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Becoming an Empty Nester

Below is a wonderful article on becoming an empty nester. For many it brings sadness with freedom. It’s a time to make plans, dream big and rekindle your relationship. Remember to stay active too. Enjoy this new part of your life! Namaste, Nora


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How to Cope with Fears of a Nuclear Disaster

This is a great article by Sandee LaMotte of CNN on how to deal with our current fears. The article states that it has been found that journaling fears and where they are coming from can help process what we are feeling and move beyond those fears.  Other recommended tools are meditation and reflective thought. And If the rhetoric that is in the news becomes too much, just turn off the TV or radio. Just tune out!
And this is a wonderful app called Nukemap which helps users see what could happen to their cities but also helps to relieve tension by dropping the bomb on a hostile country. Surprisingly, this calms people!
Pray for peace, it always works!
Namaste, Nora

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Neuroscientists Discover A Song That Reduces Anxiety By 65 Percent

Imagine a song that can reduce anxiety by 65%! Well it exists.

Weightless by the Marconi Union, resulted in a 65% decrease in the participant’s overall anxiety! They also had a 35% reduction in their usual physiological resting rates! The song was specifically designed to induce a feeling of relaxation. The musicians teamed up with sound therapists to create the song.

You can listen to it here:https://youtu.be/UfcAVejslrU

Namaste, Nora

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Talking to children when hate makes headlines

By Jessica Ravitz, CNN

A car driven by a man believed to have ties to white supremacists plows into a group protesting hate, killing one woman and injuring many others. One shooter massacres dozens in a gay nightclub; another kills African-Americans during a church Bible study; a third enters a Sikh temple, leaving members dead. Bomb threats pour into Jewish community centers across the nation, prompting evacuations, and an actual bomb explodes at a mosque.

There is no shortage of examples of bigotry-inspired hatred in the United States these days, nor are there iron-clad ways to shield children from ugliness. Between social and traditional media, parents and teachers struggle to know what young people see and understand, and that may raise all sorts of questions about what adults can or should say.
Fortunately, there are experts committed to helping others figure this out. Here are some tips they offer.

Be proactive, not just reactive

From an early age, children should be taught to appreciate diversity and practice empathy, both at home and in the classroom, said Cheryl Greene, deputy director of Welcoming Schools, a resource for elementary school educators.
Are teachers creating environments that make all their students feel welcome? Are schools reaching out to families in an inclusive way? Are there reminders in classrooms to promote respect?
If we want our kids to interrupt name-calling and be allies when others are being bullied, there’s work that needs to be done on the front end, Greene said. When discussions like this are already happening, age-appropriate conversations about high-profile incidents can be treated as teachable moments.
Welcoming Schools, which is part of the Human Rights Campaign Foundation, offers professional development trainings. Since President Donald Trump was elected, Greene said, requests for training to deal with bullying have quadrupled.
“But this is not about politics,” Greene said, lest anyone shy away from talking about these matters. “It’s about hate and bigotry.”
And educators — and parents — should know how to address it.

Don’t ignore

Although discussions about “white supremacy” should be reserved for older children, this does not mean parents should altogether avoid discussions about bigotry-fueled matters with young ones. Though some might choose to wait until a young child has questions, there’s always a chance that children will pick up news on their own — say, at a restaurant where TVs are blaring or while playing with Mom’s iPhone.
“You have to be frank and honest, in an age-appropriate way, of course,” said Maureen Costello, director of Teaching Tolerance, a project of the Southern Poverty Law Center. “It’s important to name things and identify what’s going on.”
A parent knows what a child can handle and might decide to raise what unfolded in Charlottesville by saying something as simple as “I’ve been very upset about something I saw in the news. It makes me very sad,” Costello said.
A parent needs to ask questions to learn what a child knows, feels, thinks or is worrying about. Children need to be reassured that they are safe, and they need to be reminded that there’s good in the world, Costello said. Talk about the people who stepped in to help others.
Affirming beliefs, defending the values you wish to instill in your child, is also key, Costello said.
“It’s perfectly OK to say, ‘They are marching because they want a country only white people live in, but we don’t believe in that,’ ” she said. “Keep in mind the adult you want your child to be.”

Empowering kids — and yourself

Raising children to speak up when they see injustice may be the ultimate goal. But what shouldn’t be ignored either is the lesson of “active nonparticipation”: the idea that they shouldn’t, say, join others in schoolyard bullying or laugh at racist jokes, said Jinnie Spiegler, director of curriculum at the Anti-Defamation League. This way, a child can learn to take a moral stand when calling people out feels too risky.
By the time they’re in middle school, kids are aware enough of ideas like scapegoating and stereotypes to start talking about the root causes of biases, Spiegler said. The questions they ask will be more sophisticated, and this can be an opportunity for adults to beef up on their own knowledge.
What’s the Confederacy? Where’d the KKK come from? What’s Jim Crow? For the questions that can’t be easily answered, it’s OK to say, “we’ll learn together,” Spiegler said.
For children who may be taught to hate at home, she said, teachers are supposed to promote critical thinking and, in this case, “complicate their feelings.” By talking about different identities, teachers can address biases and challenge them.
Join the conversation

See the latest news and share your comments with CNN Health on Facebook and Twitter.

Some kids, especially older ones, may want to be involved on a personal level. This can mean simply inviting them to send sympathy cards to families affected by bias-motivated hate. Or maybe they’re hungry to learn about community activism and where they can step in.
In the aftermath of the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, Spiegler wrote a blog post, “Lessons to Teach and Learn from ‘Unite the Right,’ ” offering tips on talking to high school students about the alt-right, the historical context of white supremacy, the First Amendment and more.
It’s one of many parent and teacher resources that organizations like hers offer. And in today’s world, the need for tools like these is part of reality.
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How to Stay Sane in Today’s Political Climate

I loved this article from The Language of Joy. Perhaps you too are having a hard time dealing with things. This is a simple, straight forward way to deal with stress and anxiety. Remember to breathe! Nora

Anyone else having a hard time focusing these days?

Whew–I thought I was the only one!

If you’re living in America and not hiding under a rock, you’re likely experiencing some stress and anxiety with the current political climate.

I have to be honest.

This weekend I fell into a deep rabbit hole.

It wasn’t pretty…

And I teach about mindfulness and self-care! If I’m struggling, I can only assume that some of you might be as well.

Instead of sharing the career advice I had prepared to send today, I thought I’d keep it real and share my struggles and outline some steps we can all take to reclaim more inner peace.

Here are some things you can do RIGHT NOW:


1. Limit your time on social media.

We all enjoy keeping connected and having an outlet to share our lives (and opinions) with friends and family. But for many of us, we literally can’t stop scrolling or reading every dang comment.


I am!

Choose a set time (or a few times) each day to review your social media feed and put bookends on it. For example, consider only checking social media at 8am, noon, and 4pm with a time limit of 15 minutes. Literally set a timer if you can’t do this on your own.

Definitely try to avoid social media the first hour you’re awake and the last hour before you go to bed. Otherwise, it will start you off on the wrong foot and keep you awake at night.

Better yet, walk away for an entire day. Don’t check it even once. I did this yesterday and already feel SO much better.

If you start to experience withdrawals, that’s a pretty good indicator that you’re giving away your peace and power and need to get a handle on the situation.

Confession. This is a BIG one for me. We can do this together!


2. Limit your time reading/watching the news.

It’s important to be an informed citizen. But if you find yourself spending inordinate amounts of time reading every single article out there or keeping your television tuned to 24-7 media outlets, you’re likely being sucked in by the drama in order to stay outraged at others and further validate yourself.

Like social media, it can become compulsive. If you literally can’t walk away or wonder what’s being said that you’re missing, you need an intervention!

Try to limit when and for how long you will consume news (see step 1 above) or subscribe to a daily digest that delivers the top news stories.

There’s also nothing wrong with taking a break from news. If you need a day to bury your head in the sand for 24 hours, the world will still be turning and you can jump right back in the next day.


3. Stop talking, start doing.

When you feel strongly about a political issue, by all means use your voice and presence. Call your representatives, attend meetings, peacefully march, run for office, etc. But be careful not to get too caught up in social media debates and water cooler conversations – they’re not productive and only take away your peace of mind.

Go do something positive that makes you feel good and gives back.

Feel strongly about refugees? Find a local organization, call them, ask how to help, choose the way you’d like to help, and go do it. (Great places to start include World Relief and Catholic Charities.)

Want to support our troops? Find a local organization, call them, ask how to help, choose the way you’d like to help, and go do it. (Consider the Wounded Warrior Project and Disabled American Veterans).

Choose the cause you complain about the most when talking politics and go DO something positive in that area. (Hint: the process outlined above is always the same no matter the cause.)

Financial contributions are always needed, as is collecting clothes and food, but that won’t warm your heart like interacting with the very people that you say you want to help.


4. Practice self-care.

Last, but perhaps most importantly, what are you doing to stay physically, emotionally, and spiritually healthy?

Whether it’s exercising at the gym, getting out in nature, doing yoga, meditating, journaling, going to church, or just being mindful about eating a nourishing and healthy diet, daily self-care is critical.

Self-care will help you get centered and remain resilient in an otherwise noisy and chaotic world.

Without a daily practice, the likelihood of falling prey to unproductive and obsessive thoughts and discussions is much more likely.

Take care of yourself first or you can’t truly help anyone else!

I’d love to hear from you. What’s one thing that you can start doing TODAY to reclaim your inner peace?

Peace and love,


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If You Have a Chance…

post to it


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Happy New Year


We wish you all a blessed new year filled with love and laughter. Namaste, Nora & Mark

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Holidays can be very stressful. I recommend that you listen to each other, respect each other and above all love each other. Below are five steps pointed out by Kevin Thompson. Give it a read and relax. Namaste, Nora


Kevin Thompson points out 5 necessary steps to stay happily married during the holidays: 

1. Remember To and For. We need to ask to help and we need to ask for help during this season. All the work cannot be on one person. While there are exceptions, in most families the holidays are a stressful time for wives as they are expected to do everything and a relaxing time for husbands as they do nothing. This can quickly hurt a marriage. Whichever spouse does a majority of the work has to be willing to ask (and actually receive) help.  If you need help, ask for help.

In the same way, whoever traditionally does less of the work needs to continually offer to help. Make it abundantly clear you are willing to assist in whatever way possible. Find ways to help. Be willing to take directions. Do whatever it takes to make your spouse feel as though they have a working partner to assist with the holidays.

2. Love Them, Don’t Be Led by Them. Family is great. We should do everything in our power to accommodate as many family requests as possible, however, we are in charge of our schedules and there is only so much we can do. Do your best and move on. In far too many families, the person who whines the most gets their way. Don’t give control of your holidays (or life) to the person who plays the victim role the best. Do what you can, be where you can be, and apologize for what you can’t do. If someone doesn’t like your choices, remember to tell them we are happy with our decision, thank you.

3. Reject Guilt. The holidays are often full of false guilt. Because we are not able to meet everyone’s expectations and keep everyone happy, we are prone to feel guilt. Many families are run (and ruined) by guilt. Passive aggressiveness, shame, and guilt are commonly used tools by many grandmothers, mothers or families. Be kind, be gracious, but reject the guilt which others attempt to put on you.

4. Help Somebody. Few things deepen a bond between two people like serving a common cause. One of the best ways to experience and express gratitude is to help someone else. Buy someone dinner, call someone who might be lonely, invite people over who might not have a place to go, do something to assist another. By turning our attention to service we will prevent the holiday from being all about ourselves.

5. Plan Fun. The holidays are an opportunity to break from the normal routine and have fun. Don’t hope that it happens, make it happen. Schedule a game night with the kids, plan a less elaborate meal if it would free up time to visit, do whatever it takes to place fun at the top of the priority list. And at some point, make sure you have one on one time with your spouse. Communicate your love for one another, your appreciation to journey life together, and just enjoy the presence of each other.



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5 Yoga Poses to help combat your Holiday STRESS



@Happyfitmama made this lovely visual for de-stressing during the holiday season.

The use of yoga is beneficial everyday but especially during times that may produce more tension like the holidays!

So take some time to do these simple 5 poses and feel the stress melt away! Namaste, Nora

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What Are You Thankful For?

In Everything Give Thanks


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