Post-Traumatic Enlightenment Summit

I believe that post-traumatic growth is the positive change that can happen in the wake of a traumatic event.

Even though adverse life events such as serious illness, accident or injury, abuse, bereavement or relationship breakdown can be a trigger for depression, anxiety or post-traumatic stress, people are capable of finding transformation through trauma.

And here’s where the good news gets even better: my friend Jennifer Cunningham is a trauma survivor who got through cancer feeling like her identity had become all about that experience. She decided to be true to herself, take on new challenges and view life from a wider perspective and so she brought together 24 experts, including me, to share our strategies to shift from trauma to enlightenment.

I’d love for you to join us for the Post-Traumatic Enlightenment Summit. Reserve your FREE spot by clicking on this link.

Do you believe in post-traumatic growth?

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com

Integratron

While at the New Ways of Knowing: Writing and Meditation Retreat, we took an excursion. Trust me; this was not your grandmother’s field trip!

We visited Integratron and experienced a sound bath. I’ve been bathed in the vibration from giant gongs before, but never had I encountered the resonance of this many—and this size—quartz crystal singing bowls.

There were roughly thirty people in attendance. Each of us lying on our backs on a comfortable mat, looking up at the domed ceiling. Once it began, many of us closed our eyes; some fell asleep.

After listening to a brief introduction, we were asked to turn off our cell phones, please not make any noise, and refrain from taking photos until the session was finished. From their website, this is a description of what takes place during the experience:

Where have you been recently?

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com

Take Care

I can’t begin to express the excitement I felt when Certified Professional Coach, Sarah Jordan, invited me to be her guest to launch Season 4 of her wildly popular podcast series. This season’s focus is TAKE CARE.

  • If you’ve ever wondered what goes on inside the head of a transformational life coach…
  • If you’ve ever wondered what a coaching session might be like…
  • If you’ve ever wondered about the business of forgiveness…

…this podcast is for you.


In the first six minutes and forty-five seconds of this podcast, Sarah takes care of some necessary housekeeping with her regular listeners; then I jump in. She’s amazing, and I hope you’ll become part her tribe at sarahjordancpc.com.

 

Here’s a LINK to the podcast. Enjoy!

Do you believe that forgiving is condoning?

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com

The Gift of Tonglen

At times we may feel small, insignificant, and unable to help when people are suffering, or there’s a catastrophe in another part of the world. But there is something we can do.

Tonglen—Tibetan for giving and receiving—is an active practice of loving-kindness; a simple act of compassion that anyone can do. Here’s how it’s done:

  • Sit or lie quietly in your own “inner sanctuary” and imagine someone that you want to help.
  • Inhale the heaviness of their energy. Breathe in the condition, emotion, or suffering of another to make space for healing and comfort within.
  • Exhale whatever you feel will fill them relief. Breathe out hope, strength, joy, peace of mind, love, or ease.
IMG_5139

I took this photograph at the Boise Botanical Garden. In my mind’s eye, this is how I imagine my inner sanctuary.

Tonglen is a soothing and calming meditation that can be done by people of any spiritual tradition, or none at all. It’s a simple, non-denominational practice that acknowledges we’re all connected no matter who we are, or where we come from.

“There is a place in you where you have never been wounded, where there’s a seamlessness in you, and where there is a confidence and tranquility in you, and I think the intention of prayer and spirituality and love is now and again to visit that inner kind of sanctuary.” —John O’Donohue

What does your inner sanctuary look like?

© Laurie Buchanan

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Captain Kirk — Shields Up!

Each year at this time I trim our rose canes back to half their length. Typically I wear gloves when I tackle this task — except this year. By letting my guard down, I got a tear in my thumb. After cleaning it up, I put a Band-Aid on it. Unfortunately, it hindered my typing.

That’s when I discovered New-Skin Liquid Bandage. It goes on clear and forms a protective shield — a waterproof barrier that provides me with unencumbered, full use of my thumb!

Liquid Bandage

It brought to mind Captain Kirk ordering Shields Up! as the Starship Enterprise braced itself for a fiery blast from the Klingons.

“This is the Captain. Condition Yellow Alert. Phaser crews stand by. Deflector shields up. We’re going in. Peacefully, I hope. But peacefully or not, we’re going in.”

In life we have visible and invisible barriers and boundaries — protective shields — that safeguard our physical and emotional wellbeing.

Have you ever let your guard down?

Laurie Buchanan

Whatever you are not changing, you are choosing.” — Laurie Buchanan

The Book — Discovering the Seven Selves
The Experience — Life Harmony

© Laurie Buchanan 2014

Find me on Twitter @HolEssence
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V is for Vitamins

Supplements by Laurie Buchanan

Supplements by Laurie Buchanan

No matter how well we eat, there are usually some nutritional gaps in our diet. Multivitamins and minerals are an easy and convenient way to help fill those gaps and insure that our bodies get all of the nutritional support they need every day.

There are 13 vitamins classified as either water soluble (C and B-complex) or fat soluble (A, D, E and K) each having a key role to play in our bodies.

Water Soluble Vitamins: Stored in the body for a brief period of time, water soluble vitamins are then excreted by the kidneys. The one exception is vitamin B12, which is stored in the liver. Water soluble vitamins need to be taken daily.

Fat Soluble Vitamin: Together with fat from the intestine, these vitamins are absorbed into the circulation. Any disease or disorder that affects the absorption of fat, such as celiac disease, can lead to a deficiency of these vitamins. Once absorbed into the circulation these vitamins are carried to the liver where they’re stored.

In addition to vitamins, our bodies need several minerals for the proper makeup of bone and blood, and for maintenance of normal cell function. These are divided into 2 groups:

Major minerals: phosphorous, calcium, sodium, potassium, chlorine, sulfur, and magnesium.

Trace minerals: iron, iodine, cobalt (from vitamin B12), chromium, selenium, copper, fluorine, manganese, zinc, and molybdenum.

Below I’ve provided a brief thumbnail sketch of some of key vitamins and minerals. It doesn’t include healthy oils (i.e., fish, garlic, flaxseed) or herbal supplements (i.e., milk thistle, ginkgo biloba, ginseng, echinacea).

Vitamin A – Vitamin A prevents eye problems, promotes a healthy immune system, is essential for the growth and development of cells, and keeps skin healthy.

Vitamin B-Complex – It’s my perspective that B vitamins should be taken as a complex, a combination of B vitamins that are essential for quality longevity, heart health, and aiding the body during times of stress. Here is a quick look at the individual B’s:

          B-1 (also known as thiamin) helps the body to convert carbohydrates into energy and is necessary for the proper function of the heart, muscles, and nervous system.

          B-2 (also known as riboflavin) is essential for turning carbohydrates into energy and producing red blood cells. It’s also important for vision.

          B-3 (also known as niacin) helps the body convert food into energy. It helps maintain healthy skin and is important for nerve function.

          B-6 is important for normal brain and nerve function. It also helps the body break down proteins and make red blood cells.

          B-9 (also known as folic acid) helps the body make red blood cells, and is needed to make DNA.

          B-12 helps to make red blood cells, and is important for nerve cell function.

Vitamin C is needed to form collagen, a tissue that helps to hold cells together. It’s essential for healthy bones, teeth, gums, and blood vessels. It helps the body to absorb iron and calcium, aids in wound healing, and contributes to brain function.

Calcium – Essential for teeth and building strong bones. Adequate calcium in a healthy diet may reduce the risk of osteoporosis.

Vitamin D Promotes the strength of the immune system, supports bone and joint health, and enhances calcium absorption. Vitamin D is unique in that the body is able to produce it when ultraviolet rays, specifically UVB, penetrate the skin. When these ultra violet rays come into contact with a compound in the skin called 7-dehydrocholesterol (a cholesterol precursor), this compound is converted to 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 (vitamin D3), the active form of vitamin D.

Vitamin E – is an antioxidant that helps protect cells from damage. It’s also important for the health of red blood cells, maintenance of a healthy heart, lungs, prostate, and enhances digestive tract function.

Folic Acid – aids in the prevention of birth defects when it is taken prior to conception. Given its potential to protect the health of newborns, healthcare professionals strongly advocate that women begin taken folic acid supplements three months prior to the time they plan to conceive.

Iron – helps red blood cells carry oxygen to all parts of the body. Symptoms of iron-deficiency anemia include weakness and fatigue, lightheadedness, and shortness of breath.

Vitamin K – is necessary for blood clotting.

Magnesium – helps muscles and nerves to function, steadies the heart rhythm, and keeps bones strong. It also helps the body create energy and make proteins.

Phosphorous – helps form healthy bones and teeth. It also helps the body make energy. Every cell in the body needs phosphorus to function normally.

Potassium – helps with muscle and nervous system function. It also helps the body maintain the balance of water in the blood and body tissues.

Zinc – An infection fighting mineral, zinc is important for normal growth, strong immunity, and wound healing.

Not all vitamins and minerals are created equal, be sure to read the label. Naturally, you should work with your healthcare provider to find out which supplements you could benefit from, and how much is right for you taking into consideration your gender, age, weight, activity level, health concerns, and any medications you may be taking.

Listen with your heart,

Laurie Buchanan

Whatever you are not changing, you are choosing.”
               – Laurie Buchanan

www.HolEssence.com.

© 2010 Laurie Buchanan – All Rights Reserved

M is for Mindfulness

Pay attention to the small stuff - lichen on a tree

Pay attention to the small stuff - Lichen on a tree, John Muir Woods, WI

Dust motes, ladybugs, lichen…

In her book Counterclockwise: Mindful Health and the Power of Possibility, Dr. Ellen Langer had this to say about mindfulness as it pertains to health:

The simple act of noticing new things—is crucial to our health in several ways. First, when we’re mindless, we ignore all the ways we could exercise control over our health. We turn that control over to the medical world alone and accept limits, which closes us off to the power of possibility.”

In my experience, mindfulness is an agent of transformation and healing.

Mindfulness is simple, but it’s not easy. Mindfulness is the open-hearted energy of being aware—now, right now—in the present moment. It’s the daily cultivation—practice—of touching life deeply. To be mindful is to be present with, and sensitive to, the people we’re with and the things we’re doing, whether it’s raking leaves, washing laundry, brushing our teeth, or peeling potatoes.

At a presentation given by Jon Kabat-Zinn he said:

“Mindfulness points to being aware of, and paying attention to, the moment in which we find ourselves. Our past is gone and our future isn’t here yet. What exists between them is the present moment; the link that holds what was and what will be.”

That brief teaching in mindfulness changed my life.

Mindfulness is our capacity to be fully present in our own life, to be fully aware of what we’re doing as we’re doing it. As we develop our awareness, an inner stillness naturally grows. In this case, stillness doesn’t necessarily mean without motion. Rather, it means to be free from inner tumult; to be tranquil. When we function from a place of tranquility we’re better able to embrace the world and better equipped to respond wisely and lovingly.

It’s my perspective that mindfulness is more than paying attention, it’s paying intention.

Paying attention engages the mind.
Paying intention additionally engages the will. 

Intention is beautifully illustrated in a story that my friend “B” shared with me. She said:

“I used to be part of a dinner book club where each month the group members would contribute a dish for dinner and after what was always a wonderful meal, we discussed an agreed upon book. 

“One month, Debbie’s food offering was a loaf of Challah bread. As we were eating it and praising her efforts, she told us that as she kneaded the bread, she chanted our names; as she braided the bread, she said intentions for the well-being of each person who would later be partaking of the bread.  I remember how honored I was when she told us this.”

When you’re mindful, do you pay attention or intention?

Listen with your heart,

Laurie Buchanan

Whatever you are not changing, you are choosing.”
               – Laurie Buchanan

www.HolEssence.com

© 2010 Laurie Buchanan – All Rights Reserved.