Tag Archives: reducing stress

Cover for Your Body of Light

Inner Alchemy: Cultivate Your Body of Light

Taoist sages lived with passion and purpose as part of their philosophical belief that an energy body, or body of light, connects each individual to the universe as a whole.

Using this energy body, Taoists learned how to align themselves with their highest potential, something that everybody today can learn to do.

Your Body of Light: Energetic Practices for Better Health, Emotional Balance, and Higher Consciousness (Sounds True) is an audio course presented by qigong expert Lee Holden, designed to encourage listeners to cultivate their own body of light using various techniques and meditations.

Qigong Master Shares Knowledge

Lee HoldenLee Holden is a qi gong instructor known around the world. His first experience with this transformative healing practice came following sports injuries. Realizing how powerful qigong was in healing his body, Holden began practicing regularly. Today, Holden teaches t’ai chi, qigong, and various stress management techniques using his knowledge as a certified Chinese medical doctor and acupuncturist.

In addition to releasing several audio and DVD programs designed to help people rediscover their health and vitality, Holden is the author of Seven Minutes of Magic: Recharge Your Body Each Day with Qi Gong (Penguin). He is also co-founder of the Santa Cruz Integrative Medicine and Chi Center.

Taoist Energy Techniques

Ancient Taoists were “inner alchemists,” meaning they used energy from life forces to search out universal truths. They also often questioned, “Who are you?” in order to continuously search for deeper meaning and connections. In Your Body of Light: Energetic Practices for Better Health, Emotional Balance, and Higher Consciousness, Holden guides listeners through various Taoist energy practices, ones that are not often taught in the Western world. The goal of learning these techniques is to encourage listeners to harness their life energy and consistently question, “Who am I?”

Holden leads listeners through a variety of qigong exercises and meditations, techniques that are useful for combatting stress, sleep problems, worries, and other common everyday problems. Holden teaches an effective stress-reducing technique called “The Inner Smile.” He also explains “Pearl of Consciousness,” a method of learning to find an individual’s personal place of power within the universe.

Your Body of Light is a learning program that prepares one’s soul and spirit for what’s to come after this lifetime. As part of this preparation, Holden teaches the “Breath of Life,” which is various ways to engage one’s qi—or life energy—as well as techniques to attune the mind and spirit with the physical body—such as with the “Three Treasures,” promoting long, healthy living.

Find Your Body of Light

Cover for Your Body of LightAvailable as an audio download or an 8 CD set with a study guide, Your Body of Light is a resourceful program for people searching greater relaxation and connection with self and with the universe. Complete with a volume of Taoist philosophy, energy practices, and guided meditations, Your Body of Light is a useful guide to developing daily practices and routines for healthy physical, emotional, and spiritual living.

For more information, please click > Your Body of Light: Energetic Practices for Better Health, Emotional Balance, and Higher Consciousness

Renew Your Energy with 15 Self-Care Actions

The stresses we encounter in day-to-day living can take a toll on our energy reserves.

Consider a few examples: watching too much television or listening to the world events on the news. These situations can invoke fear responses and become energy drains.

When we feel heavy, a little self-care can help us restore our vitality and energy. If you have been feeling a bit low or are in need of a boost, it may be a great time to do some of these self-love activities to help you stay balanced and resourceful.

15 Renewal Exercises

Two Friends on Chair Lift

  1. Spend some time in nature with a friend going for a walk or an outdoor excursion. Talk about things for which you are grateful.
  2. Practice some deep breathing. As you exhale, imagine your body releasing any sadness or grief. As you inhale, welcome in love and universal wisdom.
  3. Go on a media diet. If you find yourself watching too much television or news, put yourself on a media diet or fast. If you want to stay current, try reading the headline articles in your local newspaper or read the news online instead. By reading the news online, you can learn about current events in 10 or 15 minutes a day versus the hours that you may spend watching television.
  4. Learn something new. Get with a friend who has a skill you would like to learn, or schedule a class in something you are interested in.
  5. Make something. Creative energy always helps us feel empowered!
  6. Volunteer some time to help a friend or a cause that you find meaningful.
  7. Pets are naturally healing. Spend time with pets or animals. Take them for a walk, or give them some extra attention.
  8. A Tree's Healing EnergySpend time in nature’s healing energy, such as going for a swim, walking through a forest, or spending time in your garden.
  9. Learn a “healing or helping” skill. Then share it!
  10. Start a new hobby in an area that interests you, or you feel would make you happy.
  11. Free up some energy. Clean out your closets, and give things you no longer need or have outgrown to those who may want or need them.
  12. Write a story or a poem, and express something you value or feel is important.
  13. Invite a few friends over and teach them something you know that you feel would be fun, inspiring, or helpful.
  14. Fix something that is broken, or give an item a new and refreshing look.
  15. Let someone know you care! Write to a friend or send them a thoughtful, free e-mail card. A two-way conversation is even better! Just pick up the phone and call someone you have been thinking about. You may find they have also been thinking of you.

The Ripples of Creativity

We have learned from Alana that when one individual takes a creative action, it ripples through the whole and helps everyone. The more reactive energy we generate contributes to a downward spiral that is easy to get caught up in.

May any or all of these 15 self-love, self-care action tips spark your imagination and help you feel better and lighter! As we support each other in becoming lighter, our perceptions can begin to see a brighter and more loving world.

—Kirk VandenBerghe

Helping is Healing: The Creation of Art & Creativity for Healing

Color is a language that allows people to express the emotional and social burdens of abuse, illness, grief, or stress.

Art & Creativity for Healing is an organization offering participants opportunities for healing through various fine art classes and workshops.

This organization was started by Laurie Zagon in Laguna Niguel, California in 2000. It is a non profit organization funded entirely from generous donations from foundations, corporations, and individuals.

Healing Through Art

Art for Healing Book

Art for Healing Book - Includes Instruction For Starting a Healing Center

Emerging from the idea of artist and author of Art for Healing: Painting Your Heart Out (AuthorHouse) Laurie Zagon, this organization has flourished and assisted countless children, teens, and adults with various healing opportunities. Her Zagon Method for healing with art was first executed in a workshop in 1987. From there, Zagon went on to found Art & Creativity for Healing.

The mission of Art & Creativity for Healing is to “support emotional healing through art and creative expression for those living in pain, grief, fear, or stress.” This non-profit organization was designed to offer everyone from child through to adult an opportunity for creative expression using paint on canvas as a release from the emotional struggles of abuse, illness, grief, or stress.

Benefits of Creative Healing

The art classes and workshops offered through Art & Creativity for Healing give people a platform from which to express their personal experiences—from encountering chronic or terminal illness, child abuse, substance abuse, and more—in a creative and healing manner.

Art allows people:

  • to achieve a great self-awareness;
  • to recognize their strength for the ability to confront many emotions; and
  • an opportunity to communicate their thoughts and feelings when sometimes words cannot be expressed properly.

Art & Creativity for Healing operates from donations by foundations, corporations, and individuals. This non-profit entity has an online store from which people can purchase various items—such as Zagon’s publications, educational DVDs, workshop kits, art supplies, and more—with the profits from the sale of these items going towards the organization’s operation.

Learn more about > Art & Creativity for Healing

Art for Healing: Helping is Healing

The following is the transcription of Laurie and some of her program’s participants talking about the program Laurie designed to help those suffering from various traumas move past them into a more resourceful state of being.

Young Girl: My name is Sarah and I’m 8 years old. And what brought me here was my little sister Elizabeth who died. I was sad and happy at the same time, because she was going to a better place, but I felt sad because she left us here, and I thought about how much fun a baby sister would’ve been.

Woman: We’re all kind of integrated, of some sort. And we’re all a big masterpiece of this giant painting. And each of us have a very important part in life. And how, if you allow it, there will be people and there will be resources and chances available to just kind of let you deal and heal and cope.

Laurie Zagon: There are so many people right here in our community that are hurting. There’s so many people here—children, adults, an entire family—that are hurting because they’ve had something traumatic happen to their lives. This program helps them to process those feelings.

Gannen’s Perspective

Young Boy: Hi, I’m Gannen Eck, and I’m 12 years old, and when I was 8 I was diagnosed with severe aplastic aneamia—that’s bone marrow failure. And so I had to take 30 pills a day—15 at night and 15 in the morning—and get my blood drawn every night and get a shot every morning. So, it wasn’t very fun. I rarely ever got to see my family.

Yeah, I’m completely cured. I can do whatever I want. I’m a normal healthy kid now. I still come to Art & Creativity for Healing because it’s just so much fun! It’s painting . . . it’s my life. I love to paint and draw and I love to do art.

Art & Creativity is a help to children and adults, anybody who’s been emotionally hurt or sick in the hospital, so it’s a great program for all kids and adults and teens. For everybody to just get out their feelings on a canvas with some paints and stuff.

The Language of Color

Laurie Zagon

Laurie Zagon

Laurie: The beauty of the program is that you don’t have to be an artist to do this program. Anyone can do it, young and old.

But the beauty of the program truly is that it’s teaching people a new language. It’s the language of color and painting on canvas. You don’t have to be an artist. You don’t have to know how to draw a straight line. All you have to do is sit down and allow us to take you through a series of questions that you answer with colors and shapes on canvas.

It’s a lot of fun, but it’s also a very cathartic experience. It helps people to release a lot of the pressure cooker steam that sometimes has built up from emotional things that happen in our daily lives.

Art Helps in Ways Words Cannot

Woman: I had emotional trauma growing up, but as an adult I had one of my children die of bone cancer. That was really the most traumatic thing that happened in our lives. My son Brandon was diagnosed with bone cancer when he was 14 1/2. He was a really neat, healthy, active kid.

When the diagnosis came, my son Brandon kind of straightened himself up and said, “You mean I could die because my hip hurts?” I said, “Yeah, you could.”

I miss him awful. I have worked for years to try to help myself get past the deep grief, and I’ve spent a lot of money doing that. But until I came to Art & Creativity, I really was stuck. And doing a couple of the courses related to grief has helped me tremendously.

To the community, I would ask that you be generous to this organization which goes out and helps so many people in so may places, in hospitals, in institutionalized settings. They help people of all ages, from young children through the teens, and through mature in life.

Art does it in a way that words never can.

Laurie: It’s normal to have stress. Everybody has stress. So the Art & Creativity program really is designed for every human being that wants to take a class. The language of color and painting on canvas is something universal, and I think that’s why we’re successful. Mostly because it’s easy, and anyone can do it and it’s fun, but it also has a way of tapping into areas that maybe people need to release by putting some colorful strokes of paint on canvas.

Healing Families & Individuals

Family During Trying TimesMother of family: We found Art & Creativity a few years ago when we moved to California from the east. It just kind of sounded like a great organization, and I decided that I kind of wanted to get involved. And then the day before the Pallette of Colors dinner last year I was diagnosed with breast cancer. So as I was going through chemo and everything, I kind of brought the family here to . . . so Art & Creativity could help them be a family and process everyones’ feelings about my cancer.

When I got the diagnosis of breast cancer . . . your world kind of stops. And it just went really vast. And then you have to come home and have a family meeting and tell the kids, and it was just really hard.

Son: One night we had like a big meeting. We talked about how mom was getting breast cancer, and then everyone started crying. Even me.

Mother: I think donations are needed to Art & Creativity because cancer and other diseases, I’m sure, really don’t just affect the person, they affect the whole family. And by going through this and by seeing other families and by going to support groups and just seeing that there’s such a need, and I think that there’s more work to be done.

Program Funding Needs for Art & Creativity for Healing

Laurie: We need your help. We would like to be able to have more and more programs and more and more places that we can reach people that are hurting. We need your help. We need your dollars. Any dollar amount makes a difference to us.

It is so important that you understand that every little bit helps. But I also want you to know that from the bottom of my heart, thank you. Because we could not have done it without you.

Hit By a Rainbow

Laurie Zagon - Daniel's Integrity

Laurie Zagon - Daniel's Integrity

During the early days, Zagon’s illustrations were published in a well known table top, affirmation book in 1989 by Ballantine Books. It’s Never to Late To Have a Happy Childhood: Inspiration for Inner Healing was authored by Claudia Black, M.S.W., Ph.D. It was one of the early books on the Law of Attraction, and Zagon’s illustrations were chosen to accompany the use of the book’s affirmations. Black is internationally recognized for her pioneering and contemporary work with family systems and addictive disorders. Along with It’s Never to Late To Have a Happy Childhood, Black has authored a very long list of self-help books, CDs, and DVDs .

Zagon created the Hit by a Rainbow film back in 1990, about the same time as her art was accepted for Black’s book. This 28 minute video is well worth watching. In this short film, viewers gain insight into the unfolding of Zagon’s life path that brought her to where she is today. She shares her insights and passion as an artist, her observations about light, color, and movement. Viewers can clearly sense how her “inner joy” brought her art alive and how taking each inspired step  lead to the creation of the Art & Creativity for Healing Organization.

Many artists don’t act on their creative urges due to some type of perception or creative block. Most show up as self-judgment, anxiety, or stress. But, by allowing that initial step, a person can open a vast door of possibility. As you can see by watching Zagon’s Hit by a Rainbow many lives were touched along the way. How inspiring to witness how the simple first step of following joy opens a door to helping others, and goes on to create much more than first ever imagined.

Watch the Video

Visit Zagon’s website > Laurie Zagon Art & Creativity

The Mindfulness Code: Keys for Overcoming Stress, Anxiety, Fear, and Unhappiness by Donald Altman

Many of us find during the week there are days we feel rushed, running on empty, and wishing we had add a few more hours to the day.

Or we wish we had a few more days to the week and so on.

If you’re a member of today’s fast paced society there’s little doubt that at one time or another you’ve felt this way.

Depending on the exact specs of your life you may feel this way often or rarely. Either way, it doesn’t feel good and in fact may be damaging to your health; body, mind, and soul.

clock hanging on ceilingThis is why we wanted to alert you to Donald Altman’s most recent book, “The Mindfulness Code,” which teaches you how to get out of this type of life – actually the thinking – that keeps you feeling like you’re a clock watcher, running on a treadmill and the speeds just a bit too fast.

In The Mindfulness Code: Keys for Overcoming Stress, Anxiety, Fear, and Unhappiness, Altman teaches the reader what exactly is going on in the brain – or brain science. He then takes the reader on an easy to understand journey into active ways to really re-wire your own brain to disable these thoughts and patterns that tend to overwhelm us.

Step Out of the Rat Race of Pain with Mindfulness

Altman, a former Buddhist monk, now a practicing psychotherapist, teaches the reader how to get in touch with his or her own reactive thought patterns which cause stress, anger, anxiety, and fear.

These negative emotions seem to becoming more and more the ‘norm’ for how people in our society feel on a daily basis.

These negative feelings not only impact our jobs, our relationships with family, friends, and loved ones but also our health. When we’re stressed the infamous “stress hormone” cortisol increases. This stress hormone is now being linked to cancers, and other chronic diseases like heart disease.

The Seeker of Peace will Find It in Mindfulness

peaceful insideIf you feel at all like you’d like to be more in touch with yourself, less stressed or anxious, and not running on the treadmill like a mindless mouse, then The Mindfulness Code is a good match for you.

In forty-four chapters, and 273 pages, Altman will clue you in on what’s really going on when we argue, react, and feel stressed out in general.

Learn to turn what you used to see as the negative into positive, learning experiences that enrich your life and the lives of the ones you hold dear.

Science, Spirituality, and Mindfulness Meet

Altman teaches the reader through science, words, and case studies that there are four vital keys for living a healthy, fulfilled, and happy life; The Mind Key, The Body Key, The Spirit Key, and The Relationship Key.

This book is a one of kind tool that not only tells you’re the science behind what’s going on, but gives you real life ways to apply this to your life for peace and harmony in all you do.

The Mindfulness CodeAs you look at the “rat race” we’ve all become part of it’s hard to know exactly how to get out while still being a productive part of society. The Mindfulness Code takes you step by step to a life you may have yearned for but didn’t know how to reach.

Deepen your relationships, turn turmoil into triumph, enjoy the day to day life you live, and become even more productive with less stress and more creativity.

This is a phenomenal book that all who are suffering in our world today would benefit from reading and applying to their lives.

To read other great reviews visit Amazon > The Mindfulness Code