meditation

Its a Wonderful Life

its a wonderful life image 3

I have been feeling like Jimmy Stewart in the movie It’s a Wonderful Life” !

This summer, I was given the chance to go back in time to visit my college roommate, my family, and my grade school friends and through this journey, I realized the impact I have had on other people.  Don’t get me wrong, I never thought I was useless, but I also never realized how a smiling, positive child who wrote this in her yearbook “ I still believe in love, the best is yet to come” could have left an indelible positive impression on so many people.  It was a reminder to me (40 years later) that all of us put out energy every day that either improves people’s lives including your own or makes them worse.  And through our positive energy we can  affect physical and emotional  health and well-being.

Grateful for RPCoaching  Grateful for flowers 225  Grateful for food

Here are a ten ways (some may surprise you) to keep your energy positive for you and all around you.

  1. Be grateful – as Mindvalley Founder,Vishen Lakhiani author of The Code of the Extraordinary Mind, says, Gratitude is the key part of advancing your Blissipline practice. Quoting now, in a study by Robert Emmonds, PhD and Michael Mccullough, PhD “people who simply wrote down five things they were thankful for from the previous week showed a 25 percent difference in happiness levels compared to people who wrote down five negative things from the week.”
  2. Forgive everyone who has hurt you. You don’t have to tell them, but you really do need to release the anger from inside you, which ends up hurting your energy more than the person you are angry with. Lakhiani also has some interesting evidence of the power of this practice.  According to Lakhiani, forgiveness has been shown to increase the Alpha waves when looking at brain scans and it turns out that Alpha Waves are linked to higher levels of creativity, empathy and compassion.
  3. Surround yourself with beauty – flowers, cute dogs, music that inspires. It is hard to stay unhappy when you are surrounded by beauty.
  4. Turn off as many of the negative messages that you can, including TV and social media. I do not read any rants anymore.  It upsets me and I really don’t believe ranting ever leads to positive change.  I once read getting angry about things is like stabbing yourself. Especially if someone else has figuratively stabbed you with whatever action you didn’t like.  Why do you want to put a second knife in your belly?
  5. Do kind things for other people, whenever possible. It is amazing how good you feel when you are charitable to others. A recent study quoted in Mindbodygreen showed that random acts of kindness lead to longer feelings of happiness than shopping.
  6. Figure out what it is that you like about yourself and remind yourself of your good qualities daily. “I have a nice smile.  I make people laugh.  I work hard” are some of the qualities I like about myself.
  7. This is the surprising one. Be careful of what you eat.  All food has energy.  Make sure the energy from that food is clean and positive.  In other words, the food should be made with love and should be grown in a way that does not put toxic energy into you.
  8. Make your home a sanctuary —keep it clean and uncluttered when possible. I have not studied Feng Shu, but I know I feel better when my home looks, feels and smells clean.
  9. Make sure your relationships, your career and your creative energy bring you joy. Nothing is perfect, but you are much more likely to attract and manifest positive energy if you are engaged in what you are doing. (In other words, find something that allows you to get into the flow) Lahkiani calls this “Bending Reality”
  10. Exercise and meditate daily – take a walk in nature, do yoga, sit in silence and breath and allow the collective positive energy of the Universe to infuse every cell with this living breathing sphere we live on known as earth.

I am pleased to have three opportunities to spread my brand of happiness to you.   Check out my yoga classes, my jewelry designs or my health tips using doTERRA  essential oils. Connect with me at andrea@heavenlanecreations.com.

 

I wish you health and joy in your day!

Namaste, Andrea

Tennis Golf Yoga ClassesOn Location Yoga Classes EsteroPrivate Yoga Classes Lee County

Heaven Lane Yoga – Designing custom yoga classes to meet your physical, emotional and health needs.

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How to Make Your New Year’s Resolutions Last

Andrea close up mountain pose on beach

 

2016 has arrived and with it renewed determination to change our lives for the better.  So why do New Year’s Resolutions especially those involving our health and relationships invariably fail?

According to one of my mentors,   Yoga Teacher and Life Coach Nicole DeAvilla, ” only 8% of the people successfully achieve their resolutions.” She and many Andrea Beautiful pidgeon pose full size_edited-1others who have studied this trend believe it is because a resolution is not easily turned into a new habit. “We ride the wave of enthusiasm then when that subsides, there isn’t the habit, the mindset, or more importantly, the rewired brain patterns that will sustain us one we get caught up in the usual distractions and always present mundane aspects of life” she says.

So how do you rewire your brain.  You may have guessed what I am going to say… a daily practice of yoga and meditation.  Yoga and Meditation Effects on Rewiring the Brain is a hot topic being studied.

  • A UCLA study showed meditators had better preserved brains than non-meditators
  • A Yale University study showed that mindfulness meditation practice quiets the “monkey mind” the part of the brain that is always wandering, ruminating, and worrying about the past and future.
  • A Harvard study showed that 8 weeks of meditating can actually increase the thickness of the hippocampus, the part of the brain that governs learning and memory. At the same time, decreasing the cell volume in another part of the brain, the amygdala responsible for the feelings of fear, stress and anxiety.                                                                (Alice G. Walton, Forbes Magazine on line)

Andrea  sitting up straight and tall on the dock from the sideSo how does this work?  According to the Chopra Center, the “deep state of rest produced by meditation triggers the brain to release neurotransmitters, including dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin and endorphins –naturally occurring brain chemicals linked to different aspects of happiness.” In general when you feel happier, you are more likely to stick with program or plan.

The yoga connection has also been written about extensively. According to Jenni Rawlings, a yoga teacher and blog writer, yoga is all about taking what we learn on the mat,  including deep breathing, softening muscles, clearing the mind and being present and bringing it off the mat into our daily lives. “These are the techniques that break bad habits, eliminate negativity, and diminish stress,” she concludes.

So try adding Yoga and Meditation to your 2016 list of resolutions and see how much it helps with all your other resolutions.  Let me help you achieve your 2016 New Year’s resolutions. I offer two public yoga classes at Happehatchee; Wednesdays at 11 am and Saturdays at 9 am. Otherwise, I am available for private and semi private yoga classes or on-line consultations. See the Heaven Lane Yoga page.

Monday Mantra sankalpa

To learn more about my yoga offerings, please check out my website, my on-line profile through Thumbtack Professionals or my YouTube Videos.

I wish you health and joy in your day and in 2016!

Namaste, Andrea

Tennis Golf Yoga ClassesOn Location Yoga Classes EsteroPrivate Yoga Classes Lee County

Heaven Lane Yoga – Designing custom yoga classes to meet your physical, emotional and health needs.

Connect with me!

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Heaven Lane Yoga

Andrea Trank
Heaven Lane Creations
HeavenLaneCreations.com

Meditation is on the Monday Menu

Andreasilhouettecropped

Have you every obsessed about your weight?  I have been obsessing over my weight my whole life.

MomonAtlanticCItyboardwalk

When you have a mother who looked like a movie star and won Ms. Atlantic City Boardwalk because of her slim beautiful body, its ingrained in you. My mother  even looked good just a few month after giving birth to me.  That’s  a hard act to follow.

 

Mom and me when I was 1 1/2

Mom and me when I was 1 1/2

 

See the family picture below to see what I looked like right after Gabe was born.  I weighed 200 lbs and my extended family decided this was the time to do the big family portrait…. in fact, the one and only family portrait.  So I get to remind myself of how easily my body can go up and down  60 lbs ever time I look at this picture.  For years, I obsessed about getting all my nutritional needs. What was I going to eat and when exactly was I going to eat? These kinds of questions occupied a great deal of mental activity. It became background noise in my brain. This may  have been the direct result of a year in my life back in the early 2000’s when my stomach could not even adequately digest my food so I ended up juicing most of my meals.  In 2000, I was diagnosed with an odd disease known as Gastro -paresis.

 Summer 1998

Summer 1998

The medicines that I was put on caused chemical depression.   I lost 40 lbs or so and was told I might have to go on a feeding tube.  I eventually weaned myself off all medicines and re-trained my body to eat and started gaining weight again from a low of 120 lbs. (which is very thin for my frame).  That is the also year I started practicing yoga seriously.  It was my lifeline.  I started to see my sensitive stomach and my sensitive nature in general as a blessing, not just a bane. Awareness of my internal landscape could be a compass to point me in the direction of health and wellness. I could learn to control and understand the nature of the background noise.

Andrea doing squat at Happehatchee

Since that time I have been on a quest to find the right eating plan for me.  It continues to be a work in progress, which is the impetus for doing the weekly Monday Menu.   Meditation has a role in today’s Monday Menu.  During my morning 12 minute meditation, I had an epiphany.   I was going to reverse the order of what I ate! Here is how it goes:  Since I am trying to eat my main meal in the middle of the day, its about figuring out how to get in the rest of nutrition in a way that works with the desire to not eat much in the evening.  So instead of grabbing a breakfast bar (usually a Kind bar) before running out in the morning, why not try gluten free oatmeal with fruit and almond milk. Midday, when possible, will be the big healthy lunch and then the Kind bar with a cup of tea to stave off hunger and a sweet tooth in the evening.

healthyfoodfrom planet freshedited

So here is where meditation comes in! Why do ideas come during meditation you might ask?  “I thought you weren’t supposed to be thinking about anything during meditation.  Clearing your mind… right?”  Well maybe.  However, the “monkey mind” as it is known is hard to clear.  So sitting in meditation waiting for that moment might leave you a bit disappointed and possibly feeling like a failure.  Meditation, as one of  my teachers explained, is a daily practice just like brushing your teeth.  You do it every day because it is good for you… and every once in a while, you may end up with an epiphany.

 

Namaste,  Andrea

 

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