All posts by Kally

Join Us For Our Holiday Wish List Pampering Day

Saturday, December 10th from opening to close (special hours 10 am until 5:00 pm)

christmas-1090690_1920 Pixabay freeJoin us for our Holiday Wish List Shopping and Relaxing Party

Click on the Wish List, to print out your own wish list.  Fill it out and bring it in.  Get 15% off your wish list for items in stock and we'll even do the wrapping while you relax.  Enjoy some of our delicious teas or hot chocolate and sample our Vibroacoustic bed or BioMat for free on Saturday only.

If you are not local - you can still shop with a wish list and we'll ship it to you.  We'll even ship your items wrapped (shipping charges may apply).

 

Peace On Earth, Good-Will To Men


lotus-215460_1280-pixabay-freeThis is a wish and a greeting by many different people around the globe.  There is even an international day of peace.

I wish and hope and see peace.  Peace on earth starts with me, my inner peace.

Peace begins with a smile.   Mother Teresa

Go ahead, right now - put a smile on your face.  Keep it there for several minutes.  Notice smile-girl-1245835_1920-pixabay-freehow that makes you feel.  Smile and say hello to the people you greet today and tomorrow.  Were I go to church, there is an older couple and they sit on the back row.  They only stay for 1 meeting.  But they don't leave until they have properly smiled, hugged and given a kiss on the cheek to every person leaving.  When I have had some hard days, this one active of kindness and service has made a world of difference in helping to foster peace in my life.

We can never obtain peace in the outer world until we make peace with ourselves.   Dalai Lama

the-stones-263661_1920-pixabay-freeThe dictionary defines peace as a state of tranquility or quiet; freedom from disquieting or oppressive thoughts or emotions; harmony in personal relations; and freedom from civil disturbance.

The dictionary defines good-will as friendly, helpful, or cooperative feelings or attitude.  It is synonymous with charity, compassion, goodness, consideration and kindness.

This time of year we tend to think more peaceful thoughts and have more good-will for our fellow man.

Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love. Lao Tzu

Remember there's no such thing as a small act of kindness. Every act creates a ripple with no logical end. Scott Adams

October 8, 2016, my community, which is out of the way in rural Arizona that a devastating national-weather-service-radar-reflectivity
storm never really made national headlines.  Click here to see pictures.  We had what many are calling a 100 year storm.  Many lost their houses and businesses and crops.   I lost my house – I didn’t lose my home.   A year ago, my neighbor lost their house to a fire, they had just moved in when the storm hit.  Then we moved out.  I was actually on my way to the east coast to enjoy some time off.  We drove thru an incredible lightning storm such as I had never seen – the whole dessert was lit up.  My son called to ask if we arrived at the airport ok.  They had a huge rain storm – lots of rain.  But that was just the radar-image-246871beginning.  I told him to check the store for leaks and got on the plane.  We were fine.

2016-10-08-23-32-00After we boarded the plane - “All hail” broke loose – literally.  Not 1, not 2 – but 3 super cells pounded our community.   There was literally a blanket 6 inches deep of hail covering the town.  The streets flowed like rivers with ice bergs.  Our roof suffered so much damage, we need a whole new roof and the ceilings all over the inside replaced.  So we currently live in temporary housing.  The next day, the streets were piled up with a 6 inch layer of hail.... seriously.  For a desert community - this just has never happened in my lifetime.

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We lost part of our business and all of our storage.   Plus we lost a lot of business for the month as everyone in town was affected.

Both cars at home and our RV suffered huge damage, enough for the cars to be totaled out.

The schools were damaged enough that the entire school district got 2 weeks off, one school will be closed until January and the students have be moved into other schools.

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Eastern Arizona Courier

Our community immediately was out helping everyone.  The city trash pick-up was overwhelmed and expected weeks and months of work to clean up.  Instead of sitting at home for an unexpected fall break – high school students went out as volunteers to clean up yards and homes and followed the city trash trucks around to help clean up our town.

2016-10-09-06-55-54
My poor tower garden. It like most people's plants in town were demolished.

Today, 2 months later, the trees still look beat up but the town thanks to volunteers and good-will looks pretty good.

Many are still without homes.  We were in a hotel, and a family offered their basement which we gratefully accepted.  Repairs are slow because so many people need work done.  One third of our business is still getting repairs made.

If it wasn’t for the kindness and good-will of many, so much more would have been lost.  Many people offered their laundry services to wash and dry wet things – to save them.   Many meals were shared.  And, many yards and homes were cleaned up.   Moving through trials with peace and gratitude is the path of least resistance and the path that will benefit you the most.  It allows you to have a clear head and make the best of the situation.

This holiday season will be different for me.  All my Christmas decorations were moved and macro-1251318_1920-dragonfly-pixabay-freesome destroyed.  My house got packed up while I was back East to prevent mold so we are still living out of a suit case and I’m actually missing my holiday sweaters.  For us, it will be a simple holiday without all the decorations.  We are looking for meaningful activities that will help us remember why we celebrate.

Peace on earth, good-will towards men– for me the message of the babe born in Bethlehem was one of peace, good news and good-will.  My heart is filled with joy with opportunities to serve, to visit the lonely, to smile at a stranger, to give and to receive.   World peace begins with me and with you.   It doesn’t matter our differences.  Differences should enrich our lives, not divide us.

The Dalai Lama said, “Going deeper into peace… genuine peace must come through inner peace, not through fear.”  “The key thing is a warm heart of concern for others’ well-being.”  He further explained that a calm mind is the remedy for the loss of hope and a destroyer of fear, distrust and hate.  We have the power within ourselves to restore happiness.  “You must develop compassion, not pity.”  From a visit to San Diego in 2012.

If the storms of your life or the world around you is causing you to feel stressed or upset, let go.  Look for the good.  Find things to be grateful for.  Embrace peace.

lightning-962789_1920-storm-pixabay-free

Tips for cultivating inner peace.

  • Learn to go with the flow and adapt to circumstances. That doesn’t mean you have to accept low standards that you can’t change your circumstances.   My favorite saying is, ‘It is what it is.’ It just is, therefore work with what is.
  • Unclutter your life and simplify.
  • Be grateful. Observe the beautiful and wondrous things in our world.
  • Don’t complain and avoid negativity.
  • Spend time around positive happy people.
  • Spend a few minutes a day meditating.
  • Take deep breaths, especially when you’re feeling negative or anxious.
  • Do something you love or participate in a hobby.
  • Give service
  • Journal
  • Choose Love

We have a choice in this world.  Our happiness and our peace doesn't begin when circumstances are perfect.  It begins with us during trials and challenges nurturing our inner peace and choosing to be at peace and share good-will with our fellow man.

Enjoy this beautiful song and video from my friend Shawn Galloway,
"I Choose Love"

From all of us in our family and at Indigo Mountain we wish you peace, health and happiness.

And we wish you Happy Holidays (which means happy holy days).

Merry Christmas – Feliz Navidad (Spanish) – Mele Kalikimaka (Hawaiian) – Kala Christouyenna (Greek) – God Jul (Norwegian) – Srozhdestovm Kristovim (Russian)

Shenti jiankang ankang xingfu [Chinese for Wishing you health and happiness]  身体健康,安康幸福!

The Leaders of Tomorrow, Raising Children

water-fight-442257_1920Kids - and more kids everywhere.   Whether or not you have kids living at home, or adult children, or no children at all; WE are ALL affected by the kids of the world.  Raising children is vitally important.

The youth of today WILL be some of the leaders of tomorrow.

The youth of today WILL be our teachers, police officers, our war veterans, our doctors, our lawyers, the business owners, and the administrators and care givers helping us adults when we enter old age.

The youth of today will possibly be the homeless adults of tomorrow, the veterans having issues, parents that can't find work, and even the criminals locked up in prison.

WE ALL have a responsibility to raise kids that can be the LEADERS of communities, states and this great nation.  We have a responsibility to nurture kids that will want to do the hard jobs and do them well.  We need to raise kids that want to be great teachers to help educate future amazing adults.  We have a responsibility to provide an environment that fosters the arts and creativity in children to help their amazing minds reach their full potential.  We need to place emphasis on raising children in a healthy and dynamic way.

"It takes a village to raise a child." -African Proverb

I know this to be true.  One, I was once a child and two, I have seven children myself.american-soldier-381847_1280

As a kid, I knew that I anywhere I went, if I mis-behaved any adult would be free to correct me.  And as a kid, I respected every adult.  No, life wasn't perfect.  There were adults in my village that were not honorable.  But, that didn't matter.  I had a whole village.  I had church, school, my neighborhood, my friend's parents, my extended family and of course my parents.  Most of them felt it was their duty to correct me when needed along my path.  I think I turned out pretty decent.  I NEVER had the perfect childhood either.  Go figure.

I had good and bad examples.  I learned from both.  I was nurtured by the good examples.  And I was allowed to develop my talents and stretch my brain.

I didn't have a perfect childhood, I didn't get special training or classes, I often got picked last, sometimes I won, sometimes I was alone and scared, sometimes I lost, sometimes I had no friends, my heart got broken and sometimes I got in trouble for things I didn't do and sometimes I actually got away with something.  I fought with my siblings, babysat them and thought my parents were unfair.  I did have people in my life who loved me and some who didn't.  I had a village.  I am the product of that village.

When I was very young, racism was very much alive and real.  Once I was even told not to play with kids that had a different skin color by one of the adults in my village.  That was still an accepted idea at that time.  But I saw those same adults treat other adults with different colored skin with respect and I knew we were all the same.  Then my grandmother did some research, privately but because she was part of my village we all saw and learned from her; anyway she did some research on different races, read books, prayed and changed her view on this topic.  My grandmother was born in the 1920's in the west.  I learned from my grandmother we could adapt and learn on some very controversial topics.  This same grandmother kept taking classes and learning.  Her world went from horses and a few cars to jet airplanes and computers and she kept up with it.  She even took language classes.  I learned from her to keep my mind busy, learn new things, and stay active.  She also served the community a lot in the local hospital and at church.  I saw her quilting blankets for the hospital all the time.  She was serving others until she was 90 years old and passed away.  I learned to serve as a virtue from her.

When I was born, I was left handed.  Although most of the adults thought I "should be" right handed.  In 1st grade I broke my right arm.  The school of course hired a tutor to take care of me even though I insisted I still could right with my left hand.  Nope - I wasn't "allowed".  And I missed that very important time of the day COLORING.  However in 4th grade my teacher was a hippy rebel, she even made us sing "hippy songs" which I still remember to this day.  Well my hippy teacher thought it was good to be left handed and even got me left handed scissors.  I didn't have bad feelings to the other teachers, but sure my heart was happy with my 4th grade hippy teacher that made a huge difference in my life with teaching me that lefties are awesome, hippy music was fun, and basically learning was fun.  She dressed well and taught more than what was in the books.

piano-1493797_1920I always loved to play the piano.  I didn't have a teacher once so I asked my granny if she would teach me.  She was very talented.  She was very blunt and honest with me and said she didn't like kids and wouldn't be able to.  She just didn't have the patience to teach piano lessons.  The horror..... NOT.  My granny was kind and loving and honest.  A trait she taught me.  She taught me that you can be openly honest and kind.  I never held it against her, in fact I loved her even more and admired her.  She did obviously have children of her own, that is how she became my granny.  She had six children.  And she played cello and other instruments, she painted, carved, and made tons of amazing crafts.  In fact this granny kept her hobbies up and learning new arts until she died.  She stayed busy doing and creating.  She in her youth was in an orphanage.  She went onto be one of the artists in Disney's movie "Snow White".  I learned you are never too old or too limited to develop talents.  And I learned you can be honest with yourself and others and still love people.

I had a friend at the age of four.  I still know her today.  She is my oldest and dearest friend.  I spent a lot of time at her house.  Her mother was an industrious person, always busy making things.  And no matter what, anytime I went to her house, she smiled and said hello.  She was a happy person and always had a meal to share.  I don't know if I know a happier person.  She is getting old now but when I see her, she still has a big smile and says hello.  My friends dad was a tease.  He teased me non stop.  They both made me feel accepted in their home and I was expected to follow the rules, which I did of course.  I learned from them how to treat other all the time.

I had a piano teacher, my neighbor.  She went above and beyond teaching me the piano.  She loved the piano herself and she saw in me greatness when I didn't see it myself.  She weekly inspired me.  She had loads of patience even when I didn't practice and she encouraged me to excel and strive for my very best.  I didn't believe in myself or my talent, but she did even when there were others that could play better than me.  She helped me believe in me, the real me.  She taught me that if I worked hard I could play the piano well.  As a senior in high school I learned to play Brahms Rhapsody in G minor.  I learned to keep practicing the rest of my life and the joy of playing an instrument.

I had uncles in my life that not only teased me and played tricks on me, they nurtured my scientific mind and encouraged me to go to college, a university.  Which I did to major in Aerospace Engineering.

When I was eight, I got bit by a rattlesnake and I was in the hospital for nearly a week.  Adults in my village from the community that knew my dad and from church came to visit me.  One of the "old men" snuck me in a milk shake which made my day during the long days at the hospital.  They visited me, which was so nice.  We didn't have computer games, Game Boys, or much TV at that time.  Visitors made the difference.  They even played games with me while I was stuck in bed.

In addition to setting a good example for children - your own or in the community; teach them to endure.  They also need to learn to work in groups.  They can learn the art of negotiation in groups, with their friends or siblings and in school.

Give kids opportunities to make decisions.  As small children this starts with choosing their clothes with your help, you might offer two acceptable outfits and let them choose.  As they get older, the choices should be more complex.  But never make it a do or die situation, they need to LEARN TO MAKE CHOICES.  Our job as mentors (parents, family, neighbors and community) is to help teach them how.

Kids need opportunities to speak out and even debate issues.  They need to learn to speak with confidence, to look people in the eye and shake hands.  They can learn these skills in school, at home, at church and other community programs.

Raising my kids, I was shocked at how many kids in the neighborhood didn't have chores or work to do - or very little and even more shocking was that their friends enjoyed coming and helping my kids do work.  The value of work is an important skill for them to gain.  Small kids can have chores, be patient with them.  I gave my kids chores and at night I went behind them and cleaned up or fixed the job.  But they can learn to do a job and do it well.

My mother had eight children of her own.  She made most of our food from scratch.  She took the small salary that my dad, a police officer, had and raised us all.  I guess we didn't have a lot of money, but I never knew it.  She was thrifty and industrious.  She made clothes for us - especially new dresses for Easter.  She made Christmas gifts for us.  I have a jewelry box, quilt, and other treasures that were made by my parents.  She canned, had a garden and taught me to be self-sufficient.  She got us part time jobs to earn money.  I weaned animals for farmers, chopped weeds in cotton fields, and babysat.  All this before I was twelve years old.  I learned to work from my mother who had an endless supply of jobs that we were to do well before we were allowed to play.  I knew I could work hard.  I could chop wood for the fire place, and move a bale of hay which can weigh about 50 lbs.  I also learned to ride horses from my mother, which I love to do.  We worked hard and then we played.  My mom had us on picnics, horseback riding, camping, and cooking out.  She taught us to have a good time with each other.  She sacrificed a lot for us.  And one time without knowing, she taught me to pray.  I went into her room late one night and saw her silently on her knees for a long time.  And I knew where she got her strength from.  She loved us.

My dad was in the air force, in fact he was in boot camp when I was born.  After he served he came home and did a few odd jobs.  At one point he owned a janitorial company and I remember helping clean the businesses that hired him. We all pitched in the family business.  My dad went to school and then became a police officer and finally he ran for the office of sheriff.  My dad was a hard worker.  He figured out how to remodel and keep our house that was about 70 years old at the time in good shape.  And of course, guess what - we all learned.  By the time I was in high school I learned to sheet rock a wall, and do a roof.  And when we did that roof, the village showed up to help.  We didn't have money to hire people to fix all the stuff a family of ten goes thru, so my dad learned to do a lot.  I thought he was a genius.  I learned a lot I could do.  And my dad loved to travel, so we did and I learned to love the diversity of this country.  His favorite and mine was the beach.  Most importantly my dad taught me what you focus on grows.  He taught me to raise my kids focusing on what I wanted, not what I didn't want.  He sacrificed a lot for us.  He loved us.

I had tons of bad examples in my life.  I'm sure we all do.  But these are just a few of the great lessons I had in my life from the people in my village.  They all made a difference in who I am today.

Get involved with the youth of today - play games with your children, grandchildren or anyone.  My mother-in-law at the age of 92 still plays games with my kids and that that is one of the best memories they have with her.  She never lets them win either.  When they win, they earn it and they know it.

We all, no matter what, need to make a difference today.  The future needs us to.  Our village needs us.baby-1317627_1920

We are mothers to other's children.  We are teachers.  We are extended family.  We are examples.  We are guardians of virtue and values.  We are the story tellers.  We are the village.

I am grateful to all the adults in my village that continue to teach me and I am grateful to all the adults watching over my children all over the world.  My 2nd child lives in China.  She works for a family and spends a lot of time with this family.  We got to go visit her.  The grandmother assured me they were taking care of my daughter (she is 27 years old) and watching over her.  They knew they were her village and wanted me to know they would watch over her and they do.

You can be sure that I watch over the kids I am around.  I love them all.  And I am excited to see the things the children of this world create.  I look forward to the art and the music being created child-1260421_1920within them.  With pride in my community I listen to the younger ones running for political office and standing up for their values and the good of our community.  There is good in this world and there is greatness in our children!  We are a village and we need each other and we need to watch over and nurture the children.

What are you doing to support your village?  What do you think we need to make happen in our communities?

11 Nov 2012 653Do you know someone special that makes your village better?  If you do, send them a thank you note.

Keep up the good work!

Kally Efros

Indigo Mountain

 

Your True Colours January 2016

Jan2016We have enjoyed being a regular contributing writing for Your True Colours Magazine.  But, we feel we need to spend our time with our own business.  They have been great.  So this is our last article from Indigo Mountain for Your True Colours.  This months magazine is full of great articles.  Check them out.

You'll find our wellness article on page 19 - a look at Superfoods and they really are.  If you find yourself confused lately about all the media coverage, you'll want to check this out.

Superfoods - What are they?

I don't make money writing this article, no food groups paid me, I received no samples to sway my opinion.  This is just pure knowledge as I have learned it from school, common sense, training, and conventional wisdom and knowledge.  Do your research.  You'll find that a lot of claims are simple hype.  So take a look and just make a few changes to your lifestyle 1 step at a time.

Healthy Food Word by Serge Bertasius Photography at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Even though I'm not writing for the magazine any more - you'll still find lots of great content on our website.  And we intend to make it even better.  So please share with your friends and let them know about us.

For a look at eating healthy check out our other great articles.

Healthy Breakfast Ideas, 3 parts.

Really, It is Possible to Eat Healthy

Green Smoothie Cleanse for Energy and Vitality

Photo credits by Serge Bertasius Photography at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

Single red rose blossom

Enjoy the New Year, Simplify and Be Joy

Full bloom of a single yellow rose.A new year rolled in.  Does it seem like 2016 even happened?  If not, why not?  Are you in such a rush that you don't take time to smell the roses and enjoy the moments a long the way?  This is not an article about making New Years Resolutions.  This is an article about simply enjoying life more each day as we start this new year.  [Update - this article was originally posted in 2015.]

Speaking of roses, I love them.  Every house I buy I plant rose bushes.  They remind me of my Grandmother Ellsworth.   There is something special about them and all their varieties.  When we opened our Store, Indigo Mountain in Safford, AZ we wanted to simplify our lives so we bought a house a few blocks from our business.  It has been great!  We can walk to work, walk to a grocery store, and take care of business and our home with ease.  But we still found we were busy and rushing around.  So Mark literally started stopping to smell our rose bushes each day before going anywhere.  That was his daily routine, stop look at the roses, pinch off the dead blooms, and literally SMELL THE ROSES.  Then he started his day, enjoying the moments, enjoying life more.

What do you do to start your day?

What do you want to be different in 2017 as we start a new year?

At the end of the year, what do you want your new year to look like?  As you think about 2016, what do you wish you did different?  NO REGRETS - those were choices you made.  But take stock of those choices and design and organize your life with intention this year with time for enjoying life more and doing the things you want to do.  Sometimes we can spend time running the rat race and not getting very far.  If you want some inspiration, read this article, Stop Allowing Excuses to Run Your Life, an interview about a young man that has accomplished a lot and has no arms.

I think as we mark the moments along the way and breath deeply, smiling more each day that time can slow down - or rather, we just are existing in time instead of trying to create a 30 hour day - which just slows us down.

Here are some ideas to help you enjoy each day more and simplify

  1. Spend less time on social media and texting.
  2. Spend more time face to face with the people you care about.Our family playing a game together
  3. Make memories with those people.
  4. Play games, not on the computer, with people.
  5. Stop and literally smell the roses or other rituals to help you slow down.
  6. Be realistic about what you can accomplish and do in a day or week.
  7. Get your sleep.
  8. Move and exercise as it gives you more energy and increases happy chemicals in your brain.
  9. Eat meals with the people you live with and friends and enjoy the meal, don't rush through it.
  10. Keep a journal and record the things your grateful for and the good times as well as some of your struggles.  Record your goals and dreams.
  11. Make a scrap book of pictures over the year.
  12. Look at your life and simplify.
  13. Learn something new.
  14. Have fun.
  15. Give service.
  16. Take a vacation.
  17. Pamper yourself and other around you.
  18. Get rid of your clutter and things that don't bring you joy.

We've been taking stock of our lives.  Personally we have 2 kids left and home and we want to enjoy each moment of their lives.  We have simplified our life a little more and cut out some activities that we were involved in.  These were great activities, we can all get involved in worthwhile amazing activities.  It just depends on what we choose to do.  After all, we have 24 hours in each day and 8 of those are sleeping hours.  Just for fun, I once added up the things I had committed to do - it was more than 20 hours for a day.  I knew right away that was part of some stress I was experiencing.  Now I take stock on a regular basis of my time.  Just like a check book needs to be balanced, you need to balance your time.  Money doesn't grow on trees and time marches on - we all get the same amount.  We can't do everything, so choose what you want with YOUR TIME.  As we roll into a new year, think about your life.

Once when I was feeling so overwhelmed and busy, I was meditating and pondering on my life.  This is always a good activity.  Most of us have a genius in our head if we just take time to listen.  Well my genius inner voice started talking to me and said, "Who told you you had to work so hard?  Who said you have to get all these things done?"  Of course I answered back - Me.  I was my task master and I realized that no one else probably cared if I did all these things and worked so hard.  But they probably cared that I took care of myself.  So I quit being so hard on myself - you know I wasn't paying myself overtime or rewarding me in anyway.  That was my awakening.

We looked at the activities we have been participating in and our time and our goals for the year.  Some of our activities were cut out.  As a family we decided what to be involved in and what to do so that we had time together.  We decided we also needed more game time together as a family.

We are getting rid of clutter in a big way this year and we already got started last year.  Then the universe decided I wasn't moving fast enough or needed some help.   I love this book, The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up.  It is a fantastic book to help you in this area.  We highly recommend this book.  It is short and easy to read.  I now look for objects that bring me joy or have a current job in my life, everything else is easy to let go of.  Our goal in 2016 is to get rid of 1/3 of our stuff so that when the new year of 2017 rolls around, we have tidied up and feel more organized.  It is not going to be an overnight task and we plan to have fun doing it.

Don't make a big deal about New Year Resolutions, just start each day creating the life you want.

If you just exist each day reacting to events and circumstances around you, it can still be a good life but you may not end of where you want.  Take just a few minutes or an evening and think about your life - DESIGN YOUR LIFE.  What do you choose?  Write it down, make a vision board, make a list, whatever works for you.  Then each day spend a few minutes planning your life.  It will make a huge difference.  For me personally, I end the day by looking at my day and planning for tomorrow.  That way when the morning starts I'm already on my game plan.

tea-set for 2 Pixabay freeWe do spend time each day in quiet thought and meditation.  It makes a huge difference.  Mark stops and smells the roses and I do as well.  But my big ritual that helps me slow down is enjoying a cup of herbal tea.  A dear friend got me hooked on herbal fruit teas years ago.  So when I drink my daily cup, I think of her - I think of friends - tea time.  I slow down and savor the delicious taste and smile about my day and the good times.

What do you do to enjoy the day and slow down?

What are your goals this year?  What are your working for?  Check out this article on Smart Goals inspired by our son Chandler.DSCN2982

This I am going to BE JOY; feeling peace and abundance.  What do you choose?

Share your thoughts and tips.

Kally and Mark

Holiday Stress Tips

Celebrate Definition Button by Stuart Miles at Freedigitalphotos.netStress Reducing and Organizing Tips for the Holiday Season

Do you find yourself not looking forward to some holidays?  Do you wish you had more time?  Do the holidays overwhelm you?  We have tips to help you get more organize, reduce your stress, and connect to a more joyous season.  Tune into for your tips, click here for the radio link.

And isn't the holiday season about JOY in the first place?  There are many things that can derail us at the end of the year, finances and over spending, shopping, 'Keeping up with the Jone's', the weather, long lines, weight gain, traveling, and even feeling obligated to attend social parties for work, family or the community.

Plan ahead to change how your holiday season will go.  Click here for another article planning for the holidays.  Make a list now to help you prepare for next year.

Click on the recording below to listen now.

Did you know that the thing that stresses most people out - the top of the list is......

They have to pretend to be happy.

Step #1  What is your wish list for celebrating the holidays?  Do you find yourself disappointed when the holidays don't turn out like you want?

True story.... my husband and kids had no idea about my expectations for Mother's Day.  So they never quit turned out like I wanted.  I expected breakfast in bed and that never crossed his mind and the kids were very little.  Once I shared my expectations, he was happy to meet my expectation.  I'm sure many of you can relate.

Your partner was raised by different people with a different view of life.  If you never share your expectations or wishes, they wont know because most people are not great mind readers.

Make a clear decision about what you want.  It does take away a lot of stress.  Decide how you will spend your time and resources.

Step #2 Evaluate last year.  What did you LOVE and what did you just hate?  What new traditions do you want to create or what did you dread?  I use a Christmas notebook to help plan and evaluate.

Step #3 Why do you want to change?  What do you want to change?  What is 1 small change that you can do to bring a lot more peace and happiness?KISS

Step #4 KISS Keep it simple and keep it special.  If you learn the KISS rule, it is like a magic wand to help you transform the holidays.  KISS = Keep It Simple and Special.

Step #5 Plan ahead and budget. It will help you spend less and you'll be able to clearly see where you need to cut back.  A budget really makes a difference especially if you plan ahead and save.  Setting aside money each money to celebrate holidays, special occasions and birthdays helps with the shock of it all at once and it makes it easier to follow your plans.

We even provide a service at our store to help shoppers - especially grandparents.  You provide a budget and a list of people your shopping for and we stay in your budget and pick out wonderful gifts items for you.  For many this helps with planning and budgeting.

Our absolutely favorite budget tool is called YNAB, You Need A Budget. Click here for a link with a discount if you want, or try a free trial.  I consider myself to be good at budgeting, and I absolutely love this software.

Step #6 Prioritize.  What is most important to you?  When your planning and budgeting, it is important to know what is most important.  Who is most important for spending your time and resources with?
holiday shopper with gifts caminoel by freedigitalphotos.netStep #7 Enjoy each and everyday now that you have a plan.  Don't forget that during the December holidays and many other celebrations, JOY is the reason we are celebrating.

Step #8 Take care of your health.  After Halloween there is a noticeable rise in sickness.  One reason for that is all the extra candy and junk food.  So don't completely step away from all your good habits.  Enjoy the celebrations, but don't make it a season of just eating terribly.  Try to maintain some good habits and you'll enjoy the holidays more.  There is nothing worse than feeling sick when everyone is getting together for a celebration.

Follow the simple basics.

  • Drink your water.
  • Keep eating the good, healthy foods.
  • If you want the treats, counter balance that with your healthy balanced meals.
  • Keep exercising.  It boosts moods and helps improve your immune system.  Walking has a tranquilizing effect on the brain and can help with anxiety and sleep.
  • Get your rest.  It is normal to want to sleep longer in the winter, that is the natural rhythm of the body.
  • Laugh and have fun.
  • Check out our boards on Pinterest.  We have saved some healthy dessert ideas.
  • Take your vitamins and use essential oils to help prevent sickness.  For sure take your vitamins all winter.
  • Boost your mood with Vitamin D from sunlight or take a supplement if needed.  Our favorite is Cod Liver Oil with Butter oil.
  • Avoid over-eating.  Make smaller meals, prepare your favorites over several days instead of trying to eat it all in 1 day.

Step #9 Wrap up and repeat.  Get rid of clutter and broken decorations.  Make notes of what went well.  Start the plan for next year.

Ideas and Tips

  • Hand out non-candy surprises for Halloween.
  • Before Trick or Treating or other Celebrations involving lots of desserts eat well.
  • Bring your own dessert to events.
  • Make sure you have had your protein needs met before a gathering, you'll have less cravings.
  • Brink a good cup of herbal tea to drink at events or bring tea bags with your choice of sweetener like stevia.
  • Spend more time away from technology, the phone, email and Facebook.  Spend time with real people enjoying the sights, smells and sounds of the holidays and special celebrations.
  • Use citrus essential oils or others that you enjoy to boost your mood.

Do less and enJOY more.

Kally and Mark for webDon't forget to laugh and have a good time.

If you want more tips and stories, tune into the radio show.

Enjoy your holidays and your celebrations.

Mark and Kally

Photo credits:  Stuart Miles, caminoel at Freedigitalphotos.nes

December 2015 All About Art

December2015"The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls" Pablo Picasso

This month, December 2015, is full of articles on art.  You'll find articles on Art Therapy, the creative process in writing a song, hanging your artwork, and tips to starting your own art collection.   Jayna Mistry has an article entitled:  The World Needs More Artists.  We agree.  More and more schools are shutting down art programs, at the expense of all our communities.  Check out the article on page 55 about a wonderful company called Trades of Hope, helping to empower women out of poverty.

Of course your'll some of the latest fashion trends and the trends in coats.

Be sure to check out our featured wellness article on page 17 on Art Therapy.    Adult coloring books are all the rage, we have had a hard time keeping them on our Arts Blocks by Stuart Miles at FDPshelves in our store.  Art therapy is being utilized to help children with traumatic brain injuries or for PTSD.  It is a form of yoga for the brain.  Coloring encourages imagination which is great for children, but it is also good for adults.  Imagination is the stuff dreams are made of and helps light a fire to our passion.

Be sure and check out this months Your True Colours Magazine.

Photo credits by Stuart Miles at Freedigitalphotos.net

 

 

Happy Holidays from Indigo Mountain

christmas-1090690_1920 Pixabay freeThe holidays are a wonderful time of year – no matter what holiday you celebrate.  The word holiday comes from 2 words, holy days.  During the holidays, especially at this time of year, we reconnect with family and friends and participate in traditions.  Traditions and holidays are both important in maintaining connection with each other and passing on our family heritages.   The holidays are a good time to give the gift of forgiveness to yourself and others.  Check out my article and radio program on Forgiveness.menorah-318641_1920 Pixabay free

I have dear Jewish friends and family members that celebrate Hanuka.  The Jews have been observing this festival of lights in celebration of the re-dedication of
Jerusalem’s temple in 164 B.C.  In fact Jesus celebrated Hanukkah and other Jewish holidays.

The first recorded date of Christmas being celebrated is December 25th in the year 336 A.D.  during the time of the Roman Emperor Constantine, the first Christian Roman Emperor.  Most of the Christians around the world celebrate Christmas and of course many people celebrate the Santa Clause version of Christmas.

nicholas-1007764_1920 pixabay freeAround the world you will find people observing the 12 Days of Christmas – after Christmas until the 12th day known as the Three Kings Day.  Many Latin countries, Día de Los Reyes is celebrated to honor the Three Wise Men and closes the Christmas festivities.  It is the day they exchange gifts.  We have always had an advent calendar to mark the days leading up to December 25th with candles, singing, and other occasions and in many cultures this is a common practice.

Personally, I am starting a new family tradition; adding the 12 Days of Christmas after the 25th to honor the reasons we celebrate Christmas. I hope it is a trend to bring back the 12 Days of Christmas to our local community.  It is a much slower time to enjoy each other's company, ring in the new year, and thing about what is important to us.

Don’t forget that in the Asian culture, Chinese New Year is a major holiday and time to visit family and friends, have special meals, gift giving and of course fireworks.  It is their most important social and economic holiday.

However you choose to celebrate, perhaps it would be a good time to introduce new family traditions or pick up some old ones.  It is also a good time to start some new traditions to incorporate all year long.  Here are some suggestions for you:

  • Family date once a month. Many people already have a couple date night weekly, and if you don’t that is a great idea to do.  It is a good time as a family to have fun and reconnect from the busy pace of life.
  • Have a family game or puzzle night each week.
  • Take a class together as a family or read a book together – have a family book club, especially if your family is moving away.
  • Spend time each month organizing a family photo album.
  • Write a family history together.
  • Launch rockets or some other event.
  • Take vacations or go camping each year.
  • A family music/singing night.
  • Create a family recipe file.
  • Create a secret family handshake.
  • Brunch on regular basis.
  • Family service projects.
  • Rent a hotel room and have a family slumber party.
  • 12 Days of Christmas, after Christmas.

Here is an update for you on our family since many of our customers have become good friends and many of you keep asking.  Many of you have gotten to know our kids as they have worked in our store.  We are very blessed with 7 kids, lots of extended family, a wonderful community, and our dog.

  • Our oldest, Daniel is working as a manager in a kitchen at a restaurant.  He loves food.  He also plays in different bands around his community. He is very happy.IMG_0184
  • Angela is working on he masters in China and will be attending the United Nations conference next year.  She also performs in China and teaches English.  She is doing very well.
  • Nicole is going to school to get a degree in Natural medicine.
  • Trevor is serving a mission for our church in Taiwan and will be home in the spring of 2016.  He uses his music skills in Taiwan and has become quit fluent in Mandarin.
  • Chandler is serving a mission for our church in Brazil and will be home in 2017.  He still gets to use his music skills down there plus he is learning Portuguese very well.
  • Riley is still at home and just starting to learn how to help in the store.  He acts, plays soccer and the piano.
  • Rachel is also at home and loves to help in the store.  She acts and plays the piano.
  • Lizzy, our Shih Tzu keesp us busy with walks and keeps us entertained.  She is sometimes more  like a cat.

This year we welcomed Julie Davis and Mackenzie Davis to our staff.  They always have a smile for everyone that walks in the door.  We love having them at Indigo Mountain.

IMG_0219From all of us at Indigo Mountain, we wish you a very happy holiday season and the Merriest of Christmas'.   We appreciate your support of our family business.  Thank you for letting us serve you.  You may have noticed Julie and Mackenzie in the store.  We were very happy to welcome them to the Indigo Mountain family this year.

Mark, Kally and our 7 kids, Julie and Mackenzie

 

Julie Davis
Mackenzie Davis

The Power of Forgiveness

i-beg-your-pardon-927746_1920 Pixabay freeForgiveness actually benefits your heart health and your mental well-being.  Normon Cousins once stated, "Life is an adventure in forgiveness."

**Note - the recording cuts out midway, but stay tuned, most of the show is there and you still get a great message.  It was just a minor part that is missing. Keep reading below and I'll include the parts that are missing.

Check out this blog:  The Daily Motivator and his post about The Value of Forgiveness.  He has a beautiful message.  It is short, sweet, profound and a perfect complete message on forgiveness.

The holidays are the perfect time to give yourself and others the gift of forgiveness.  You'll have a better holiday.  Some celebrations can be very painful as the past pain sneaks up on you or you hold yourself back.

It isn't always easy to do for everyone, but we've got ideas to help.  Tune into the Get Real! with Mark and Kally show to catch our show:  The Power of Forgiveness.

Peace is not possible without forgiveness. Martin Luther King once said, “Forgiveness is not an occasional act; it is a permanent attitude.”  It is a daily act of living a life of peace.

The dictionary defines the word forgive as:  To grant pardon for or remission of an offense or debt.  To absolve.  To give up all claim on account of.  To cease to feel resentment against.  To cancel liability.

Forgiveness can be very difficult.  However, it is much easier to do than living with resentment.  Forgiveness allows you to learn the lessons of life and move forward.  It is important to forgive yourself and others even when they don't ask for it.

 

Forgiveness is very powerful and it CAN transform your life.  When you forgive, you are NOT saying that the offence is okay.  Your are saying that you are not going to continue to or even begin to feel resentment.Blame...Forgivenss Heals Monson

We can learn a lot about the Amish people and their experience of daily forgiveness.  In 2006, terrible tragedy struck and many might have felt they were justified in being angry.  But instead, they chose to forgive.  Read more about their story.

Cherie Carter-Scott said, "Anger makes you smaller, while forgiveness forces you to grow beyond what you were."

Dr. Darren Weissman so eloquently described situations in life as "gifts in strange wrapping paper." The strange wrapping is the experiences in life that you wouldn't always choose, and it is strange wrapping - but there is a gift - there is always a gift.  When you see the gift - the lesson - you can move past the event.  You can gain power from the experience rather than lose your power.

Start by looking at what your'll really upset about.

Next look at how you've handled your pain and your hurt.  What is the cost of holding onto these grudges and disappointments?  What is the cost in energy, intimacy, and self-esteem?

Then you have to decide to let go and forgive.  Don't wait for someone to ask your forgiveness.  Let go of your anger, blame and resentment.  This in turn frees you from what binds you to the person that caused the offence or is at the center of it.

As you let go and forgive you will find you are set free.

Forgiveness requires that you accept the past.  There is no power to change the past.  Holding a grudge or resentment means you want to change the past and that cannot happen.  All you can do is accept what is and what it was.

BUT YOU CAN CHANGE THE MEANING OF IT for you.  This is the key point.  Your interpretation of events can be changed - your beliefs.

Karol Truman has a great chapter on forgiveness in her book Healing Feelings from Your Heart, she teaches to write out forgiveness statements many many times until I releases in us.  Check her book out.love-sign-950912_1920 Pixabay free

Carol Tuttle said in her book, Remembering Wholeness, "…forgiveness of anyone who hurts us in our journey is required if we want to graduate into higher states of light and truth.  Our inability to forgive will keep us stuck, make us sick, and cause us to die eventually.  The opposite of forgiveness is blame and resentments:  two  of the lowest vibratory states we can reach.  Forgiveness is a process of releasing us to higher vibrations of gratitude, charity, of peace…"

Most if not all of us have experienced pain and hurt.  People wrong others - it happens.   Have you experienced anger.  I have and hurt so bad, I just wanted to scream and get off the planet hurt.    I have noticed at those times, my health suffers and I don't grow - I literally can feel a difference in vibrant energy.    I was holding onto so much that at one point I had become so angry and closed off.  I needed to feel unconditional love - I had no idea what that was.  As I was praying and meditating on unconditional love, I had a profound experience - I felt this vibration of unconditional love and it was beautiful!!!!  I knew I wanted more.  I let go of the past, the pain, and the resentments.  I thought I had tried to do that before - but not successfully.  The power of love really did help.

In the coming days and weeks I was forever changed - so much so that people close to me noticed.  In fact one of my aunts "lovingly" said, I didn't like you much before - you were not nice (I didn't realize I wasn't being nice) and now you're so different and I really enjoy being around you.

What is key here is - SHE DIDN'T know I might be entitled to some anger or entitled to the baggage I was carrying around.  SHE DIDN'T know I was wronged, attacked, and hurt.  But whatchurch-820339_1280 Pixabay free happened is - I let the experience take over my life - I didn't set out to do that, but because I held on, it affected me.  While I tried to be a good person, slowly over time, the low vibrations took over.

When I accepted unconditional love - this vibration took over because I chose to let go.  I chose to see others as showing love in the only way they knew how.  I chose to re-frame my perspective of the past and accept love and accept the gifts of those experiences.  I wouldn't trade them for anything - they made me who I am.

Studies show that forgiving others is actually very good for your health and it reduces stress in your body.   Even the Mayo Clinic said forgiveness brings with it plenty of health benefits, improved relationships, decreased anxiety and stress, lower blood pressure, lower risk of depression and a stronger immune system.    Holding grudges can cause physical pain.

One study showed that those who had the ability to forgive, tended to live longer.  http://inspiyr.com/health-benefits-of-forgiveness/

There is a growing trend in November to focus on gratitude.  A great idea.   Let us focus December on forgiveness and beginning a new.

Chronic hostility and anger and are among the most toxic forms of stress and not good emotional baggage to bring to a holiday celebration.

Buddha said, "Holding onto anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned."  Holding a grudge doesn't fix anything.

Forgiveness improves ALL your relationships.

Focus on the the here and now.  What experiences do you want to create.

For some more great tips on forgiveness, check out Wayne Dyer's website.  He has a great article written, "How to Forgive Someone Who Has Hurt You:  In 15 Steps". 

Kally and Mark for webListen in with us for some tips to help make forgiveness a part of your daily life.  If you are struggling, call or come in and talk to us.  The LifeLine Technique and the EVOX are both wonderful tools that help.  Read more about them on this page.

Mark and Kally

Indigo Mountain:  Wellness, Toys & Gifts

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The Very Hungry Caterpillar – Holiday Weight Gain

Orange Caterpillar with text by twobee at FDPIt seems that this is the time of year when there is food everywhere you go - special holiday food.  Do you remember the story of The Very Hungry Caterpillar?  He ate through a whole bunch of food.  Of course at the end - he was huge and then turned into a beautiful butterfly.  Now this works for caterpillars.  But we are not caterpillars.  However, if you find that you gain weight each holiday season - you can have YOUR OWN TRANSFORMATION, just like the caterpillar to a butterfly - but it is through understanding what you really want to eat - and making conscious choices and deal with those cravings.

Most people find themselves gaining 5 to 10 pounds over the holidays.  This is due in part to a belief that you will by abandoning all your healthy eating habits.  Many people start eating food not so good for them, and it is just the Very Hungry Caterpillar, it starts with 1 and before you know it - tons.  We have tips for you to help you, so take a listen to the show for your tips on avoiding the holiday bulge and catch some highlights below.

During the holidays your stress levels may increase and that can contribute to weight gain as well.   You don't have to avoid desserts  either, it is more about consciously eating and not eating everything in sight like the Very Hungry Caterpillar.

 

IMG_3427

You don't have to fall into this trap, it is possible to enjoy holiday goodies without putting on a single pound.  Portion control is the key.

Here are you quick tips for avoiding holiday weight gain.

  1. Never arrive at a gathering hungry.
    1. Eat healthy food before going, get your good food in.
    2. Eat chia seeds to help you feel full.
    3. Make sure you are hydrated, drinking your water needs.Roasted Chicken With Vegetables by Apolonia at FDP
    4. Take a healthy snack or herbal tea with you.
    5. Get your protein needs met.  When you have enough protein you crave less.
  2. Don't save up your calories for the party.  BIG MISTAKE.  If you arrive starving you will have no self control.  Eat your regular healthy meals.  Then go to the party.
  3. Pay attention to the people and the reason for the season or the gathering.  Don't make the holidays all about food.  Connect with people and make memories.
    1. Take pictures
    2. Write down stories by family members
  4. Take your time when eating.
    1. Use a small plate
    2. Fill up on healthier food first
    3. Stay hydrated at the gathering
    4. Talk to people and slow down while eating.
    5. Be picky - only eat what you really want.
    6. If you don't normally eat a food, don't eat it unless it is something you really want.IMG_3432
    7. Don't overeat just because you blew it.  Put the brakes on.
  5. If you drink alcohol, watch the number of drinks and set a limit.
  6. Make sure you really want a dessert.  Don't eat it just because it is there.
    1. Eat small portions of desserts.
    2. Eat what you love, don't eat it if it is not spectacular.
    3. Can you eat a bite and move on?
    4. Bring your own treats.
    5. If you really don't want the sweets at the office or that people bring - don't eat it.  If you do wan them, have a small amount and give away the rest.
    6. Learn to use the 3 bite rule for desserts.  Three bites:  1st amazing bite, satisfying middle bite, and the lingering 3rd bite.
  7. If you are doing the cooking, prepare healthier options.  Many people actually appreciate it.  Most traditional holiday food can be made healthier.
    1. Watch how much you are eating and 'tasting' while cooking.
    2. There are tons of recipes on the internet with a healthier twist.
    3. Whip your own cream and add stevia and vanilla.
    4. Use real food like real butter.
    5. You can make desserts with a lot less sugar.
    6. People love fruit and veggie platters.
    7. Don't keep leftovers unless you really want them and they wont be a problem.  Send them off with guests.
    8. Spread your holiday meal favorites over several days.  We love to eat left over turkey with a new side dish each day.  I don't feel the need to cram all my favorite food into 1 meal.
  8. Keep moving and exercising.  Studies show that when you start your day with exercise, you tend to eat less tempting food.  If your too busy to do a regular workout, then squeeze in 10 to 15 minutes of exercise.  It is better than nothing.
  9. Keep weighing yourself.  Get a new relationship with the scale.  It is a good feedback to tell you if you are gaining weight.IMG_3434
  10. Watch stress levels.
  11. Don't stress eat.
  12. Get your sleep.  When you don't get enough sleep it through off your hormones and you eat more.
  13. Learn to say no.
    1. What do you want to say yes to?
    2. What do you want to say no to?
  14. Get a game plan.  Decide what you want to do and what you really want to eat.  If you want that pumpkin pie, have it.  But then choose not to have a whole piece of every other pie.  Or even better - don't eat the whole pie.
  15. Deal with cravings ahead of time.  Here are some great tools.
    1. Journal
    2. Tapping, EFT
    3. The LifeLine Technique
    4. EVOX, Perception Reframing
    5. Meditation
    6. Focus on what you really want
    7. Visualization
    8. Stay calm and breathe
    9. Before going anywhere, work on your will power and make a commitment to yourself.

Join us every Wednesday at 9:00 AZ time zone on the Get Real! with Mark and Kally on Your True Colours Image Radio Network.

Kally and Mark for webDo you have any tips to share to help avoid gaining weight during the holidays?  Do you have amazing and delicious healthy food recipes that you make for the holidays?  Please share.

We so appreciate you, our readers and our customers.  Thank you for putting up with us and supporting us.  I am also so very grateful to our family for the sacrifices they have made so that we can do what we love, helping others and running our own business.   Our children are our reason for most things we do in life.

Thank you for tuning and have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Mark and Kally

Photo credits by Apolonia, twobee at freedigitalphotos.net