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To Cultivate Holistic Well Being: Know Yourself! How?

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Begin with the end in mind….to learn how to become your own personal trainer…your own lifestyle coach. How do you do that?

Set your intention–a goal–to cultivate health. What is the process?

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It works better as you bring attention to  your life and take time so STUDY YOURSELF.

Through that study and exploration you come to KNOW YOURSELF!

What works? What doesn’t work? What influences you?

A Diet of Self Love

You will remain more motivated if you cultivate the inner attitude to HONOR YOURSELF…with every choice that you make..moment by moment…day by day.

You might ask yourself: Am I cultivating health of body, mind, and spirit today by the choices that I am making?

Am I cultivating a Happy Mind???
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Background:

http://www.balancedweightmanagement.com/change.htm
http://www.balancedweightmanagement.com/IfYouWouldGrow.htm

DOCTOR TO PATIENT PRESCRIPTION.

Small Baby Steps Lead to Success. YES, I Can Change!

Whether you believe you CAN, or you believe you CAN’T, you’re right!

Many people can feel defeated and unsure they will be able to make lasting changes in their lifestyle because they haven’t been successful in the past. They hold their PAST unsuccessful history against themselves.

To change our INNER VISION and self-perception, it is really helpful to try out “baby steps” of new lifestyle options. Focus on an area that you want to change, explore resources, come up with a PLAN for change and try it out. 

BELIEVE that you CAN  do it! IMAGINE that you CAN succeed! VISUALIZE that this IS possible for you to accomplish. Belief, imagination, and visualization strengthen the actuality of your achieving lasting change.

Take action! If you have not been successful before, you CAN BE this time! Seize the Moment.

A National Weight Control Registry survey found that 91% of people who were ULTIMATELY successful at losing weight and KEEPING IT OFF had tried numerous times before they finally figured out a strategy that worked for them. I found that this was also true for me with my weight loss and also my FINALLY stopping use of alcohol and drugs.

You can BEGIN in any area of your life that you want to.

The steps that you select should be FUN and enjoyable! Self-care does not have to be torture. You can learn to celebrate a healthful lifestyle! In fact, making FUN your focus will insure that your new patterns naturally become your new way you create your life.

Skip off to visit:

We find our way one step at a time.

 For a printable PDF version: Small Baby Steps Lead to Success.pdf

Here are some examples:                                                   Take Small Steps Today!

RULES FOR HEALTHY LIVING

1. Walk to work (at least part way); or park in the far-away parking spot.
2. Use fat free milk over whole milk.
3. Do sit-ups in front of the TV (during commercials).
4. Walk during lunch hour–at least for 10 minutes!
5. Drink water before a meal.
6. Eat leaner red meat & poultry.
7. Eat half your dessert.
8. Walk instead of driving whenever you can.
9. Take family walk after dinner.
10. Skate to work instead of driving.
11. Avoid food portions larger than your fist.
12. Mow lawn with push mower.
13. Increase the fiber in your diet (see my article).
14. Walk to your place of worship instead of driving.
15. Walk kids to school.
16. Get a dog and walk it around your neighborhood or in a nearby park.

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17. Join an exercise group.
18. Drink diet soda (or just water!).
19. Replace Sunday drive with Sunday walk.
20. Do yard work.
21. Eat off smaller plates and use smaller glasses.
22. Get off a stop early & walk.
23. Don’t eat late at night.
24. Skip seconds.
25. Work around the house.
26. Skip buffets.
27. Grill, steam or bake instead of frying.
28. Bicycle to the store instead of driving.
29. Take dog to the park.
30. Ask your doctor about taking a multi-vitamin and mineral supplement.
31. Go for a half-hour walk instead of watching TV.
32. Use vegetable oils over solid fats.
33. eat more carrots, less cake.
34. Fetch the newspaper yourself.
35. Sit up straight at work and stretch once each half hour.
36. Wash the car by hand.
37. Don’t skip meals and have healthier snacks.
38. Eat more celery sticks.
39. Run or walk faster when running errands.
40. Pace the sidelines at kids’ athletic games.
41. Take wheels off luggage.
42. Choose an activity that fits into your daily life.
43. Park further from the store and walk.
44. Ask a friend to exercise with you.
45. Make time in your day for physical activity (even 5 minutes!).
46. Exercise with a video if the weather is bad.
47. Bike to the barbershop or beauty salon instead of driving.
48. Keep to a regular eating schedule.
49. If you find it difficult to be active after work, try it before work.
50. Take a walk or do desk exercises instead of a cigarette or coffee break.
51. Perform gardening or home repair activities.
52. Avoid laborsaving devices.
53. Take small trips on foot to get your body moving.
54. Play with your kids 30 minutes a day.
55. Dance to music.
56. Keep a pair of comfortable walking or running shoes in your car and office.
57. Make a Saturday morning walk a group habit.
58. Walk briskly in the mall.
59. Choose activities you enjoy & you’ll be more likely to stick with them.
60. Stretch before bed to give you more energy when you wake.
61. Take the long way to the water cooler or restroom at work.
62. Explore new physical activities.
63. Vary your activities, for interest and to broaden the range of benefits.
64. Reward and acknowledge your efforts.
65. Choose fruit for dessert.
66. Consume alcoholic beverages in moderation, if at all.
67. Take stairs instead of the escalator.
68. Conduct an inventory of your meal/snack and physical activity patterns.
69. Share an entree with a friend.
70. Grill fruits or vegetables.
71. Eat before grocery shopping.

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72. Choose a checkout line without a candy display.
73. Make a grocery list before you shop.
74. Buy 100% fruit juices over soda and sugary drinks.
75. Swim with your kids.
76. Flavor foods with herbs, spices, and other low fat seasonings.
77. Remove skin from poultry before cooking to lower fat content.
78. Eat before you get too hungry.
79. Don’t skip breakfast or other meals.
80. Stop eating when you are full!
81. Snack on fruits and vegetables.
82. Top your favorite cereal with apples or bananas.
83. Try brown rice or whole-wheat pasta.
84. Include several servings of whole grain food daily.
85. When eating out, choose a small or medium portion.
86. If main dishes are too big, choose an appetizer or a side dish instead.
87. Ask for salad dressing “on the side”.
88. Don’t take seconds.
89. Try your burger with just lettuce, tomato and onion.
90. Try a green salad instead of fries.
91. Bake or broil fish.
92. Walk instead of sitting around.
93. Eat sweet foods in small amounts.
94. Take your dog on longer walks.
95. Drink lots of water.
96. Cut back on added fats or oils in cooking or spreads.
97. Walk the beach instead of sunbathing.
98. Walk to a co-worker’s desk instead of emailing or calling them.
99. Carry your groceries instead of pushing a cart.
100. Use a snow shovel instead of a snow blower.

For a terrific summary of 171 lifestyle change ideas upload: SMALL STEP GOV IDEAS.pdf

7 RULES OF LIFE

Healthy Weight – it’s not a diet, it’s a lifestyle!

 

Explore Making Yearly and Life Vows

SHRINE OF VOWSLIFE VOW SHRINE

I went to the Silver Dragon retreat at the Great Vow Monastery and went outside on a sunny day and visited the Shrine of Life Vows.
http://northwestdharma.org/2014/02/great-vow-zen-monastery-invites-all-peopleto-make-life-vows-at-the-shrine-of-vows/

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A vow is a deep commitment to see something through no matter the obstacles. Vows ask us to continually return, over and over again, to our deepest intentions. Vows help us orient our life to what is most beneficial. And vows emerge from our own unique life and circumstances.

LIFE VOW2

To consider making a vow, perhaps spend time in prayer and reflection about any changes you want to make–major–or minor, lifelong or temporary. Think ahead to the ways this vow may affect your life, your friendships, future plans, etc.

Then work on wording of your vow. Mature planning makes for a mature vow.

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The most important thing about a vow is, don’t take if until you know you will keep it….

or perhaps say “I will strive to..”

Make a practical time limit also…one that you can keep…a day, a week, a month?

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Once the vow has been properly prepared, the next step is to “”declare it” in a little ceremony with one or more friends as witnesses.

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Implementation– Then comes the bottom line: day by day, abiding by the vow you have taken. I encourage you to repeat your vow out loud, along, at the beginning of every day. Read it or recite it as sincerely as you did that first day, and remember the feelings which prompted you to take this vow. It’s very useful to repeat your vow every day…like even taking your marriage or commitment ceremony vows. Both the husband and wife take them every day to actually keep the vows very fresh.

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Remember to respect all vows equally. Whether you vow to stop eating sweets for a week, or to never take a sip of alcohol for the rest of your life, a vow must be respected fully. A sincere vow is an expression of our willingness to work, to sacrifice, to change and grow emotionally and spiritually.

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Adapted from VOWS PRACTICE from Deep & Simple by Bo Lozoff.

WE THEN FREELY SHINE OUR LOVING HEART INTO THE WORLD!

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Our friends, family, and the whole world are affected by our vows to open to life fully!

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Cultivate Twelve Essential Skills: Achieve a Healthier Life, Weight, and Vibrant Friskiness… Step-by-Step!

Skill Power, Not Will Power, Is the Key to Success!

Discover Below Guidance-At-A-Glance!

Have you ever wondered how all of that excess stored energy (fat) ended up stored on your body anyway? Were you just walking down the street and it jumped out and stuck to you? To learn about what happened–the mystery–requires you becoming a detective. As a detective, you will need some tools to figure out clues to your mystery.

The Twelve Essential Skills below will provide answers for you. You use the skills and different tools to discover how you do what you do, right now.  Then you figure out strategies to practice making healthful substitutions–to substitute new choices that will, over time, help you achieve a healthier weight, a healthier relationship with your food and life. You choose which areas you are ready to look at now.

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Success at achieving a healthier weight, transforming addictions, and finding increased well-being, for a lifetime, requires learning a series of new lifestyle skills. These skills allow us to create our lives in a NEW way. Before I started my weight loss journey, I didn’t know any of these skills. Learning these skills opened for me the prison door to my isolation cell of overweight and various addictions. I was no longer a victim of my out-of-control, unhealthy habits. It was so ENJOYABLE to discover the freedom of new options for living.

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My Web site (Balanced Weight Management) is a blueprint for self-change. It’s a toolkit–tools don’t do anything. YOU do as you use the tools to discover how you do what you do. This is self-directed learning. With self-directed learning you can discover the issues or problems that are most relevant to you at the moment. They are based on your own experience. You set your own agenda and your own pace. Have FUN with your exploration!

Why Would Someone Try My Approach?

How To Use This Site: Where To Begin & What To Do

As you explore below, ask yourself, “What are YOUR root causes?” Your patterns?

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I encourage you to explore  the Resource Sections 1 and 2 for an extensive list of resources in each topic area.  There you will find an invaluable collection of weight-loss and addiction-free life wisdom. I Have learned most of what I know from other people. Many of the resources that I and many other people have found to be invaluable are listed there.

Time and time again, I have seen people’s lives blossom after they made the decision to invest the time in themselves to study and practice the twelve skills listed below.  I encourage you to just pick and choose those themes that you would like to explore. Remember, your health is your greatest wealth! Answer the questions, “Oh my, how did I get to where I’m at now? and How can I begin to make enjoyable and lasting changes?”

  1. Taking the First Steps In Your Journey of Change

  2. Cultivating Balance in Your Life

  3. Write Away Weight: Keeping a Food and Lifestyle-Choice Journal

  4. Discover the Power of FUN: Celebrate Enjoyable Ways to be Active for Life!

  5. Cultivating a Sustainable, Healthful Plan of Eating

  6. Planning and Preparing Delicious Recipes, Meals, and Snacks in a Hectic World

  7. Eating With Awareness and Pleasure

  8. Transforming Emotional Eating and Addictions

  9. Self-Nurturing, Self-Esteem, Heal From Depression, and Transform Emotional Wounding From The Past

  10. Seeking Support, Counseling, and Outside Resources

  11. Maintenance: Learn How to Cultivate Life-Long Well-Being.  

  12. Cultivate Daily Quiet and Personal Introspection Time 

Developing and Maintaining a “Personal Plan of Eating”

Go Within FOR ANSWERS

Before you begin, it would be helpful to review the insights and suggestions from the Dieting VS. Non-Dieting section. Remember that all of this is an experiment. As an example, for me, I discovered that super-chunk peanut butter is a trigger food.

There are some schools of thinking that suggest that if you always have the food around and allow yourself a small amount of it whenever you want, without any denial or guilt, that you will come to a place of eating it in moderation. I tried that out, time after time, and for me found that it did not work. I would almost always end up eating more of than I had planned.

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So I came up with another plan that worked better for me which I share in the section of how I discovered new foods. For most foods that I eat, having unlimited quantities around the house works very well. I don’t overeat them. It’s really important to develop your own inner kind-wisdom and self-discipline for yourself and your life.

Perhaps read over my story of how I learned about myself and found new foods and choices that were more effective. Remember that you are on a journey towards increasing health and well-being and you are planting the garden of your life with seeds of well-being–and nurturing them, and will reap your garden of health and friskiness!!

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You learn about yourself through:

  • Personal discovery through experimentation and practice in making skillful choices that honor and respect ourselves at every level of our lives.
  • There is no “right or wrong”. It’s just what works for you. You update or change your strategies depending on what you notice about yourself through your daily self-introspection.
  • Once you recognize the pattern, you can plan a new response for a situation.

EXPLORE: Notice The Web of Existence: Patterns, patterns everywhere. Not a moment’s peace! and  Which Puzzle Pieces Contribute to Your Overweight?, and What Does It Look Like When Things Are Going Well?

CLEAN UP THE MIND

AIM FOR The Inner Oval–Focus On: Healthy Maintenance Schedule

  • Daily choices of foods, skills, and activities that support a healthy lifestyle, as well as, mental and emotional well being.
  • Foods, activities, and daily patterns that naturally keep you feeling balanced, happy and glad to be alive.
  • List all foods, beverages that do not cause you to want to overeat and activities that support your flexible plan of eating.

The Middle Oval: The Gray Area

  •  “In this situation it’s best that I not do it for now…and in this situation, I can handle it quite well.
  •  Foods of which we are uncertain about
  • Foods and situations that could lead us to the outer oval of imbalances and problems
  • Potential binge foods—come up with behavioral strategies to manage them

The Outer Oval: The Problematic Area

  • Be honest and gentle. List all foods, beverages, and activities that trigger you to eat much more than you had planned. Be specific. These are the foods and activities that will go in your outer oval.
  • Foods and activities in this oval are carefully chosen (for now) and should be monitored to observe your reactions to them. Be gentle. Be honest. Be aware.
  •  List foods and activities that keep us in isolation and fantasy.
  • List the foods and activities that many times have triggered a binge.

What works for you? To print off the EXAMPLE: Defining A plan of Eating-EXAMPLE.pdf

To print off a BLANK Ovals sheet: Blank The Ovals.pdf

ADDITIONALLY UNCOVER AND EXPLORE:

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The Anatomy of Persistence: How Does Bob Keep Going When Injured?

INJURIES-KEEP GOING

Transforming injuries into new beginnings—or just begin again and again and again….

Because of my early severe obesity, my body’s musculature is prone to aches, pains and malfunctions. About every 3-5 years I have to change my fitness routine. For example:

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· I cherished Jazzercise® (aerobic dancing to music) and did it three times per week for four years. Then all-at-once my feet started hurting me. X-rays revealed that feet have hammertoes and large bone spurs, so I couldn’t do it anymore and I needed to get orthodic shoe inserts.  I got the hammer toes fixed on the left foot.

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· I’ve been hiking and back packing for many years. On a recent hike I experienced severe pain from my foot joints after just 3 miles of walking.  X-rays revealed that my hammertoes have increased (I did need surgery) and I have large bone spurs on the right foot. I asked the doctor for referral to a podiatrist to get exercise suggestions, foot care ideas, and I also needed to get orthopedic shoe inserts for my hiking boots. Oh no….more changes….

YOGA

· I started yoga to increase my flexibility, balance and strength. A friend referred me to a qualified teacher, to whom I have practiced with for twelve years. I love it. I’ve had to stop, at times, due to my knee, feet, and shoulder injuries and pain.

ROTATOR CUFF MUSCLES

·On a hike I slipped down a hill and severely pulled out my shoulder muscles (rota-tor cuff) —ouch! I had to see a physical therapist, who recommended a whole series of exercises to build up my shoulder and upper body muscles. My job doesn’t use my upper-body muscles and so they had deteriorated over time. It took about one and a half years to get better. It was at this time that I joined a gym—something that I never wanted to do before. All of the strength-training machines looked like torture machines from outer space. My injury was the triggering event that got me started and I have kept going for about 9 years—for two to three times a week. I also look forward to taking yoga at the club every Tuesday and Thursday. I feel SO good afterwards.

ARTHRITIC KNEE

· Then my knees started hurting. X-rays revealed I have arthritis. About four years ago I stopped doing knee exercises because of the pain. I discovered all of my muscles seem to easily waste away without constant strength training and maintenance. After one year, my knee-geometry was thrown off due to weak muscles and a severe pain developed. I could barely walk, and no hiking was allowed. I felt very sad and discouraged. Oh, no. Not another change!

A trip to the doctor and physical therapist provided me with strengthening exercises—but how to do them?

To help me make lasting activity changes, I applied the Stages of Change model.

Check out too the CDC Physical Activity is for Everyone: http://www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/dnpa/physical/starting/

How did Bob use the Stages-of-Change process to keep going when injured?

· Contemplation: I thought of all the reasons why I just wanted to give up—throw in the towel. I listened to my sad, angry, fearful and frustrated emotions. I then thought of all the reasons why I would benefit from doing the exercises. I talked myself into beginning and congratulated myself for having the courage to begin!

· Preparation: I visited the health resource center and the Internet and got information on arthritis—on what it is–and how I can manage it. I made copies of the exercises to have around the house. I got my yoga mat and belt and the strap-on leg weights and put them in the living room for easy access. I made a date with myself for exercise and put it on the calendar—the days and times. I called up the instructor and put-on-hold my Friday yoga class—since it was too intense for me right now. All of these steps helped me actually DO the exercises.

·Action: I first tried the exercises with the physical therapist. When I got home I did them the best I could—as the pain would allow. I saw the therapist again and discovered I wasn’t doing them all correctly! So, I modified the routine.  I needed to look at her written instructions and use an exercise log to remind me of what to do and keep record of my progress. I have a number of different exercises to do on different days of the week. As I am doing the exercises, I have to modify all routines depending on the pain that is present.

·Relapse: “I was exercising until…” My relapse started a year ago, due to arthritis knee pain. Previously, I was doing regular leg exercises at the gym. Within one year, my legs got really out of shape. I learned from this that all muscle groups need a regular workout and that one exercise doesn’t substitute for another. Darn! I can see I will also have to watch getting so busy I forget to schedule time for me. I remember: I did it before and I can do it again.

· Maintenance: After 6 weeks of doing the exercises, my knee is starting to get better! I was actually totally pain-free on a longer walk! I remind myself of the value of doing the exercises and of how they directly contribute to my knee health. I know that if I stop doing them that my muscles will again get weak and the same problem will occur. I remind myself of the pros-and-cons of change.  I asked the physical therapist for an exercise prescription for maintenance—because I know that if I don’t use it, I will lose it.

· I also used positive self-talk. I thought about attitude—the attitude of acceptance, patience and appreciation—accepting the weaknesses of my body (and its strengths) and the slow progress I experience. I also practice being my own rooting squad and tell myself, “Good job, Bob! I’m proud of you for your efforts! Keep up the great work!” Also appreciation—I had totally taken for granted the ability to walk and hike—now I don’t. I really treasure my blessings.

Slow and steady wins the race! My boss calls me “Mr. Maintenance.” But really, my strength is persistence. I just begin again and again. I developed the habit of persistence by using the Stages of Change process.

So you can see from my story that long-term fitness requires adjustment for the different ups-and-downs in the different seasons of life. It’s not always easy, but the results of being consistent are worth it. 

UPDATE! Two years ago my massage therapist told me that my muscles were all wasting away (at 60 yrs old). I realized that I needed to change gyms and to do something I had NEVER done before!! I signed up for personal training 2 times per week for 2 years. I learned many new exercises and my strength and muscle tone increased dramatically! I now go to the gym 3 times/week to do strength training and take yoga 1 time/week. I see the personal trainer 1 time per month now. I do walks every day around my neighborhood and go on hikes regularly: http://www.balancedweightmanagement.com/Frolic%20In%20Nature!.htm

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                                                       The Stages of Change:

                                      No one stage is more important than another—it’s a process.   

Stage of Change

             Ways to Motivate Change

Pre-contemplation—Not even thinking about changing. Increase awareness of the effects of the problem behavior. HOW are your present choices harmful to you or others? Take responsibility.
Contemplation—Beginning to think about risks and benefits of change. Many people experience a “triggering event”: illness, mental or emotional distress. The goal is to decrease uncertainty about wanting to make changes by identifying pros (benefits to you) and cons (hassles) of change. Are the long-term benefitsworth the short-term costs?  These times can be filled with guilt, shame, hopelessness, and desperation. See ideas below on how to sort things out. Get support for yourself.
Preparation—Plan for a change, but you don’t know what to do. You begin to think of ways to change. Evaluate your life, get advice and help. Seek information: perhaps make phone calls, attend meetings or seminars. You’re in the process of gathering tools for yourself. Listen to your “self-talk” about the value to you of making changes. Make an action plan with specific steps.  Set a date. Identify rewards.
Action—Making changes. Committing time and energy to practice new behaviors. Start small. Set specific, achievable, meaningful, short-term goals. Work to solve problems as they arise. Action is PRACTICE. New behaviors will feel uncomfortable to you at first, and you won’t be very skilled at them. You’ll make mistakes. New habits are the most “fragile” to revert back to OLD habits during the first 6 months.
RelapseReturning to former patterns. It will happen. Choose to learn from it. Can last five minutes or five years! RELAPSE IS NOT FAILURE. IT IS LEARNING. It can happen at ANY stage, especially between pre-contemplation and contemplation, and during times of crisis. Be kind with yourself and honest. NOTICE what has happened.  Determine what you can learn from the experience, and plan ahead for the future. Problemsolve: use your knowledge as a tool for your next stage. Keep a journal to notice and unravel patterns. Plan behavior substitutions. Don’t give up. Don’t give up. Just begin again! Seek out helpful resources on this web site.
Maintenance—Continuing new behaviors with increased confidence. Have awareness of what triggers a relapse and make plans to avoid it. Remind yourself of reasons for having changed–never forget WHY you wanted to do something different. See Bob’s story, Emotional Area for examples of reasons. Reevaluate and redefine your tools and your plan. It will get easier to maintain new behaviors over time.  Be patient and persistent.  Change is a process, NOT an event. Practice self and stress-management skills. Notice if you have fallen back into a chronic, unhealthy patterns again and use the self-evaluation tools (use the Daily Personal Check-In section of this Web site). Congratulate yourself for Having the courage to do it!

Explore Your Puzzle Pieces For Growth

Puzzle Pieces for Growth

PUZZLE PIECES FOR GROWTH

Know this…No one has within themselves

all the pieces to their puzzle.

Everyone carries with them at least one and probably

many pieces to someone else’s puzzle.

Sometimes they know it.

Sometimes they don’t.

And when you present your piece,

which is worthless to you,

to another, whether you know it or not,

whether they know it or not,

you are a messenger from the Most High.

Abraham Joshua Heschel (1907-1972)

Found in Hanan Sills’ Yom Kippur machzor (prayer book), 1991

Additional articles:

How Can You Begin to Make Changes In Your Life?

Get to the Root Causes of Your Overweight–the Roots Parable

Notice in Your Life That Everything Is Interconnected!

Explore The Complex Web Of Well-Being and Weight Management

Socio-Ecological Model–Looking Beyond the Individual

When Society Becomes an Addict: Learn About the Addictive Personality

Puzzle Pieces of Life

The Labyrinth as a Sacred Journey

Restoring The World

Seeking Support, Counseling, and Outside Resources

Thoughts On Healing And Helping

When Helping You Is Hurting Me