Burned Out

A few weeks ago while out walking, we happened upon a burned out vehicle. There wasn’t any police tape indicating foul play; there was nothing about it in the newspaper or online, so we don’t have any idea how it happened.

Burned Out

The scene reminded me of a conversation I had with a person many years ago who opened the conversation with, “I’m burned out.” When I asked for details, she said:

 “My schedule is so over-committed that I don’t have any ‘me’ time. I don’t have time to exercise, and because of time constraints, meals have become a steady stream of fast food. I’m not sleeping well so I’m physically exhausted. I can’t seem to focus at work, and my relationship is falling apart. Frankly, I’m not enjoying life anymore.”

It all boiled down to her inability to say “no.” A people pleaser, she said “yes” to everything requested of her. Quite some time ago I learned how to effectively say no with finesse from my friend and personality expert Sheila Glazov: That does not work for me.

Is it difficult for you to say “no?”

© Laurie Buchanan

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The Elixir of Life

Author of several books, Dr. Masaru Emoto was an internationally renowned researcher who gained worldwide acclaim by showing how water is deeply connected to our individual and collective consciousness. His message was simple, profound, and far-reaching — water reflects the intention of our thoughts and words. His landmark water study shows that words positively change the molecular structure and vibration of water and other substances.

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Consumed once a day, Len and I each place a glass of water on the kitchen window sill with personal words of intent written in indelible marker on each one.

My words are: Joy, Laughter, Health, Vitality, Forgiveness, Creativity, and Peace of Mind.
Len’s words are: Health, Strength, Wisdom, Abundance, Love, Clarity, and Gratitude.

What words would you write on your glass?

© Laurie Buchanan

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Laughing Buddha

It’s still too early to plant flowers in the terra cotta pots by our front door, but we can tell that spring is just around the corner. Regardless of the weather, our year-round resident — Laughing Buddha — greets us with his buoyant body language and effervescent smile that never fails to trigger a chuckle.

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Anatomically speaking, we all know that the most important bone in our body is the Funny Bone. For full health benefits, it’s imperative to exercise it on a regular basis.

Scientific studies show that humor stimulates the brain’s reward center in the same ways as sex and chocolate. In turn, this reward center secretes two hormones into the brain:  dopamine and serotonin. Also known as “happiness molecules,” these anti-stress chemicals are associated with the feeling of happiness.

As we grow older, the production of these chemicals in the body decreases, so laughing becomes all the more important with increasing age.

When was the last time your funny bone got a workout?

© Laurie Buchanan

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Buddha Bowl

One of the many things I talk with my clients about is how we fuel our body — the physical package we reside in. A Buddha Bowl is one of the daily staples in our home. So in the spirit of a healthy new year, here’s how it’s done:

Find a unique, large-sized bowl that for you symbolizes nourishment and gratitude. And perhaps a pair of chopsticks to enhance slow eating and mindfulness. Preparing this meal should be enjoyable, relaxing, and creative. As you fill your Buddha Bowl, remember that you’re creating food art.

I found my Buddha Bowl at a resale shop — it’s 10-inches across the top and 3.75 inches deep

I found my Buddha Bowl at a resale shop — it’s 10-inches across the top and 3.75 inches deep

Farm-to-table means little to no processing involved. The closer to the earth we eat, the healthier the food is for us. I’m all about nutritionally dense fuel — foods with a high nutrition-to-calorie ratio. And it goes without saying, buy organic whenever possible and avoid anything that’s genetically modified (GMO).

50% of the Bowl — Greens
Raw organic greens: kale, arugula, watercress, spinach, Swiss chard, turnip greens, collards, romaine lettuce, cabbage (red and green), and a bit of cilantro and/or parsley. Greens are packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber. Note: the darker the color, the more nutritionally dense it is.

25% of the Bowl — Vegetables & Fruit
Raw, steamed, or roasted vegetables; mix textures and tastes — crunchy, sweet, bitter, juicy, bland — sprouts (my favorite are alfalfa), asparagus tips, onion, garlic, peppers, mushrooms, broccoli and/or cauliflower florets, Brussels sprouts, carrots, tomatoes, avocado, peas (snow, sugar snap, or English), papaya arils, water chestnuts, bamboo shoots, diced fruit; the choices are endless.

25% of the Bowl — Protein
Protein: beans (garbanzo, black, kidney, pinto, lima), cooked lentils and/or quinoa, diced hardboiled eggs, tofu, and/or maybe a bit of brown rice. Did you know that 1 cup of cooked brown rice has 5 grams of protein? Another great source of protein are raw seeds and nuts: walnuts, pumpkin seeds, almonds, hemp seeds, cashews, sunflower seeds, sesame, ground flax seed, pecans, pine nuts, chia seeds.

Dressing the Meal
Like the rest of the bowl, the final touch will vary from meal-to-meal, depending on what you have available:

  • Drizzle your favorite oil — olive, avocado, coconut
  • Splash on balsamic vinegar, apple cider vinegar, or freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice
  • Spice it up with a dash of sea salt, freshly ground black pepper, maybe some cayenne
Eat slowly and savor your meal with gratitude.

Eat slowly and savor your meal with gratitude

What’s your recipe for a healthy new year?

© Laurie Buchanan

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An Apple a Day

“Ait a happle avore gwain to bed, an’ you’ll make the doctor beg his bread.” — A Pembrokeshire proverb

Translated from Elizabeth Mary Wright’s 1863 Rustic Speech and Folk-lore, today we say, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.”

And while apples—especially organic—enhance good health, there are a number of things we can do to promote wellbeing.

A mainstay in my whole health regimen—body, mind, and spirit—is restorative yoga, a slow and gentle style where each asana (posture) is supported by props such as bolsters, straps, blankets, blocks, chair, or wall. This support enables the practitioner to comfortably sink into a pose and hold it for up to five minutes, allowing them to let go, be present, and completely relax in the moment.

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What is your “apple a day?”

© Laurie Buchanan

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Recharging the Tiger in Your Tank

Recently I received a portable, external power source for my cell phone. Now if I run low on juice and there’s no electricity to tap into — or we have another 3-day power outage like last year — then I simply plug into the source and recharge my phone’s battery.

Mentally — many of us recharge by doing crossword puzzles, using a game App like Dots, play chess, or exercise our brains online with programs like Lumosity or Happify.

Spiritually — many of us recharge in the sanctuary of nature, in a brick-and-mortar house of worship, or we meditate/pray in the comfort of our own home, or wherever we happen to be.

Physically — many of us recharge our bodies with a healthy combination of exercise and being mindful of the foods we use to fuel it.

Body, mind, or spirit — what’s your favorite method of “plugging in” and recharging?

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

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The Goldilocks Factor

You remember the story of Goldilocks and the three bears, that sassy little miss who made herself at home in the three bears house and:

  • Sampled porridge—too hot, too cold, just right—and gobbled it all up.
  • Tested chairs—too big, too small, just right—and ends up breaking it.

Tired after leaving a wave a destruction in her wake, she heads upstairs and tries the beds—too hard, too soft, just right—and falls asleep.

What I want to know is what really happens between Point A (falls asleep) and Point B when baby bear exclaims, “Someone’s been sleeping in my bed and she’s still there!” Not with Goldilocks, but with all the rest of us during slumber…

There’s a wide brushstroke of speculation regarding what actually takes place when we sleep:

  • Some people feel that dreams are just that—dreams, and sleep is just that—sleep.
  • Others feel that we leave our body when we sleep; that we experience tests, receive instruction, and interact with other people in previous, current, and future time periods.

Where do you go and what do you do when you’re sound asleep?

Interesting Side Note: A survey conducted by the American Cancer Society concluded that people who sleep 6 hours or less per night, or who sleep 9 hours or more, had a death rate 30 percent higher than those who regularly slept 7 to 8 hours. Even those who slept 6 hours or less who otherwise had no health problems had death rates 1.8 times higher than those who slept “normal” hours.

Laurie Buchanan

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

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

© 2013 Laurie Buchanan – All Rights Reserved

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