Once in a while Foxy gets into a really “I’ll show you!” mood and decides to make herself at home on the humans’ bed.  This was one of those moments and I was lucky enough to have the camera handy.  She is really a very good dog and getting older so if she finds comfort, so be it.  Click photo to enlarge. Namaste’


Moon Pops

It's My Bag and You Can't Have It!

Moon Pops – sounds like something NASA conjured up, doesn’t it?  While grocery shopping recently, I discovered these fun food gems.  I think they’re fabulous … crunchy, whole grain disc-shaped food.  Uh-huh … food!  The best part is that each Moon Pop is only 16 calories, 0 fat grams, no trans fat, no saturated fat, no cholesterol, 5 mg. sodium, 4 g. carbs, no sugar and 1 gram of protein.  And the sodium comes from sea salt.

I have put various foods on my Moon Pops just to try different combinations.  Cream cheese, sharp cheddar cheese (and heated in the microwave), chicken salad, egg salad, scrambled eggs, salsa, peanut butter and more.  But those are my favorites.  These little gems are about the size of a saucer with a lip around the edge so the topping doesn’t fall off.  Pretty clever and I imagine they would be a great conversation starter at parties.  I can hear it now, “What the heck is this?”

There’s one other variety … cinnamon.  Not too heavily flavored but really good heated up with butter.  Of course, that’s if you’re not concerned with weight loss.  If you are, eat them naked.  The Moon Pops, that is 🙂  Enjoy!


Simple Small Steps to Becoming More Conscious

So you’ve decided that there are some changes you’d like to make in your life.  This is wonderful!  Life should be full of joy and change is good.  Just the fact that you recognize the need for some changes is such a positive step.

Please accept that change takes time.  Try not to be hard on yourself.   Some days you might find yourself taking a giant leap; other days a baby step is enough.  A few weeks ago, I started walking every morning for my health.  The first few days it was tough because I pushed myself too hard.  As a result I was sore and pretty cranky.  So I cut back a little and found it easier.  After a few days of that I just picked up the pace a little so that I could walk a little further; not much, just a little.  Now I’m up to a mile a day and that’s a good change for me.  I feel better!

Keep a conscious eye on all aspects of your life.  What that means is simply to notice what feels good to you and what doesn’t.  For example, if someone is asking you to do something that you don’t want to do, notice how it feels in your body, especially your gut.  If something isn’t right for you, and you check in with your gut, you will always get the right answer.  If you gut starts to churn or you feel butterflies, the answer is probably a big NO.  We all have an inner guide.  Seek its counsel and trust your feelings.

Work on one goal at a time.  So many of us make a list of things we want to change and then set out to make everything happen at once.  Why?  Because we’re an instant gratification society.  Well, sometimes that’s great and sometimes it isn’t.  How many times have you made a knee-jerk decision only to find out the outcome didn’t serve you well.  Take one specific goal and work on that.  Then when you’ve developed a rhythm with that one thing, you will be more apt to work on the next goal and so on.  And what a feeling of accomplishment you’ll have when it all starts to work.  The Universe abhors a vacuum; it will always fill it up with something.  So make that something work for you.

If something doesn’t work out the way you want it to, again, don’t punish yourself.  Learn from whatever it was and just move forward.  Being your own worst critic is hard on you and those who love you.  Just realize that there was probably a very good reason it didn’t work out.  Who knows?  Maybe it was for your safety or that of others.

Stay positive.  The jump-start of creation is gratitude.  Yes, it may be tough, but even in your darkest times, there’s always something to be grateful for.  Make a list of those things, even if it’s that you had a nice cup of coffee this morning.  Or that the sun came up and you felt the warmth on your face.  Or that your dog cuddled beside you to keep you warm.

Keep a positive outlook and you will be thanking God for everything in your life, even the challenges. Once you have started on your journey to being a more conscious person, you will begin to notice stress in your life disappearing!


Eight Easy Ways to Make Your Day Less Stressful

In these times of what seems to be mounting chaos around our planet, do you feel a need to de-stress your days?  Are you looking for ways to feel less overwhelmed and maybe just feel better in general?   Here are some tips and techniques you can use right now to help:

Tip #1:  Take a break from whatever it is you’re doing.  If you’re at your desk, get up and walk around for a couple of minutes.  If you’re driving and find yourself in a traffic jam, that can be a huge source of stress.  Turn on some soothing music on your radio, pop in a slow-tempo CD, or just repeat a self-supporting mantra like, “I am so loved and I choose to be at peace.”

Tip #2:  A breathing exercise can be such a life saver for decreasing your stress level.  Try taking a deep breath in through your nose and focus on just your breath, saying to yourself “Breathe In” and then releasing your breath through your mouth saying “Breathe Out.”  Do this three times, relaxing your shoulders if you can and you will feel an immediate release of stress.  Using this several times throughout the day can literally change your life.

Tip #3:  If you are in a place where you can take a short walk, go outside, or be in nature, it will help a lot.  Try it the next time you’re feeling some stress.  If going outside isn’t possible, move to a window and look out (it’s the next best thing) to see the world around you.

Tip #4:  Treat yourself to something new, something fun or something good to eat.  Do you have a favorite coffee or tea?  Do you have a favorite sweet treat?  Don’t over-do it but be good to yourself. If you over-do it, that in itself may create some undue stress.

Tip #5:  Doing something for someone else naturally lifts our spirits.  Why?  Because we’re all in this thing called the human race together.  So when you make an effort to reach out to another, you are really helping two – you and the other person.  Try giving something away every day . . . a smile, a blessing, a hug, holding the door for someone, picking up something at the store for them.  You’ll know what to do if you look for ways to help.  In fact, if you make it your intention to do so, many ways will just “show up” in your day.

Tip #6:  Saying no can be difficult because most of us don’t want to hurt others feelings.  Let’s take the example of interruptions.  When someone interrupts us without our permission, they are actually invading our space.  That doesn’t feel good to most of us so it might be time to say NO to allowing that.  It’s rather easy to do . . . “You know, [name],
when you interrupt me without asking if this is a good time, it makes me think you don’t care that my time is valuable, too.  So I’m going to have to ask you to stop doing it.  Are you OK with that?” What this does is allow you to take back your personal power and set some boundaries without hurting someone else because you’ve asked them to buy into it, rather than demanding.

Tip #7: According to the American Society of Hypertension, listening to a half hour of music per day can lower your blood pressure.  They actually recommend classical, Celtic or Indian (raga) music for the most benefits.  I personally like light jazz and classical.

Tip #8:  Laughter really is the best medicine.  Here’s what has been clinically proven that laughter can do for you: reduces the level of stress hormones, perks up the immune system, relaxes muscles, clears the respiratory tract, increases circulation, and eases perceived pain.  YouTube has a whole list of comedy videos.  Test them out and take a
laugh break.

Everyone gets stressed sometimes. The important thing is knowing how to deal with that stress when it comes. The advice in this article may seem simple, but it’s a great way to get yourself through a stressful situation. If you work these tips into your everyday routine, you may be surprised at how much more relaxed you feel.

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