Deer, Wild Turkeys, Cardinals, & Vitamins

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My driveway, January 8, 2017

I am sitting in my new country bedroom looking out into the snowy woods as I write. Seven, yes seven, deer are gently grazing outside my window. (The deer is my spirit animal!)

As many of you know, in 2016 my Nia classes were few and far between because The Dance Space closed, other studios closed, and I didn’t have a regular place to teach. Then I had the extraordinary opportunity to live in Austria in September and October so I could help care for my 2-year-old granddaughter while my daughter prepared to give birth to her second child.

In November I packed everything and prepared to move from one coast to the other. I flew from Seattle to Charlottesville on December first and stayed in four homes before landing in this sweet place in the woods.

It’s now the second week in January. I have Nia classes in place for Sunday mornings and I will be teaching once a month in a few other studios in the area. I have two wellness mini-retreats on the calendar and two special New Year’s Intention Setting Nia classes scheduled. My holistic health coaching clients can reach me by phone even though I’m in the woods! It feels good to be here.

Last year, I mindfully put my USANA Health Sciences business (the global nutritional company I partner with) aside while focusing on other aspects of life and business. It’s an important part of my income and after making such a big move, it’s now time for me to focus on USANA again.

I have questioned and asked God many times over the past year if partnering with USANA is still my path or I am doing it just because I need the residual income. I repeatedly get the answer to continue to offer these nutritional products to those who are a good match for them. I believe deeply in their quality and effectiveness. Otherwise I wouldn’t put my name by them or want to educate people about them. And as this is part of my income, in full disclosure, I get a commission on products I sell.

So with that said, I really want to tell you about VITAMINS! (You’ll hear more about wild turkeys and cardinals in a bit.)

I’ve had a Word document entitled, “Vitamins, who needs them?” in my files for about four years. The file includes well-researched citations from many third party sources about the quality of various supplements. I planned to write an article with that title but I felt compelled to entitle this one “Deer, Wild Turkeys, Cardinals & VITAMINS”. (You’ll understand the title more once you read to the end!)

I am now ready to share with you what I know about vitamins. I want you to feel nourished by what you read. And, as always, I invite you to let your intuition guide your way through, what could often be called, “The Vitamin Maze”.

Here’s what I really, really want you to know about vitamins:

1. I sell vitamins! And I have the knowledge to help you choose the ones that best match your needs.*

2. I want you to know what I didn’t know ten years ago about vitamins but what I know now. I’ve been working under the guidance of Dr. Christiane Northrup for over a decade and have learned SO much about this aspect of nutrition. Believe me, I have sorted through the vitamin maze.

3. I want you to know how essential (little pun here, as our multivitamin is called “CellSentials”) high quality supplements can be for your health.

4. I want you to know how supportive USANA’s supplements have been to me, my family, and to my customers/clients/friends who use them to support their health.

5. I want you to know what to look for when selecting a vitamin–because all vitamins are SO NOT ALIKE! And I want you to know why USANA’s vitamins are just so darn good:

They use pharmaceutical grade GMP, Good Manufacturing Practices. That translates to stringent manufacturing processes NOT required in the supplement industry. USANA’s vitamins are also certified by NSF International; an independent, non-profit organization that helps protect food, water, consumer products and the environment. And USANA voluntarily tests its supplements to make sure they meet trusted United States Pharmacopeia (USP) standards.

USANA’s vitamins have consistently received the highest rating in the Comparative Guide to Nutritional Supplements, a distinguished publication that compares over 1,500 nutritional products in North America for quality, bioavailability, potency, purity, and safety.

USANA supplements are used by athletes around the world, including: the Women’s Tennis Association, Speed Skating Team, Speed Skating Canada, Cross Country Canada, and USA Luge. USANA offers Olympic athletes a one million dollar guarantee that they will not test positive for any banned substances as a result of taking USANA nutritional products.

Dr. Myron Wentz founded USANA Health Sciences 25 years ago. Dr. Wentz is an internationally recognized microbiologist, immunologist, and pioneer in the development of human cell culture technology and infectious disease diagnoses. In 2007 he was honored with the Albert Einstein Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Life Sciences. And he is a devoted humanitarian and philanthropist. I have met this man and have enormous respect for his brain and his heart.

6. I want you do know that the U.S. Recommended Daily Allowances (RDA’s) are so outdated. The RDA is the lowest level of nutrient intake necessary to prevent deficiencies rather than a level that promotes optimal nutrition.

7. I want you to know that even eating organic foods doesn’t give us the vitamins and minerals that they once supplied back in the 1900s. For example, you would need to eat eight oranges today to get the nutrients in an orange you would have eaten years ago. Our farming practices, soil depletion, and environmental changes have been detrimental to our ability to grow nutrient dense foods.

8. I want you to know that if you live in a world with stress (pause here to take a deep breath) that our cells get bonked around, causing free radical damage–the technical term for oxidative damage. This makes it more important than ever to support our cells with antioxidants (vitamins) and minerals to support ongoing cellular repair.

9. I want you to know that all vitamins are NOT alike. Yes, I said that before, but I really want you to hear it. I have found such value in these vitamins and I wouldn’t be without them. They have supported my health (which has been excellent) for ten years. Sometimes I want to shout this from rooftops but instead, I thought I’d write it here for you to see. I am passionate about eating well, getting pleasure from food, AND taking good supplements.

10. And I want you to know . . . About a week before I was to leave Austria in late October, my daughter, Molly, asked if I might be able to stay a week or so longer. Of course I never wanted to leave these two precious little granddaughters–the little one just a week old. But when Molly asked me to consider staying, my first thought was not about how crazy it would be stay when I needed to go home to pack up and move a month later. I didn’t even think about the cost of the change fee for my plane ticket. My first thought (and I didn’t say this out loud . . .) was, “Oh no! I can’t stay! I don’t have enough vitamins!”

These vitamins are not magic pills, they don’t make me fly around like Super Woman, but they sure have supported my overall health and energy in a way that is truly measurable. I want this for you too.

purple-banner-1*Please let me know how I can serve you in answering your questions about what vitamins you need. I offer a 15-minute complimentary phone coaching session to help you sort through the vitamin maze. Just email: susan@susantate.org and I’ll be in touch.
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As I close this writing, seven wild turkeys are now prancing by my window, scrounging for food amidst the snow. Oh, if I could just see a cardinal (my spirit BIRD)–I would be over the top with joy.

Divine support has been everywhere as I have made this transition to the East Coast. Thanks for letting me reach out to you to let you know more about this part of my business.

OMG, there’s a cardinal outside my window!

Not the end–but the beginning.

purple-banner-1 Oh, yes–if you prefer to shop online, here’s the link (and please share this):
www.susantate.usana.com. But PLEASE let me send you the discounted price list so you can see the prices you will pay if you choose to become a Preferred Customer. As a Preferred Customer on Auto Order you can enjoy saving up to 20% savings off the retail prices listed on my site. Email me: susan@susantate.org and I’ll assist in saving you money while happily supporting your health and wellness. And if you’d like to work with me on Team Northrup and partner with USANA, you can learn more here.purple-banner-1

©2017 Susan Tate

Copyright 2017 Susan Tate

 

 

Where is HOME?

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Molly and I took Soraya to feed her beloved goats at the Gasthof Kleefeld Family Farm in Wolfgangsee last week.

“Hallo!” from Austria, or “Grüß Gott” as the greeting is in this beautiful country. I love the translation: “God greet you!”

You may or may not know that I am here in Austria to support my daughter, Molly, and her family as we await the arrival of my granddaughter’s little sister who is due in two weeks. This unique time with Molly and Soraya is being recorded deep in the center of my heart forever. I feel profoundly blessed to be here and to be extended the generosity of Molly’s husband’s loving Austrian family and their home. (Note: Molly has spent a good part of her pregnancy away from their own home in Fiji because of the Zika outbreak there. Her husband just arrived here two days ago. Hooray!)

My life here is completely different than my life back home. I’m packing snacks for Soraya’s mornings in nursery school, making yogurt popsicles, doing laundry, preparing meals, enjoying doing Nia with my granddaughter, doing laundry, taking my daughter to doctor’s appointments, changing diapers, (did I mention I am doing laundry–AND few people have dryers here?), teaching Soraya songs while she plays in the bathtub, reading to her, learning to use strollers and car seats made in the 21st century, and well, you probably get the picture!

All of this fills me with love. And it hasn’t all been magical and roses and easy. I do tend to focus on the love though, and it makes everything worthwhile and treasured.

I am learning a bit of German, driving along country and city roads, and eating foods readily enjoyed by people in this part of the world. I will be in Austria for a good two months so I’ve found that I’ve settled in here and consider it “home” at the moment.

Home–this word has new meaning for me. The saying “Home is where the heart is” now has a more expanded significance. At this time in my life, I feel deeply that, “Home is where love is.” I am learning to be at home anywhere. I can do this if I just remember to pack the love in my heart and then unpack it wherever I go. When I forget, things can get difficult.

My childhood home was in the countryside of Western Pennsylvania–about 30 minutes from Pittsburgh. After graduating from Penn State in 1971, I married my high school sweetheart and moved to Youngstown, Ohio where my husband was finishing his last year of college. That was home for several years.

In 1979, the three of us (we now had a 3-year-old son, Zachary) moved to Free Union, Virginia–just outside of Charlottesville. Molly was born there a year later. It was home for 20 years and the place where I also “grew up” as we raised our children and filled our home with love.

While there, I was a health teacher at Charlottesville High School and then worked for almost ten years at the University of Virginia as the Director of Health Promotion and assistant professor in the School of Medicine. I loved it there–my family, my friends, the community, the Blue Ridge Mountains, my colleagues, my life. I discovered Nia there and taught my first Nia classes there too.

In 2000, several years after our 25-year marriage ended, I followed my soul’s calling to move to the Seattle area. It has been home, a treasured home for me, for over 16 years.

And now it’s time to move again. It seems that the unexpected closing of three Nia studio doors in the past year has opened up a path that is guiding me to return to Charlottesville. I will be moving there on December 1. I had heard that when God closes one door, He opens another. But THREE doors? Believe me, I am paying attention! This decision to move is a big surprise to me. I am clearly letting the Divine take the lead on this one.

It feels like my work in Seattle is complete and my soul is beckoning me to this next season of my life. As I write this it feels both real and surreal. Seattle will always be a home to me–and the people I met there will hold a dear place in my heart. My gratitude is deep and my heart is full.

As I reflect on my professional life in Seattle, I smile about some of the things I accomplished:

I created Washington Wellness Associates (re-branded as www.susantate.org) and expanded my work to reach across the globe . . .

Earned my black belt as a Nia teacher and taught Nia classes weekly in Seattle and offered workshops across the United States, Canada, Mexico, and in Europe . . .

Joined Team Northrup and added a global nutritional product partner to share information and products to support the health of others . . .

Wrote two editions of Wellness Wisdom: 31 Ways to Nourish Your Mind, Body, & Spirit . . .

Wrote the 3rd edition of my first book, Into the Mouths of Babes . . .

Offered hundreds of hours of holistic wellness coaching sessions, both in person and through telephone or Skype across the globe . . .

Became an ordained wedding officiant and married 13 couples in various cities across the United States . . .

Studied at Sanoviv Medical Institute, a functional medicine hospital in Rosarito, Mexico to become a Certified Nutritional Advisor . . .

Presented over 50 work site wellness presentations in the Greater Seattle area . . .

Led retreats and wellness workshops across the globe . . .

And I “grew up” a bit more as I learned to love even more deeply.

As I move in between homes, I respect the opportunity to connect with you through the many wellness services I offer. Thank you for allowing me to serve you.

What will I do in Virginia? I am not sure exactly, but I feel lucky to have created a wellness business that is portable, and even global. So, I’ll pack up www.susantate.org,
pack my love, and be on my way.

Home–where is it for you? Is it a physical structure that you move in and out of? Is it where your love is? Can you take your love and pack it with you when you go to the store, or to work, or to the park, or on a plane, or to a different country? I’d love to hear your thoughts about home. Feel free to leave a comment here!

13 Tips for Transformational Wellness

13 TIPS FOR TRANSFORMATIONAL

“All transformation begins with an intense burning desire to be transformed.”
~Wayne Dyer

Do you have this intense burning desire to transform a part of you life that isn’t serving you? Are you looking for a little less stress in your life? Are you desiring to feel more love? Do you want to feel really, really well?

These 13 Tips for Transformational Wellness will take only 13 seconds to read. Then you can choose one to practice–and of course practicing them will take MORE than 13 seconds–but they are all capable of adding to your well-being. And all of them are filled with love.

We get to take one step at at time on our wellness path. Which one will you choose for your next step?

  1. Intend to be well
  2. Listen to your body
  3. Nourish the body/mind temple
  4. Live in the present moment
  5. Pray and/or meditate
  6. Seek balance and pleasure
  7. Speak your truth with kindness
  8. Reframe worrying
  9. Cultivate forgiveness
  10. Practice peace
  11. Love radically
  12. Don’t complain
  13. Magnify gratitude

If you would like suggestions for implementing each of these tips, you will enjoy learning more in my book, Wellness Wisdom: 31 Ways to Nourish Your Mind, Body, & Spirit.

Buy Into the Mouths of Babes on Amazon

Please let me know which one you picked to play with today! Please leave a comment here or come on over to my SusanTateCommunity Facebook page and share your thoughts.

©2016 Susan Tate

Shifting from Manual to Automatic

2008 Toyota

My “new” car

Let me tell you up front, I am not a car person. I just like my car to be safe, get good gas mileage, have a way to play some music, and for it to get me where I want to go. So, several months ago when I replaced my old car with a 2008 Toyota Corolla, the first automatic car I ever owned, it was such a surprise to me as to how much I loved it!

I named her Grace. I love that name and all it reflects. More on that later . . .

My old car really was pretty old. I reluctantly sold my 1994 Toyota Corolla after driving it for 22 years and over 280,000 miles. It had a manual transmission and the stick shift was a part of my driving life.

I have been driving a stick shift since I learned to drive in 1965. Of course I’ve driven plenty of rental cars that were automatic, but I had only purchased cars with a manual transmission. It’s what I knew.

About a week after I had been driving my new car, I pulled up to a stop sign. After simply moving my right foot from the gas to the brake, I began to cry. That moment, I suddenly saw this whole shift from manual to automatic as a glaring symbol of my life up until that point. I worked somewhat hard while I was driving and realized that I had been working really hard for most of my life. I just thought that’s how life was. I was often “doing it myself” and taking all kinds of energy to shift from this gear to that gear. Now I know, it just doesn’t have to be that hard! (Life OR driving a car!)

So, I’m slowly learning that life can be a little more automatic. I can keep my eyes on the windshield of life and continue to move forward safely and mindfully. And maybe I just don’t need to fuss so much with so many gears in between. And maybe I can enjoy the time in between by just being, or observing, or by listening more.

Speaking of listening, I love playing music when I drive. Before signing the papers to purchase this car, I of course checked out the sound system. (You may want to know I also had my mechanic check out the other important parts of this car!) I grabbed a CD from my old car–a mix of my favorite spiritual tunes. I was pleased with the speakers and how great it sounded. I then turned off the music to go into the car dealer’s office and completed the purchase.

I mentioned that I named my car Grace. The first time I put my hands on the wheel and started my car after I officially owned it, you’ll never believe what music sweetly emerged from the CD. The lyrics were, and I’m not kidding, “You are held in the hands of grace.”* Okay God, I am listening!

I really like this shift from manual to automatic.

Are there things in your life that you might be able to switch to automatic to make things a bit easier? I’d love to hear about them. Please leave a comment here or come on over to my SusanTateCommunity Facebook page and share your thoughts.

 

* From the song Hands of Grace by Jack Fowler

 

©2016 Susan Tate

11 Ways to Choose Love Over Fear

MakeYourChoicesQuoteWe are living in extraordinary times. Clearly, it is important to know about things that can keep us safe. But what is being splashed in front of us at a rapid rate is repeatedly fearful information aimed at keeping us on edge. Do you think it’s time to boldly create a revolution based on love and not fear? I do.

I recall the drills we had in the 1950s when we tucked ourselves underneath our little first grade desks to practice saving ourselves in case we were attacked by Russia. I don’t want to duck my head anymore. I want to look out more with a vision of peace, a sharing of our abundance, and a mindful caring for our fellow human beings, whether they live in the United States or some other place on this globe.

I want the children to walk upon this planet with light and love-filled steps and a trust in the adults who are guiding their way. I want our children to make safe, healthy, and loving choices.

During the 1990s, I was the Director of Health Promotion at the University of Virginia. “Make your choices based on love, not fear” was the Elisabeth Kübler-Ross quote we selected to be printed on the back of the condom packs provided during our Peer Health Education workshops. Yes, stop and think about it. We wanted students making safer choices because they had a respect and love for themselves (what a concept!) more than they feared unwanted pregnancy or sexually transmitted infection.

Today, I would like to see this quote boldly printed on the nightly news, at our banks, in our work settings, in our cars, in our grocery stores, and all over social media.

We can speak and think from a place of fear or from a place of love.

 “Make your choices based on love, not fear.” We have the choice to shower our world with love or react with fear. I’m choosing love. How about you?

Here are my suggestions for how to choose love over fear. Feel free to add to the list.

11 Ways to Choose Love over Fear

  1. Notice when worry or fear creeps into your thinking. Observe the fear, release it as you exhale, and then breathe in love instead. Repeat if necessary.
  2. Pray, meditate, chant, or sing.
  3. Observe and give gratitude when sacred peace envelops you.
  4. When fear invades your thinking, move your body. Walk, run, swim, dance, bike, do Nia, yoga or other physical activities that create endorphins from your body’s inner pharmacy. If you move through your day in a wheelchair, take time to get outside and connect your wheels to the earth and breathe in love.
  5. Observe your tendency to judge others and gradually lose interest in doing so.
  6. Be the place where love shows up.
  7. Notice your surroundings and the people in it with appreciation. This may result in being more accepting of people who don’t think, look, or act like you.
  8. Choose to no longer view the “other” as “other.”
  9. If you watch or read the news, use it to support your prayer practice. And then spread good news whenever you can.
  10. Forgive someone. Feel free to put yourself at the top of your list.
  11. Choose love.

In what ways to choose love over fear? Please feel free to leave a comment here or come on over to my Susan Tate Community Facebook page.

 

©2016 Susan Tate

 

 

 

 

 

So We Danced in the Parking Lot

As I enter my 18th year of teaching Nia, I do so without having a studio to teach weekly classes.

To catch you up if you haven’t had the pleasure of receiving my newsletters (which you can easily subscribe to if you look to the right) . . .

The studio I taught in for nine years closed in December with a week’s notice; the next studio I found was temporary and will be torn down when permits are finally acquired; and the day after I signed a contract in April with the Ballet Academy, I received an email saying it was closing in June . . .

I have heard that God never closes one door without opening another, but three closed doors in six month? I am paying attention.

As you may imagine, it’s a reflective time and I sense the universe has plans for me that haven’t yet been revealed! I am curious, open, and trusting.

There are plans for me to teach in Austria this fall and I have just returned from the east coast where I taught Nia in two beautiful studios in central Virginia. So I know I will continue to teach across the globe. What will happen locally? I really have no idea.

I am now settling into a “routine” without teaching three classes each week (which has been what I have done since I began teaching Nia in 1999). As you might suspect, there is some sadness that comes up for me.

But I must also tell you that I am still grinning when I think of the last Nia class we had on Saturday morning, June 11 at the Ballet Academy in Edmonds.

Here’s what happened:

When I arrived at the studio, the door was locked.  But that didn’t stop us–there was a parking lot right there!

It seems Michelle has a great sound system in her car. Since we didn’t have the right iPod cord to connect to her car, I searched the CD stash in my car and found one marked “Nia.” I had no idea what was on it but it proved to be the perfect mix for dancing in the streets! Michelle moved her car into a horizontal position, inserted the CD, opened the car doors, turned up the volume, and we danced with JOY! Thank you to Michelle and to the delightful group of 12 Nia students who came to dance. I’ll never forget it! Until we dance again . . . my heart is forever grateful.

If you find a locked door or a door closing unexpectedly, what do you do? I’d love to hear it. Please feel free to comment here or over on my Nia With Susan Tate Facebook page!

 

Spiritual Wellness, Prayer, & Meditation

 

Prayer hand over heart

Spiritual wellness is a uniquely personal journey for each of us. As we awaken each day, we get to choose how we will view world events, our country, our local community, and the life experiences we are experiencing in this moment. We get to choose peaceful thoughts or worrying thoughts, loving thoughts or fearful ones. I don’t know about you, but lately, prayer and meditation have been more valuable than ever in sustaining my spiritual wellness. This prompted me to share an excerpt from my Wellness Wisdom book. May you enjoy it with a sense of sacred peace.

Chapter 7: Pray and Meditate

However you choose to pray, you will deepen the communication between you and the Divine. I view praying as a reverent act of deeply communing with or talking to God. The message goes out as if we were talking to someone on the phone. I view meditation as listening to God via a heavenly phone—to recognize that voice we must be quiet so we might hear.

Declarative prayer is one of the many ways of communicating with God. With declarative prayer, you state that you accept the quality or thing you want in your life right now. An example would be, “I accept radiant health and wholeness.” Until a few years ago, I had always prayed using the “Please God” begging method. Now I assume divine help and support. Everyone prays differently and I certainly believe God listens to us however we pray; but I really like this positive, trusting, affirming method and it has been extremely powerful in my life. I’m learning to give up a time line, to trust divine guidance. I’m also learning to give up being right about many things. And there are times when I still get down on my knees, sometimes weeping with a “Please God” at the beginning (and the end) of my prayer. God listens.

Some people love reading the Bible, the Koran, Bhagavad Gita, The Course in Miracles, or from the Vedic texts. Others enjoy poetry or philosophical readings to connect them to Spirit. You may find the prayers of your childhood to be soothing. Find what works best for you.

There’s a beautiful meditation that I have found to be simple yet profound. It’s from an ancient Hawaiian practice known as Ho’oponopono (meaning “to make right.”) The words are simple and powerful: “I am sorry, please forgive me, I love you, I thank you.” What’s your favorite prayer?

In the early nineties, I had the honor of meeting monthly with my sangha “sisters” to enjoy dinner together, to listen to “what’s up” for us, and to pray. (Sangha is a Sanskrit word that means “community.”) We then shared our prayer requests for the month and agreed to pray for each other in between our meetings. Would a gathering of your own prayer community support your spiritual wellness?

I don’t think God minds whether we declare what we most desire or simply ask for it. God is ever-present and knows you well, so praying the way that feels best for you will keep this part of your spiritual wellness sacred. The ritual of praying the rosary or reciting the Hebrew words that hold a place in your heart may be the way you connect and become closer with the Divine. If you are one of many seekers who yearn to heal wounds created by old religious beliefs, you may enjoy reading Joan Borysenko’s A Woman’s Journey to God. She offers inspiration to women and men who want to create new ways of prayer and connection to Spirit.

I’ve heard it said that prayer changes us, not God. It can be an empowering way of shifting so we know what the next best steps might be. Have you heard the saying, “Pray and move your feet”?

Meditation, a very ancient practice, is growing in popularity in our fast-paced western society filled to overflowing with cell phones, text messaging, Facebook and BlackBerry technology. How interesting that meditation needs no expensive electronic equipment, just a quiet mind. Not too many years ago, if you lived in North America and told someone you were meditating they may have looked at you a little funny. Today, many people join meditation groups or classes and are aware that it is a practice done daily by many people worldwide.

Swiss-born psychiatrist, Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, author of the ground-breaking book On Death and Dying said, “Learn to get in touch with the silence within yourself and know that everything in this life has a purpose.” It may seem intriguing to think we might need to get in touch with silence—it seems like such a simple act. Yet, for many of us, our mental chatter is in high gear during most of our waking hours. Taking the time to sit in silence opens up an avenue of peace that adds richness and deep wisdom to a spiritual practice. Take some time to listen, observe, and not judge the thoughts that pass through your head. Like clouds in the sky, thoughts pass by us and are replaced by new ones. Your gentle breath can guide you as you breathe in and breathe out.

As with prayer, many styles of meditating are available. Some individuals prefer to listen to their iPod or to CDs that provide guided meditations full of soothing words and images. You might enjoy listening to Karen Drucker’s tender song Morning Prayer at the start of your day—it’s one of my favorites. Other people meditate by sitting still or lying still in complete silence, quieting the mind of all thoughts. When a thought enters the mind, the idea is to notice it, observe it and let it pass. You can say, “That’s a thought,” and watch it melt away. Eventually, the noisy mind becomes still and you have access to divine wisdom. That wisdom is always there, I believe, but it has a tough time getting through our constant, sometimes flood-like stream of thoughts.

How would your day be different if you started it with just five minutes of silence? Ten minutes? How would your day be different if you added one of the above suggestions to your spiritual practices? If you’re interested in experiencing the simplicity of silence, you can try taking a walk alone or planning an hour to move in silence with no TV, computer, music, or cell phone.

Like prayer, meditation is a gift you give yourself. Talking to God, listening to God—what a high and holy conversation. I can just hear God saying, “Can you hear me now?”

What practices do you have in place that sooth your soul? As I have strengthened the spiritual dimension of my own wellness path, these seven spiritual activities and resources have added blessings to my spiritual wellness. Everyone defines “spiritual wellness” in their own way and I want to note that the following resources are not affiliated with any religion. I encourage you to explore which activities feel right (if any) for you to add to your own practices of spiritual wellness.

Seven Practices to Enhance Your Spiritual Wellness

  1. Start your day with five minutes of inspirational reading, music, or meditation. I often begin my day with Karen Drucker’s beautiful song, “Morning Prayer.” (From her latest CD Songs of the Spirit IIII.)
  2. End your day with your own thank-you prayers or by mentally listing ten things you were grateful for that day.
  3. Consider learning about the powerful Hawaiian practice called Ho’oponopono. It has simple, peaceful, and poignant lines: Dear God (Or whatever you call the Divine) I am sorry. Please forgive me. I love you. And I thank you. You may want to Google “Ho’oponopono” to explore resources that appeal to you.
  4. Listen to healing music that sooths your soul. My favorite is the music to support the “healing stream” practice created by Bruno Groening (www.bruno-groening.org). This free music is available by clicking on “download” and then “music.” My personal favorite is an instrumental entitled, “II Gitarre 2.”
  5. Subscribe to a daily message that uplifts your spirit. Abraham-Hicks Publications (www.abraham-hicks.com) has a daily quote I read at the start of my day. The top corner of their banner says, “You are loved. All is well.” If I read nothing else, it’s a great reminder that makes me smile each morning.
  6. Create or discover a daily affirmation or short prayer that inspires and directs your day. Gay Hendricks shares what he calls the “Ultimate Success Mantra” in his empowering book, The Big Leap. “I expand in abundance, success, and love every day, as I inspire those around me to do the same.” I love this affirmation since it includes others too.
  7. Find ways to access the healing power of love. If it calls to you, check out Robert G. Fritchie’s work through the World Service Institute (www.worldserviceinstitute.org). This organization teaches people how to apply Divine Love as a healing energy to amplify spiritual wellness.

Excerpt from Wellness Wisdom: 31 Ways to Nourish Your Mind, Body, & Spirit, 2nd ed (2011) by Susan Tate

Do you have practices that support your spiritual wellness? I’d love to hear about it here or over on my Susan Tate Community Facebook page.

 

 

Posted 3/25/16

 

 

©2000 – 2016 Susan Tate


Letting Go

Dalai Quote

It had once been my nature to cling ferociously to the belief that I was powerful enough to change the thinking of family members, friends, and even entire university committees. I am mighty powerful—but not in that way. I know that my true power comes from honestly and compassionately speaking my truth with integrity, kindness, and compassion and then letting go of the outcome. And it’s especially important to let go of the outcome. Pain has always resulted when I got in there and tried to force that oversized round peg into a very small square hole.

Trusting (rather than hoping) that things will unfold with ease in a way that is best for all involved will help as you prepare to truly let go. You may want to consider replacing the word hope with the word trust. Hope often implies something we wish might happen in the future. Trust can be a more optimistic and affirming way toward creating a specific result. And sometimes, it’s appropriate to really, really hope.

A real lesson in trusting and letting go came when my father was living his last few years of life with Alzheimer’s disease. My dear, rational, calm, clear thinking dad would tell me stories of flying boxcars that took him to work (and back) and he would tell me that wherever he landed, his bed would be right there too! The first time he told me this, I felt like my heart was bleeding tears. I felt desperate to bring him back into my reality. “Dad,” I softly pleaded, “You know that part of your brain that isn’t always connecting quite right? Well, that’s what’s happening now and that story isn’t really true.” I thought I was controlling the situation quite nicely. What an illusion!

When I let go and realized that his reality was his reality and totally different from mine, I began to find peace. I let go—and met him where he was, not where I wanted him to be. On one of our last walks together, I said, “Dad, tell me more about the boxcar with wings.” His face lit up as he described how this unique train took off and landed so smoothly and how much fun it was to ride it. Dad had been a railroad engineer so the added speed created by the airplane wings must have been quite a delight for him! And my delight came when I was able to let go and be with him right where he was. For a while after his death, I spent time wishing I had met him there sooner. Now I know I did the best I could at the time. I know he knows it too.

Anthropologist Ralph Blum said, “Relinquishing control is the ultimate challenge for the spiritual warrior.” We have a choice to cling to thoughts and beliefs that keep us stuck, in pain or in the illusion of control—or, we can let go, and let God handle the details. It’s your choice.

–Excerpt from chapter 18 “Letting Go” in my book: Wellness Wisdom: 31 Ways to Nourish Your Mind, Body, & Spirit

How about you? Are you ready to let go of a thought, belief, or situation that no longer serves you? I’d love to hear from you. And may you feel the peace that comes from letting go . . .