September is National Recovery Month (from substance use disorders), and October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. As you probably already know, these two issues are often connected. One can cause the other, or at least feed it, and vice versa.
They’re also both associated with shame and silence – the cloak of secrecy that allows self-hatred and harsh self-judgment to thrive and grow. Shine a little light on these issues, talk about them with the right people at the right time (not the ones who will judge and shame you, thank you very much) and the power of shame evaporates.
Here’s a serious question for you: how are you managing the impact of this unusually ugly, mean-spirited election cycle? How do you deal with all the poison?
Yes, I know – we thought the rhetoric two years ago set the bar for “gratuitously nasty”, and we said the same thing two years before that.
Little did we know that this year, we’d set a new standard for down and dirty, and it’s hard to say how much farther down we can slide before hitting rock bottom. Rock bottom seems to be a moving target, but we just may have arrived.
Have you noticed how few bumper stickers and lawn signs are up, promoting a candidate? Surely that’s because people are afraid to get rear-ended on the road, or find rocks sailing through their windows at home. Fury has been unleashed and primitive impulses set loose.
Let’s face it. We aren’t so pretty anymore.
Hello again. Well, it looks like September is Pain Awareness Month, among other things. A lot of afflictions belong to September, but we decided to highlight pain here.
That’s because there are an insane number of people suffering with chronic pain. Here in the United States, it’s primarily from arthritis, back pain and headaches. Not sure about anywhere else, but it’s probably similar.
I’m excited to be going back to my old stompin’ grounds of McLean, Virginia, to offer a workshop for the Center for Pastoral Counseling of Virginia on the power of guided imagery to heal heartbreak and trauma, and to create the conditions for forgiveness.
I was invited to speak by Rev. Becki Porter-Harmon, a wonderful colleague I met in the early 70’s, at a newly founded shelter for teens called Alternative House, where she was hard at work building the program and I was a mental health consultant from the Woodburn Center for Community Mental Health in its earliest days. And here we are now, forty years later, working together again! Wow.
This three-hour workshop is especially geared for pastors, therapists, counselors, health professionals and coaches, but also anyone with an itch to learn more about the power of guided imagery to catalyze deep healing, growth, learning and change, even under the most challenging conditions.
We've got one heck of a bargain going right now here at Health Journeys. It's a GOGO (give one, get one) sale. You can give the gift of a guided imagery download and get a free download of equal or lesser value for yourself. Here's the catch: you need to follow these steps and act fast, because the deal ends Thursday night.
So, we continue with our back-to-basics advice on how to get the most out of your guided imagery or meditation sessions, and a few things that are good to keep in mind. For newcomers or old hands, it never hurts to be reminded of some of these things. So here we go: a few more pointers.
It’s been great to see the enthusiastic response the new meditation audios by Traci Stein and Julie Lusk are getting. We’re especially seeing Traci’s Self-Compassion meditations and Julie’s Yoga Nidra flying off the shelves.
And speaking of effective guided meditation, we figure it’s a good idea, now and then, to go over some basic advice on how to get the most out of your guided imagery or meditation sessions. For newcomers or old hands, it never hurts to be reminded of some of these things.
We’re so happy to see so many people downloading our new, free HJ Player app at iTunes, so they can quickly and easily load their Health Journeys audios into their iPhones and other Apple devices.
Of course, our staff continues to answer your questions and walk you through the process, should any of this be a strange, new world to you.
So, this means that from now on, when you order one of our HJ downloads, we’ll send you the link to this spiffy, new app – a free, top-of-the-line, Apple-style player. We've got a deal for you if you've previously purchased MP3 downloads from our website...
I remember when we used to drop our kids off at pre-K, the teachers would shoo us out of the vicinity ASAP, knowing that if one or two helicopter moms or dads stuck around, wringing their hands and signaling concern, there’d be kids who couldn’t stop crying until after they left. (Often this miraculous transformation would occur within 6 seconds of their exit.)
We used to joke with each other: who exactly had the separation anxiety, anyway – the kids or us parents?
The fact is, at any age and under any circumstances, going back to school and entering a new grade with new teachers, structure, classmates and expectations stirs up anxiety. Anxiety, after all, is the kissing cousin of excitement. Both play a part in the start of a new school year, and both involve adrenaline – the biochemistry is pretty similar.
We hope you've sampled Julie Lusk’s new guided meditation audio, Yoga Nidra: Guided Meditations for Relaxation & Renewal. The downloadable tracks have been available for a couple of weeks, but the CDs are arriving this week and will ship as soon as we get them.
We’d been getting steady requests for a yoga nidra offering, and knew there’d be a strong response, but the enthusiasm and demand has surprised and delighted us.
Listen to what Julie herself has to say about yoga nidra – it’s pretty compelling.