Dr. Larry’s “Happiness is a One Way Decision”

Have you ever had that moment when you thought ‘if only __, I would be happy?’  This week Dr. Larry Markson discusses that precise moment and how we can make the decision to be happy.

Happiness is a One Way Decision

At my Cabin Experiences we spend a significant amount of time speaking about happiness and fulfillment. During one exercise I ask, “What would make you happy?” Seemingly, that is an innocuous and simple question and the answers that are received sound plausible and correct – but they are not right.

The vast majority of answers have to do with “When this or that happens – or when I get this or that, then I will be happy.” When my daughter gets married; when my practice or business grows; when I make more money; when I move to a bigger home or when I meet my soul mate” – are examples of what I hear. You get the idea!

When something good happens to you or in your life, then you will be happy, but until then you will remain in varying degrees of unhappiness, frustration, concern or worry. It is Outside-In thinking and totally ignores the Inside-Out proposition that happiness is a decision, not a happening or event.

Surely, being happy doesn’t come naturally to everybody, but I believe it is your birthright to be happy and you can deliberately choose happiness everyday.

Our lives are rich with potential sources of happiness, but sometimes we have been trained over time to become victims of negative thinking. Many have come to believe that focusing on all that has gone wrong will provide us with the motivation we need to face the challenges of survival.

When we choose to focus on what makes us happy, however, a shift occurs in the fabric of our existence. Finding something to be happy about every single day can help this shift take place.

Happiness may not always come easily into your life. Remember that you have been conditioned to believe that the proper response to unmet expectations is one of sadness, anger, guilt, or fear.

To make happiness a fixture in your existence, you must first accept that it is within your power to choose happiness over unhappiness every single day. Then, each time you discover some new source of happiness, the notion that the world is a happy place will find its way more deeply into your heart and mind.

Yes, believe it or not, happiness is your choice and it starts with your decision to leave your story behind and DECIDE TO BE HAPPY.

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Courtney Dunlop’s “Crazy About Coconuts”

This week we have a brief article about the benefits of coconut oil and some great uses for it!

Crazy About Coconuts

by Courtney Dunlop

Coconuts and organic coconut oil

If you’re going to choose just one product to add to your beauty arsenal this spring, coconut oil might be your best bet. Coconut’s chemical compounds make this natural ingredient a powerful tool to solve a whole handful of skin issues, including dryness, acne and sun damage.

Virgin coconut oil contains fatty acids, so it’s compatible with our skin barrier and therefore killer at preventing moisture loss. Its moisturizing abilities make it a great conditioner, lip balm, cuticle oil and shaving oil. In addition, the fatty acids help repair skin cells, counteracting damage done by aging and sun exposure. Coconuts are also packed with growth factors, such as kinetin, a plant hormone that promotes cell division and slows skin-cell aging. Basically, this powerful oil can help keep your hair and skin looking healthy and young (Score!).

Bonus use? Coconut oil makes a great makeup remover – the oil breaks down and dissolves stubborn makeup and sunscreen. Seems like there isn’t much this skin-saver can’t do.

Dr. Wayne Dyer’s “It’s Good to Be a Kid”

This week we have a great post from Dr. Wayne Dyer that explains the importance of connecting with your inner child and how this can fill your life with unexpected joy!

It’s Good to Be a Kid

by Dr. Wayne W. Dyer

It’s never too late to have a happy childhood. When you watch children playing, notice how totally involved they are in what they’re doing, how they run everywhere they go. Notice how they are oblivious to future problems almost as if they have given themselves permission to be free and they show it by becoming totally absorbed in their play. To be more childlike, you don’t have to give up being an adult. The fully integrated person is capable of being both an adult and a child simultaneously. Recapture the childlike feelings of wide-eyed excitement, spontaneous appreciation, cutting loose, and being full of awe and wonder at this magnificent universe.

Here’s what kids know how to do best:

Laugh!

The child in you, like all children, loves to laugh, to be around people who can laugh at themselves and life. Children instinctively know that the more laughter we have in our lives, the better. They will go out of their way to linger with anyone who makes them laugh, who can go along with their jokes.

Keep Fantasy Alive

Children love to dream, to make up stories, use their imaginations—and so would you if you’d let yourself. Remember how you loved to draw, make up verses, or songs, hear stories, make up your own games, wander aimlessly into your fantasy excursions with anyone who was willing to listen or participate? That rich fantasy life was not only great fun but also one of the healthiest aspects of your life as a whole. All of life’s best realities start with “childlike” fantasies.

Be Spontaneous

Notice how children are willing to try anything on a moment’s notice. The child inside you wants to be impulsive and adventuresome, without always having to plan things in advance. Spontaneity is in many ways the key to all childlike behavior. That ability to stop suddenly by the roadside when something interesting catches your eye leads directly to childlike immediacy and “wonder in the face of the world.”

Accept the World as It Is (Be Trusting)

When the infant comes into the world, it has no thought that the world can or should be any different from what it is. The infant just opens its eyes in wonder and fascination at what is out there and makes its way in that world as best it can. The child inside of you knows how to take things as they come, how to deal most effectively and happily with everything and everyone it encounters on this planet. If you can recapture that childlike essence of your being you can stay “forever young at heart.”

These glorious childlike qualities that can help you enjoy your life each and every day are no further from you than your fingers are from your hands. They are an inalienable part of you. If you really love that child within you, and really care to be a child again in the ways I’m talking about, you cannot help but be at peace with yourself.

When you have inner peace, you can do just about anything. Give yourself more of that childlike inner peace today, by letting yourself be that spontaneous, in-the-moment, fun-loving child again. Or, as Friedrich Schiller put it, “Keep true to the dreams of thy youth.”

Dr. Kulreet Chaudhary’s “Herb of the Month: Ginger”

This week we have a post from Dr. Kulreet Chaudhary that is all about ginger, the herb of the month.  This includes the benefits from eating ginger and different uses for it.

Herb of the Month: Ginger

by Kulreet Chaudhary, MD

ginger tea

Ginger is one of the natural home remedies that has actually been tested and researched by the medical community. Ginger has been used for thousands of years in India for many different ailments, in addition to being used as a garnish in everyday cooking. Ginger is added to chai, Indian tea, to help counteract some of the negative effects of caffeine. Ginger is also recognized as an effective home remedy by many other cultures around the world.

The three most commonly studied roles of ginger are as a digestive aid, anti-inflammatory, and immunity booster. Ginger is also being studied for the treatment of colon and ovarian cancer.

Digestive Aid

What is so special about ginger besides the nice little zing it adds to your food? In ayurveda, diet is the basis for a healthy, balanced body and mind. If your digestion is working properly then, according to ayurveda, chronic disease cannot take root in your body. Ginger stimulates good digestion, the basis of health. Ginger stimulates the digestive “fire” by helping the body to release the proper enzymes to break down food so nutrients can be easily absorbed. For people suffering from a loss of appetite, such as during chemotherapy, ginger can stimulate hunger.

Ginger has been proven to be a powerful treatment for nausea, morning sickness, and motion sickness. There is nothing more soothing to an upset stomach than a warm cup of ginger tea. The studies touting the benefits of ginger are prevalent enough that many doctors recommend the use of ginger over prescription medications for nausea. For pregnant women who are suffering from severe cases of morning sickness and do not want to take medications, ginger offers safe, effective relief from their symptoms. Ginger is also excellent for getting rid of gas and abdominal pain due to intestinal spasms. (If you are tired of your spouse’s gas problem, introduce them to ginger.)

Anti-inflammatory

Ginger contains strong anti-inflammatory compounds called gingerols. These naturally occurring compounds help reduce pain and increase mobility in individuals who are suffering from rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. Ginger not only lowers inflammation but it also has molecules that improve joint circulation. In studies, ginger was as effective as ibuprofen for the treatment of osteoarthritis, but without any of the negative effects on the stomach associated with ibuprofen. In fact, ginger actually helps to alleviate stomach problems rather than cause them. People who are suffering from arthritis can add ginger to their daily routine to find relief from their pain without worrying about damaging their gut.

Immune Health

According to ayurveda, ginger warms the body and helps to break down the accumulation of toxins in the organs, particularly in the lungs and sinuses.  Ginger helps to cleanse the lymphatic system, which is our body’s sewage system. By opening up these lymphatic channels and keeping things clean, ginger prevents the accumulation of the toxins that make you susceptible to infections, especially in the respiratory system. It doesn’t take long to see the benefits of ginger when you have a sore throat and a cold. Ginger is a must-have food during flu season.

Ways to Use Ginger

There are several ways to incorporate ginger into your life. Ginger supplements are readily available at most health food stores and online. The typical starting dose is 250mg a day, but depending on the condition, much higher doses can be used. Always talk to your doctor before adding a supplement to your regimen.

My favorite way to use ginger is adding fresh ginger directly into my meals. I typically cut a half-inch of fresh ginger and cut it into small pieces and sauté it with other spices to add that extra kick to my dishes. During flu season or whenever I feel a cold coming on, I make ginger tea a couple of times a week to keep my immune system strong.

Ginger Tea Recipe

Cut one inch of fresh ginger root – use two inches if you want the tea to be stronger. Cut it into small pieces and add it directly into a pot of water. Let it boil for 10 minutes. You can add honey and lemon to taste. Put the tea in a thermos and take small sips throughout the day.

Now you have an immune-boosting, sore-throat-relieving, stomach-calming tonic made in your own kitchen that you can consume any time of the year.

Bonus: The ginger plant is a spectacular plant to view and adds a brilliant splash of color to your vegetable garden. I still remember the first time I saw the flowers of a ginger plant in Thailand with their vibrant red petals reaching for the sun in perfect symmetry. I was surprised that such a hearty, medicinal root had flowers that were so dramatically beautiful. Whether you plant ginger in your garden for its looks or bring it into your kitchen, it is an addition to the home worth making.