July 2019 Evolving Magazine

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July 2019 ~ Volume XI, Issue 5

Evolving A Guide for Conscious Living


Love Your Brain to Great Health How Thoughts and Emotions Affect Your Health

Do You Choose Fear or Peace?

Plus... CBD: What’s the Buzz?


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Dear Friend,


Albert Einstein said, “Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving.” It’s that way with brain health, too. You have to keep moving, learning, and working toward improvement to keep the brain fit. What does the term “brain health” even mean? It’s the ability to learn, concentrate, remember, plan, and maintain a focused and active mind. To do so takes a balancing act of physical exercise, nutrition, mental stimulation; keeping basic health parameters in check like blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol; and, preventative measures like protecting the head, moderating alcohol consumption, avoiding tobacco products, tending your emotions, and having a social network. It’s an intricate balance—and while we can’t control genetic factors, we can all strive to achieve certain goals of health as we age. Things we can control when it comes to brain health:  Get moving—research shows that exercise helps the brain create new brain cells (neurons) and possibly slows age-related brain shrinkage. Simply taking a daily walk can benefit the brain.  Exercise the brain and never stop learning. Research shows that exercising the brain can slow mental decline in old age. So stay curious, read, write, play games, attend lectures and plays, take classes, garden, and work your brain “muscle.”  Eat well. Choose the rainbow of colors and ingest the antioxidants and nutrients from fruits and vegetables. Nuts and seeds, as well as healthy oils, and of course wild caught salmon, are all shown to increase brain health. Plus dark chocolate. We can’t forget dark chocolate…  Stay social. Whether it’s a book club, hiking group, volunteering, or just taking time to sit down and connect with friends, we’re a bonding species and social connections help our mental and physical health.


How Thoughts and Emotions Affect Health


Love Your Brain to Great Health 11


This is a new topic for Evolving Magazine, so enjoy the variety of articles we have this month on ways to keep your brain healthy, whether through mindfulness, self-care, or getting your emotions in check.

The Benefits of Mindfulness

Jill Dutton 16

Stay Connected all Month! *Read the magazine online: www.EvolvingMagazine.com *Like us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/EvolvingMagazine *Follow us on Twitter: @EvolvingMag


Publisher Jill Dutton 913-944-1298 jill@evolvingmagazine.com

Editorial Assistants Judy Kirkpatrick Chrisi Spooner Polly Swafford

Web Layout/Design Christine Lamb Advertising Karen E. Cowdry Jill Dutton Monthly Columnists Jude LaClaire, Aluna Michaels, Nancy Russell, Sandra Silva

News Journey to Wholeness Revelations Holistic Health Summer/Fall Events Guide Eating Well in KC Horoscope Events

4 5 6 9 10 12 17 19


EVOLVING© 2019 all rights reserved. The opinions expressed are those of the authors. The articles in EVOLVING are not meant to represent any form of medical or psychiatric care. No portion of the publication may be reproduced without express written permission from the publisher.


A native Irishman, Derrick Montgomery and his wife Linda alternate their time between Kansas and Northern Ireland. Derrick says of his art, “The Kingfisher symbolizes peace and prosperity. This ‘King of Fishers’ spreads his wings before diving for the morning catch.” Learn more at http://artytarty.xyz/.



16th Annual Remembrance Walk

S.O.L BEAUTY LINE S.O.L (Strains of Life) is a pioneer in the production of premium CBD (cannabidiol) infused products that provide natural healing of the mind and body. In addition to its high quality ingestibles, the company is one of the few in the industry to offer a complete collection of CBD-based facial and body care formulas, covering every skin care need, including hydration, anti-aging and reducing inflammation.

as the eyes and neck/décolletage. • Each product contains 20% CBD made from American-grown hemp. • In addition, the products contain a number of skin care “super ingredients” like retinol, collagen, hyaluronic • A line of full spectrum CBD acid, peptides, avocado, green tea infused beauty products that and more. together form a complete skin Learn more about S•O•L care regimen, including cleansing products at https://sol.md/ and toning products, moisturizing and anti-aging products, and specialty formulas. for such areas

The Travel Wrap You Can Wear 4 Different Ways Women on the go need a wardrobe that keeps up with them. When it comes to your busy lifestyle, Mer-Sea understands your need for a multitasking essential. This summer, pack light without losing options with a Cotton Tassel Wrap. This one piece can be worn as a wrap, scarf, sarong and dress cover-up. Made in India from lightweight cotton, tassels dress it up just enough to wear by the pool or over a dress. Unlike many travel wraps that need to be dry cleaned, this wrap is machine washable (preferably

in a delicate bag to protect the tassels) but loves to hang-dry. Need a bon voyage gift for a friend? It comes beautifully packaged in a slim cotton bag. This summer, travel well, travel often and travel light with MerSea. For more information, visit https://www.mersea.com/.

This year will mark the 16th anniversary of a walk to remember those who have lost their lives to suicide, homicide, fire, accident, and other traumatic deaths. The remembrance walk will be held at Loose Park, 51st and Wornall in Kansas City, Missouri, on Sunday, September 8, at 9:00 a.m. with walk-up registration at 8:00 a.m. It is sponsored by SASS-MoKan, a 501

(c)(3) not-for-profit suicide awareness survivor support organization (http://www.sassmokan.com/).

Embodied Posture, Yoga That Recognizes Bio-Individuality Author Stacy Dockins releases her first book, Embodied Posture. Dockins guides readers through the Embodied Posture Method, lending practical tools and information that can be immediately applied to the mat. Embodied Posture empowers readers to align yoga postures to best suit one’s uniqueness. Stacy Dockins developed Embodied Posture Methodology, or EPM, as an approach that would integrate bio-individuality and long-term, sustainable functional wellness. In EPM, each posture is presented as a collection of movement actions, enabling one to skillfully deconstruct and reconstruct them for maximum benefit. Clear, brilliant photographs, combined with detailed anatomical illustrations,


show the inner workings of the poses. Discussions of possible structural limitations and common injuries, as well as helpful modifications, are included. Plus, Stacy’s exploratory cues will guide one to experience various sensations available in the postures. EPM will show both students and teachers how to critically approach postural alignment. Yoga poses will be more accessible and effective than ever before. Stacy Dockins has dedicated over 25 years of her life to studying the human body and teaching yoga. Embodied Posture is Stacy’s first book.

Journey to Wholeness


Do You Choose Fear or Peace? BY JUDE LACLAIRE, PH.D.


n ancient teaching of unknown origin tells us of a young boy listening to his grandfather teaching him about two warring wolves that live inside of us. One is filled with anger, hatred, greed, arrogance, fear and other destructive thoughts and feelings. The other is filled with peace, joy, love, humility, empathy, and other constructive thoughts and feelings. The child asks, “Which one will win?” The grandfather replies, “The one you feed.” The most primal of these emotions is fear. We are wired to detect danger or a perceived threat. Fear activates our fight-orflight response by stimulating the hypothalamus, which directs the sympathetic nervous system and the adrenal-cortical system to prepare our bodies for danger. This can happen suddenly or as a slow drip of anxiety that becomes a dread. Though many of the dangers in our environment no longer exist, new ones have appeared to frighten us. We also live in a time in which information is widely disseminated around the world. The source of this data, delivered by different forms of electronic media in varying forms, has embodied the message of fear. This can activate our primal fear response. At this point we have a choice. Which wolf do we feed? Do we feed the thinking/feeling process that engages with fear that may disable us, or redirect the brain circuitry in a direction of peace, calm, and conscious action? Much of what activates us into the fear pathway is not an actual threat. According to researcher Ted Able, sixty percent of what we fear never occurs, twenty percent is about the past, ten percent is about petty things, which make little difference, and only four to five percent of the last ten percent are actual threats. Mark Twain said, “I have been through some terrible things in my life, some of which actually happened.” The first course of action is to pause, take deep, diaphragmatic breaths, and begin to assess the

At this point we have a choice.Which wolf do we feed? situation more clearly. When people express fear about something, I have found that it is often based on little information or distorted information from questionable sources, brief experiences or the related experiences of others, and is often out of the context of the whole picture. When we pause and breathe, we change our brain chemistry by sending it endorphins and feel-good hormones. This helps us change the cortisol and fear hormones that may be propelling us to fear, anger, or aggression. In a situation like a car accident, the adrenalin is necessary to push us to immediate action. In so many other possible situations, a slower response will help us re-imagine the fearful specter into a manageable experience. People who have experienced great trauma, illness, loss, or other forms of suffering often relate their story of finding peace, love, and meaning. Think of Viktor Frankl in the concentration camp re-imagining his future in a more hopeful way. He spent his

lifetime helping people establish hope and meaning instead of fear. Sometimes it helps to ask the question, “What is the worst thing that could happen?” As we explore each succeeding possibility, we often realize that we could deal with it. Fear and anxiety have a way of making things look much bigger and scarier than they are in reality. Maurice Sendak, in Where the Wild Things Are, shows Max confronting the scary wild creatures by looking at them directly in their eyes and saying, “Be still!” And they made him the king of the wild things. This metaphor gives us a delightful way to think about facing our fears. As children or adults we face ‘wild things’ that frighten us. Taking charge of a situation in a calm manner creates positive results. When Gayle King was interviewing R. Kelly, he began pacing and ranting in a very menacing manner. Gayle calmly kept repeating, “Robert, sit down” in a very firm tone. He did sit down and continue the interview.


Sometimes, we have to ‘fake it ‘til we make it’ by doing what we don’t feel like. It often works. Even a fake smile or laugh changes our brain chemistry. Saying something we don’t believe, or acting in a way that does not match our fear, changes our brain and changes the situation in a positive direction. It is our decision to feed the wolf that creates peace, harmony, and joy or the one that produces fear, hatred, or anger. It is the choice that makes the difference. Jude LaClaire, Ph.D., LCPC is a counselor and educator at the Heartland Holistic Health Center. She is the author of the “Life Weaving Education Curriculum” that teaches creative, effective, holistic problem solving. For counseling appointments, seminars, speaker’s bureau, or information on Neurobehavioral Programs and Imago Couple’s Therapy, call 913-322-5622 or drjude@heartlandholistic.com; www.heartlandholistic.com



CBD: What’s the Buzz? BY JILL DUTTON

O Into the Mystic 5727 Johnson drive Mission Ks, 66202 913-766-9906 Open 7 days a week Into the mystic is one of the first CBD shops in the greater KC area and still one of the best. We offer a large variety of crystals, tapestries, classes, incense, Signing bowls, alter accessories, Tarot and tarot card readers as well as astrologist and intuitive readings. Into the Mystic, home for all your spiritual needs.

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f course, I had heard about CBD products—I’d even suggested my mom try a tincture for her arthritis pain. But beyond the basics, I didn’t know much. Then I started receiving samples in the mail. First, it was a line of CBD skincare products developed by S.O.L (Strains of Life). Then came tinctures: Quicksilver Scientific’s Full Spectrum Hemp Extract and Broad Spectrum Hemp Extract, which, according to the manufacturer, “provide a proprietary nano-emulsion technology that dramatically enhances absorption and delivery of the full range of phytocannabinoids, enabling much more CBD to be absorbed by the body per dose.” After testing the samples, my curiosity was piqued, and I decided to dig deeper to learn more about these purported wonder products curated from the hemp plant. I queried Facebook friends about their experiences with CBD products and the response was immediate and overwhelming—and predominately positive (see sidebar for some of the responses). My next steps were to read what has been written and to check in with Kansas City area CBD experts for their thoughts. Here’s what I found.

What Is CBD? According to the Mercola website’s article, CBD Market Explodes, Despite Perplexing Legal Status:  CBD is non-psychoactive, non-addictive, does not produce a “high” and has few to no dangerous side effects  In states where CBD is becoming widely used, there are also few reports of negative social or medical consequences; in fact, CBD has been shown to provide valuable benefits for those struggling with opioid addiction  While the sale of CBD products has exploded into a $390 million per year industry and is projected to hit $1.3 billion by 2022, there is still a lot of confusion around the federal legality of CBD commerce in the United States  Hemp was legalized under the 2018 Farm Bill, and FDA has reclassified CBD as a Schedule 5 drug with low risk of addiction. However, since FDA has approved a CBD-only drug, CBD is no longer recognized as a dietary supplement and cannot legally be sold as such  There’s a need for quality control; in one study, 26.19 percent of 84 CBD products tested contained less CBD than advertised, and 42.85 percent of them contained more. Only 30.95 percent were accurately labeled When asked to explain what exactly CBD is, Tricia Tayrien, an independent affiliate with Hempworx, says, “CBD stands for cannabidiol. CBD is a non-psychotropic, naturally occurring compound that comes from the cannabis plant, mainly from hemp. CBD works to keep the endocannabinoid system (ECS) in homeostasis (balance) by bonding with the body’s CB1 (brain) and CB2 (throughout the body) receptors to regulate basic functions including mood, memory, appetite, pain, sleep, and many more.”

How it Works Full-spectrum CBD contains THC, the main mindaltering ingredient found in the Cannabis plant, while broad spectrum does not. Rebecca Perdieu, Owner of Organic Hemp Botanicals, explains how broad-spectrum CBD works in the body. “When CBD is introduced into the endocannabinoid system (ECS), CBD causes an increased release of 2-AG cannabinoids and stimulates both CB1 and CB2 receptors, which enhances the overall effect on the body.” Tayrien simplifies the process further and says, “What I talk about most is CBD is repairing and restoring the ECS rather than just putting a Band-Aid on symptoms. “CBD is ...anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-psychotic, neuroprotectant, anti-prokinetic (intestine issues), anti-mic (heart issues), antiemetic (stomach issues). It’s a natural supplement that EVOLVINGMAGAZINE.COM

requires finding our ‘sweet spot,’” Tayrien says. “It’s not that more is better, and one size does not fit all,” Tayrien says. “You get the most benefits from daily use because CBD is repairing and restoring the ECS back to homeostasis. If you get sick or are under a lot of stress, you’re most likely going to adjust your serving of CBD.” For an in-depth look at how CBD works, visit Project CBD at www.projectcbd.org/science/how -cbd-works.

conditions like eczema,” explains S.O.L. co-founder Michaele Pimentel. “CBD is also full of Omega-3 and Omega-6 essential fatty acids that, when applied topically, have been shown to increase the production of collagen, which is what keeps your skin hydrated, firm and healthy.”


The benefits appear to be numerous. According to Project CBD, at least 50 conditions are believed to be improved by CBD, including pain, seizures, Types of Products muscle spasms, nausea associated  Oils and tinctures with chemotherapy, digestive  Creams and lotions disorders, degenerative  Capsules and pills neurological disorders such as  Edibles multiple sclerosis and Parkinson's  Vaping disease, mood disorders, anxiety,  CBD for pets post-traumatic stress disorder  Skincare products (PTSD), and high blood pressure. Christina McDowell, owner of The skincare products I The Wellness Collaborative and a sampled are manufactured by Nationally Certified Sex Therapist S.O.L. How can CBD enhance skin in Kansas City says, “I’ve been care products? “CBD possess pretty interested in cannabis after powerful antioxidant, antisomeone I loved had a major car inflammatory, and anti-bacterial accident and CBD/THC combos properties, which make it a skin helped them with sleep, anxiety, care ‘super molecule’ that can PTSD, and pain.” McDowell notes help with everything from antithat the only thing allopathic aging to acne to specific medicine could offer were strong

prescriptions, which impaired cognitive function, inhibited vestibular systems in the brain, and caused drowsiness and dizziness. “That piqued my curiosity, and I’ve been doing lots of research,” says McDowell. “I’m adamant about standardization, and many CBD products are standardized. Also, certain extraction or heating processes or even aging processes enhance different cannabinoids. I think CBD may not be right for everyone, but the scientific evidence is there and growing, thank goddess.” As the owner of Into the Mystic in Mission, Kansas, Eddie Smith, says he has seen the benefits in his customers. “We are seeing people every day who used to come in with a walker, or a cane, and needed help getting into the shop. These people are now driving themselves and coming in without any assistance…really a remarkable transformation.” Matt Cascio, RN, CLC, Cannabis Nurse Educator at Hemp Haven says, “CBD is changing the lives of people every day, helping them with anxiety, inflammation, pain, insomnia and

other medical conditions. As a cannabis nurse, I always advise people to buy their CBD from a company that will not only educate you about their product but will also make their thirdparty product lab tests available to the public.” Cascio cautions that there are companies and individuals selling unfit products and making false claims about what their product can do. “This is exactly why the FDA is not rushing to regulate CBD,” says Cascio. “Like I always say…. know where your product comes from.”

Risks and Side Effects According to Harvard Health’s article, Cannabidiol (CBD) — what we know and what we don’t, Side effects of CBD include nausea, fatigue and irritability. CBD can increase the level in your blood of the blood thinner coumadin, and it can raise levels of certain other medications in your blood by the exact same mechanism that grapefruit juice does.

Legality CBD products are legal for sale in Kansas as long as they contain no THC. Check the laws in your state.


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We took an unofficial poll on Facebook requesting user opinions. Here are the results. important. Really helps with S.F.: I find the CBD oil at bedtime anxiety and focus and somewhat is relaxing and great for my joints. with pain. It does and can interact with meds, so the grapefruit rule Easier to get out of bed in the needs to be in place or check with morning. your pharmacist for interactions. I CM: I use a topical serum for prefer full spectrum just to get the joint pain, mostly in my neck, entourage effect. The THC is where I have some osteoarthritis. negligible. I've even used CBD/ It really seems to help with THC from other states where inflammation. I used it on my cannabis is legal—at a ratio of lower back for pain relief when I 30:1, and the THC is just a carrier was having issues there. to allow the CBD to be more D.B.: I have had great luck with effective. I've never known anyone the CBD tincture and salve for my even at that ratio have a chronic arthritis. Both my knees psychoactive effect. For more info, are also very deteriorated, and I check out www.cbdproject.org. am having a total knee J.L.: I love it, and as a vet tech I’ve replacement of my right knee in December. The tincture and salve seen many patients whose owners give it to them. helped them as well. However, L.S.: It sure works for my arthritis. only the tinctures and salve that A.N.: I use it all the time. It helps contain THC are effective. I tried bring down anxiety without any some of the products they sell in sedation or impairment. Kansas, which do not have the P.T.: I injured my thumb, have higher THC content, and they been wearing a brace for several were totally ineffective. months. Also injured my hip, and B.A.: What it does is amazing, it hurt to walk. A couple of days pain reliever in less time than a ago I tried the salve for both pill and no hangover from the problems. My thumb was better drug. almost immediately for the rest of J.H.: I love it all...but like the day, and my hip pain is less. I anything else, be discerning. did feel a little queasy the next C.M.: Hemp is a commercial morning, don’t know if it was product and not regulated by the related. FDA, so third-party testing is J.H.: I love CBD. I vape CBD oil and use a CBD salve almost daily. C.R.: I have very positive results. Only take at night, due to my arthritis. I used to wake up in pain after about five hours of sleep. Now I sleep seven to eight! J.A.: I take the oil every day! I no longer take Xanax, am anxiety free. And my overall mood and minor health things are in much better shape! J.G.: I've smoked it at a hookah bar that I went to so that I could get some work done and got so relaxed that I stopped doing work. I take the gummies at night; they help me sleep. C.C.: I take it, educate about it

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and distribute for the distribution arm of Medical Marijuana Inc. It comes down to the quality of the product, and just labeling organic, pure and so on does not necessarily mean it is. Get all the facts before ingesting. T.W.: Been learning about the ECS for about two years and have been taking full spectrum for that long. I love it and won’t be without it. My husband and half my family take it, even the dog. A.W.: Tincture of broad spectrum (no THC). I had that, ‘this is what relaxed means?’ moment like others have had. S.G.: I take edibles for anxiety V.H.: I don’t go a day without it! You need to make sure the company does third-party party testing and that they make those results available. J.A.: I must say, I was pleased experiencing a rather calming but slight uplifting effect to my depressive, emotional mood I was experiencing at the time. L.L.: I love it for everything…the oil, the lotion…it has been a life saver.

low. Luckily, her blood returned to normal within 6 weeks of discontinuing the product. So, long story short, even though it is popular, it is not for everyone. C.H.: My brain apparently manufactures all that stuff by itself, so I've never been able to appreciate the purported effects. D.A.: It is so complicated. I choose to stay away from it for several reasons. The main reason is that the products are not standardized, so you can never really be sure what you are getting. There are at least trace amounts of THC in all CBD products—but some do have more than others. They have caused people to fail drug tests at work. I'll wait until things settle out a bit and they can find a better way to let us know exactly what we are getting. Meanwhile, I get great results for pain using copaiba essential oil, which works on the same receptors as cannabinoids, as I understand it.


S.M.: I tried some without THC. I had a bad reaction and got really dizzy. It took about eight hours for it to wear off. When I Googled if Negative, Mixed, or Nil CBD was contraindicated for any Results medication, one of mine came up. M.W.: No luck here with it. Probably should have done that E.O.: I do. I haven’t noticed much first. Please research of a difference. I use tinctures and contraindications with gummies for pain during cancer medications. I wouldn’t use it treatment. THC does not sit well again. with me. Never has. I don’t like T.W.: You have to be proactive the way it makes me feel. when it comes to choosing a good B.G.: I don't like the fact there is oil. Ask for documentation and no regulation on any of it…not proof of what’s really in the bottle. even any proof that some of these CBD only needs two ingredients, products even contain CBD! so beware of unnecessary M.C.: I've tried two different CBD additives. oils, a salve, and CBG tablets. The salve helped with a headache, and Resources the oils and the CBG tablets did help me relax, maybe 15 percent. I Gemini, Gem & Mineral tried them for essential tremors, Healing Store — find on which they didn't help with. Facebook B.M.: I recently tried CBD lotion Hemp Haven (Matt Cascio) – for my back when I was having a https://hemphavenshop.com/ lot of pain. It did help. I tried a Hempworx (Tricia Tayrien) – tincture that a friend shared and www.SoulHempreneur.com that didn't seem to help at all. Into the Mystic (Eddie Smith) – L.L.: Buyer beware. There are a lot find on Facebook of completely fraudulent products Organic Hemp Botanicals – out there... OrganicHempBotanicals.com M.Z.: For me, it had the side Project CBD – effect of lowering my blood sugar www.projectcbd.org/ too much and making me shaky Quicksilver Scientific – and feeling horrible the entire time I took it. (It’s known to lower www.quicksilverscientific.com blood sugar, so that’s not great for S.O.L. CBD Skincare (Michaele hypoglycemia.) I also had a friend Pimentel) – www.solcbd.com/ The Wellness Collaborative who took it after her cancer (Christina McDowell) – find on treatments. It caused her blood platelet levels to drop dangerously Facebook


Holistic Health 9

Be Wise About Menopause BY NANCY RUSSELL, M.D.


n her book, “The Wisdom of Menopause,” Christiane Northrup, M.D. challenges conventional medicine. Dr. Northrup says, “The change” or menopause is not simply a collection of physical problems to be “fixed”- whether with hormones or herbs-but a mindbody revolution that brings the greatest opportunity for growth. There is a connection between menopause and a woman’s emotional and spiritual life. The choices a woman makes at this time in her life, from the quality of her relationships to the quality of her diet, either secure her health and well-being for the rest of her life, or put her future at risk.” Menopause is defined as no menstrual periods for 12 months. The time prior to actually stopping your periods and starting to have symptoms of hormonal changes can be 5 to 10 years. This pre-menopausal time is caused by a decrease in progesterone and therefore the estrogen hormone is dominant. Estrogen dominant symptoms can include: irregular menstrual periods, excessive bleeding with periods, bloating, breast swelling and tenderness, mood swings like irritability and depression, weight gain around the middle and hips and premenstrual headaches. Other estrogen dominant symptoms include ovarian cysts, cystic and lumpy breasts, endometriosis, anxiety and easy to anger. Some women have minimal symptoms of pre-menopause and just glide through gracefully. These women handle stress well, have a healthy life style and positive relationships. The next step in the “change” is to stop having menstrual periods and estrogen drops off rapidly over a few weeks to months. Low estrogen symptoms can include: hot flashes, night sweats, nonrestful sleep, heart palpitations, fuzzy thinking, vaginal dryness,

occur, so normal precautions and close monitoring by a physician is recommended. When it comes to hormone replacement therapy, the science we look to for answers can be inconsistent, influenced by market forces, and confusing to researchers, physicians and patients alike. As Dr. Northrup says, “The blessing is that this dilemma forces us to tune in more fully to our inner wisdom, and to make our choices in full partnership with our intuition and intellect. This approach to menopause is the essence of My recommendations are: educate yourself, add a feminine wisdom.” Approaching menopause in not large dose of intuition, prayer and meditation, and an easy, one-size-fits all answer. feed and exercise your body well. Some women may need or want hormone replacement therapy, low sex drive and moodiness. Low symptoms, there are herbs and some simply don’t! In my practice testosterone often accompanies or over the counter natural of medicine, I enjoy a partnership precedes the drop in estrogen and progesterone creams that can be with women on their journey can cause symptoms of decreased very effective. Dr. Christiane through menopause; assessing sex drive, decreased overall Northrup’s book, “The Wisdom of their individual situations, energy and stamina, decreased Menopause” has several educating about the details, and ability to build muscle and considerations for menopause, as guiding them in their choices. The thinning pubic hair. well as adrenal and thyroid choices may be nutritional and Another reason for all of these support. Some effective over the herbal support, thyroid and varied symptoms can be caused counter herbs include black adrenal support, neurotransmitter due to stress on the thyroid and cohosh, natural progesterone support, prescription hormones, adrenal glands, as well as the cream or Estrovera herbal product emotional and spiritual growth or brain neurotransmitters during by Metagenics. a combination of these pre and post menopause. With our If all lifestyle and nutraceutical approaches. My recommendations stressful life styles, many women approaches are not successful, are: educate yourself, add a large start into menopause with then a balanced approach using dose of intuition, prayer and exhausted resources. The most individualized bio-identical meditation, and feed and exercise common stressors that women hormone replacement can be your body well. Yes, you can may face at this time are: considered. These prescription proceed through this transition excessive, unremitting worry, strength hormones are prescribed with boldness, poise and grace. anger, guilt, anxiety or fear, by physicians and prepared by depression, excessive or lack of compounding pharmacies using exercise, exposure to toxins, extracts from soybeans and yams. Nancy Russell, M.D., is a holistic Internal chronic allergies, overwork, late The molecular structure of these medicine physician, hours, insufficient sleep, surgery, hormones are designed to be an blending traditional and chronic illness or unhealed exact match to the human body. trauma or injury. These bio-identical hormones can alternative medicine in her Kansas City Because of the significant be given in several forms, northland practice for impact menopause may bring to including capsules, troches, over 30 years. For more information on women’s lives, there are many and creams or suppositories. Even getting to know Dr. Russell, visit her varied treatment possibilities. though they are natural, website, www.nancyrussellmd.com or Start by being proactive and work monitoring of hormone levels is call her office at Nurturing Optimal on lifestyle factors. If you are still advised as well as annual Wellness at 816-453-5545. experiencing significant gynecology exams. Side effects can EVOLVINGMAGAZINE.COM

Evolving JULY JULY 1 WILDWOMAN: Register early for this life-changing women’s retreat, led by Laura Wolf, designed to activate your WILD essence and nourish your soul. www.wildwomanexperience.com JULY 1-SEPT 15 PROFESSIONAL YOGA THERAPY TRAINING The Institute of Interdisciplinary Yoga Studies is taking applications for Professional Yoga Therapy Training. Must have 200 hour certification. Contact kellycrowe@iiys.org

JULY 9 DONNA EDEN ENERGY MOVEMENT CLASS 6:30-7:30 PM Centered Spirit, 8131 Wornall, KCMO 64114. $20. Information: radiatewellnesscommunity.com/ events. JULY 12, 13 & 14 KC METAPHYSICAL FAIR Fri 3 – 10 p.m. Sat 10 a.m. - 8 p.m. Sun 11 a.m. - 6 p.m. Psychics, Crystals, Art, Jewelry, Books, Tarot, Reiki, Gifts, Drums, Astrology, Aura photos, Palm Reading, & more. www.kcmetaphysical.com Abdallah Shrine Center 5300 Metcalf, OP, KS

JULY 14 HEALING CIRCLE 5-7 PMCentered Spirit, 8131 Wornall, KCMO 64114. $20. Information: radiatewellnesscommunity.com/ events.


AUGUST 17 USUI/HOLY FIRE REIKI LEVEL I CLASS 9 AM-6:30 PM. Susan Warner’s Healing Space, Lenexa. $175. Preregistration required by Aug. 10. Information: radiatewellnesscommunity.com/ events.


AUGUST 1 WILDWOMAN: Have you registered yet? The magic of the WildWoman is alive you! Come play with us: www.wildwomanexperience.com

SEPTEMBER 7 & 8 MIDWEST TEA FESTIVAL Come have fun at the first event in the region to be dedicated solely to tea, tea culture and tea education. www.midwestteafest.com

AUGUST 10-11 KC MYSTIC FAIR Aug.10, 10am-7pm Aug. 11, 11am-6pm READERS, HEALERS, SPIRITUAL VENDORS, PSYCHICS, MEDIUMS, MASSAGES, CLASSES Located at the VFW Post 5789 329 SE Douglas St. Lee’s Summit, MO 64063 $5 1-day pass/$8 2-day pass Carolyn.Ullrich@gmail.com

SEPTEMBER 7 & 8 KC HOLISTIC WELLNESS FAIR New Holistic Health & Wellness Event!! Products to buy and services available. FREE workshops every hour. Abdallah Shrine Center 5300 Metcalf, OP, KS Sat 10 a.m.- 8 p.m. Sun 11 a.m.- 6 p.m. FB @kcholisticwellnessfair

AUGUST 15 OMBALL FOR OSTEOPOROSIS Yamuna body Rolling is fun and stimulates nerves roots and bone, 1-2:15 pm. kellycrowe@iiys.org

SEPTEMBER 14 POSTURE & PELVIC FLOOR WITH KELLY CROWE Learn yogic solutions for under and over active pelvic floor muscles. 1-4 pm Home Holistic 7927 Floyd.


SEPTEMBER 14-15 USUI/HOLY FIRE REIKI I & II Learn energy healing skills for yourself and others. Intro to essential oils included. 9am – 6:30pm, $380 with early deposit. CEs for massage therapists and health professionals. Karen Harrison, Licensed Reiki Master with International Center for Reiki Training, Leawood, KS. 913-5266556. karen@karenharrison.net www.karenharrison.net. SEPTEMBER 20-22 WILDWOMAN: A profound gathering of women, led by Laura Wolf, designed to activate your WILD essence and nourish your soul. www.wildwomanexperience.com

OCTOBER OCTOBER 5 CONSCIOUS LIVING FESTIVAL Holistic vendors and free workshops every hour. Save the date and watch for the complete program in the September Evolving Magazine. Now accepting vendor applications: jill@evolvingmagazine.com. OCTOBER 12 – 14 USUI/HOLY FIRE ADVANCED REIKI TRAINING/REIKI MASTER Learn the Master symbol and the Holy Fire material. Work with crystals. Strengthen your healing energy and be able to teach Reiki. 9am6:30pm. $975 with early deposit. CEs for health professionals. Karen Harrison, Licensed Reiki Master with International Center for Reiki Training, Leawood, KS. 913-5266556. karen@karenharrison.net www.karenharrison.net OCTOBER 18, 19, 20 PRS PSYCHIC FAIR Save the date! Prskc.org for info.


Evolving Magazine Presents...

Conscious Living Festival October 5, 2019, 11a.m.-5 p.m. Our 10th year providing this FREE event at Unity Temple on the Plaza 707 W. 47th St., KCMO Now accepting vendor applications: jill@evolvingmagazine.com to apply.

Aug.10, 10am-7pm Aug. 11, 11am-6pm

READERS, HEALERS, SPIRITUAL VENDORS, PSYCHICS, MEDIUMS, MASSAGES, CLASSES Located at the VFW Post 5789 329 SE Douglas St. Lee’s Summit, MO 64063 $5 1-day pass/$8 2-day pass Carolyn.Ullrich@gmail.com Come learn Holy Fire Reiki!


Karen Harrison, Ed.S.  ICRT Licensed Reiki Classes & Sessions  Usui/Holy Fire Reiki  Holy Fire Karuna  Young Living Essential Oils 816-523-4440 www.KarenHarrison.net Kansas City, MO 64114


Kelly Crowe

7:30 Tuesdays www.homeholistic.com

12 Eating Well in Kansas City

You Are What You Eat BY SANDRA SILVA


ou are what you eat! Most of us have heard that phrase from time-totime. The wisdom of those five words has great bearing today given we continue to become more acutely aware that to be fit and healthy we must eat good food: food that is good for us. When and where did this thought first emerge? The phrase has been attributed to one of the most influential food writers of all time, Jean Anthelme BrillatSavarin, who in 1826 wrote in his book, Physiologie du Gout, ou Meditations de Gastronomie Transcendante, “Dis-moi ce que tu manges, je te dirai ce que tu es.” [Tell me what you eat and I will tell you what you are.] In 1963/4 Ludwig Andreas Feuerbach, a German philosopher, reinforced BrillatSavarin’s idea in his essay, Concerning Spiritualism and Materialism: “Der Mensch ist, was er isst.” [Man is what he eats.] The phrase entered the English language in the 1920’s primarily through the work of nutritionist Victor Lindlahr who developed the Catabolic Diet and went on to publish the book, You Are What You Eat: How to win and keep health with diet. The notion became a central theme of the 1960’s as the young people of that period of significant cultural transformation championed macrobiotic wholefood and the slogan, “You are what you eat” became associated with the growing organic food movement of the era. Fast forward to the 21st century and the increasing awareness that daily life-style choices have a tremendous impact on our overall health and longevity, i.e. sleep, exercise, social connections, and, yes, what we eat. Further, science continues to explore the complex, interdependent relationship between the gut and the brain. Dr. Dan Siegel, clinical professor of psychiatry at the UCLA School of Medicine and founder of the Mindsight

Institute, informs us via his books and lectures that throughout our body there are networks of neurons that serve as information processors. Not the linear processors with which we are familiar like our computers, etc. These neurons are arranged in a spider-web like network referred to as a parallel distributed processor. We have this web-like set of connections in our skull; we refer to it as our brain. And we also have these sophisticated processors around our heart and intestines, i.e. our gut. These sophisticated processors around the heart and intestines send information directly to the brain, not through the blood stream; rather through the Vagus nerve and the spinal cord into various areas of the brain for processing and, ultimately, decision-making. When you have a “heartfelt response” to a circumstance or experience a “gut reaction,” neither are mysterious or simply poetic. Your parallel distributed processors are sending information to your brain. Simply stated, your gut and brain are connected and the health of your gut directly affects the health of your brain. The health of both your gut and your brain influences your day-to-day life; your relationships, your productivity, your ability to care for yourself, your loved ones and your ability to contribute to your community. Apparently, BrillatSavarin and Feuerbach were on to something in the 19th century. Sources abound both digitally and in print to help guide anyone who wants to support both their gut and their brain. The following are a few general considerations to include in a healthy gut-brain diet: 

 

vegetables all contain fiber (good for the gut and can help reduce stress) Polyphenol-rich foods: cocoa, green tea, olive oil, and coffee Tryptophan-rich foods: turkey, eggs, and cheese contain the amino acid tryptophan that is converted into the neurotransmitter serotonin.

Lastly, here is but one recipe (yum!) from Alexa Federico, a nutritional therapy practitioner, real food and autoimmune blogger, Girl in Healing.

Spaghetti Squash in Avocado Basil Dressing Ingredients For the main dish: 1 spaghetti squash 1 lb. cooked chicken breast 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved 1 bundle asparagus, steamed and chopped into 1-inch pieces 1 tsp. sea salt 1 tbsp. olive oil For the sauce: 2 avocados 1/4 cup and 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil 1 cup fresh basil leaves 3/4 tsp. sea salt 1 clove garlic

Drizzle with a little bit of olive oil and a pinch of sea salt. Place face down on a baking sheet. Put into the preheated oven for 45 -60 minutes or longer, until the skin is easily pierced and you can shred the insides.

While the spaghetti squash is cooking, steam and slice the asparagus, cut the chicken breast, and halve the grape tomatoes. To make the sauce, add the avocado and 1/4 cup of olive oil into a food processor or blender. Blend, then add the basil leaves, sea salt, garlic, and more olive oil by the tablespoon as needed. When the spaghetti squash is done, shred the insides and add to a large serving bowl. Add the ingredients you chopped, plus 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 1 teaspoon sea salt and toss. Drizzle over the sauce before enjoying.

Sandra Silva, J.D. is the Store Manager of GreenAcres Market in the Village at Briarcliff. Sandra has a deep commitment to Omega-3 fats: found in oily healing and healthy eating. She and her fish and can increase good staff are available to speak at Directions: bacteria in the gut community gatherings, small or Preheat your oven to 375°F. Fermented foods: yogurt, large. Contact Sandra at the Market, kefir, sauerkraut, and cheese Slice the spaghetti squash in half 816-746-0010 (I do it the long way but both ways High-fiber foods: whole or sandras@greenacres.com. grains, nuts, seeds, fruits, and work) and scoop out the seeds. Good health! www.greenacres.com EVOLVINGMAGAZINE.COM

Feature 13

How Thoughts and Emotions Affect Health BY CHRISTI CLEMONS HOFFMAN, MA “Shoulder the burden” “I can’t stomach it.” “Pain in the neck” “Punched in the gut”


ur language is full of idioms about pain in the body. Where do they come from? Such expressions are very descriptive of how the body reacts to thoughts and emotion. Shoulders ache from the stress of too much responsibility and too many burdens. Stress creates more acid in the stomach, digestion slows, and the stomach is tied up in knots when faced with a difficult situation. When someone pushes boundaries or is otherwise so annoying that you cannot see their point of view, the result is in pain in the neck. Or when someone takes your power, located in the solar plexus chakra, causing shock and anger, you literally feel like you’ve been punched in the gut. The body is a very effective messaging system; its aches and pains tell us what we need to pay attention to. But it all begins with thoughts and beliefs that are not in alignment with who we truly are. When our thoughts and beliefs do not serve, the higher self gains our attention with negative emotion: fear, anger, resentment, etc. When we are not addressing these negative emotions by righting these thoughts and beliefs, the “knock” becomes louder, and our energy system (the chakras) can become imbalanced or blocked. Once the chakra system becomes blocked or imbalanced, energy flow to the corresponding part(s) of the body is interrupted. When the body does not receive its full flow of energy, it begins to show signs of “dis-ease.” It’s important to note that this is not one bad day or one negative thought that results in pain. It’s chronic patterns of thought—or negative emotions—that can result in physical symptoms. It can even

be a message we received in youth that we internalized. This is also evidenced in “inherited” illness. What’s passed down from parent to child are patterns of thought, emotion, and belief. Over generations these thoughts, emotions, and beliefs become solidified in the family’s energetic system and into DNA. So let’s break down which thoughts, emotions, and beliefs affect our chakras and corresponding parts of the body. In very general terms: Crown chakra: Spiritual connection and higher-brain functions Affects the top of the head Negative thought patterns about spirituality and connection with our higher power can result in headaches, depression, and a feeling of spaciness. Brow chakra: Creative, logical, and cognitive functions; second sight Affects the brain Negative thought patterns about creativity and reasoning as well as choosing to ignore our intuition can result in depression, headaches, and lack of focus. Throat chakra: Communication and self-expression Affects the throat and neck Negative thoughts about being heard, about using the voice, or having the power to speak our truth can result in sore throats, laryngitis, thyroid issues, neck trouble, or jaw and mouth issues. Heart chakra: Love and compassion Affects the heart, lung, breasts, and upper back Excessive worry about someone, heartache, or negative beliefs about love or being loved can result in heart, blood, lung, or breast issues. Solar plexus chakra: Power and will Affects the mid-back and the upper GI tract—stomach, gall bladder, spleen, and pancreas

Patterns of feeling that people are taking your power, of giving your power away, or of misusing your power, over time, can result in upper GI distress or mid-back problems. Sacral chakra: Relationship, gender, and creativity Affects the lower abdomen Chronic negative beliefs about gender roles, fertility, creativity, or relationship trauma can result in uterine, ovarian, intestinal, bladder, or low back issues. Root chakra: Survival, trust Affects the tailbone, genitals, and hips Lack of trust established early in life, not having your physical needs met, and chronic feelings of not having “enough” can result in tailbone, hip, rectal, or lower-GI problems.

loved or nurtured or not being able to love or nurture. Ovarian or uterine cancer is anger about relationships, sexual trauma, or gender roles. Diabetes and pancreas issues are about not acknowledging or embracing the “sweetness” of life. And arthritis, in general terms, is repressed resentment. When healing illness and disease, Michael J. Lincoln, Ph.D., author of Messages from the Body: Their Psychological Meaning uses the analogy of tunneling through a mountain. On one side, we employ logical physical remedies—medication, diagnostics, and therapy. On the other, we unravel the emotions and thoughts that contributed to our physical symptoms. Working on physical and emotional causes at the same time, we then meet in the middle. In even more general terms, the If we work on only the emotional quadrants of the body tell us much cause, healing can take a very, about the thoughts and beliefs very long time, as it takes years for that contribute to physical issues. thoughts and emotions to develop Left side of the body: The past into symptoms. And if we work on (even past lives); feminine energy only the physical body, we do not or person; emotions; receiving effect a complete healing or can Right side of the body: The suffer relapse or the emergence of present; masculine energy or per- symptoms somewhere else. son; active There are many factors to conShoulders: Responsibility, bur- sider in interpreting pain and disden ease. An experienced medical inArms, hands: Holding on to tuitive, as part of a therapeutic something vs releasing it team, can help decode the “issues Low back: Support or being sup- in the tissues.” ported Hips, legs, feet: Moving forward Additional resources for more vs feeling “stuck” information include You Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay, and Soul Certain conditions are also rep- Speak by Julia Cannon. resentative of our thoughts and beliefs. Dolores Cannon, who de- Christi Clemons veloped Quantum Healing Hypno- Hoffman, MA, is an internationally known sis Technique—a technique I’m certified to practice with individu- medium, hypnotherapist, als and groups—found over her 40 teacher, and Reiki mas-year career that cancer is unreter as well as the owner leased, buried anger. Where can- of Radiate Wellness. cer manifests in the body is indic- She is also the host of ative of what the anger is about. In the popular Radiate general terms, breast cancer, for Wellness Podcast. Visit Radiate Wellness example, is anger about not being at radiatewellnesscommunity.com.


14 Feature

Love Your Brain to Great Health BY SUMYA ANANI


ccording to Dr. Daniel Amen, you are not stuck with the brain you have. At any age, you can improve your brain’s health, memory, and ability to focus. His goal: inspire everyone to become a brain warrior. It all starts, he says, with loving your brain. After all, it is the CEO of your body. I first learned about Dr. Daniel Amen in his interview in the Regain Your Brain series. He knows brains. He is a clinical neuroscientist, double board-certified psychiatrist, and medical director of The Amen Clinics. But he’s an educator at heart. He has written more than 30 New York Times bestselling books, including Change Your Brain, Change Your Life and The Brain Warrior's Way. He has compiled a comprehensive database of more than 150,000 SPECT brain scans in the world. His easy to remember mnemonic, Bright Minds, lists his 11 memory-loss risk factors. How would you rate yourself?

B - Blood flow. Low blood flow is the number one brain imaging indicator for Alzheimer’s disease. Exercise is essential for brain health. Any highintensity interval training like weight training or hitting heavy bags should be in your exercise program. Coordination exercises like dancing give a powerful boost to the cerebellum. Remember that caffeine and nicotine restrict blood flow to the brain.

R - Retirement and Aging. Keep learning new things. When you stop learning, your brain starts dying. My son has memorized the first 100 digits of pi. When you retire, find new hobbies to keep you engaged. Practice using your non-dominant hand. Each side of the body lights up the opposite side of the brain, which means new neurons firing and rewiring. I am ambidextrous now. The study of

“Practice using your non-dominant hand. Each side of the body lights up the opposite side of the brain, which means new neurons firing and rewiring.” neuroplasticity has revealed that our brains can continue to grow at every stage of our life. Turns out you can teach old dogs new tricks.

because they do not support optimal brain development. Take Omega-3 fatty acids to lower inflammation.

I - Inflammation.

Studies show that genetics predict about 20-30 percent of our longevity. If you have a history of any type of dementia in your family, look seriously at these other risk factors and think prevention in your 20s and 30s. Don't wait until you start having symptoms. Fortunately, our habits and lifestyle choices predict the rest. Start creating positive habits that nourish your brain.

Eliminate foods and irritants that cause low-level fires in the body. The biggest one is white, refined sugar. It's just as addictive as heroine, and it’s in just about everything. Watch Katie Couric’s documentary on sugar called Fed Up. It’s alarming to see fast food companies working their way into our school systems. Read labels on products, not the advertising slogans. Dr. Amen says, “Don’t eat highly processed, pesticide sprayed, high-glycemic, low-fiber food-like substances stored in plasticized containers,”

G - Genetics.

H - Head Trauma. Boxing, football, car accidents, bike wrecks—any trauma to the skull— impacts the soft brain in-


side. Wear helmets when riding bicycles. Your brain weighs roughly three pounds, yet it is the master controller of the body. As a former boxer with more than 30 bouts and hundreds, maybe even thousands of sparring rounds, potential head trauma is reason I went to the Amen Clinic for a SPECT brain scan. Take your precautions, too.

T - Toxins. Alcohol is a toxin for the brain. Size matters when it comes to the brain, and the more you drink, the smaller your brain. Instead of social drinking, gather your friends for social exercising. Drugs are also not good for the brain, and this includes misusing over the counter drugs. Moreover, many of the ingredients in

common products we use every day like deodorant and lotions have known endocrine disruptors. Other toxins to be mindful of are mold, lead, and excessive smoke inhalation.

words of wisdom, “Eat food, not too much, mostly plants.” Plants have all the fiber, vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals we need for ultimate health.

M - Mental Health.

Your brain needs 7-8 hours of quality sleep a night. Develop nightly rituals to calm yourself in preparation for a good night’s sleep. Shut down electronics several hours before bed. Get in bed with a book by 9 p.m., and ideally be asleep by 10 p.m. Chinese medicine and the Indian Ayurvedic science agree that sleeping between 11 p.m.-3 a.m. restores the liver, which is so important for maintaining health as we age. Your liver is involved with more than 500 functions. If you want to live a healthier life, nourish your Live-r.

Learn techniques that help you deal with ANTs— Automatic Negative Thoughts. Studies show the powerful brainenhancing effects of a regular prayer and/or meditation practice, including growth of grey matter. Nature is also a powerful healer and rejuvenator for cognitive health. Get sunshine on your skin every day to boost Vitamin D levels. Most Americans are chronically low in the sunshine vitamin. Get your levels tested and take a supplement if necessary.

I - Infection and Immunity. Infections are major causes of dementia. Get an infectious disease lab panel done if you're concerned. Lyme disease, herpes, and Epstein-Barr virus are a few common infections. Having a strong immune system, most notably by improving your gut health, is going to help you stay healthy in body, mind, and brain, too.

N - Neurohormonal levels. Have your hormone levels checked periodically. After age 40, these tests are extremely helpful if done every 3-5 years. Arm yourself with the knowledge needed to discover things you can do to tweak your nutritional plan. There are natural ways you can improve optimal levels to reenergize your brain.

D - Diabesity. Excessive weight decreases the size of your brain. You can get those extra pounds off and reduce blood sugar levels with the habits of health, nutrition, and exercise. Follow Michael Pollan’s seven

S - Sleep.

Of all these risk factors, I was most concerned about the impact of my 10-year boxing career on my brain. That’s why I am happy I went to the Amen Clinic in New York clinic to get the SPECT scan. It’s the most accurate measure for brain activity and blood flow. Dr. Amen himself Skyped in to read my scan. He was surprised by how healthy my brain looked, given the length of boxing career. Thanks to Barry Becker, the best boxing trainer in the world, I never got hit, which likely helped protect me. But I also love my brain with these 11 tips. If you're concerned about your brain's health, pick up one of Dr. Amen's books. Check out his TEDx talks. Call the Amen Clinic to schedule a SPECT scan. He and his team are absolutely devoted to improving people's brain health. You can start now to love your brain to great health. Sumya Anani is a four-time World Champion boxer, International Women’s Boxing Hall of Fame inductee, owns Learning2Fly aerial fitness, party, K12 field trip center, and boxing classes for people with Parkinson’s 2x/week. She shares health tips on KCTV-5 regularly. Come visit the white geodesic dome at I-35 and Lamar. www.iAMLearning2Fly.com EVOLVINGMAGAZINE.COM

16 Books

The Benefits of Mindfulness An excerpt from the book, From Suffering to Peace by Mark Coleman


tudies have shown that we spend much of the time on autopilot, going about our day without being very present. In a 2010 study at Harvard, psychologists concluded that our minds are thinking about something else, rather than being present to the task at hand, 47 percent of the time! That means, for almost half of our waking life, we are not really here. No wonder there is an explosion of interest in mindfulness practice, which helps counter such habits. In that distracted mode, we miss so much of the precious and important moments of life. We also mistakenly assume we see things as they are, but the truth is we usually don’t perceive clearly at all. We filter our experience with all kinds of bias, judgments, and preferences. We swim in a river of likes and dislikes, ceaselessly running after one shiny thing and rejecting other less-pleasing experiences. This creates a neverending push-pull conflict with life that all too often leads to unnecessary stress. However, this doesn’t need to be the case. Through training in awareness, we can learn to observe both our experience and the often turbulent reactions we may have to it. Over time, this clarity enables us to be less driven by our knee-jerk impulses and thus make wiser choices in our lives. This freedom from reactivity is one of the potent outcomes of mindfulness practice. It is why the practice was originally taught and developed, as a way to break free from the painful reactive cycles we so often find ourselves in. For example, my client Jenny, by her own admission, worries a lot. She gets particularly anxious about her sixteen-year-old twin daughters, who are starting to date

and go to parties. If they come home later at night than they promised, her mind whips into a frenzy of terror, imagining all kinds of catastrophic scenarios, fantasizing about terrible things that might happen to her beloved children. Yet she also knows that her daughters are street-smart, responsible kids who aren’t reckless and don’t use drugs. On nights when they return home late, what Jenny’s mind does with all of that conflicting data is the difference between her peace of mind and a mild panic attack. Through mindfulness practice, she has learned to recognize and not buy into the scary thoughts her mind creates, and she is therefore able to be more grounded and steady even in this anxiety-provoking situation. Another important facet of mindfulness is clear comprehension. This quality helps us discern not just what is happening in the present but what thoughts, speech, and actions are skillful or helpful and which result in pain or stress. With this clarity, we can learn to act in ways that support well-being and cease to engage in actions that cause unnecessary harm — in the same way we quickly drop a hot pan we pick up accidentally on the stove. We can’t always avoid pain, but we learn to hold on less and to not pursue things that cause unnecessary anguish. In this way mindfulness helps foster discernment and wisdom. The poet William Blake summed up this principle rather well when he wrote these oft-quoted words about how we skillfully or unskillfully relate to pleasure: “He who binds to himself a joy / Does the winged life destroy / He who kisses the joy as it flies / lives in eternity’s sunrise.” It is the clarity

of awareness that reveals how our desire to hold and keep what brings us delight can be the very thing that causes us to experience pain and loss. Experience is ephemeral and always changing; all joys eventually fade. But we only multiply the hurt if, in folly, we grasp after pleasure. Rather, as Blake says, we can appreciate joy when it arrives, knowing its presence is fleeting. Such a light way of being with experience is a perfect example of what awareness makes possible. Without that clarity and wisdom, we so easily get caught in the pain of attachment. The reverse is also true. We sometimes despair when pain arrives, forgetting that it, too, is fleeting, and our reactivity to it only extends our distress. When Jenny imagines worst-case scenarios, this just compounds the anxiety of her daughters’ late return. By learning to simply be with her own unpleasant feelings, Jenny can save herself all manner of unnecessary woes. By bringing direct awareness to any aspect of experience, we can develop clarity and insight. This, in essence, is the deeper purpose of mindfulness — to help us understand and know experience, ourselves, and reality just as they are. The wisdom that arises from this can facilitate a freedom from a painful contention with life. We will explore this theme extensively in later chapters. How does this work in practice? Take an everyday scenario: being stuck in traffic. Whenever I drive to work in the San Francisco Bay Area, I often encounter traffic, which can threaten to make me late. If I’m aware, I can sense the tension in my gut and shoulders as soon as I see the cars ahead slowing down. I can also observe


my self-judgments, such as critical thoughts over why I didn’t leave earlier or anticipate the morning traffic. I may notice that my anxiety and tension increase as I anticipate the frustration of my clients if I’m late for our meeting. These inner reactions just compound my stress. However, if I remain unaware of these reactions, they are more likely to grow, and I am likely to feel even more burdened. Instead of just being late, I will arrive at the office anxious, irritated, and ill-prepared to work with anyone. However, if I become aware of being triggered — of the tension in my body, of my racing thoughts and worry, of my impatience and self-judgment — I can make wiser choices about the best course of action. Mindfulness does not make the traffic go away, although we wish it would. Instead it provides tools to recognize stress and reactivity and to find skillful ways to work with them. And the good news is this skill is immanently portable. We can practice it anywhere, even in our morning commute! Excerpted from the book From Suffering to Peace. Copyright ©2019 by Mark Coleman. Printed with permission from New World Library—newworldlibrary.com. Mark Coleman is the author of From Suffering to Peace, Make Peace with Your Mind, and Awake in the Wild. He is the founder of the Mindfulness Institute and has an MA in clinical psychology. Mark has guided students on five continents as a corporate consultant, counselor, meditation teacher, and wilderness guide. He lives in Northern California. Visit him online at MarkColeman.org.

Spiritual Horoscope 17

July Horoscope Cancer (June 21 – July 22) Happy birthday Cancer! It’s a powerful financial month! Meditate on prosperity and be open to inspired ideas. Don’t hesitate to act on them, even though Mercury turns retrograde. You’ll have delays in the success, but the blessings will come next month for sure. Relationships could be bumpy, so when you feel blocks remember that imperfect isn’t failure. Growing together involves some conflict. Your intuition will also provide graceful ways to resolve turmoil, so stay calm and listen for inner guidance.

Capricorn (Dec. 22 – Jan. 19) Meditate to release perfectionism! Cultivate gratitude for what you have accomplished. Praise yourself for your persistence and ambition toward self-betterment. But please release the habit of self-shaming which is a huge spiritual issue for all Capricorn folks! You’ll notice relationship issues heal almost spontaneously. Prosperity also flows in quickly when you take your self-bludgeoning tools away. Ask trusted friends for their assessments and stretch your mind to believe them!

Leo (July 23 – Aug. 22) Energetic Mars is in your sign for two months! You’ll feel inspired, creative and daring! You can even start a fabulous new relationship, or have a re-awakening in a current one. Mercury retrogrades in Leo, however, so think (or meditate!) before you speak. Don’t jump to conclusions especially with family members or co-workers. If your perception is extreme, it’s likely inaccurate. Take a breath, open your mind to more moderate interpretations, and go from there.

Aquarius (Jan. 20 – Feb. 18) Mercury retrograde fuddles communication, and it’s also near irritable Mars, so don’t jump to conclusions about relationships. Meditate about unresolved issues from past bonds that could be bubbling up to sully your present connection. Yet the same planets can give you amazing insights on healing old patterns, while also helping to nip new issues in the bud. Find your inner wisdom, which wants to consult with you, before you blurt anything out! You can also have insights into foods that are causing health concerns. Simply elevating that food undoes a complex problem!

Virgo (Aug. 23 – Sept. 22) July is about managing your thoughts. You often have an anxious mind and are “hypervigilant”. Unconscious worry depletes your nervous system and makes you unhappy! Meditate on negative thinking patterns, and you’ll find there’s only a few “greatest hits” your brain plays repeatedly. There can be unexpressed anger underlying them. Find ways to assert yourself to others that are gentle, yet direct and effective. Issues in family, work, and romantic relationships will clear up and your mental and physical energy will skyrocket! Libra (Sept. 23 – Oct. 22) Be careful of projecting old childhood patterns onto supervisors at work. You also may realize you’re even doing that with your romantic partner! Meditate and practice grounding. Visualize being rooted in the earth and letting negative thought patterns just drain down from your mind and into the earth. Deep breathing is helpful, as are yoga postures such as Mountain, Tree or Child’s Pose.

Make sure to have playtime as well as reflection time! Reconnect with friends or try hobbies or activities you haven’t done in awhile. Scorpio (Oct. 23 – Nov. 21) Being a Scorpio involves healing extreme thinking. Meditate on changing your beliefs of success. Do you think being successful at work causes jealousy in others? Or that meeting career goals means sacrificing love and relationships? Notice how often you imagine being alone or abandoned. Ponder the idea that you can gracefully have it all! You can have friends and associates that celebrate work victories. Believe you’re able to balance emotional success with business success. Also, examine “push away” behaviors in close partnerships. When things get intimate, do you create a problem to stink up the bliss and “prove” you’re unlovable? Allow life to open your inner doors to financial abundance as well as emotional joy!

Sagittarius (Nov. 22 – Dec. 21) What have you been putting off that could bring you more joy? I know discipline is your least favorite word, Sagittarius! But use this month to get back in touch with actions that bring healing. Maybe you can revitalize your daily yoga sessions. Remember to meditate, even for a short time. Be out in nature as often as you can. These practices open your mind for all sorts of intuitions, especially around finances. You can also “magically” resolve intimacy or trust issues with others. So much freedom can come out of structure!

Pisces (Feb. 19 – March 20) Don’t let work stress impact close relationships. Let loved ones know you’re feeling anxious about job projects. You might also feel a bit under the weather with a mild health issue. You often don’t let others know you need some tlc, since you’re used to care taking others. This causes resentments to brew within you! Open up and allow people to help you and to be generous with you, as you are with them! Make sure you devote time to a yoga or meditation practice, and also investigate food allergies that bring your energy level down. Aries (March 21 – April 19) Like Pisces pals, don’t let work issues interfere with love life. . . and don’t let love life issues distract you from work! You might need to speak up about payment issues at your job. Take mini-meditation breaks (even if just a few deep breaths) before you communicate with anyone this month. This


sounds dumb, but keep your house neat and de-cluttered . . . and have a sacred space for quiet reflection. You’re more calm when there’s no “clutter chaos”. Also you need to soothe your mind daily with a meditation routine in an area that is just for that purpose.

Taurus (April 20 – May 20) Approach spirituality from new angles. Try a new form of yoga, or even tai chi or qigong. Experiment with a different style of meditation. Examine spiritual beliefs, looking for any that are overly rigid or even punitive. Observe your mind for thoughts that are self-flagellating or perfectionistic. It’s great how committed you are, but it’s vital for Taurus to occasionally ponder rituals and loyalties to see if they still serve you. Also be sure you’re able to set healthy boundaries with others, at home and at work, to make sure you’re treated with kindness and respect. Gemini (May 21 – June 20) Meditation is great for soothing anxiety, but especially for Geminis! This month also be aware of spending money when you’re nervous. Before you go into a store or on a shopping website, at least take a few deep breaths to center yourself. This way you can hopefully use finances in the wisest way. Quiet reflection can also give insights into creating more avenues of prosperity, how to have a healthy budget and even to help release any shame you have about money matters.

Aluna Michaels is a secondgeneration astrologer. She also holds a Masters in Spiritual Counseling and has been teaching and consulting for more than three decades. Her book “Spiritual Gifts of the 12 Astrological Signs” is now on Amazon in Kindle version and as an E-book on her website. Aluna is available for appointments in her home, by phone or Skype. Call (727) 239-7179 (no texting please), or text (248) 583-1663 or visit www.alunamichaels.com



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under Dr. Cristyn Watkins, offers you the ultimate experience in Wellness Medicine and Aesthetics since 2011. anuaesthetics.com YOGA THE YOGA STUDIO 10400 W. 103rd, #14, Overland Park. All levels, teacher’s training and new flow classes 913 492 9594 www.theyogastudio.com YOGA PATCH19 instructors, 60 wkly classes, all levels. Pay What You Can + $5 classes available. Event Space Rentals + Classes/Workshops Galore. YogaPatch.com; 816-268-4660 Kelly Crowe, Ayurvedic Yoga and Pelvic Floor Yoga Specialist, aids women in connecting to their bodies in dynamic ways. 816-582-4583 www.homeholistic.com

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JULY 1-SEPTEMBER 15 PROFESSIONAL YOGA THERAPY TRAINING The Institute of Interdisciplinary Yoga Studies is taking applications for Professional Yoga Therapy Training. Must have 200 hour certification. Contact kellycrowe@iiys.org

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