Gratitude Archives

Don’t you love it when you have a book in your hands that’s so exciting that it’s hard to put down? As previously written, I’m a Cellular Response energy healer so my clients are interested in healing their bodies naturally. In my constant quest for all-natural healing, one of my clients introduced me to Earthing which was published last year and written by Clinton Ober, Stephen T. Sinatra, M.D., and Martin Zucker. Last month it was selected as the “Book of the Month” by the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians.

The authors define Earthing as follows:

If possible, read this book sitting with your bare feet directly on the Earth — grass, gravel, dirt, sand, or concrete.

You will simultaneously experience what you are reading about — how contact with the Earth restores your body’s natural electrical state.

The positive shift you feel is the start of a process in which your body slowly becomes infused with the Earth’s omnipresent and ever-present healing energy.

This is Earthing, a remarkably simple, safe, and natural act of reducing pain and stress.

For those that need hard core scientific evidence, Earthing might not be acceptable to you. But for those that accept mostly anecdotal evidence and testimonies, this book is full of amazing results. There are also scientific studies included and many more are planned.

It’s a very simple concept and you can read a sample of the book at earthing.com.

All that I’m learning about electromedicine and healing energies is so exciting. This is the future of medicine. The planet Earth is giving us the greatest gift of all for our health. Let us gratefully accept it. With all of the chronic diseases of seniors  straining our medical system, it’s time to be pro-active and look for alternatives. You are responsible for your own health. Earthing can change the way medicine is practiced. Earthing changes the actual physiology of the grounded person in a healthier way.

So run to your favorite bookstore and buy the book or you can simply click on the Earthing: The Most Important Health Discovery Ever? link under Health Resources and Products to the right. To your health!

Get Fit in Just a Few Minutes

A few months ago,  bottomlinesecrets.com ran an article on how to “Get Fit in Just a Few Minutes” by fitness expert Joan Price, author of six books including, The Anytime, Anywhere Exercise Book. Price is a fitness speaker, writer, and instructor whose specialty is helping beginning exercisers start and stick to an exercise program. It’s all about moving just as my new Gracefully Age Program (GAP) is designed to get you to do. Her passion is line dancing and she calls it the most fun you can have without a partner. I love it, too, as described in this post. So I share some of her suggestions to get fit in just a few minutes.

Joan Price says: Lack of time is a primary reason people give for failing to get the recommended 30 to 60 minutes of moderate intensity exercise most days of the week. Admittedly, it can be tough to find such a big chunk of time in your busy schedule.

Here are a few of her suggestions that I like when you’re out and about:

At the gas station — instead of sitting in your car as the gas flows, clean all your windows, alternating the hand that holds

When parking — instead of finding a spot close to your destination, get one a few blocks away.

Upon entering a store — if all the items you need will fit in a shopping basket, choose a basket instead of a cart.

As you shop — if you need a cart, do 10 bicep curls with weightier items — soup cans, juice jugs — before placing them in your cart. (If you feel silly doing this in public, do your bicep curls at home as you put the items in the pantry.)

While waiting in line — work your abdominal muscles. Suck in your belly and tighten your abs… hold for 10 seconds… relax. Repeat five to 10 times. And if that’s not enough, I would add, stand on one leg for a few seconds, then the other to hone your balance skills.

At the end of the day, close your eyes, breathe in and out deeply 10 times, feeling grateful for all that your body was capable of doing during the day. If you had worn a pedometer (which I always do) all day, you would also have an idea of how many steps you walked. Experts recommend 10K steps a day. Here’s a simple pedometer I love.

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Jyoti Sondhi — Lighting the Lamp Within

Guest author Jyoti Sondhi shares her path on how she came to write Lighting the Lamp Within.

Yet many of us seem to miss important turns on this journey. We get caught up in our day-to-day lives. The mind is constantly running after things that we do not possess, or looking after things that we have. I have often wondered why do we feel miserable and suffer when it is our real nature to be in joy and in peace? Why are we looking for happiness outside and not inside of ourselves? Why do we have low self-esteem and insecurities? Why are we looking for external power to feel complete when we are infused with the energy of love? Why do we allow a strong ego to run our lives when humility is our real nature?

I have lived such a life too, for many years until a kind of spiritual experience changed my life completely. The turning point crept quietly into my life some years ago, following Reiki immersion. I call it my spiritual awakening, something that I did not fully understand at that time. I did not know that ordinary people like me could have such a divine experience.

And then the inspirations came to me from the Universe.  I reached a point where I could not hold them and felt the need to express them. That was the start of my blog which led to my book, Lighting the Lamp Within.  One by one,  my life experiences started to make sense and  the jig-saw of my life began to feel complete. The inspirations did not come in any particular order, but when I started to put them into my book, I realized I could broadly arrange them thematically.

Lighting the Lamp Within is a collection of brief essays to help answer some of the questions that we all have as seekers in a simple and practical way. I am sharing what I have learnt in this process about my Self, and about practical lessons in spiritual living. I have identified various  hurdles in our spiritual growth and offered healing and practical techniques for ordinary people to live a spiritually enriched  life with a shift in perspective. I unravel key lessons on spiritual living — lessons that most people would be able to  relate to whatever their faith.

Jyoti Sondhi

These essays may illuminate your spiritual journey or may simply leave food for thought. As you go through this book, do take time to pause and reflect upon the ideas. These may become important landmarks for your own growth.

More information on my book is available at www.lightingthelampwithin.com and discussions on quotes from the book can be found at http://lampwithin.wordpress.com.

Lighting the Lamp Within (ISBN 978-14502-5528-8) is also available at several on-line retailers such as Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

Thanksgiving 2010

Cover of "Attitudes of gratitude"

Cover of Attitudes of gratitude

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving 2010 in the United States. No matter how challenging a situation we may be in, such as caring for someone with advanced Alzheimer’s disease, we all have something to be grateful for. Sometimes it’s just conscious awareness of our surroundings that can wake us up to gratitude in our life.

A good friend of mine gave me a book, Attitudes of Gratitude — How to Give and Receive Joy Every Day of Your Life. It’s a small book, but not one to read at one sitting. I enjoy reading one “thought” just before a quiet meditation. The late Ardath Rodale of Prevention magazine suggested that readers count the number of times they say “thank you” during the day. By turning our attention to it, we will probably increase the number of times we say “thank you.”

Many of us will be celebrating Thanksgiving with a traditional meal of turkey and all the trimmings and pumpkin pie. On CNN news, it was suggested that you use a saucer-size plate. This video also gave other suggestions to make your Thanksgiving healthier. There are so many “makeover” recipes that you can find at various Web sites on the Internet. Do you have a favorite “makeover” healthy recipe that you love? Please share it.

As much as many of us will try to control our eating, it will be difficult. My husband and I have received two invitations for Thanksgiving — lunch and dinner — so I will have my digestive enzymes handy to assist my digestive system. I thank all of you for your support and wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving!

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Discovering “Enough” in 2010 and Beyond

Dianne Eppler Adams

Dianne Eppler Adams

As we launch not only a new year but a new decade in 2010, it is clear many things are changing in our world. Fear of loss and deprivation as a result of the economic crisis, healthcare issues, government and corporate corruption, climate change, global epidemics and more could prevent us from living a happy life. But fear is not the best response to these threats.

I suggest that one powerful survival response is to recognize what is enough. It is an antidote to fear and the answer to finding satisfaction in living. Most of us are warmly clothed, living in comfortable homes surrounded by people we care about. The vast majority of Americans have far more than enough of what they need. Witness our trash piles.

What is enough must be answered by each person individually. A really good definition is “as little as possible and as much as necessary.”

Those who have lived long enough to remember the Great Depression of the 1930s will have no trouble understanding that definition. My mother-in-law still saves aluminum foil and washes out plastic bags for reuse.

Somehow, we lost sight of proportion and the last couple decades have been lived like unlimited growth and expansion could go on forever. Irrational exuberance took over and money and what it could buy became the measure of happiness…or did it?

Yet, just as you cannot breathe out without eventually breathing in, we have arrived at the need to restore the value of non-monetized things like a walk in the Sun, a hug from a loved one, or kind words from a neighbor.

As you begin a new decade, why not begin by first acknowledging what you already have. Before worrying about the future, if you start from appreciating what you have, you might realize that…you already have enough.

May you always have enough of what is really valuable in your life!

Senior guest blogger, Dianne Eppler Adams, is a certified astrologer and has offered life-affirming insights since 1995. Visit her Web site, http://SpiritinMatters.com, to sign up for her monthly newsletter.

First Anniversary of noranagatani.com

happy_anniversary_heartToday is the first anniversary of the birth of this blog. I chose to celebrate an anniversary instead of a birthday because if my parents, Mark and Dorothy Murakami, were still living, it would’ve been their 66th wedding anniversary. I’ve had so much fun in the past year writing this blog and I appreciate everyone who has paused to read my blog. I’ve met some wonderful people and even met two of my California readers in person! How awesome is that?!

Through this experience, I’ve found a special passion for Alzheimer’s and now run  two blogs. You will see more guest bloggers in this blog, amazing seniors I’ve met through a networking group that I co-founded, Women’s Network of Springfield. I know you’ll enjoy their blog posts.

This is the time of year when we think about the many things we are grateful for. Did you know that there’s a science to happiness? Research suggests that gratitude makes us happier and is the key to a longer and more successful life. Robert A. Emmons, PhD, professor of psychology, University of California, Davis, has written a book on the science of gratitude: Thanks! How the New Science of Gratitude Can Make You Happier.

So from the bottom of my heart, I extend my deepest gratitude to all of you and a very special and Happy Thanksgiving!

12 Steps to Healthy Aging

dragonsmokeThe following 12 Steps to Healthy Aging comes from the George Washington University Hospital in Washington, DC. Are you on your way to healthy aging?

  1. Enjoy a diet low in fats and rich in fruits and vegetables.
  2. Get regular physical activity, at least 30 minutes a day.
  3. Have medical tests and screenings on schedule.
  4. Don’t smoke! Avoid secondhand smoke as well.
  5. Keep cholesterol, blood sugar and blood pressure under control.
  6. Watch your weight. Lose weight if needed.
  7. Get enough sleep and rest each day.
  8. Strengthen bones with the calcium, vitamin D and exercise you need.
  9. Always apply sunscreen before going out.
  10. Stimulate your mind with mental games and social contacts.
  11. Take your medications as needed and stay informed about your health.
  12. Think positively and find at least one thing to be grateful for each day.

The last one is my favorite. Recently, I started a gratitude journal. Keeping a gratitude journal changes your attitude in life. Keeping a gratitude journal encourages you to be on the lookout for what you’re grateful for and not for the negativity in life. Some people like to blame external factors (such as other people) for their attitude. But only you can choose your attitude. No one can choose to be happy or grumpy for you.

If you’ve not read FISH! by Stephen Lundin, Harry Paul, and John Christensen, it’s a short parable based on the Pike Place Fish Market in Seattle, Washington. Applicable to everyone, one of the points talked about is that you can choose your attitude. Written for the workplace, it is applicable at home as well. As a senior, you might want to take the lead in your workplace, even if it just starts with you. For more information on the FISH! philosophy, see http://fishphilosophy.com.

Everything happens for a reason and looking for something to be thankful for even in the darkest moment, can help you get through it.  And why just one thing to be grateful for? Why not at least five? Do you keep a gratitude journal? How has that changed your life? I invite you to share.

Here’s to your good health!


Giving Part II

It’s a new year and times are tough. Money is not all you can give. We all know that there are always people in worse situations than we are and there are many ways we can help.

Are there people in your company who are paid the least, but do the most for others? In the last organization I worked for, it was the maid that made breakfast for our department on more than one occasion as a way of thanking us. It cost her money that she did not really have to spare. Now that I’m retired from that organization, I no longer see her, but she calls me just to see how I’m doing. The last call came on the eve of Thanksgiving. It did not cost her anything, but time and thoughtfulness. Is there someone you can call?

Recently I read a book called The Power of Giving. The authors, Azim Jamal and Harvey McKinnon, say that giving in the form of volunteer work has the following benefits.
1. Enhances the immune system
2. Lowers cholesterol levels
3. Strengthens the heart
4. Decreases incidence of chest pains
5. Generally reduces stress

Furthermore, they say if you want happiness, you need to give happiness. It is only in giving that you receive. However, they warn about balance. If you give too much it can result in negative health consequences. When you’re unhealthy, you cannot give. Take care of yourself first so that you can give to others.

Have you ever felt that you’ve given all you can? Azim in The Power of Giving was asked, “How do I give and be kind when I have already done that for twelve hours and yet another customer comes in?” Azim replied: “You have two choices of how to treat the customer – either with a frown or a smile. A smile requires you to use three muscles, while a frown requires sixty-three. You decide: How many muscles do you want to use when you are tired?”

With a smile and a grateful heart, I wish you all the best in 2009!

Please feel free to comment on other non-monetary ways you have given.

Happy Thanksgiving!

With this being the week of Thanksgiving, I thought I’d acknowledge people who have come into my business life recently and let them know how grateful I am for all they have done. I want to thank my coach and mentor, Richard Dennis (www.rootsoftrust.com). Because of his care for his team via conference calls, phone calls, and e-mails and his willingness to share information to insure our success, I finally got my blog up and running. I’d taken a course a couple of years ago and have been thinking about it off and on for many months. But now, it’s a reality. Thanks, Richard.

Another person who is always willing to share what she knows is another coach and mentor, Roxanne Green (www.roxannegreen.com). Her brain must be at least quadruple the size of mine — it is a huge storehouse of information. And the best part is, she shares it and helps everyone who asks for help. She is also very logical and whenever I need another opinion, she will help me look on the other side of the coin. Whenever you opt to join a company, it’s the people that make all the difference. Thanks, Roxanne.

I’m a co-founder of the Women’s Network of Springfield (VA). The other co-founder, Paula Adkins (www.youralteregos.com), and I met about three years ago at a BNI (Business Network International) chapter in Arlington, VA. WNS will celebrate its second anniversary in January. The fact that we’ve worked so well has contributed to the growth of our network and the wonderful friends we’ve made and I’m thankful to have such a great and responsive business partner. Contributing to our growth as well is Sonia Gow (www.soniagow.com) whom I met at about the same time through the Capital Express Network, a subsidiary of the American Business Women’s Association. Sonia works behind the scenes for us to produce professional Constant Contact e-mail. Thanks, Paula and Sonia.

Perhaps the person who works hardest and silently behind the scenes is my husband of 38 years, Ron. Although he does not want to be a part of my business, he takes care of many household duties and leaves me free to work my home-based business which is to fund an educational foundation and to help other people with their network marketing business via Mentoring for Free (http://nora.mentoringforfree.com). How many people are lucky enough to have a husband who will ask, “What time would you like to have breakfast?” … “and lunch” … “and dinner”?! Thanks, Ron.

There are so many things and people to be grateful for that this blog would be endless. I have a wonderful family with two married boys and recently a darling granddaughter was born into the family. I am so fortunate to have the perfect business that enables me to work anywhere in the world so that precious visits to see our granddaughter are possible.

I wish all of you a safe and very Happy Thanksgiving!

What are you most thankful for?

Welcome!

Hello World and welcome to my blog!

This blog is dedicated to everyone who is interested in living life to its fullest before and during retirement — away from prescription drugs and money flowing into their mailbox every week.

This is NOT for you if your thinking is, “Why should I take nutritional supplements? My prescription plan pays for my drugs.” It is also not for you if your mantra is, “I can’t afford to retire” or “I’m retired; I can’t afford it.”

Let’s get away from the negatives. If you’re interested in taking control of your own life, financially and healthwise, then welcome and come along for the ride. I will write periodically and will also invite experts to join me.

Isn’t it true that if you have your health, you have everything? When you have your health and you’re feeling in tip top shape, you can do anything you want. So if you’ve retired or about to retire … today is the start of your life! What ONE thing can you do … what baby step can you take toward getting yourself in shape? How ’bout walking? Get off the sofa, get away from that computer … and start walking. Just 10 minutes to start … perhaps three times a day. That’s a total of 30 minutes! Just do it!

The best things in life are free. What a way to get started on your way to health. But only you can take control of your life.

Personally, I wear a small, simple pedometer. My original goal was 10K steps a day and sometimes I do reach that goal, but considering my lifestyle, I decided that 7K steps/day would work best for me. This was something I added and committed to do after reading The Slight Edge: Secret to a Successful Life by Jeff Olson. He says, “If you learn to apply The Slight Edge, your life will become filled with hundreds of thousands of small, seemingly insignificant actions – all of them easy to do, none of them mysterious, complex or difficult. And those actions will create your success.”

Please join me in walking your way to health….