Hello my Journey to Wellness friends. As I write this it is February 8, and little squirrels are playing in the lovely rain on the patio outside my home office window. The holidays are behind us, and we are in the throws of winter. I know that those of you who live on the East Coast of the United States have been having a challenging winter, while in California where I live we have been in a severe drought, so we are filled with gratitude for the huge Pacific Coast storm this weekend.
The ups and downs of weather patterns reminds me that our lives are not so much different. We all have challenges ― health, relationships, career, parenting, etc. ― but once we learn to realize that we have choices in how we feel about and manage those challenges, everything changes. In my area of expertise, self-healing, learning to not be a victim, and learning that you can make a difference is probably the first big step to healing.
I did not include any recipes or food items in this issue. I haven't been spending much time in the kitchen and didn't have anything new to contribute in that department. I encourage you - yes you! - to contribute a favorite recipe or food tip for the next issue.
This newsletter contains a lot of information, and as always it is my hope that you find something included this month that speaks to challenges you may have. And as always, please remember to smile. Everything goes better with a smile. Be sure to read the item below on the value of a smile.
THE POWER OF BELIEF ― OH MY . . . THE THINGS WE BELIEVE . . . AND THE THINGS WE DON'T BELIEVE . . . MOSTLY BECAUSE OF OUR EARLY CONDITIONING.
How do we determine what we believe? We always believe what we tell ourselves we believe. In order to change one must tell themselves a new story. That is why affirmations, mirror talk, etc., are so important. We can change what we tell ourselves and what we choose to believe. It is important to know that in order to change the outside, we must first change the inside.
THE POWER OF OUR THOUGHTS ― I recently found the following article, which I highly recommend:
Here is a very powerful excerpt:
“The major problem is that people are aware of their conscious beliefs and behaviors, but not of subconscious beliefs and behaviors. Most people don’t even acknowledge that their subconscious mind is at play, when the fact is that the subconscious mind is a million times more powerful than the conscious mind and that we operate 95 to 99 percent of our lives from subconscious programs.
“Your subconscious beliefs are working either for you or against you, but the truth is that you are not controlling your life, because your subconscious mind supersedes all conscious control. So when you are trying to heal from a conscious level–citing affirmations and telling yourself you’re healthy–there may be an invisible subconscious program that’s sabotaging you.”
The important thing to remember is that you can change your subconscious thought patterns. There are hundreds of books, and many totally free webinars featured frequently on the Internet, offering lots of information about how to change your beliefs and therefore what you create in your life.
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FOCUS ON EXERCISE ― Getting acquainted with your chi
I often write about our life force, or chi, in Qi Gong. Remember that Qi Gong is Chinese for chi (energy) gong (work). Simply stated Qi Gong is energy work, and the basis for what we call modern energy medicine. I believe that my daily practice of Qi Gong is probably one of the most important contributors to me overcoming PP MS.
Experts agree . . .
"If you want to be healthy and live to be 100, do Qi Gong."
- Dr. Mehmet Oz
What is chi? Chi, our life force, is the force that powers our body. Think of your chi as being like the electrical current that powers your computer. It is the true essence of who you are. It is somewhat like the organizing principle of our body. One could call it a deep intelligence within us.
Increasing the movement of the chi in one part of your body is a little like turning on a light bulb in one part of a room; it also activates in other parts of the room. So it is with increasing movement of our body's chi.
Moving the chi in our body is a primary goal of the practice of Qi Gong. Ancient Chinese medicine teaches that dis-ease in our body equates to blockages in the flow of chi, so let's be sure we know how to feel it. Recognizing and feeling our chi helps us to be committed and diligent in our Qi Gong practice. There are several very simple ways to feel our chi. First of all, what are you looking for? What does your chi feel like ? How will you know when you feel it? Feeling your chi is somewhat like feeling a slight tingling sensation throughout your body.
Ways of feeling your chi:
One or more of these simple Qi Gong exercises are very basic to effectively using Qi Gong, a very effective and powerful healing tool. Feeling your own chi is important, and the more you practice Qi Gong movements, the more you will be aware of feeling your chi.
I always begin my day, as I stand beside my bed first thing after I wake up, with one or more of these simple exercises. They wake up my body and feel wonderful.
For more on energy medicine I recommend The Healer Within by Dr. Roger Jahnke, as well as Healing Yourself and Others by Harry Massey:
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A smile is infectious
We know smiling can greatly improve your mood and reduce stress. Even better, your smile doesn’t have to be real, so you can fake it and still get the same results. Smiling doesn’t just benefit you on the inside. It also works to your advantage from the outside. A study from Penn State University found that people who smile appear to be more likeable, courteous. and even competent. This is reason enough to smile at every person you potentially want to do business with. Lifting those facial muscles into a smile is also contagious; if you smile and they smile, everyone in the room becomes a little happier. Researchers at Uppsala University in Sweden concluded that frowning when looking at someone smiling is possible, but would be very difficult.
Why is a smile so powerful? It all comes down to how smiling can change your brain. When you smile, your brain is aware of the activity and actually keeps track of it. The more you smile, the more effective you are at breaking the brain’s natural tendency to think negatively. If you smile often enough, you end up rewiring your brain to make positive patterns more often than it does negative ones.
If you smile often enough, you end up rewiring your brain to make positive patterns more often than it does negative ones. Shawn Achor dubs retraining our "brain to scan for the good things in life—to help us see more possibility, to feel more energy, and to succeed at higher levels" as "The Positive Tetris Effect" in his book The Happiness Advantage. His argument is that the popular game Tetris has a tendency to make such an impression on players that after it’s been shut off, people still see Tetris blocks in real life. According to Achor, we can do the same thing by practicing a more positive thinking pattern, which, ultimately creates a happiness loop.
Achor writes: "Happiness is a work ethic… It’s something that requires our brains to train just like an athlete has to train." The more we train, the easier it becomes to think positively, shut out negativity, and, in turn, boost your productivity and creativity, which allows you to perform better at work and life. Yes, all of those benefits can come from a simple smile. The more you do it, the more signals your brain will have to mentally shift to positive thoughts even when you might be in a situation that would normally cause you alarm.
Happiness is a work ethic. It’s something that requires our brains to train just like an athlete has to train
Today I heard Russell Simmons, immensely successful hip hop music and fashion mogul, interviewed about his newly-released book, Success Through Stillness: Meditation Made Simple. Russell is a deeply spiritual man who has meditated two times each day, and attended a yoga class every day for twenty five years. He now is a very sought-after speaker, sharing his words of wisdom about success, what it is and how to achieve it, with any and all.
In the interview I heard, he said his very bright 11-year-old daughter said to him after reading this new book, "Your book is mediocre dad. It is too simple!" You see, Russell taught that same daughter to meditate when she was eight years old.
His book is an attempt to simplify learning how to meditate, just as I did with Self-Healing Made Easy. If you are still telling yourself that you cannot learn to meditate, then you need to purchase this book. It is written for people just like you! Connecting with your source in meditation is like being connected to your own personal energy stream. Reconnecting with that innate internal energy - the source of all healing - needs to be re-enforced on a regular basis.
Meditation does that.
FROM HERE AND THERE:
Please take a few minutes and listen to a short presentation by Vishen Lakhiani, CEO and founder of MindValley. It is a short presentation he did to the Wisdom 2.0 Conference in Dublin, Ireland. It was held at Google's Headquarters in Dublin.
"Hacking" is a new term in our English language jargon which has its origin in what we hear in the media called computer hacking. It simply means trying everything possible until you find what works. Enjoy.
Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right.
Oprah Winfrey, CEO OWN Network
Most Important Things I have Taught You
Last summer I featured this item, but for new people who have joined the newsletter list, I thought it important to reiterate these basics for self-healing:
1) The healer lives silently inside of you
2) Meditation holds the key to accessing that healer
3) Your breath is a major "secret" to healing
4) Your body is made to move, and you cannot overcome MS - or other physical challenges - without physical exercise
You have just read the basic nuts and bolts of self-healing. You will find lots of information about applying each of these aspects at my primary website and the newsletter archives here. My e-books Four Steps to Overcoming Multiple Sclerosis and Self Healing Made Easy also cover all the above in detail.
Recommendation for visualization/meditation for healing here
Featured Books, DVD Exercise Programs, Videos and Consultations
INSPIRATION SHOW INTERVIEW ̶ The video of an Interview I did with Natalie Ledwell, co-founder of Mind Movies a year ago has found it's way to YouTube. Even though this impromptu interview was done in very poor lighting at my computer desk, I was pleased with the content. If you have not seen it, you may check it out HERE.
FOUR STEPS TO OVERCOMING MS (e-book) HERE:
SELF-HEALING MADE EASY (an e-book for the non-MS community) HERE:
INNER SMILE MEDITATION by Lee Holden HERE:
A NOTE ABOUT KINDLE E-BOOKS ̶ You may read Amazon e-books on any Kindle reader or notebook. If you have an iPad or iPhone, you may download a free Kindle App (from the Apple App Store) and then easily read Kindle e-books on your iPad or iPhone. Try it . . . you'll be glad you did. I read Kindle e-books all the time on my iPad. You may also download the Kindle App to your computer's desktop and read them on your computer monitor.
Dear Betty. Thank you for all the work you do. Every time a new newsletter publishes, it always seems that you give me just what I need. My family really loved the Pumpkin Cornbread. Thanks for sharing that lovely recipe. /s/ Greg T.
Thanks Betty for your Journey to Wellness newsletter. I have been following your recommendations for a lot of years and recommend you frequently. You're the best! :) /s/ Carole P.
Hi Betty. I hope you have a great New Year. Love, /s/ John and Phyllis Z.
To Greg, Carole, John and Phyllis, and everyone who wrote or sent holiday greetings, thank you all so very much. You are truly my family. My wish for each and everyone of you is that 2015 brings you much happiness, health, and abundance in every area of your lives. Let's make this the best year yet.
Accept the moment for what it is
Acceptance means: For now, this is what this situation, this moment, requires me to do, and so I do it willingly.
Enjoy each moment
When you make the present moment, instead of past and future, the focal point of your life, your ability to enjoy what you do – and with it the quality of your life increases dramatically. Joy is the dynamic aspect of Being. Joy comes from deep inside of you.
Be enthusiastic for your goal
Enthusiasm means there is deep enjoyment in what you do plus the added element of a goal or a vision that you work toward. You will feel like an arrow that is moving toward the target – and enjoying the journey. Your vibrational frequency will be elevated.
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A fascinating article about lab testing
Important warning about MS drug Fingolimod
Breathing exercise from Dr. Weil
I do not believe there is any right and/or wrong way to do breathing exercises, because there
are many recommended patterns for various things. Dr. Weil teaches several, and in the
referenced video he teaches the 4-7-8 breath. Check it out.
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Happy 19th birthday to grandson Zachary. Sorry the photo is so dark. I took this photo of him and his beautiful mom Christine with my iPad in a dark corner of an Italian restaurant. Zach's favorite food in the world is still pasta, so he chose this restaurant.
It is so hard to see him growing up so fast. And he is so much like his father that it is almost startling. I know his dad is very proud of him.
That's all for this issue. I hope something included helps you on your journey to wellness. Look for me back again in about 60 days. Since I no longer have the e-mail list service, be sure to check back at the Betty's House website or my Facebook page for the latest newsletter issue.
Be kind to yourself, and please remember to tell those you love how much they mean to you. You never know when you may not have another opportunity.
In love and light,
PLEASE NOTE: I AM NOT A MEDICALLY TRAINED PERSON, AND I DO NOT GIVE MEDICAL ADVICE. BUT I HAVE BEEN A VERY SERIOUS STUDENT OF MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS FOR MANY YEARS, AND I HAVE DEVELOPED A PROGRAM THAT HAS KEPT ME SYMPTOM FREE FOR A LOT OF YEARS NOW SINCE PRIMARY PROGRESSIVE MS FIRST MADE ITS APPEARANCE IN MY LIFE.