversations with God-Book 4: Awaken the Species. I offer seven tools for integrating the behaviors of fully awakened beings into an average person’s daily life.


Perhaps the most startling assertion of my new book, however, is not about current human behaviors, but the behaviors of extraterrestrial beings—who I am convinced not only exist, but are actively working to help the people of Earth grow in their understanding.


My book includes a list of what I believe are sixteen crucial differences in behavior between what I describe as “Highly Evolved Beings living in an awakened state” and those human beings who are not.


I understand that such an assertion will meet with skepticism at best, and derision in some quarters for sure. Still, I think most people now accept that we are not alone in the cosmos, and most would be comforted to know that benevolent beings are seeking to help us move forward in our evolutionary process.


Yet if such beings are helping, one might ask, why is our planet now facing crisis after crisis, with terrorism destroying lives, economic dreams being shattered, and unpredictable political upheaval emerging everywhere?


In my view, the fact that these conditions exist make this the perfect time for our advancement. They comprise the storm before the calm, their severity serving to shake humanity from its complacency, awakening us to what now urgently needs to be done if we are to keep the promise of our potential.


I was told all of this in my latest conversations with God, a communication with the Divine that I believe all people are having all the time. Most people are simply calling it something else. A moment of inspiration, perhaps. A sudden insight. A wonderful or brilliant idea. An intuitive sense. Some have even labeled such moments an epiphany.


People will call it whatever they have to call it to get away with sharing their experience without having to claim that God spoke to them, or that Divine revelations had anything to do with it.


Whatever words we use, we are talking here about the expansion of awareness that arises from the place of highest wisdom within all of us. It is the daring vision of Galileo, the incisive clarity of Socrates, the expansive understanding of Simone de Beauvoir, the intellectual bravery of Gertrude Stein, the pure genius of Madam Curie and Albert Einstein that resides within everyone, awaiting our access and our use.


Book 4 in the Conversations with God series contains an invitation to human beings to choose to be among those who commit to moving forward their own individual and personal evolution by embracing and demonstrating behaviors that serve to awaken the species to who and what human beings really are (Individuations of Divinity), and how that may be made manifest in daily experience.


The book comes out late March from Rainbow Ridge Books, distributed by Square One Publishers in New York.

NDW Photo

–Neale Donald Walsch is the New York Times Bestselling author of nine books in the Conversations with God series, which have sold more than ten million copies in 37 languages. He is one of the major authors in the new spirituality movement, having written 29 books, with eight books on the New York Times bestseller’s list. His life and work have helped to create and sustain a worldwide spiritual renaissance, and he travels globally to bring the uplifting message of the CwG books to people everywhere.

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04 Apr


84021Guest post by Rachel Harris, PhD, author of LISTENING TO AYAHUASCA


Ayahuasca is a tea composed of two plants from the Amazon rain forest. It’s considered a medicine by the growing number of Westerners who are drinking ayahuasca in sacred ceremonies in search of psychospiritual healing.


In my research, “A Study of Ayahuasca Use in North America,” published in the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, eighty-one people completed a sixteen-page questionnaire describing how they changed after their experience of drinking this powerful brew. In addition, I personally interviewed another fifty people, again focusing on what happened after the ceremony, asking, “How are you different? How has your life changed?”


The self-reports from the questionnaires and interviews revealed five ways that ayahuasca is helping people change their lives for the better.


1. Positive Sense of Self: Perhaps the most important change people reported was that they felt better about themselves and felt that they had a right to exist. People said things like: “I’m more accepting of myself, more loving, kind, and patient. I have more self-confidence, take better care of myself, and have greater understanding. I’m less critical.” This last statement is important therapeutically, since a harsh inner critic can be constantly demoralizing in daily life.


On a more spiritual level, individuals reported the experience of being flooded with love. This sensation ranges from the comfort of a warm bath to ecstatic heights of feeling loved as a child of the universe. Such experiences often lead to greater self-compassion and self-acceptance. One man said, “You can hear something one thousand times and still not get it. With ayahuasca, the message [of being loved] drops down into the cellular level, and all of a sudden you know it in your bones.”


2. Improved Mood: In terms of depression and anxiety, a few lucky people had what I call a spontaneous cure — “My depression is GONE,” one man wrote after a decade of antidepressant use and five years of psychotherapy. We don’t really understand such a dramatic response to the medicine; we can’t predict who will find such relief.


For most people, there’s a more gradual healing process that continues after each ceremony. Most people noted a general improvement in mood: more feelings of love and compassion, increased optimism, greater serenity, increased confidence, and more joy. As a result of drinking ayahuasca, people said they felt more easygoing, safer, and lighter; they had more fun and felt more stable. They also reported feeling less anxious, angry, agitated, or upset. One person wrote, “Less darkness, more light.”


People seemed to develop a healthy distance between themselves and their moods that allowed them to be more objective and to consider the most constructive way to handle their emotionality. A forty-seven-year-old teacher wrote, “I’m less emotional and can better deal with my moods.” Another woman, age fifty-nine and a college professor, described a distancing from her moods: “I don’t take my moods so seriously anymore.”


3. Healing of Trauma: People often report that during ceremonies they relived a traumatic childhood event, sometimes actually being in the scene and other times watching the scene from a distance as if it were a movie. In the former, the person might be recovering a lost memory, gaining access to information that they had blocked. In this case, the person might be experiencing the trauma with full body consciousness in a way they weren’t able to do at the time. They are likely to feel that they’ve regressed to the age they were when the traumatic event happened. In the latter case, the person is able to sustain an objective distance and maintain their adult perspective. Often these people report feeling great compassion for the child they were along with the ability to be more loving toward that child within.


Whether the trauma is relived or observed during the ayahuasca ceremony, I think it can be very helpful to work with a therapist who is experienced with the medicine or altered states of consciousness. A skilled therapist would know how to approach these two ways of experiencing trauma differently. I recently heard of a woman who kept reliving the same trauma in every ayahuasca ceremony. This can actually be retraumatizing, and a therapist could help her break out of that loop and move forward.


4. Improved Relationships: As people felt better about themselves and less vulnerable to negative moods, they became more available in their significant relationships. There was a trend toward increased honest, direct, and open communication with deeper connections. One college professor succinctly described his changes: “Better marriage. Better relationships with students and colleagues.”


Many of the younger respondents said their relationships with their parents had improved, partly because they were more patient and tolerant of them. One early-twenties college student, happily in his fifth year of undergraduate study, asked his mother to answer the question, “Did anyone close to you notice any changes in you (since drinking ayahuasca)?” She responded, “Now he has control over his behavior and has become very spiritual.”


A number of people reported reconciliations in ruptured relationships. One woman wrote, “I made peace with my ex-husband, and it made a huge difference for us and our two children.” Others said they ended “unhealthy relationships” with both romantic partners and friends. This news was presented as an accomplishment, something they should’ve done long ago. It seems that many reevaluate their relationships after the ayahuasca experience. For example, one woman explained that she “was better at setting limits without guilt” in her relationships. Another said, “I’ve stopped anything that was toxic.”


5. Healthier Lifestyle: Similar to the findings on depression, a few lucky people reported a miracle cure when it came to their issues with alcohol: “After doing ayahuasca, I feel that alcohol is a poison.” “No desire for alcohol.” “I have more awareness around abuse of alcohol, so I drink less.” These people spontaneously began to view alcohol in a negative light. This effortless change in perception and behavior is the unique hallmark of ayahuasca. The changes are not a result of white-knuckle self-control but of an internal shift that seems to happen organically.


The self-reports on marijuana were more complex, with some people reducing their use while others, who viewed marijuana as a plant ally of ayahuasca, maintained their habit. A few people said they were less interested in other psychedelics since their introduction to ayahuasca, but others continued to explore.


There was a pattern of change in diet with the trend clearly in the direction of less sugar, junk food, and red meat; more vegetables and fruit; and smaller portions. One woman said, “Junk food is less appealing, even chocolate,” which I consider a major breakthrough.


People also said they felt better after the ceremonies and enjoyed an increase in vitality and energy. With an increase in their activity level, many reported a weight loss. One man said, “I feel and look younger,” and two described a weight loss of forty pounds.


These changes were not the result of willpower or discipline — nobody mentioned those stalwarts of the dieting world. Rather, the desire for a healthier diet seemed to unfold spontaneously as if based on some kind of revelation. Some people reported that they heard a voice telling them to change their eating habits. Others came out of a ceremony and changed lifelong patterns with seemingly no effort, as if they simply decided, “I now just prefer kale to chocolate.”



These are remarkable changes after ayahausca ceremonies, but we must acknowledge that these self-reports are just the beginning indicators of the therapeutic potential of ayahuasca. Far more research is needed. We still don’t know who will benefit from this medicine or in what ways. And there are risks involved whether drinking ayahuasca in South America or here in the States. But for intrepid seekers of psychospiritual healing, ayahuasca is working in mysterious ways to change their lives for the better.


# # #


3001Rachel Harris, PhD, is the author of Listening to Ayahuasca: New Hope for Depression, Addiction, PTSD, and Anxiety. She received a National Institutes of Health New Investigator’s Award, has published more than forty scientific studies in peer-reviewed journals, and has worked as a psychological consultant to Fortune 500 companies and the United Nations. She lives on an island off the coast of Maine and in the San Francisco Bay Area. Visit her online at www.listeningtoayahuasca.com.


Based on the book Listening to Ayahuasca. Copyright © 2017 by Rachel Harris.

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09 Mar

The Madonna Complex: Why Your Man Won’t Have Sex With You Because He Prefers Pornography

Guest post by Dr. Peter Andrew Sacco Ph.D.

Sacco_254_Layout 1Have you ever heard of the Madonna complex? It has nothing to do with Madonna the entertainer.  It is not some catchy “pop” psychology concept which sprung up overnight. Its legacy can be traced back to Sigmund Freud, the great Psychoanalyst and his psychosexual theories. Freud was a major believer in the notion that all human behaviour –wishes, dreams and gratifications, had a strong psychosexual basis.

The Madonna complex asserts that the man reason men choose not to have sex with their wives is because their wives remind them too much of their mothers — having sex with their wives would be like having sex with their mothers. It’s not that these men find their wives unattractive because they don’t! Instead, they are just not “sexually/physically” into them because their wives are more like a mother figure. In fact, these “mother” figures possess a sacred resemblance for some!

Freud was big on transference, treating someone else like someone already close to you in your life. In this case it is mom. Gee, sounds a whole lot like the movie ‘Psycho’ and hit TV series ‘Bates Motel’ doesn’t it? By the way, I love both of them, and I also love my mother, but not the way Norman does. Just saying!  This transference prevents a man from having sex with his wife, for one of these two reasons:

1) His wife reminds him too much of his mother, whom he reveres, holds sacred and views her with untarnished purity.

2) His wife reminds him of his mother who hurt, neglected or mistreated him as a child and he despises her.

In either scenario, his wife vicariously becomes the physical re-incarnate of his mother (No, she is not stuffed or taxidermied!). There is not a snowball chance in hell of her receiving the physical attention she yearns for. You see, most men who select wives who remind them of the mothers, eventually end up despising their wives because they remind them too much of their moms and in many cases, they are not even physically attracted to them. Instead, the women serve more as companions or comfort figures –

mothers, sisters or nurturers who make the men feel secure in the relationship.

The attributes of the Madonna complex can be traced back to both European and Latin American roots. Marianismo is a term often linked to the Madonna complex. The concept is derived from the Roman Catholic belief that the Virgin Mother Mary was both a virgin and the lady Madonna. The theme surrounding Marianismo is moral virtue which places women on a somewhat semi-divine level. When discussing women in the context of Marianismo, they are represented as being morally superior to men. I bet some women are chuckling to themselves, saying, “I told you so!” The purity that woman are said to possess makes them spiritually stronger.

Marianismo also asserts that women are the physically weaker, gentle, docile and the passive gender. Women are “softer” in both their physicality and in their personalities. As a result of this, men are the aggressors when it comes to sex. Even though most women long to have children, men tend to be the aggressors who, “hunt”, “stalk”, “chase” and pursue their mates. Interestingly if you examine ‘stalking laws’ and stats for stalkers, exponentially more men continue to stalk women.

Even though things have greatly changed in today’s society – women being more assertive, aggressive and dominant when it comes to selecting and pursuing mates, in many parts of the world, even in North America, the virtue of women still being the weaker more passive of the two in terms of relationships is very much alive, well and the norm. Unfortunately, this is still portrayed in many soap operas, novels and of course pornography, which I will get to in a bit.

When look at Marianismo in today’s society, the following is often seen and expected in too many marriages and relationships:

1) Husbands are expected to respect and maintain the sanctity of his wife’s purity.

2) Husbands are expected to view his wife as a passive individual and she is expected to remain passive — physically, sexually and in major decision making.

3) Husbands are expected to abstain from all sexual activities with his wife unless it is for the purpose of procreation.

4) Husbands are expected to nurture his children and remain spiritually pure to set an example for the children.

5) If  a hubby feels the needs to “have sex”, then outside affairs are in order to preserve his wife’s purity, his wholesome intentions for her while at the same time satisfying his sexual cravings and massaging his male ego.

Remember folks, this is based on old school beliefs, ideologies and practices. Mercifully it has changed to embraced equality between the sexes, but too many still subscribed to these beliefs.

Then there is ‘Misogyny’, the other side of the Madonna complex coin. Misogyny is a loathing and hatred for women by men and even other women, just because they are female. Back in ancient times, there was this hateful perception of women. It was then that women were treated as second class citizens – not as valuable or revered as men (Sadly, this still happens today around the world and should not be tolerated!). In fact, the famous philosopher Aristotle once postulated women are nothing more than non-perfect men.

Misogyny depicts extreme animosity, even hatred against women. Misogyny is perpetuated in many different facets in today’s society. With the advent of multi-media and “other” new forms of entertainment, you can find it rampant still in television shows, movies, books, commercials, and especially pornography. Is it any wonder violence against women still occurs at such a high rate?

Men with the Madonna complex are trapped in dichotomous thinking; Women are either purely good, or women are purely evil (raunchy). Worst of all, when men think in such polarized terms, it is because they view life in general through these polarized lenses. The ramifications of this can prove detrimental down the road in his relationships or marriage.

With the Madonna complex, sex after marriage defiles the expectations of what a wife is suppose to be and often times the relationship develops major functional issues.  Infidelity often occurs because of sex and intimacy issues within the marriage.  A husband seeks sex with a “whore”, while a wife seeks sex with someone who is going to meet her needs emotionally –Intimacy!

Some male porn addicts possessing Madonna complex use strip clubs, massage parlours and escorts/prostitutes to satiate their sexual urges, hungers and fantasies. This is “okay” in their minds because they really are not cheating, rather using the services of a paid professional. Can you guess what the number one medium of entertain is? Pornography! Can you guess who the majority of consumers are? Men!

Many men who possess the Madonna complex, become porn addicts, and/or become incapable of having sexual relations with their wives. So many wives “blame” themselves for being unattractive, or not sexy. How can they compete with fantasies created from watching porn or seeing girls in strip clubs? It is not innocent fun when one becomes addicted to pornography, which is rampant among men, and a huge killer of marriages and relationships.

Dr. Debra Laino who is a renowned sex therapist and I wrote the Madonna Complex to show how alive the Madonna Complex is in today’s society, as well as how women (wives and girlfriends) are competing with pornography—the other woman/mistress. Most consumers of pornography traditionally have males. With that said, more women are fast becoming consumers of pornography, and as society changes, it will be interesting to see if more women develop the Madonna Complex, and offer ‘tit for tat’. Now there is a pun if I ever saw one!

IMG_0051C            Dr. Peter Andrew Sacco is the author of many books including his new popular selling books; Right Now Enough Is Enough: Overcoming Addictions & Bad Habits and The Madonna Complex, and more than 800 magazine articles. Sacco is an award-winning lecturer at universities in both the USA and Canada, specializing in relationships, criminal psychology, addictions, and mental health. He is also a frequent resident expert on several television programs and appears regularly as a guest expert on many news talk radio shows in the USA (FOX, ABC, CBS, Iheart, Coast To Coast, Global News, Reader’s Digest  etc.), as well as hosting the weekly radio show “Matters of the Mind: Managing Relationships and Mental Health.  He is also an award-winning executive producer and host of documentaries on relationships, psychological issues and child issues. You can learn more about him, or download free books at www.petersacco.com or www.bullyingisforthebirds.com

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05 Jan

The gift of good health

jeff-williams-2016-holidayThe other day someone asked me what my favorite gift was this holiday season.  I didn’t hesitate to say, “The gift of good health for both my husband and me!”

A few years ago my husband was diagnosed with Coronary Artery Disease, having blockage in 3 main arteries and his cholesterol was off the graph. Obviously, his physicians wanted him to take meds, which he did for a short period of time.

We played with diets:  raw, vegetarian, paleo, we even considered starvation!  LOL..  (Well he did, I didn’t.  I have a hard time fasting for more than a few hours!)  Nothing really worked, nothing was very satisfying.

Then we watched a movie, Cowspiracy.  It was a wake up call for both of us on many levels.  We began a 100% Plant Based diet.  Wait, let me say a 100% Planet Based Lifestyle because it has been more than just a diet.  It’s our way of living. No, it wasn’t easy at first. In fact, I’ve mentioned before that it was such a radical change I verged on being depressed. There was much to “relearn”.

Here’s the gift.  Last month we both had our blood work done and he had a physical. All of our numbers are perfect!  Absolutely perfect!  As I continue to work through a few health issues unrelated to that blood work, I am quite confident that this #vegan lifestyle is healing my life.

To his resident in training his doctor said, “Jeff was my worst patient.  His cholesterol was one of the worst I’d seen in someone his age.  He and his wife went on a vegan diet and now he has the best I’ve seen.  He healed himself with a vegan diet!”  (And that doctor is NOT a vegan.)

The gift of good health – there’s no better gift to give yourself or your family.

Happy New Year!

P.S.  If you are looking to embrace a Planet Based Lifestyle and need support, send me a message through my contact page.  I’d be happy to send you my 10 easy tips choosing plants.

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07 Nov

Everything You Never Knew You Never Knew About Sleep!

Sleep. It’s something we all do, an important part of our lives from the very beginning, and every single day. We might think we know about sleep, because we have gotten very good at it over the years, but here are a few facts about sleep that may surprise you. Take note, this information may come in handy if you’re ever a contestant on Jeopardy!

  • The word “sleep” comes from the Proto-European base word “sleb” meaning “to be weak.”
  • Most of what we know about sleep science has come about in just the last 25 years.
  • Sleep is a characteristic of complex living beings including insects, mollusks, fish, amphibians, birds, and mammals.
  • Among animals, the giraffe sleeps the least amount, fewer than 2 hours a day in five to ten minute intervals. The koala sleeps the most, up to 22 hours a day. Cats sleep an average of 12 hours a day, and dogs sleep about 10 ½ hours a day – this is in addition to nighttime sleep.
  • The dolphin’s brain is unique in that one half of it sleeps at a time. This is called “unihemispheric sleep” – where one hemisphere of the brain is awake while the other hemisphere sleeps. Because of this, dolphins can sleep under water without drowning. Like humans, dolphins spend about one third of their lives asleep.
  • A “catnap” is a short sleep, usually not in bed. People can take catnaps with their eyes open and not even know it.
  • People typically dream four to six dreams per night, lasting a combined total of more than two hours. This adds up to about six years of dreaming.
  • Upon waking, half of a dream is forgotten in the first five minutes. When ten minutes has gone by we have forgotten 90% of it. Although 42% of people say they have had a dream about something that later came true.
  • 12% of people only have dreams in black and white.
  • There are at least 84 identified sleep/wake disorders.
  • More than 70 million people in the USA suffer from a sleep disorder. Of those, more than 60% have a chronic sleep disorder.
  • People can survive longer without food than we can without sleep.
  • Modern society has such high numbers of sleep deprivation that what is really abnormal sleepiness is now considered normal.
  • Sleep deprivation, when applied systematically, is said to be the most effective form of torture. One reason is that sleep deprivation causes the body to produce higher levels of the stress hormone corticosterone.
  • Somnambulism is the scientific word for sleepwalking. Even though they can talk, walk, and even eat while asleep, most sleepwalkers don’t remember much about their experiences. Scientists believe that sleepwalking has a genetic component.
  • When one partner snores, he or she wakes his non-snoring partner 20 times a night on average, with a sleep loss of about one hour a night.
  • Snoring usually worsens after drinking alcohol. Alcohol has a depressant effect on the tongue and throat muscles, narrowing the upper airway space.
  • Brains are more active during sleep than while watching television. You also burn more calories sleeping than you do when watching television.
  • Charles Dickens suffered from insomnia. He believed that he could fall asleep faster in the middle of a bed facing north.
  • William Shakespeare often wrote about sleep in his plays. Scholars believe he gave such clear descriptions of insomnia because he suffered from the disorder. “We are such stuff as dreams are made on, and our little life is rounded with a sleep.” –The Tempest
  • The saying “good night, sleep tight” came about when mattresses were set upon ropes woven through a bed frame. When the ropes started sagging, they were tightened with a bed key.
  • The phrase “hit the sack” dates back to the 9th century when homes were one big room used for all activities. At the end of the day, families would clean up after dinner and make up a bed by putting hay in a sack.
  • The largest bed ever constructed is the Great Bed of Ware in Great Britain. Built in 1596 it measured 11 feet by 11 feet and was said to sleep 12 comfortably.
  • Waterbeds became all the rage in the 1970s, but they actually date back to the 19th century when they were available in hospitals. The water eliminated pressure points so they could be used to support patients with bone fractures, bedsores, or even paralysis.

Today we have more choices than ever in mattresses, materials, styles, and sizes! If you’re not getting either the quality or quantity of sleep that you need to feel great and be productive, check out the many options available. Like Goldilocks, you’re sure to find a bed that is “just right” for you! More info about all things sleep at BetterSleep.org




“What You Never Knew About Beds, Bedrooms & Pajamas” by Patricia Lauber

“Counting Sheep: The Science and Pleasures of Sleep and Dreams” by Paul Martin

Online Etymology Dictionary

“Encyclopedia of Sleep and Sleep Disorders” by Michael Thorpy and Jan Yager

cats sleeping

cats sleeping

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20 Oct

Plants vs. pants

 Eating plants is good for the pants!

By Teri Williams


 The picture shown above is of my favorite belts.  I’ve had it for years.  Notice the two notches added at the top of the belt.  That’s where I was in September of 2015.  And…one year later I’m down to the fourth set of notches.

 I dropped the equivalent of 5 notches!

 When I began eating 100% plant-based my motivations were for my husband and I to rid our bodies of the toxins and blockage from years of eating animal products.  Of course compassion for all beings and helping our planet were also big factors.  I had no idea that, as a result, I would naturally lose weight; somewhere around 30 pounds and five inches. According to some studies I was considered extremely overweight.  I thought I was “just a little curvy” and was quite happy with the way I looked.

In a previous blog I mentioned that is was a difficult transition and that I verged on being depressed.  My mind and body went through withdrawals, my hormones were out of control and I was an emotional wreck.  Most of you that know me would not believe I could be anything but blissful – it happens! I was heading into a deep funk.

What I really thought, what I  was afraid of was that I would be in for a lifelong battle of trying to figure out what to eat and where, that I would always be hungry.  That is simply not my truth. It took creating new habits, or routines, and experimenting with new foods.  I’m an awesome cook, so my fear, like most fear, was unwarranted.  All I needed to do was create space for a new way to cook, a new way to LIVE. To my surprise, I cook almost everything I used to cook, only now I do it without any animal products whatsoever and without oil! My family will testify to the fact that there is no shortage of great food in my house.

A year later as I look at those holes in my belt and think about the fact that I can easily wear my 25 year old daughters clothes, a voice in my head says, “You are one sexy vegan grandma!” (My husband thinks so, too!)

P.S. After the first of the year, my friend, colleague and soul sister, Lisa Powell Graham of the Sexy Vegan Project and I will be sharing some inspiring work for anyone who wants to lean into (or jump all the way in) being vegan.  Until then, for insight and support, visit my contact page and send me a note or find me on Facebook!

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10 Oct

Physical Activity and the Healthy Heart

img_0947By Jacqueline A. Eubany, MD, FACC FHRS


Physical activity is important for good heart health. It is beneficial in healthy individuals, people who are considered high risk for disease, and those who are currently living with chronic health conditions. From a heart standpoint, physical activity can lower your blood pressure, reduce your cholesterol, decrease your blood sugar and therefore your risk for diabetes, and overall reduces your chances of dying from heart disease related illness.

What is physical activity that is relevant to heart health? Physical activity for the heart is activity that increases heart rate to a certain level, and maintains that level for enough time for the heart to develop stamina, good cardiac circulation, and improve cardiac muscle function.

How much physical activity does one need to obtain a healthy heart? According to the American College of Cardiology, people should engage in a minimum of 150 minutes a week of moderate aerobic activity or a minimum of 75 minutes a week of vigorous aerobic activity. Once the minimum level is attained, and one is comfortable exercising to this level, then one can slowly increase to a moderate aerobic activity level of 300 minutes a week, or increase to a vigorous aerobic activity level of 150 minutes a week. The length of time it takes between the start of your heart healthy exercise program and the accomplishment of your 300 minute per week moderate activity routine is left at your discretion and your physical activity level.

What are examples of physical activities that can be considered for one’s healthy heart routine? Moderate aerobic activities include things like brisk walking, dancing, and water aerobics, while vigorous aerobic activity include things like running, hiking uphill, and swimming laps. A good gauge of whether you are engaged in a moderate versus a vigorous physical activity is your ability to talk and/or sing while exercising. If you are able to talk comfortably, but not able to sing the words of your favorite song while you exercise, then you are more than likely engaged in moderate physical activity. Whereas, if you are barely able to utter 1-2 words while you exercise, then you are more than likely engaged in vigorous physical activity.

What should you consider before you begin your new physical activity habit? For those who are physically inactive, especially those with chronic medical conditions, it is very important to discuss exercise and your limitations with your physician prior to starting a workout regimen. Don’t be discouraged because you cannot exercise for 150 minutes a week. Remember, any amount of exercise is better than no physical activity. Start slow. Exercise for 5-10 minutes a day, and build up slowly over several weeks to 150 minutes a day. Set achievable goals each week and try to make them. If you do not achieve them, it is okay, just keep trying! If you stay focused and motivated, you will reach your goal! To quote Confucius, “It does not matter how slow you go, as long as you do not stop.”

In summary, physical activity is a key component to good heart health. It can lower your risk factors for heart disease, and decrease your risk of dying from heart disease related illness. Any physical activity is always better than NO physical activity, so you have to get out there and just move. The minimal goal for good heart health is 150 minutes per week of moderate physical activity or 75 minutes per week of vigorous physical activity. Start TODAY! Start slow, and build up your stamina. Here is to good heart health. See you next time.

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05 Oct



By Jesse Kalsi

“Numbers are alive and are represented by planetary energy. They have a direct impact on our success, health, happiness and prosperity.”


There are several different kinds of numerology; each has its particular strengths. However, even the best system is worthless without clear and consistent interpretation relative to the issues at hand. With clarity, insight, and compassion Jesse has consulted with individuals regarding their personal and business lives.


I use the term “AstroNumerology” because I associate numbers with planets, which are astronomical bodies. AstroNumerology is not about adding numbers up; it is about looking at each individual number, since each represents a particular planet, and considering the totality of the number’s own “planetary system.” Each planet is further associated with different precious & semi-precious gems, colors, and the basic relationships of planets within the Solar System.

Adding a certain number to improve a vibration for a home or business (“patching”)* is like adding the energy of another planet to a home or business. Most homes or businesses are patched very specifically, based on the type of business or the date(s) of birth and names(s) of the person(s) living in the residence. In the Vedic tradition, numbers are also related to the four elements, which correspond to the cardinal points. Since I grew up in India, I was surrounded by Vedic traditions, including Vedic numerology. However, I use the following correspondences between numbers and planets:

  1. The Sun
  2. The Moon
  3. Jupiter
  4. Uranus
  5. Mercury
  6. Venus
  7. Neptune
  8. Saturn
  9. Mars

Many traditional Vedic numerologists just add numbers up until they achieve a single-digit result and work with the characteristics only of that number. A home address of 2733 would thus be 2+7+3+3 or 15, then 1+5, or 6. The Vedic numerologist would then consult on the characteristics of the number 6 with the client. However, AstroNumerology takes all the planetary energies present in an address into account. Using the same home address, we see that 2733 has the Moon, followed by Neptune, followed by two Jupiter’s. These planets move about each other in a Venus vibration. All five of these planets (remember, two Jupiter’s!) must be considered.

Let’s look at a well-known address: 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington, D.C. Many traditional Vedic numerologist would add this up to a 7 (1+6+0+0) and consult with the client about the number 7 alone. In AstroNumerology, the number 1600 represents the Sun and Venus moving about each other in a Neptune vibration. The two zeroes amplify, for better or for worse, the energies represented by all three planets. The Sun and Venus together on a home address have a discordant energy. This combination also brings in confusion, deception, and miscommunication. One must be careful while close to a fire, whether in a fireplace or the kitchen, because accidents could easily happen near the flames.

If 1600 were a business address, it could be extremely profitable, depending on the kind of business. Food, music, and technology are three business’ which could flourish in such a number. Unfortunately, diplomacy and policy are not enterprises that flourish in this vibration, as many United States Presidents have discovered to their dismay. The number 1600 is also destructive of personal reputations and personal growth.


The Power Of Home Numbers

“Our old house was smaller, but much happier than this one. My husband’s job was more fulfilling and our children were joyful. We moved to this house, and…what happened?”

This question and others have been posed to Jesse Kalsi over the past two decades. His experiences in helping people improve the relationships under their roof are outlined in The Power of Home Numbers.

The Power of Home Numbers is a unique presentation of how your date of birth, home address, and name work (or don’t) in your favor. Moving to a “better” house can sometimes backfire in unexpected ways.

A favorable residential address can bring family peace, harmonious relationships, and long-lasting partnerships with good neighbors. An unfavorable residential address can have multiple negative effects: health consequences, financial stress, family disruption….

Drawing on Eastern and Western numerological traditions, Mr. Kalsi explains the energies of the numbers 1 through 9, discusses the significance of 0, and presents numbers as they appear in residential addresses. Each number signifies a specific planet, e.g., 6 represents Venus; thus, an address including a 6 involves the relationships of the resident(s) with Venus. This system, “AstroNumerology,” is used for business success by professional athletes, businesspeople, and celebrities in the media world.

The Power of Home Numbers analyzes combinations of birthdates and personal names, residential addresses, and their planetary energy so that the reader becomes aware of their inter-connection. Where an address is unfavorably aspected, Mr. Kalsi explains how he has used Number Patching™ to elevate the resonance of the address.

All analyses preserve the privacy of involved individuals; the only true names are in the chapters involving world affairs.

To understand why things are perhaps not working as well in your current home as they did in a previous dwelling, look to The Power of Home Numbers for enlightenment.

Business Naming

In addition to the home numbers being in tune with the occupants (the subject of my first book), it is extremely important that the business name vibrations be in sync with the owner’s name and the business address, based on the owner’s personal energy. In my experience, I have realized that these two vibrations – name and home – must vibrate positively for success and prosperity. Precious gems like blue sapphire, ruby, diamond, yellow sapphire, cat’s eye, pearl, amethyst, red coral, and emerald can also be used to bring good luck and more opportunities based on the owner’s personal energy.

Besides home numbers, name numbers, and the use of gems, bank account numbers to draw the energy of wealth, telephone numbers to bring positive information, and car registration numbers are some other examples that should be considered very carefully. Numbers correspond with colors, too: by knowing one’s basic numerology, the right colors can be used to enhance the well-being and draw the right spiritual energy.

It is also extremely important that the energy of homes be cleared on a regular basis. Many techniques, like burning sage, repainting the interior, removing old drapes, and dowsing, help in keeping the numbers vibrating positively.


Business Name Changes

The success of a business is greatly dependent on the business’s name with the right numerological vibration and a positive business address. Different kinds of businesses have different kinds of energy; for example, a food business works well with the Moon (#2) and Neptune (#7), real estate with Saturn (#8), and communications and the media with Mercury (#5). It is also extremely important that the business be born at an auspicious astrological time.

Numbers play a very important part in the buying and selling of real estate. Having been in the real estate business myself for 15 years, I have realized that certain numerologies always pull money while other numbers constantly drain cash and bring health challenges and other personal problems.

The name “Microsoft” has the energy of Jupiter, the largest planet, the energy of wealth and expansion; an excellent name that has brought Microsoft financial success and a huge global presence. The address (One Microsoft Way) and Bill Gates’ date of birth (October 28, 1955) work to the great advantage of Microsoft. There couldn’t be a better combination than the #1 and #4 coming together here: #4 and #1 act like a mirror image of each other. The Sun + Uranus are magical.

Apple, at 1 Infinite Loop, Cupertino, CA, is represented by the mighty Sun (the #1 in the street address) and by Neptune (#7 represented in the name “Apple”), a very mysterious kind of planetary energy. The Sun and Neptune flow in harmony; they’re very compatible energies, and this is one of the many reasons Apple has become a global company. For additional Sun influence, one need only look to Steve Jobs’ date of birth-February 24, 1955-and see that it’s an additional Sun-influenced day. Two Suns working together bring the success Apple has experienced, in harmony with its name.


The Importance of Jersey Numbers in Sports

Over the years, I’ve observed that jersey numbers vibrate very powerfully for the players who wear them. These numbers need to be in sync with the players’ names and dates of birth for the player to maximize his potential for success.

In India, where cricket is a huge interest and players also wear player numbers, numerologists are consulted before a player is assigned a number. This is because the number must vibrate with the player’s personal energies. Even in individual sports (for example, tennis or golf), an athlete’s date of birth and publicly known name will vibrate either to help or hinder the athlete.

In June 2005, NFL running back Clinton Portis agreed to pay $18,000 to former Washington Redskins teammate Ifeanyi Ohalete to avoid a trial between the two players. When Portis had been traded to the Redskins by the Denver Broncos in 2004, he wanted jersey number 26, which he had worn for two seasons at Denver. However, Ohalete was already wearing 26 for the Redskins. After discussions, the two players agreed that Ohalete would give Portis the number 26 in exchange for $40,000 and would wear number 30 instead. Clearly, jersey numbers mean a lot to their wearers!


About the Author

Jesse Kalsi is a world-renowned numerologist. He specializes in residential, business, and sports numerology and provides valuable insight on the power of numbers and how they affect our lives. In his book, The Power of Home Numbers, he combines his Eastern upbringing with his Western experience to bring awareness and understanding of this phenomenon.

Over the past 20+ years, Jesse has consulted thousands of people and affected their lives positively. His clients include prominent business people and extremely successful communication and entertainment companies. Jesse Kalsi has appeared on many radio and television shows in the U.S., and his unique perspective on Numerology has amazed his audience. He lives in Northern California with his family.

More information is available at http://www.jessekalsi.com.

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30 Sep

Six Ways My Pup Helps Me to Live Mindfully

BY Shannon Kopp

  1. She wakes me up early

Bella and I share a pillow at night, her head in front of my mine, the small curve of her back pressed against my chest, her soft ear brushing against my chin. She’s a cream-colored, Poodle/Terrier mix who looks part dog, part teddy bear. Bella sleeps in my arms and wakes up in them, too — and sometimes, her urge to play at six a.m. is as intense as my urge for morning coffee.

Quite suddenly, she wakes up, stands on my head, and then jumps off the bed. She pounces on a squeaker toy or a lonely sock, charging from one side of the room to the other until I finally get out of bed. I never appreciate her enthusiasm at the time, but later, I’m thankful for it.

If you want to meditate in the morning, it’s good to be awake.


  1. She teaches me the art of simplicity

I have so many books on meditation I hardly know what to do with myself. My inbox is full of Present Moment Reminders from Eckhart Tolle, and notifications from Oprah and Deepak’s meditation series, and mindfulness emails from the yoga studio down the street, and monthly updates from my local Transcendental Meditation Center. I’m the one that signed up for these things, and I’m glad I did, but sometimes I get so overwhelmed by all of my options I do nothing at all.

Bella does not believe in multi-tasking. She gives each activity her full awareness, whether that’s chewing on a bone, greeting a dog, bathing in sunlight. If she had a mantra, it would be the same one you see on the walls of 12 step meetings: “Keep it simple.” (“And play as often as possible!” Bella might add.)


  1. She sees the world with fresh eyes

When Bella and I go for walks around the neighborhood, she walks as far ahead of me as possible on the leash, and finds so much pleasure in the same route we take each day. She is a master of spotting and celebrating the newness of things, a flower in bloom, a different scent in the sky, an ant crawling across the sidewalk.

Rather than being lost in thought, her eyes sharpen to the present moment, and she notices the faintest of sounds, the tiniest of flowers and bugs. She stops to investigate all of it, never in a hurry. And sometimes, if I pay enough attention to her, this world becomes fresh for me again, too.


  1. She takes care of her body

When Bella is hungry, she eats. When she is tired, she sleeps. When she is thirsty, she laps up her water. Her thoughts have not disconnected her from her body, and she naturally takes care of it. She doesn’t overwork herself or starve herself or stay up all night jacked on coffee. She respects her tiny being, her precious life, — without even realizing she is doing so. And sometimes watching her take care of herself is the gentle nudge I need to put my computer down and eat breakfast. To go to bed. To take a deep, conscious breathe. To pause and ask my heart, body, and mind what it needs.


  1. She brings me back to the moment

I still frequently fall back into old but familiar thought patterns: harshness, perfectionism, anxiety. I hear the voice of my alcoholic father screaming when I was a child, or the rigidity that imprisoned me during the eight years I suffered from an eating disorder, and it makes me believe that peace is impossible. Maybe I should just give up already.

But then, this nonjudgemental, loving presence climbs into my lap. Bella loves me no matter how enlightened or unenlightened I am. She pays no attention to the pessimist or the worrier in me, and she doesn’t define me with the same limiting labels I use to define myself. When I hold her and look into her beady eyes, my heart calms, my awareness increases, and my seemingly inescapable problems fade into the background. I experience the here and now: Bella’s soft pant, the swish of her tail, the grassy scent of her fur, the air moving in and out of her lungs and mine.


  1. She is soft-hearted

Bella is soft-hearted, meaning she doesn’t wear some kind of armor around her heart to protect her from feeling. She doesn’t numb her pain with addiction, or feel the pressure to wear a “brave” face over her real, authentic one. Bella will never tell you she is “fine” or everything is “great” when it is not. Instead, she’ll tell you exactly what she’ is experiencing with the language of her body. She’ll tremble if she’s scared. She’ll leap into your arms if she wants affection. She’ll cry if she’s in pain. She doesn’t try to rationalize or justify what she’ is feeling;, she releases that emotion in the moment. And it reminds me to do the same.

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