Thursday, February 15, 2018

Color Ideas to Help You Organize Your Home Office




Colors can increase stamina, encourage a sense of calm or productivity, and help you maintain a consistent work routine.

Do you plan to convert a spare bedroom into a home office, or already have one you’re trying to freshen up? A dedicated office space is often a tax write-off, and the accessibility of walking from one room to the next in your home, condo, or apartment makes the commute to work a dream.

I offer colorful yet inexpensive ideas to make your workplace more user-friendly and efficient.

Paint walls a neutral color such as white, off-white, and cream. These colors give even a tiny room a feeling of spaciousness and ease. If you get distracted easily, you may need to paint an accent wall in the grounding colors of brown, rust, or other earthy tones of soil, forest, and the countryside.

Increase efficiency by using colors that reflect and complement the energy of the activities conducted in them. Mental clarity and creativity, for example, are amplified by taking in the color energy of bright yellow. Place a sheet of yellow paper, card, or vase filled with daisies within your range of vision, and discover how quickly your lethargy decreases and your motivation to focus increases.

Keep in mind, that too much of a bold color like sunny yellow, can feel overpowering. When one color monopolizes a home office color scheme, it eventually makes even the liveliest space feel chaotic.

If you want to increase your energy, use accessories and accents in upbeat shades of red, orange, or hot pink. To support physical dexterity and make strides at completing hands-on work, reds and oranges support you as you gain agility and speed to move ahead. 

Perhaps you’d rather save red to alert you to emergency items. Scoring project files with a bold red pen check or dot captures your attention and reminds you of its importance.

If your workspace colors are too stimulating, calm them down by placing a book or candle on you desk in cool colors including pale peach, lavender, light green, or baby blue.






To streamline things in your office, get rid of junk.  Clear out clutter and curb overactive thought processes by wearing clothing in pleasing shades of blue. 

Display a picture that contains turquoise, teal, or sea blue water. Pause to visualize yourself beside a lovely lake, stream, the ocean, or a bay. 

Imagine water energy helping you proceed with thoughtful mindfulness. Then, start cleaning one corner of your office. Reduce, discard, and donate. When that area is de-cluttered start on the next and so forth.

Another creative color idea is to take a work break. Get up from your desk, and go for a 5 minute walk outside. Gaze at the blue sky.  It enhances your sense of tranquility, and allows you to refresh mind and body. This is a free way to resume work with a fresh perspective.

Make a plan to color code hard copies of files, documents, and spreadsheets. You’ll be well on the way to an organized work environment. Want to keep better track of your small business inventory, contacts, and finances?

An excellent color for financial matters is green. Green is the primary Feng Shui color that represents abundance and wealth. Select it if it resonates with you, and want your business to thrive.




Keep it simple and delineate invoices and bills, and other business expenses by marking files with green ball point pen dot. It simplifies things to buy file folders that are green and also come in other attractive colors. Color-coded folders makes it easy to put the appropriate papers in the right file.

Another great way to bring green into your office is with plants that have lush green foliage. This also helps to purify the air. Indoor plants that have good “chi” or life force include bamboo palm, rubber plant, English ivy, ficus, Boston fern, and peace lily.

Work spaces used by bloggers, writers, authors, chefs, and artists are enhanced, when they include a wide palette of colors. Variety encourages a sense of playfulness, ingenuity, and originality.

On the other hand. restful expanses of color can relax you. Painting a wall blue or hanging blue curtains in your home office, can help communication. If your field of expertise is public relations or advertising and you want more clients to flock to your office, display blue colored books, calendars, and other blue pieces in the décor. Blue is also a good color for healing; use it on folders and papers that identify items like medical expense receipts. See this for additional ways to really relax.

Any way you decorate with color must be in line with your own character. If you’re not sure what to choose, experiment to see whether you work more effectively in an energizing or quiet colored office environment.

Have fun with colors that enable your small business to prosper. Get savvy about color, and pick the best colors for an eye-pleasing work environment. It’s simple and makes good business sense to learn which colors put new life into your business and you.



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Thursday, February 1, 2018

Use Crown Chakra Energy to Integrate Mind Body Spirit



The Crown Chakra and Om, the Sound of The Seventh Chakra 

The seventh chakra, or Sahaswara, is the chakra of consciousness, pure awareness, and bliss. It is the source of Divine connection. Its vibrations provide powerful energy to sustain our beings and help us rise above earthly concerns.

Chakra means "wheels" in Sanskrit, and describes areas of energy running along our spine. Ancient Hindus formulated that the human body has seven major energy wheels, each a different color and spinning in a clockwise direction. 

The crown chakra is located in our body's uppermost location, at the top of the head or slightly above it. When this center is open and balanced, it makes all the chakras work together for our greatest good. 








The colors most often associated with this chakra are dark purple/violet and white/clear. 



Since ancient times, purple has been associated with the color of the clergy, nobles, and the rich. Those who are attracted to purple may have an artistic or dramatic flair. Some wear it, because they intuitively sense it clears confusion and calms hyperactivity. 


Purple helps others feel energized. Dressing in this color can speed up natural healing energy for mind, body, and spirit. 



Envision purple to encourage your thoughts to lift above ego to a higher plane, a higher consciousness. 



Gaze at objects like lavender or other purple flowers, eat red grapes, red cabbage, or eggplant, or don an amethyst bracelet, necklace, or ring. Enjoy this vibrant color and let it remind you how interconnected you are to everything on our planet.


If the color white resonates with you, visualize white light surrounding you or a loved one. Imagine its energy cleansing, healing, protecting, and raising consciousness. See the planet, a pet, or an acquaintance being helped this way. 


Drape a white cloth around you or surround yourself with white pillows or flowers, symbols of purity and devotion. Let white help motivate you to be of service to others. 



Place a white crystal called selenite in your home or hold a selenite wand in front of your body for its many rejuvenating and mystical properties.



The crown chakra works in a subtle manner. Meditation or other mindfulness practices including color energy visualizations and affirmation recitation enhance this chakras effectiveness. Here are three of my original chakra affirmations for you...



"I Tap into the Universal Source of Love Each Day."



"I Radiate Joy, and my Thoughts and Actions are Insightful and Loving."



"My Chakras are Aligned and Manifest Abundant Energy to Live Joyfully."




************

Healing arts like acupuncture, tai chi, massage, and yoga seek to stabilize all the chakras by purifying the lower energies and guiding the flow of energy upwards. 



Self-care habits create harmony on the physical, mental, and spiritual level. Allow chakra work to be part of your self-awareness routine.




Remember the flow of "chi " through all our chakras influences health and improves wellbeing. The crown chakra’s job is to integrate all the chakras and their respective qualities.  



The seventh chakra helps us deal with limited thinking and transports us beyond our idea of things to our wise inner core. 


When we study the chakras and witness ourselves as we learn something new, we get closer to our true self, the Divine in us. 


The crown chakra corresponds to the pituitary gland, the “master gland” of the endocrine system. Others believe the 7th chakra controls the pineal gland. This gland contains pigments similar to those found in the eyes, and regulates the action of light on our body. The seventh chakra helps us look inward to infuse spiritual light into our being.



Keep the crown chakra finely tuned, by revisiting the chakras that come below it. Learn ways to re-align the other chakras (from 1 to 6) by clicking on the links that follow:











Before you go, please comment by scrolling down and posting in the space provided. 

I'd love to know if you believe in "chakra power." For me, getting in touch with my chakras makes me feel happy, peaceful, and alive. 

Do you like to wear purple or white and how does that make you feel? Do you wear one or both of these colors often and for what reasons? 

Did my blog post and illustrations help you in some way? Please comment below. 

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Monday, January 15, 2018

12 Items to Fit Into Every Day

Wonder what a Nutrition Researcher/MD fits into his daily routine? We can gain insights into how to sustain a healthy lifestyle, by reading about the Daily Dozen Checklist below from Michael Greger, M.D. FACLM. 






Dr. Greger wrote: "In my book, How Not to Die, I suggest we try to center our diets around whole plant foods. But, some plants are healthier than others. For example, you can apparently live extended periods eating practically nothing but white potatoes. That would, by definition, be a whole-food, plant-based diet—but not a very healthy one. All plant foods are not created equal.

The more I’ve researched over the years, the more I’ve come to realize that healthy foods are not necessarily interchangeable. Some foods and food groups have special nutrients not found in abundance elsewhere. For example, sulforaphane, the amazing liver-enzyme detox-boosting compound, is derived nearly exclusively from cruciferous vegetables. You could eat tons of other kinds of greens and vegetables on a given day, and get no appreciable sulforaphane if you didn’t eat something cruciferous.

It’s the same with flax seeds and the anticancer lignan compounds. Flax may average a hundred times more lignans than other foods. And mushrooms aren’t even plants at all; they belong to an entirely different biological classification, and may contain nutrients (like ergothioneine) not made anywhere in the plant kingdom. (So technically, maybe I should be referring to a whole-food, plant- and fungus-based diet, but that just sounds kind of gross.)

It seems like every time I come home from the medical library buzzing with some exciting new data, my family rolls their eyes, sighs, and asks, “What can’t we eat now?” Or, they’ll say, “Wait a second. Why does everything seem to have parsley in it all of a sudden?” or something! They’re very tolerant.

As the list of foods I tried to fit into my daily diet grew, I made a checklist, and had it up on a little dry-erase board on the fridge, and we’d make a game out of ticking off the boxes. This evolved, into my Daily Dozen: the checklist of all the things I try to fit into my daily routine. 

By beans, I mean legumes, which also includes split peas, chickpeas, and lentils. You know, while eating a bowl of pea soup or dipping carrots into hummus may not seem like eating beans, it certainly counts. We should try to get three servings a day. A serving is defined as a quarter-cup of hummus or bean dip; a half-cup of cooked beans, split peas, lentils, tofu, or tempeh; or a full cup of fresh peas or sprouted lentils. Though peanuts are technically legumes, nutritionally, I’ve grouped them in the Nuts category, just as I would shunt green beans, snap peas, and string beans into the Other Vegetables category.

A serving of berries is a half-cup fresh or frozen, or a quarter-cup of dried. While biologically speaking, avocados, bananas, and even watermelons are technically berries, I’m using the colloquial term for any small edible fruit, which is why I include kumquats and grapes—and raisins, as well as fruits that are typically thought of as berries, but actually technically aren’t, such as blackberries, cherries, mulberries, raspberries, and strawberries.

For other fruits, a serving is a medium-sized fruit, a cup of cut-up fruit, or a quarter-cup of dried fruit. Again, I’m using the colloquial rather than the botanical definition; so, I place tomatoes in the Other Vegetables group.
Common cruciferous vegetables include broccoli, cabbage, collards, and kale. I recommend at least one serving a day (typically a half-cup), and at least two additional servings of greens a day, cruciferous or otherwise. Serving sizes for other greens and vegetables are a cup for raw leafy vegetables, a half-cup for other raw or cooked non-leafy vegetables, and a quarter-cup for dried mushrooms.




Everyone should try to incorporate one tablespoon of ground flax seeds into their daily diet, in addition to a serving of nuts or other seeds. A quarter-cup of nuts is considered a serving, or two tablespoons of nut or seed butters, including peanut butter. (Chestnuts and coconuts, though, don’t nutritionally count as nuts.)

I also recommend one-quarter teaspoon a day of the spice turmeric, along with any other (salt-free) herbs and spices you may enjoy.



A serving of whole grains can be considered a half-cup of hot cereal, such as oatmeal, cooked whole grains, or so-called “pseudograins” like amaranth, buckwheat, and quinoa, or a half-cup of cooked pasta or corn kernels; a cup of ready-to-eat (cold) cereal; one tortilla or slice of bread; half a bagel or English muffin; or three cups of air-popped popcorn.

The serving size in the beverage category is one glass (twelve ounces), and the recommended five glasses a day is in addition to the water you get naturally from the foods in your diet. I explain my rationale in my video, How Many Glasses of Water Should We Drink a Day?

Finally, I advise one daily “serving” of exercise, which can be split up over the day. I recommend ninety minutes of moderate-intensity activity each day, such as brisk (four miles per hour) walking or, forty minutes of vigorous activity (such as jogging or active sports) each day. I explain my reasoning for that in my video, How Much Should You Exercise?

This may all sound like a lot of boxes to check, but it’s easy to knock off a bunch at a time. One simple peanut butter/banana sandwich, and you just checked off four boxes. Or imagine sitting down to a big salad. Two cups of spinach, a handful of arugula, a handful of walnuts, a half-cup of chickpeas, a half-cup of red bell pepper, and a small tomato. You just knocked out seven boxes in one dish. Sprinkle on your flax, add a handful of goji berries, and enjoy it with a glass of water and fruit for dessert, and you just wiped out nearly half your daily check boxes in a single meal! And, then if you just ate it on your treadmill—just kidding!

Do I check off each glass of water I drink? No. In fact, I don’t even use the checklist anymore; I just used it initially as a tool to get me into a routine. You know, whenever I was sitting down to a meal, I would ask myself, Could I add greens to this? Could I add beans to this? (I always have an open can of beans in the fridge.Can I sprinkle on some flax or pumpkin seeds, or maybe some dried fruit? The checklist just got me into the habit of thinking, How can I make this meal even healthier?

I also found the checklist helped with grocery shopping. Although I always keep bags of frozen berries and greens in the freezer, if I’m at the store and want to buy fresh produce for the week, it helps me figure out, you know, how much kale or blueberries I need.

The checklist also helps me picture what a meal might look like. Looking over the checklist, you’ll see there are three servings each of beans, fruits, and whole grains, and about twice as many vegetables in total than any other component. So, glancing at my plate, I can imagine one quarter of it filled with grains, one quarter with legumes, and a half of the plate filled with vegetables, along with maybe a side salad, and fruit for dessert. I happen to like one-bowl meals where everything’s mixed together, but the checklist still helps me to visualize. Instead of a big bowl of spaghetti with some veggies and lentils on top, I think of a big bowl of vegetables with some pasta and lentils mixed in. Instead of a big plate of quinoa with some stir-fried vegetables on top, I picture a meal that’s mostly veggies—and, oh look! There’s some quinoa and beans in there, too.

But there is no need to be obsessive about the Daily Dozen. On hectic travel days when I’ve burned through my snacks, you know, stuck in some airport food court somewhere, sometimes I’m lucky if I even hit a quarter of my goals. If you eat poorly one day, just try to eat better the next.

To help track your progress, volunteers created Dr. Greger’s Daily Dozen apps for both iPhone and Android. You can download and use them both for free; no ads, no cost.

My hope is that the checklist will just serve as a helpful reminder to try to eat a variety of some of the healthiest foods every day. Please consider volunteering to help out on the site."

It's fun to see the video that goes along with the text above ( both were published  Here's how it appears on nutritionfacts.org.

Please take a moment to comment in the space provided below. Do you include the daily dozen into your eating and lifestyle plan? If not, which things do you think you need to add? Are there any foods or lifestyle changes you'd like to make to feel healthier and happier? Please let me know that too.

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Monday, January 1, 2018

Use Colors You Love in the New Year

I'm envisioning colors I love, and using that color energy to wish you a fantastic New Year! 

You can take advantage of color energy too. Learn to identify and visualize specific colors you love to unwind, relax, support, refresh, and delight you. 

The choices you make, the people and projects you reserve time for, and the things you find important enough to focus on— will determine your sense of abundance and contentment. Choose Wisely.







Breathing in, I calm my body,

Breathing out, I smile.

Dwelling in the present moment

I know this is a wonderful moment.

Thich Nhat Hanh, poem above from  Being Peace.


To discover more ways to use colors for health see tips to help you.

Also read previous posts I've published. They offer color tips and self-care ideas at the place where a healthy lifestyle and colors intersect. Here's just a few...

Help with Affirmation Creation

Use this color to Give LOVE and Feel LOVED

How to Take Better Care of Yourself



Please don't forget to comment and re-share (just make sure to provide a link back to this post). 

Do you have goals for the New Year? What colors do you think can help make you feel empowered, clear-headed, balanced, or inspired and why? 

Please comment below. Do you already use color energy to enhance daily living and when do you use it? What colors resonate with you? 

For journal writing activities and colorful tips for self-care, pick up your copy of  Colors of Joy.


Order an Autographed Copy



I wish you health, joy, love, serenity, and inspiration in 2018. 💗



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Friday, December 15, 2017

Shower Power and Affirmations




I’ve discovered a fun way to increase my sense of well-being. I combine self-care hygiene of showering and the energetic shift that occurs when I recite affirmations, to improve health and happiness.

When you try out this wellness practice, you’ll see how quickly it both cleanses your body and converts negative thinking into more positive attitudes and actions. Why does this pair improve our outlook? Read on.

Bathing in warm or hot water helps wash off more than dirt and grime. The steam from the shower reduces nasal congestion and soothes a sore or hoarse throat. 

When we shower shortly after awakening, the rushing water helps us start the day with a fresh outlook. 

If we choose to take our shower in the evening, it relaxes muscles after a long, tiring day and prepares us for a good night's sleep.

As water from the shower shoots down, the water pressure helps improve blood circulation, opens and unclogs pores, and can even reduce the sensations associated with a headache. This is an easy, natural way to cure headache pain with no side effects.
Observing water's clear, fresh color stills our mind and soothes our spirit. The sound and feel relaxes us.  Use all your senses. Tap into the healing power of running water, and connect with your body’s heat. Open your eyes and mind to cleansing and take the first simple step to refresh yourself.
Now, on to the second part of my equation. The affirmation definition I like best is, “An affirmation is a declaration that confirms something is already true and bountiful in life.” 
When you declare affirmations aloud in the shower, the sound reverberates, and makes two healing modalities more powerful than just one. 

Use shampoo and soap to lather your body. Then as you wash, make brushing motions an inch or two above your torso or on your skin from head to toe.

Imagine brushing off aches and pains, negative thoughts, and heaviness in your heart. Make the motion of removing things from other places, where you sense you need cleansing. Brushing can be done with an actual (touch) or symbolic brush and is a physical way to release stale energy. 

Keep in mind, this process can help you shed fear, anger, grief, or other troubling feeling trapped in your body. So make the motion of brushing off all things that no longer serve you well.


Repeat the following affirmations, as the water washes over you. Speak aloud, with as much conviction as you can muster. 

1. “As the water rushes over my body, I notice my muscles are free of tension, my mind is free of worry, and my thoughts are free of uneasiness about those things that are left undone or I have no control over.”

2. “Shower water and soap cleanses all negative energy from my body, mind, and spirit. I let go of dissatisfaction, judgments, and comparisons with others as cares wash down the drain.”

3. “I move forward and prosper.”

4. "I keep life simple by lovingly focusing on my own business, and gently release thoughts of others and fully appreciate the results of my own actions."

“5. I recognize that self-discovery and healing are day-at-a-time processes. 

6. "I am kind and caring with myself and others."

7. "I learn from my experiences, and understand I have the option of starting over any time I have the need for a do-over."

8. “I live each day with positive intentions, take things in stride, and enjoy challenges."

9. “I visualize myself immersed in a pool of love, peace, and compassion.”

10. “I relish quiet time spent in the shower, and my inner peace is a power of example to others.”




For in-depth affirmation adventures, pick up a copy of Colors of Joy: A Woman's Guide for Self-Discovery, Balance, and Bliss. This 12 week guided journal program helps its readers combine color themed activities, affirmations, journal writing and reflection, with tips for self-care. 

It’s perfect for women who are introspective as well as those who want to be more self-aware and happy. 

Colors of Joy is affordable, provides hours of entertainment and discovery, and is a healthful way to be good to yourself. In fact, it makes an eye-catching holiday or birthday gift for all the women you care about.








Please comment below in the space provided. 

What self-care activities do you think help you the most and why? 

Do you use affirmations as a self-care helper? Explain.

Are you consistent with your pre or post work self-care routines? Please explain why or why not.

Before I sign off, I encourage you to reserve time to nurture yourself during the holiday season and into the New Year. Warm wishes for vital color energy always, to help you Live Each Day Happy and Free! 


Further reading:

Expressing affirmations aloud is an effective way to reduce tension, and this scientific study from Carnegie Mellon backs it up. 

For more about affirmations see: Encourage Optimal Health.

For details about the color of water read this.

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