Category Archives: Blog Posts

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.

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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

 

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

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

Meaningful and Easy Gift Giving

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Our son Trevor getting a picture of a tiger. He loves tigers. A tiger picture was not on his wish list - but you can see he loved this gift.

The challenge……Give the best gift ever, again for your loved ones and friends.

Gift Giving, do you ever feel that challenge?  I know I used to.  And then I started to get heart-felt gifts from my mother-in-law, and they meant a lot. She gave my daughter some cheap costume jewelry that belonged to her mother.  When I turned 40 years old, she gave me 40, $1 bills.  She bought her favorite game when she was a child and gave it to my son.   That really got me thinking about what the perfect gift is.  She found a card from Mark’s grandmother (who passed away when he was 22 years old) and framed it for him; it even had a long note handwritten to him.

Give fewer gift items.  I know most kids want electronic toys right now.  Give them a gift that is not electronic.  Studies have shown that it is not so healthy for them when they spend more than 2 or 3 hours a day using electronics. Moderation is definitely needed.  Plan ahead and starting thinking about the person you want to give a gift to.  It is a little harder under pressure to find that perfect gift.

Here is what the perfect gift is not:

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She loves crazy fashion. No she didn't have these on her list either - but absolutely loved them.
  • It is not cheap toys that break the next day.
  • It is not always an electronic game or electronic toy.
  • It isn't always something on their list, sometimes especially with kids they don't know what they want.  And they might be pleasantly surprised with one of your ideas.  Others only want, what they want.

Here are some meaningful gift ideas:

  • Gifts that share a part of you with another family member. One year I gave my daughter my jewelry box from when I was a girl.  You can include a new piece of jewelry or an heirloom.

    IMG_6291
    This was not on her wish list, she had not even considered it. But the idea of doing an at home spa day really was exciting - I love that look on her face.
  • A book that was your favorite from your childhood.
  • A favorite toy from your childhood, and the memory that goes with it.
  • Something to stimulate a new interest or hobby.
  • A gift that leads to more learning and exploration is the gift that keeps giving.
  • A craft with a note to complete the project together.
  • Art supplies; a drawing easel, paper, markets, paints, etc.
  • A family gift with a coupon for game dates. Great for kids or friends.
  • Family favorite recipes in a book. You can include tools to prepare the item, or you can include a ready-made meal or dessert from one of the recipes.
  • Family photo album for your kids of all ages, or your parents. We went on a trip away from our kids for 2 weeks, so I made a small photo album for my 2 youngest kids. I took pictures of ourselves and the kids and included other pictures from the past few years.  I didn’t realize what a treasured gift that was.  Now even 10 years later, it is still a worn favorite treasure.  The best part…my youngest was only 2 years old, but she knows why she has it and she still values it.

    IMG_6326
    He is a builder and a book on Lego ideas was a spectacular gift. It wasn't on his wish list and he loved it more than the things he wanted. Rather than a new set of legos, this book helped open a new world of possibilities.
  • A plant for the garden like a new rose bush.
  • A gift that encourages a sport like skates or bike accessories.
  • Give a gift of music. CD’s, iTunes gift card, a musical instrument, music lessons or new music to play.
  • Puppets are a timeless gift. We sell a variety of puppets. It was a toy that was played with by my children from toddlers to adult.  We told stories with the puppets, they acted out plays with the puppets, they talked to the puppets and they talked back, and they entertained others.  It is a very interactive gift.
  • Give a membership to a zoo or museum. That actually was a past favorite of my children.
  • Give a gift certificate to a toy store and a shopping trip with it that includes lunch. Quality time and a quality gift that they get to pick out.
IMG_6417
He loves music and a piano keyboard belt really nailed a perfect gift for him. Also, not on his list.

Need some more ideas?  Check these 26 gift ideas out.

If you can’t or don’t have time to shop for your loved ones, we can do the shopping for you.  No matter the time of the year or the occasion, if you give us a budget and information on the person you’re shopping for, we’ll take care of it for you.  We will even gift wrap and ship if needed.  We have many happy customers that take advantage of this FREE service year after year.  We even remember who and what you got in previous years so we don’t re-give the same gift.

Come to Indigo Mountain for all your gift-giving needs.  We sell online and at our location on Main St. in Safford, AZ.  You can’t go wrong with a gift from a toy store!

Do you have some favorite tips?  Please share with a comment below.

Photo credits:  Keerati  at freedigitalphotos.net

The Color Code, The Secret to Understanding All Your Relationships

Certified TrainerDr. Taylor Hartman, himself a yellow with a good Blue wife helping him, discovered an amazing key to understanding people in a system called The Color Code.   His book, The People Code is a great guide and has helped thousands.  It is a new way to see yourself, your relationships, and life.

Check out our radio program on the basics of The Color Code.

We are both Color Code Trainers.  We learned the value of The Color Code years ago.  It saved our marriage and helped to understand our children better.  Often when we work with someone they reply, "You've given me the secret code to understanding my spouse and children!"  Once you understand people through really understanding their core motivation, you will never see people in the same way.

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Dr. Hartman's Color Code Personality Assessment is the most accurate, comprehensive and usable test available.  The Color Code is unique in that it identifies WHY you do what you do.  This

allows you very useful insights into what makes you tick.  But not only that - it gives you tools to understand all your relationships.  Everything in life is about RELATIONSHIPS.  One color is neither good nor bad.   Relationships can be puzzling.  This is a great tool to help put the pieces together.

Socrates said that the major task of life is to come to "know thyself".   We do this by examining ourselves and learning our unique motivations, needs, wants, strengths, and yes even knowing our limitations.  When we understand ourselves first, we can better understand how to successfully communicate and relate to others.

iceberg motivation and behavior wordsMany systems out there look at behavior modification and that barely touches the surface.  Picture an iceberg.  Only about 10% of the iceberg is visible above the water.  This 10% represents the behavior.  While 90% below the surface and the real danger for sinking ships is below the surface and represents motive.  Your core motive is at the root.

Life is about personal responsibility and must take 100% responsibility for ourselves and all our relationships.  We need 100% effort.  We have free will coming from our core motive and personality to choose to create our lives and build character.

In order to live optimally, you need to meet your needs - your basic needs.  When you understand your core motive - you can get your needs met.  We can't survive without water or food - they are needs and they are essential.  Without them, we will eventually die.  We need to feed our personality - we can literally starve ourselves when our personality needs don't get met.

I'll spell out the ideal basic qualities of the different personalities, but when we don't understand ourselves we become reactive and may have learned to respond to life in a color that is not our innate personality and it creates bumps in our path and we may struggle with ourselves and our relationships.

Color Code

REDS are the Lifeblood of humanity.  They are the movers and shakers of society.  They move forward from point A to B and get things done.  They are natural leaders and have vision.    REDS NEED:  to look good, technically, to be right, to be respected, and approval from a select few.  Click here to listen to our show on the REDS.

BLUES are the do-gooders.  They are connecting and creating quality relationships and have a great sense of purpose.  Their natural gifts are quality and service.  BLUES NEED:  to be good morally, to be understood, to be appreciated, to be accepted.  Click here to listen to our show on the BLUES.

WHITES offer a model for gentle, human dignity.  They are the peacekeepers.  Their natural gifts are clarity and tolerance.  WHITES NEED:  to feel good inside, to be given space, to be respected and to be accepted.  **Radio show coming soon.

YELLOWS, happy is as happy does.  They generally know what they love and always find the time to do it.  They are the fun lovers and live life "in the moment".  Their natural gifts are enthusiasm and optimism.  YELLOWS NEED:  to look good socially, to be noticed, to be praised, and to receive approval from the masses.  Click here to listen to our show on the YELLOWS.

Remember - no color is better than the others.  We need a good balance - a rainbow.  And the colors are not gender specific.  It is actually divided 50/50.  In other words, 50% of the Red population are women and 50% are women.  There are however, statistically about 35% of the population that is blue, evenly mixed between men and women.

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You can take the free test, get private one on one consultations or join us for classes.  Sign up for our newsletter or send and email for more information on our Color Code Personality Coaching programs.

Many people have a strong single color like our daughter Angela, she is a yellow; while others have a secondary color that directly influences their primary motivation.  Kally is a strong red, with yellow and that impacts her life.  Mark is a blue for sure, but he is affected as well by his secondary color yellow and by his 3rd color red and his environment and how he was raised.

We can help you better understand yourself and your relationships.  Click here to catch the overview of The Color Code on our Get Real! with Mark and Kally show on Your True Colours Image Radio.testh

Take the FREE TEST at this link.  And if you really want to learn more information about yourself, specific to you... then pay the small fee and get the full results.  You'll get videos and tons of information about your personality and more importantly about your unique combination with your secondary color.

Kally and Mark for webHave a great day!

Mark and Kally

If you enjoyed this post - please leave a comment and share with your friends and family.

 

Veteran’s Day – World Peace Through Inner Peace

Veterans Day Thank youVeteran's Day is a day set aside to honor all Vets of all wars, while Memorial Day is a day to honor those that made the ultimate sacrifice with their lives.  Many Vets come home from military service with conditions that don't go away including PTSD or post traumatic stress disorder.

We honor all of our Vets, we so appreciate the sacrifice they and their families make.

November 11th, formerly known as Armistice Day, was originally set up as a United States legal holiday to honor the end of World War I, which officially took place on November 11, 1918.  An Act approved on May 13, 1938 made the 11th of November a day dedicated to the cause of world peace and to honor the veterans of WWI.  The Act was amended in 1954 and Armistice Day was changed to Veteran's Day to honor all American Veterans of all wars.

Check out our special program dedicated to Veterans.

At one point, Veteran's Day was celebrated with the weekend so that you had a 3 day weekend.  However, President Gerald Ford declared, this was a holiday set up in honor of the end of WWI at 11:00 am, on the 11th day, of the 11th month.  And so he changed the federal holiday back to be celebrated in honor of that.

Vets suffer many conditions in silence.  Their families feel the effects.  Many Vets have a difficult time integrating back into society and into their families.

Major issues Vets face.

PHYSICAL

  • Over half the Vets that continue to visit their doctor are suffering from continuing pain in their backs, knees, necks, or shoulders.  Many report chronic muscle pain.
  • Sleep apnea
  • Hearing loos and impairment
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Vibration exposure can cause lower back pan or numbness in the extremities.
  • Traumatic Brain Injury, more severe than a concussion.  It can lead to brain dysfunction, shorter attention spans, language disabilities, and can lead to PTSD and depression.
  • Adrenal fatigue, which often goes undiagnosed.
  • Sleep challenges.

Treatments are available.

CHEMICAL EXPOSURE

The American Heart Association found that exposure to chemicals can trigger convulsions and death on the battlefield, also cause long-term heart damage.

INFECTIOUS DISEASES

As a rule, vets suffer disproportionately from certain infections that civilians almost never experience.  Some of these conditions cause abdominal pain, fever, diarrhea, headaches, muscle pain, weakness, anemia.

Treatments:  most of these infectious diseases can only be treated for the symptoms.  VA facilities do not cover alternative treatment options.  And there are many alternative practitioners with the skills to treat infectious diseases.

MENTAL

  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), occurs as a result of military trauma but also develops from physical illnesses that vets face as the years pass.  Many practitioners wish to take the disorder part of the name off and et rid of that label.  All it is is, Post traumatic stress and there are many tools to help relieve the symptoms.  It is treatable.  This condition needs to be treated in the whole family - not just the vet.  It is treatable.
    • Invasive thoughts, reminders of the trauma, flashbacks, nightmares.
    • They may avoid things that remind them of the traumatic event - including people.
    • Negative changes in thoughts and moods.
    • Those suffering are on guard all the time, they are jumpy and emotional reactive.
  • Violent behavior
  • Depression
  • Alcohol abuse

PTSD or depression seriously impairs the daily life for about 1/3 of Vets.

Veterans-Day

RECOVERY TOOLS AND TIPS

Medicine has come a long way.  But there are many alternative practitioners that a whole range of tools to help ALL the general symptoms Vets deal with.  SADLY….. The VA doesn't normally pay
for this.  But it is worth it to look at alternative treatments.  Do some research and try some different modalities.  Alternative treatments are becoming more normal for most people.   The Department of Defense and the VA are increasingly embracing a wider range of complementary and alternative medicine techniques, such as yoga, meditation, acupuncture, Tai Chi, biofeedback, massage, hypnosis guided imagery and relaxation therapy.

Keys to good health.  Anything you can do to improve your health will reduce dependence on drugs and support the body and the mind to heal.

  1. It is important to continue drinking a good amount of water.  Many complaints of pain can be attributed to dehydration.
  2. Food - eat a healthy, balanced diet.   Keeping your blood sugar balanced helps you to deal with situations much easier.  Eating a diet rich in fruits and veggies provides necessary anti-oxidants to help reduce stress in the body.  Eat good protein sources helps to build and repair the body.  Without good food, any injuries sustained have a harder time to heal and can result in permanent damage.
    1. Healing the gut with nourishing foods and herbs like Slippery Elm or the amino acid L-Glutamine help the body recovery from adrenal fatigue by repairing the gut.  Most serotonin is produced in the gut.  Getting the gut balanced can help with depression, anxiety and even extreme PTSD symptoms.
    2. Adding in cultured foods helps.  Check out our radio program from last week for tips.
    3. Limit processed foods and processed sugars.  They can exacerbate mood swings and energy fluctuations.
    4. Avoid caffeine - as it can make adrenal fatigue worse and lower your energy rather than increase your energy.
  3. Exercise helps diffuse stress in the body and can help with PTSD.  It helps to burn off adrenaline and releases endorphins that make you feel better mentally and physically.
    1. Yoga - has so many benefits for MOST of the conditions Vets face.  The practice of yoga helps relieve pain, stretches the body and brings comfort physically and mentally.
      1. Specific yoga practices can help with sleep issues.
      2. Check out Yoga Warriors - a program approved by the National Association of social workers to help.  Their mission is to help deal with PTSD or any combat related stress or reintegration stress.  It also helps with releasing emotional issues and help relax the body.
    2. Meditation calms the nervous system, can help with sleep, may be very helpful for PTSD.
    3. There are many practitioners that teach meditation and yoga specifically tailored to Vets, especially those dealing with PTSD.
  4. Acupuncture is growing in popularity.  The Military Stress Recovery Project has 25 clinics that provide free acupuncture to veterans in the US.  Research is showing that acupuncture improves a lot - including reduced pain, stress, anxiety, depression and improved sleep.
  5. Environment - Create a peaceful spot to relax and meditate.  Create a space that is safe.
  6. Music therapy promotes physical, mental and emotional recovery for veterans.  And even helps with Traumatic brain injury.
  7. Vibroacoustic Bed therapy helps with stress, sleep issues, and even pain.
  8. BioMat - increases circulation, helps the body to heal from Adrenal fatigue, and many other complaints, reduces inflammation and helps with pain.
    1. To get your own BioMat - the company is offering $100 off the professional price with proof of military service.
  9. Get outdoors and do something physical.  Do something challenging like whitewater rafting - it challenges your sense of vulnerability and helps your nervous system become unstuck and may help transition back to civilian life.
  10. Rest - when you rest is when your restore.  If you have sleep challenges then find one of these techniques to help.  Sleeping pills may prevent you from getting into Stage 4 REM sleep - which is where you process the drama and trauma.  The trauma in your life may prevent you from getting to REM sleep as well, which is why it is vital to process the trauma.
  11. Avoid alcohol and drugs - substance abuse makes symptoms worse.
  12. Own your power and take responsibility for your health.
  13. The LifeLine Technique is one of the most powerful tools to help.  We have helped many vets, who then report they are able to sleep and not be so reactive in nature.
    1. The LifeLine technique helps you to understand the true meaning of symptoms, stress, and disease - they represent unprocessed emotionally charge memories - some of them may be buried in the subconscious mind.   This dynamic and practical system bridges ancient healing arts with modern ways of processing and healing.
    2. The LifeLIne is a tool to shift - helping you to get in touch with your heart and create optimal health.
    3. The beauty of the lifeline - it is not a therapy session where you have to relive traumatic events over and over.  It is content free, meaning you don't need to "talk" about painful experiences.  As guided by your subsconcsous mind, you will focus on different emotional concepts as we process.
    4. Coming in 2016 is a brand new eLearning course that can help you learn some of the basics of the LifeLine - valuable for family members dealing with someone with PTSD.  A great tool to help yourself and other family members.
  14. EVOX - is a powerful tool to help PTSD and other traumatic experiences.  It is described as a very gentle and yet very therapeutic took - similar to EMDR, which has been used for the treatment of trauma.  EVOX facilitates perception reframing - the way you feel and think about something.  With EVOX it is possible to quickly and painlessly shift, or reframe perception at a conscious and subconscious level. Perception reframing allows for a more mature or functional reality and is used to improve any aspect of human performance.
  15. In addition to therapies, there are many homeopathic, flower essences, herbal remedies and essential oils which can assist with symptoms whether physical or mental.

What Can We Do to Help?thank-you-veterans_1244

  • Do not set off fireworks at home, especially if you know you have a neighbor that is a Vet.
  • Do no judge.
  • Be kind and respectful.
  • Donate your frequent flyer miles so Vets and their families can travel to see each other or seek medical treament.
  • Say thank you.
  • Help get homeless Vets off the street.
  • Show respect.

Mission Possible:  World Peace Through Creating Inner Peace

World peace begins with each of us.  The Dalai Lami as said, "World peace can only be attained through inner peace."

Inner peace comes as a result of personal responsibility, letting go, and processing emotions.  We to be accepting and loving.

Researchers have been studying the effects of meditation and its affects on the human body, but also the effects on our communities.

Research is clear, the heart-based emotions of the world's population seems to be influencing the magnetic fields of the earth!   The relationship is clear:  A change in the way we feel about ourselves and our world has the potential to affect the world itself.  If the change is a positive one then the effect of the emotions that result should be positive, as well.

Such a positive change is known to create coherence between the heart and the brain and it appears that the effect extends into the fields that support life on our planet.  The HeartMath researcher say, "Regulating emotions is the next frontier in human evolution."

The numbers it takes to effect a change is relatively small, in a community of 10,000; all it takes is 10 people experiencing coherence through mediation to effect the population.

Read more about this exciting work and how you can help at the Heart Math Institute.

Science is really showing us that we can on an individual level affect the world.  We can create world peach through inner peace.

Kally and Mark compressedTune into the radio show for stories and tips and tributes to our Vets.

Thank you to all our Veterans and their families!

Mark and Kally

on The Get Real! with Mark and Kally Show at Your True Colours Image Radio Network

We are not diagnosing or prescribing, please seek competent medical care.

 

 

Can a Magnesium Deficiency Make You Twice as Likely to Die?

magnesium-elementYou might be 2 times as likely to die as other people with a magnesium deficiency in an often overlook but extremely critical mineral, according to a study published in The Journal of Intensive Care Medicine.

Magnesium deficiency also accounts for a long list of symptoms and diseases — which are easily helped and often cured by adding this nutrient.

Magnesium is critical for over 300 enzyme reactions. It is often used in medicine - but many medical professionals don't know why or use it before an emergency.  Magnesium is one of the 4 electrolytes that include sodium, potassium and calcium.

Magnesium deficiency is linked to inflammation (elevated levels of C-reactive Protein), autism, PMS, cramps, early labor, high blood pressure, asthma, insomnia, anxiety, headaches, constipation, angina, chronic fatigue, osteoporosis, and so much more including weight gain and obesity.  Basically if you have a health concern, you might want to look at supplementing magnesium.

You can find a natural source of magnesium in a whole state in Red Raspberry Leaf. It is the best whole and natural source. And it has long been a remedy for men and women for puberty, male/female menopause, PMS, cramps and pregnancy.

We carry a new Liposomal delivery system of magnesium that many find very beneficial - especially for those with digestive issues (most Americans).MagnesiumLiposomal

And you can use magnesium topically. You can make your own, or come get ours.

Try soaking more often in a bath of Epsom salts.

Magnesium is often overlooked.

Many are deficient because our need is much greater.

Most people do not eat enough of the foods high in magnesium.  Food sources are: High magnesium foods include dark leafy greens, raw nuts and seeds, wild fish, beans, whole grains (not whole grain commercial bread and pastas - it isn't there despite the label - you need actual real whole grains like your grandparents used to eat), brown rice, avocados, real raw yogurt (not commercial), bananas, dried fruit, and dark chocolate which is why many women and men crave chocolate (again not the junky cheap chocolate with sugar, real healthy and good for you dark chocolate).

And many people are deficient because of the poor conditions of our guts or our digestive systems.  Minerals like magnesium require a low pH to be absorbed.  Your stomach is normally a low pH to properly digest food.  American's are confused by this and think that acid reflux is the result of TOO MUCH ACID.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  So in turn many are popping acid neutralizers from over the counter source and prescriptions.  If your a bit confused on your digestive system, check this article out and I'll explain it better.   Here are some alternatives for acid reflux.  So many people are neutralizing stomach acid and are unable to absorb and utilize what little magnesium they eat and the magnesium they supplement with.

Due to poor absorption of magnesium because of the digestive system, DesBio answered that with their Liposomal delivery of Magnesium, it bypasses the digestive system and gets the magnesium to the cells.

Many drugs can cause a magnesium deficiency as well.

Drinking alcohol, diabetes both type 1 and type 2, any gastrointestinal problems including Crohn's and IBS, and excessive sweating cause you to lose magnesium at a higher rate.

red raspberry leaf capsIn addition you need adequate levels of Vitamin D, the sunshine vitamin.  And many people are deficient in this nutrient.  You also need Vitamin K1 and K2.  K1 is found in dark green leafy vegetables and K2 is normally made in your healthy gut.  Problem is, most people don't have a healthy gut due to antibiotics both prescribed and in our food supply.  So you need to supplement with ideally naturally fermented foods and good probiotics.

So are you feeling a bit overwhelmed right about now?  Don't worry.  We are here to help.  It isn't as simple as taking a supplement.  In fact, taking a ton of supplements is what is wrong with the natural health care field, every one just wants to throw pills at you.  And unfortunately there are not magic pills.  But as 'Once Upon a Time' fans know, magic comes with a price.  You can take your magic pill, and you will pay a price whether that pill is a Rx formula prescribed by your doctor or another pill promising results, you will pay a price.

The real solution..... it is what we teach and live.  Our Seven Simple Steps to Wellness.  You just need to join us, follow us, and learn from us.  We will help you Get Real help and healing and get on the path to real health, not just a magic pill.  This is why buying a bunch of supplements of random websites can cost you a lot of extra money and may even compromise your health.  Support your naturopaths and healers, they are the ones that have acquired useful information through years of study and research and can help you.

So what can you do if you suspect you are low in magnesium?  And more than 50% of the population is.

  1. Drink more water.  Lack of water actually makes it harder for your stomach to get a low enough pH to digest your food.
  2. Eat right and severely limit your junk food, sodas, coffee and alcohol.  Eat a balanced whole food diet with plenty of leafy greens, fruits, vegetables, good fats, and the right amount of protein.
  3. Get your sunshine to increase vitamin D levels.
  4. Include easily made naturally fermented foods like kefir, kombucha, real pickles (not commercial store bought), and home made yogurt.
  5. Supplement with Liposomal Magnesium while fixing your digestive system.  Call us or come into the store for information.
  6. Supplement with good sources of magnesium like red raspberry leaf.
  7. Take a regular bath in Espsom salts.  And who couldn't use more time in the bath?  Right.
  8. Talk to us and we'll help you on the path to real health and wellness.

If you suffer with a chronic illness, have unexplained illness or are even dealing with depression and anxiety; talk to health expert that might know about magnesium.  It is a simple fix and has helped thousands.

Kally December compressed for webKally

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Please share, we appreciate it.

We also appreciate your business.

Please note, we are not diagnosing or prescribing.  Please consult with your doctor.

Six Foundational Steps to Heal Your Body

Health Words Related To Healthcare by David Castillo Dominici at FDPNaturopathic medicine is an approach to health, wellness and healing that recognizes the amazing whole body.  It treats the whole person.  Naturopathy supports the body to do it's job, it treats the whole person.  Wellness and prevention are the keys; while disease is treated through stimulation, enhancement and support.  Treatments are chosen to support a person's vital energy with respect to the natural healing process.   With these 6 foundational steps, you can heal your body.

Tune in to listen to our Get Real! with Mark and Kally show to hear more about the Six Foundational Steps to Heal Your Body.

I am trained in natural medicine and daily I see the value and order of these 6 steps to heal your body.

There are many different healing modalities that fall in this category and include things you can do at home like nutrition, meditation and exercise to acupuncture and herbal medicine that you may want to consult with someone about.

Hippocrates, who is know as the father of medicine - is actually the father of naturopathy,  was born around the year 460 BC on the Greek island of Kos.  He is credited with being the first person to believe that disease were caused naturally and not because of superstition.   He believed disease was the product of environmental factors, diet, and living habits.  His theories have been proven correct.  Hippocratic medicine and its philosophy are very far removed from that of modern medicine.  Instead, his approach was very passive and based on "the healing power of nature."

His doctrine taught that the body contained within itself the power to re-balance and heal.  This therapy focused on simply easing this natural process.

The 6 fundamental principles are:  Anatomy by farconville FDP

  1. Healing power of nature
  2. Identify and treat the cause
  3. Do no harm
  4. Treat the whole person
  5. The physician is a teacher (or should be)
  6. Prevention is the best cure

Many people practicing the art of naturopathy are referred to as "Quacks".

Here is the definition of a quack:  An untrained person who practices medicine fraudulently, or any person who pretends to have knowledge or skill in a particular field, charlatan.

 

The original quacks were selling a fake 'snake oil' and crude oil, which is one of the roots of modern the pharmaceutical industry.  The real snake oil came from Chinese water snakes and was used by Chinese immigrants - it is and was omega 3 oil known today to help with all the conditions the Chinese were using it for back then.  Chinese water snakes were hard to come by, so greedy people started having Rattle snake shows and using them to obtain 'snake oil' and they are lower in omega 3 oils.  Soon snake oil started containing ingredients like mustard oil, pine oil, petroleum, paprika, camphor, cayenne and wintergreen oil.  Rock oil, crude petroleum was sold for many complaints.

There are some 'quacks' with medical degrees.  And there are some 'quacks' with various degrees and certificates in alternative or natural medicine.

Most Naturopaths are SKILLED and they DO NOT practice medicine.

Health Disease Buttons Shows Healthcare by Stuart Miles at FDPThere are quite a few differences between Western Medicine and Traditional Naturopathy.   As a naturopath I look for the root cause and I look for how I can help the body to heal following the 6 steps.  It is simple and straightforward.  We treat the cause.  Most western trained medical practitioners treat symptoms.

Here is an example, heartburn.  If you complain of heart burn or acid reflux to a western trained medical professional, you will likely be given a prescription to neutralize the acid.  Sounds simple and reasonable and most people 'fall' for that 'quick fix'.  The problem is, it doesn't always work, there are several SEVERE side effects to this seemingly harmless medication, it is attempting to treat only the symptoms, it DOES NOT CURE or treat the real problem and IT MAKES THE CONDITION WORSE.

Instead, we look at the body.  This is ussually a sign of too little acid and you can't digest your food and a sign of poor digestion.  We want to HELP THE BODY TO DO IT'S JOB.  So we encourage more water (often dehydration is a big factor), we check diet and make adjustments as needed, supply the body with food enzymes and possibly probiotics.  We check to see if we need to heal any part of the digestive system.  And amazingly, the body begins to digest the food better and symptoms go away.

With Rx treaments you WILL have negative side effects, it is just a matter of time; digestion is NOT improved and you will suffer from lack of nutrients feeding the body.

With a naturopathic approach you WILL have the opportunity to heal your body and Mortar And Pestle With Herb by Praisaeng at FDPimprove your health.  Unfortunately there are many so-called alternative practitioners only treating symptoms.  You'll see examples of this with people handing out herbs or essential oils for regularly occurring headaches rather than looking at and treating the root cause of the headaches.

As a specialist, I work with 7 Steps,  in my approach to natural medicine:  water, food, rest, exercise, own your power, environment, and play.  I get to the roots and help you, heal your body.

Kally and Mark compressedTune into this show for more stories on natural medicine and the 6 steps.  Tune in each Wednesday to the Get Real! with Mark and Kally show for a variety of topics from wellness, travel, and even self-help topics.

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Please note:  we are not diagnosing or prescribing, please consult your medical expert.

 

Natural Remedies to Help an Urinary Tract Infection or UTI

The Urinary System by cuteimage at FDPIf your a female, at some point in your life you will probably deal with an urinary tract infection or UTI.  If you suspect a UTI, you will want to talk to your doctor.  Men do get UTIs and these remedies will work for them as well.

Symptoms of a urinary tract infection can be:

  • Pain or burning when you urinate.
  • The need to urinate frequently and urgently.
  • Your urine smells off and can be cloudy or even bloody.
  • You may even feel the need to get up at night to urinate.
  • Lower abdominal pain and pressure.
  • A mild fever.
  • Not feeling well.

A bladder infection can spread to the kidneys if not treated.  If this happens you will have a higher fever, shaking and chills, nausea and even vomiting.  You may even experience pain on the back or side around waist level.  Always seek medical care if this happens.

If you are put on antibiotics, be sure to take them according to the directions given you and finish your antibiotics.

One challenge many face, is that a round of antibiotics doesn't clear up the infection.  Talk to your doctor about solutions and you may want to try some alternative remedies in addition to your doctor's recommendations.  Always tell your doctor what you are doing.  It is important to heal the body in addition to clearing up the infection.

It is possible to treat a bladder infection effectively with alternative treatments.   Nature has provided many natural anti-biotics.

Be sure to drink plenty of water.  Yes, I know you will need to urinate even more, but it is important.  Every time you empty your bladder you get rid of the bacteria causing the problem and help flush your bladder.  This is a good thing.  So keep the water coming or even better, add some of the teas listed below.

Many people reach for cranberries to treat a UTI.  They can be a helpful remedy.  It is thought they interfere with E. coli attaching to the bladder wall and help the pH of the bladder.  Cranberry capsules or fresh cranberries are a better option than commercial juices. Cranberries don't work for everyone.  And they don't cure the infection or help with inflammation, they just make it harder for the bacteria to stick to the bladder.  So you should use other remedies as well.  Cranberries do not appear to be as effective once you have symptoms.  But they can be a great support for several months following an infection.  If your infection is not caused by E. coli, cranberries may not be useful.  But do be cautious as it can cause stones to form in people that tend to get oxalate stones.  If you are on blood thinning medications, you should avoid cranberries.

Other remedies that can be very helpful in treating a urinary tract infection are not so common.  But we have found them to be very beneficial.

  • Dr. Christopher's Bladder Formula has been a very effective herbal remedy to treat UTI's and helps prevent reoccurring infections.  It also helps to heal the urinary system after an infection.   This formula contains many herbs that have traditionally been used to treat infections and all bladder and kidney infections.
    • Ingredients:  Black Cohosh Root, Ginger Root, Gravel Root, Juniper Berries, Lobelia Herb, Marshmallow Root, Parsley Root, Uva Ursi Leaf and White Pond Lily.
  • Parsley - yes the stuff used as a garnish on your plate, is a great remedy for the bladder.  It is the number one herb for the bladder.  You can make parsley tea or juice parsley.  It can support Parsley by James Barker at FDPyour healing and can often heal an infection.   Parsley is full of vitamins and minerals including providing lots of vitamins A and C which are important when fighting an infection.  Parsley literally helps clean out the bladder and the kidneys and is a wonderful diuretic.  And recently Germany's version of our USA FDA approved parsley as a treatment of kidney stones and bladder infections.  It is easy to grow in the garden.  To make a cup of tea use about 1/4 cup fresh parsley with one cup boiling water and allow to steep about 5 minutes.  Add raw honey, stevia and/or lemon and enjoy.  If juicing, just grab a handful and juice.  We feel that parsley is best used fresh.
  • Cranberry & Buchu Concentrate Capsules combines the detering effects of cranberry with Buchu herb.  Buchu has often been referred as woman's best friend.  It is rich in selenium.  It is a diuretic and urinary tract antiseptic as well as helping with inflammation.  Please research as there may be contraindications with Buchu.  Buchu may even help a yeast infection.
  • Cleavers is an herb that has been used for a very long time.  I have seen it give relief for a bladder infection in just a day or two.  It is an effective diuretic.  It helps rid the kidneys and bladder of gravel and stones.  It can clear the urinary tract of infections.  It helps alleviate prostate disorders and other acute urinary diseases.  Cleavers is generally considered safe with no contraindications.
  • Take extra Vitamin C or consume foods high in Vitamin C.
  • Eat foods that will help to alkalize the body.  Being too acidic helps the bacteria to grow.  Avoid acidic foods, which also included refined foods - especially sugar.0137d8e93bb6c27c7db910ab789d43dd1d6c12913f
  • Fresh squeezed lemon juice in water may offer benefits of cleansing the body and helping to alkalize the body.
  • We don't recommend commercial yogurts as the processing they go through destroys most of the beneficial good bacteria and they can often be full of sugar.
  • We do recommend cultured foods.  Check out that link to cultured foods to see how she cured her UTIs with these foods.  Cultured food include:  kefir, kombucha and cultured veggies.  They are a good preventative for UTIs.  We make homemade kefir nearly everyday and it provides us with tons of helpful good bacteria. If you do take antibiotics, you will want to get on homemade cultured foods to balance your system.
  • You may also benefit from taking a good probiotic supplement.
  • Goldenseal contains berberine and other alkaloids that kill bacteria and stimulate the immune system.  They also inhibit bacteria from sticking to the bladder wall.  It is a wonderful natural anti-biotic and is known for treating UTIs.  You can drink a tea, take the extract or use capsules.   And it is excellent combined with Echinacea.
  • Uva Ursi is an herb used in Europe to treat UTIs.
  • Homeopathic remedies can be very helpful for a UTI.  It is based on a philosophy that 'like cures like'.   We like the NOVA Bladder Complex and find it to be very effective.  It contains key remedies known help a bladder infection and address the symptoms of painful burning and/or soreness when urinating, and the frequent urge to urinate.  It comes in a liquid and is easy to take.  Even better, you can take more frequently at the onset of symptoms.  Just don't take immediately with food - wait 20 minutes before or after and don't use with essential oils as they counteract each other.
  • Essential oils can also be an effective treatment.  You will want choose some essential oils and put them in a carrier oil like fractionated coconut oil at about a 20% dilution.  Apply to the lower abdominal area and on the back where the kidneys are two times a day while treating an infection.
    • Some good oils to choose from are:  bergamot, cedar-wood, chamomile, eucalyptus, frankincense, juniper berry (don't use for a kidney infection), lavender, pine needles, fennel, tea tree, and thyme.  Choose one or more and see what works for you.

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Whatever your course of action, you will benefit from increasing your water intake and improving your diet.  This is the case whenever there is sickness.  Discuss with your health care practitioner your concerns and desire to use alternative remedies.  You may find they are very supportive as many doctors are fully aware of the dangers of over prescribing antibiotics.  Many people are now finding themselves in a situation of having reoccurring bladder infections that antibiotics are not helping.  Some people dealing with candida and other conditions are even finding themselves A Kally editedhaving reactions to antibiotics.  If you do take antibiotics, these remedies may be helpful in healing your body and preventing future UTIs.   Be persistent and if something doesn't work, try something else.  I have seen people make a simple tea and see results that day.  Others, do not see results for a couple of weeks.  If your symptoms become severe, please go see your doctor.

Natural remedies support and heal the body and work differently for each person.

Do you have a favorite remedy that has worked for you?  Please share.

Kally

This information is solely for informational and entertainment purposes. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. Indigo Mountain, the owners, the editors, the author nor publisher take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading or following the information contained in this information. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Before undertaking any course of treatment, the reader must seek the advice of their physician or other health care provider. Before engaging in any complementary medical technique, including the use of natural or herbal remedies, you should be aware that many of these techniques have not been evaluated in scientific studies.   Use of these remedies in connection with over the counter or prescription medications can cause severe adverse reactions. Often, only limited information is available about their safety and effectiveness. It is always best to speak with your primary health care provider before starting any new therapeutic technique. 

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