Category Archives: Stress Relief Tips

Key to Happiness, Play Time

This week, we got to attend a toy show. What is a toy show? It is a place where toy vendors display their goods for buyers, toy store owners. They display and show off their new products, newly imagined offerings and in some cases inventions for play time. It is super fun! We spend 2 to 3 days playing with lots of cool stuff and trying out new board games. We've made some great friends with other like-minded silly folks.

Play time is essential for kids, which is one reason we have a Toy Store - to promote healthy imaginations, fun and games.  But, play time is also essential for adults.  It helps with stress and is a great connector to other people.  It enhances learning and improves productivity.

This year we got to take Riley and Rachel, our teens. Usually kids are not allowed, but they recently let older kids go. We consider our kids to be our expert advisers in the toy industry, so we were super excited to have them along and they felt important to be along with their name badges as buyers.

I asked them what they thought about the toy show. Both exclaimed they had a great time and that it was a lot of fun.

This was Riley's comment about the toy show:

"It was great, all the adults were playing with the toys and games and having fun and being creative. There was so much creativity, people laughing, having fun and sharing with each other."

I guess outside of our life, he doesn't see adults playing and having fun.

Hmmmm, got me thinking. Perhaps the adults of the world need to let go and play and laugh and have fun with each other. As a kid I remember my parents getting together with other parents and playing games. The world was happier then, is that why? World peace through laughter, fun and games. Don't be so serious.

I should point out; this wasn't about video games, no video games there at the toy show.

My daughter Angela has been going to toy shows with or for us. She finds them so fun. In fact she just went to the New York Toy show to work at a booth for free, just to be able to go because it is fun. The last toy show we were at with her, she started a snow ball fight with many vendors in the aisles.

This year's shenanigans involved an air swimming shark, an air rocket, a wooden bow and arrow and a sewing needle. Rachel our daughter was asked to shoot down the air swimming shark. She knocked off a fin sending it to the ceiling. So we loaded an air rocket with a sewing needle and blasted away getting the shark down with one shot. Everyone had a good time.

Check out the video:


We learned a new game called Happy Salmon, a fast paced game involving lots of high 5's, pounding it and trading places.

One of the many hot items are toys that people can fidget with. Studies show certain people actually can focus better and do better on tests when they can fidget. As a youth I doodled while talking and often chewed on pencils. One of our kids turned to origami, folding complex designs while listening to lectures. Rocks, thinking putty, fabrics, knobs and small toys are favorites.

While we are on the topic of improving test scores, recess is so important for kids and outside play does do much for kids. Restricting recess should never be used as punishment, it doesn't work.

A Texas school quadrupled their play time and has seen amazing results in focus and behavior issues. Schools are even using meditation with fantastic results.

The simple truth is we ALL need play time. For children it is essential to developing normally and developing the brain. Kids that are encouraged to pretend and use their imaginations are healthier and more creative as adults. Play time helps connect the family and bonds form.

Make sure your kids have time to play - creative, unstructured time to play.  And spend time playing with your kids every day.  If you don't have kids, get together with other adults or help a busy family out but borrowing the kids.  Even time playing with a pet is valuable.  

The benefits of playing are real and can affect people in positive ways.  Think about the benefits:  reduced stress, improved health, learning improvement, problem solving skills enhanced, improved productivity, improved relationships, cooperation, emotional healing,  and helps you feel young.  If everyone had regular playtime it seems logical to me that we'd create more peace in our world with a bunch of people reaping the benefits of play time.  Basically more play time reduces "feistyness" of people.

How do you get your play time in?  What are your favorite games?

Have a great week!                 Kally and Mark

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.


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.

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.

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.


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!

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



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.


  • 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.


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


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.


  • 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.



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.



Book Review ‘The Heart of the Matter’

10897988_790235201014427_4164101023891105526_nDr. Darren Weissman is the author of wonderful little book entitled:  The Heart of the Matter.  A Simple Guide to Discovering Gifts in Strange Wrapping Paper.  Click here to catch our show on BlogTalk Radio as we introduce you to this amazing book.  The heart is really an intelligent part of whole system.

How do you access your authentic self in order to have a fulfilling and meaningful life?  We'll introduce you to a simple but extraordinarily powerful tool called the See Feel Hear Challenge that will inspire you to easily transform reactive patterns of behavior and negative ways of thinking into a profoundly balanced and healthy lifestyle of your own conscious design.

The book is a wonderful tool.  The first have gives you all you need to run a "See, Feel, Hear Challenge" on the symptoms and stressors in your life.  Listen in on the show and we'll go through briefly how to do just that.   This is one of the best ways that you can help yourself process emotions in your life.

The second half of the book gives detail of how and why it works, in a simple yet detailed explanation on why the heart is so important for our emotional health and well-being.

Dr. Weissman is the developer of The LifeLine Technique, a quantum technology that bridges gaps between the conscious and subconscious mind. At the root of every symptom, stress and disease is a subconscious emotional pattern of reaction.

We use the See, Fee, Hear Challenge in the steps of the LifeLine Technique.  But this can be used a lone as a great self-help tool.  There are a lot of techniques out there, this is simple, fast and gets right to the root.

Check out the radio program and come by and get your very own copy of the book.

Coming Up: Wednesdays at 9:00 am AZ/Pacific or 11:00 am Central

May 20th - Great Places to Visit:  America's Castles

May 27th - The Key to Good Health is In Your Gut

We'd love to hear from you.  Thank you for tuning in.

Kally and Mark compressedMark and Kally

Indigo Mountain:  Wellness, Toys & Gifts

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

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Physical Fitness Improves Quality of Life in So Many Ways

Active Young Family Displaying Blank Ad Board by stockimages at with fitnessWhat does Quality of Life mean to you?  Having the energy to do things, positive mood, good healthy, living pain free, increased mental alertness, social interaction, healthy families and positive relationships are just some of the answers people give.  There are at least 12 benefits of being physically fit and that all contributes to better quality of life.

Did you know that being physically fit is one of the best ways to improve your life and increase your quality of life, including helping with the above list?  And you don't have to work out for a couple of hours a day to achieve that.

What does it mean to be physically fit?  According to The United States Department of Health and Human Services, physical fitness is defined as "a set of attributes that people have or achieve that relates to the ability to perform physical activity".

The problem is that kids and adults are not as active as we used to be.  We have machines that work for us and do many of our chores.  We live in cities and don't do our own yard work.  We drive everywhere.  Physical education is limited or missing in many schools.  Kids don't play outside as much and instead using video games.  And we think that we have to go to the gym to get exercise.

Improving your quality of life starts with getting physically fit.

Here are just some of the known benefits of regular physical activity.

  1. Increased energy.  This is the benefit I notice the most.  Really expending energy and exercising really does give you more energy.
  2. Help with weight management.   Exercise improves your metabolism.  It can help many lose weight.  But weight loss isn't always about diet and exercise.Gril Race Run by arcadante at
  3. Improved health and less disease.  Your body was designed to be used.  Exercise works the most important muscle you have - your heart.  It also increases the good cholesterol and decreases the bad cholesterol.  Exercise even improves Type 2 diabetes.  Exercise even helps with constipation.  Those are just a sampling of the improved health you will notice with fitness.
  4. Better mood, reduced anxiety, and less stress. Exercise affects your brain and hormones are released that improve mood and help with depression.  It actually increases your feelings of happiness.
  5. Improved sleep.  Studies show that physical fitness can help you fall asleep faster and get into a deeper sleep.
  6. Reduced pain, especially back pain.  When you strengthen your muscles and increase flexibility, you will experience less muscle pain.  Sedentary people generally experience more pain and more joint pain.  Your knees were meant to be used.  Inactivity is one cause of knee pain.
  7. Stronger bones.  Regular exercise improves your bones and can help prevent osteoporosis.
  8. Improve brain health, cognitive function and memory, especially if you are learning and doing new things.  So skip the treadmill occasionally and learn a new sport or play with your non-dominate hand.  Fitness isn't just to improve test scores, it can boost memory in adults and more.  Research shows that when kids are physically active, they get higher grades and have better behavior.
  9. Help with addiction.  Exercise release dopamine, the "reward chemical" after exercise.  Exercise is excellent in the addiction recovery process.
  10. Increased relaxation.
  11. Increased creativity.  This is another huge benefit I notice.  When I'm in a slump, a workout or walk in nature will refresh my brain and I feel more creative.
  12. And last but not least and may actually be the biggest benefit of all..... Being physically fit improves your sex life.  The reason is for any of the above list benefits.  When your sick, tired, depressed and out of shape; who wants to think about sex.  Exercise helps to balance hormones and may enhance the experience for women and decrease erectile dysfunction in men.  And sex is beneficial for you as well, it can be a workout and a great bonding time.

Family Playing Football by photostock at FreeDigitalPhotos.netGet active and get the whole family moving together.  Take walks, ride bikes, go play volley ball, soccer, family football, basketball, hikes, even skating.  Being active with your friends, or family is not only fun, it is a great bonding activity.

You don't need hours a day to be physically fit.  Each person has different needs, shoot for 30 to 45 minutes a day of activity.  Keep your fitness fun, do things you like.  Keep your routine balance with aerobic, strength and stretching.  Just make small changes in your life and have fun while doing it.

If you are physically limited or aging, we found we love Ageless Grace.  You can do it from a chair and it is a lot of fun for kids as well.  After 10 minutes I was feeling it.

You can take time for exercise.  If your too busy - you may want to re-evaluate what is going on in your life.  Take 10 minutes at the office to stretch or jog in place.  Park at the back of the parking lot.  Take the stairs.  Walk the dog longer.

Regular physical activity increases your chances of living a longer, healthier life.   It reduces your risk for high blood pressure and heart disease and even cancer.  You will experience more energy.  Physical activity is for everyone, no matter your physical condition, you can find activities that work for you.

I make fitness a regular part of my life so I can handle my life better.  There are still times I fall off the wagon, and boy can I tell.  My energy goes down and I get moodier.

Get started today!  Find a workout friend and do something fun.  We once took a dance class learning ball room dancing.  It was a great workout, we learned something new, and spent time together as a couple.  Win win on so many levels.

Mark and kids canoeing

We have made fitness a part of our family, we make memories, have fun and stay active together.  This is a picture of Mark and some of the kids canoeing in Arkansas.  Having fun, staying active and making memories is a great family activity.

How do you incorporate fitness into your daily routine?  What are you favorite ways to stay in shape?


Photo credits by:  stockimages, photostock, arcadante at


Stress Busters and Stress Management

Get Real! with Mark and Kally BlogTalk Radio Program on Your True Colours Radio Network -  Stress Busters.  Catch our radio broadcast here.  Keep reading for a handy list on stress management.

Stressed Casual Woman by artur84 at FreeDigitalPhotos.netStress may be affecting your health, even though you might not think there is a direct connection to your health challenges.  Stress symptoms can affect your body, thoughts, feelings and behavior.    You might feel like you're running on empty.  We have some tips to help you fill up your tank and reduce stress.  Stress is a known contributor to major illnesses from fibromayalgia to heart disease.   Many people end up in the emergency room thinking they are having a heart attack and all it is, is stress.

Some stress is naturally and beneficial.  Like you know when there is a lion chasing you and you need to run!!  It can save your life.  But when your body thinks it is running from a lion all day - everyday - this chronic not real stress damages the body.

Jobs, family and normal life can feel like your running from a lion every day, or that rat race that never stops.  We can't always change our circumstances, but we can change the lion into a more friendly animal that you can walk with and walk away from on your terms without being dinner.  Stress management is an important skill to learn and teach your children as well.  Surprisingly, many kids these days are stressed.

In my life, I used to experience a huge amount of stress whenever I went outside.  I was terrified of snakes.  I got bit by one at 8 years old.  Well in my life, instead of running from a lion - I was always running from snakes.  This created huge amount of stress.  You might night have a snake or a lion in your life, but if you are dealing with stress on a daily basis - you need to deal with your lion or snake.  For me, I actually got help using the LifeLine technique and now I enjoy the outdoors so much more.

What is causing your stress?  What can your change?  This might be the circumstances or your approach to them.Businesswoman Workload by iosphere at

We have 2 tools:  The LifeLine and EVOX and both are great.  Check out our services page if you want to learn more.   But we also show you how to manage your stress.  Check out our show and pick up some more tips.  Here are the highlights and tips to help you learn to manage your stress.

  1. Laugh often.  This really helps good chemicals in the brain and relieve stress.  Turn on a funny movie, laugh with a friend, anything.
  2. Breath deeply.  When you start to feel stress, take some deep breaths.  And take deep breaths through out the day.  This oxygenates the brain and gives you better coping skills.
  3. Speak slower and slow down.  Sometimes you think your running from a lion, but if you slow down and observe, you find there really isn't anything there.  Take a few minutes, you will often make better more efficient decisions.
  4. Go outside and take a breath of fresh air.  Get some sun.  Don't think about what has to be done, just give your mind a break and fresh air.  It will work better for you.
  5. Earthing or grounding.  This is a revolutionary techinque that we are re-discovering.  In the old days - this was considered normal.   Literally take your shoes off and walk barefoot in the grass, sand, dirt, whatever you have.
  6. Eat a healthy diet.  This make a huge difference in your bodies ability to handle stress.  So if you life is full of stressful challenges, don't skip eating a healthy balanced diet.  Skip the junk and focus on the good stuff.  Eating comfort foods often leads to more stress, that is unless your comfort food happens to be healthy.
  7. Check your posture.  Straightening the spinal cord promotes relaxation and provides the brain with a good supply of oxygen and blood that is restricted when slumping.Healthy Drinks You Can Make at Home
  8. Drink plenty of water.  When you are dehydrated, you put your body at greater risk for dehydration.
  9. Exercise stimulates hormones that keep the stress hormones in check.  It also sharpens brain power and improves your energy level.
  10. Plan for some good rewards for yourself, especially at the end of a stressful day or project.  It gives you something to look forward to and is a chance to unwind  and release stress.
  11. Do acts of service.  Small and simple things can mean a lot to others and takes your mind off your stress for a bit.
  12. Turn off your phone and unwind or work on a project without interruptions.  In this day and age we are reachable literally 24 hours a day.  This is an invasion of your quiet and down time.  Learn to turn it off at times when appropriate.
  13. Make a decision.  Often, worrying about a decision leads to stress.  Even a "so-called" wrong decision is better than putting off a choice.
  14. Meditate.  Take time to sit and ponder and meditate.  Studies show that regular meditation improves both physical and emotional responses to stress.  Just a few minutes each day makes a difference.
  15. Get a working and manageable to do list.  If you have too many things to do, get help learning to priorities and cross things off your list that someone else can do or that you not realistically doing to do.
  16. Put away your super hero cape.  You can't do it all.
  17. There is a saying that I love, "Let go and let God."  There are times that you just have to trust in a higher power.
  18. Journal writing helps get problems and challenges out of your head and heart and onto paper where you can deal more logically with the issues.  It is also a resting place on paper to deal with at a later more appropriate time.  Manage your lion, they don't always need to be chasing you.
  19. Practice gratitude.  A very simple route to maintain emotional and physical well-being.

11 Nov 2012 658Trust me when I say you can't always change your life circumstances, but you can change how you deal with stress.  I am busier than ever and have a lot of lions I COULD be running from.  In the old days, 1/4 of what I deal with now would have put me over the edge into a stressed responce.  I know my health suffered.  I have learned to tame my lions and work with them.  I get a lot more done and I'm happier.  I still have a to do list that is very large, but I focus on my priorities, do what I can, and let go of worrying about the rest.  It always works out.  Learning stress management skills made a huge difference in my life.

Don't try and do all 19 things everyday, focus on the basics:  water, food, rest, and exercise.  Do what you can with the rest.  Keep your reservoir full and balanced and when you have a REAL emergency, you'll have the resources to respond.

Catch Stress Busters and Stress Management on BlogTalk Radio.

Kally and Mark compressedKally and Mark

Photo credits by iosphere, artur84 and stockimages at



Your True Colours Magazine – Gratitude

November 2014 magazineWe certainly appreciate all your support in launching our magazine for real people and about real issues.  Our readership is climbing.  So keep sharing.

This month's magazine is full of wonderful information from gratitude, getting the right pair of sneakers, natural fragrances, and of course fashion and make-up tips.  It seems that hats for both men and women are quite fashionable.  Get to know a musical group called:  The Fellas:  DeltaCapella.  I always love the pictures in the magazine, and this month features a lot of great looking hats.

We are the featured article for November with our article on Gratitude, see page 19.  Expressing and experiencing gratitude opens the heart and activates positive emotion centers in the brain.  Gratitude has been shown to improve your emotional and your physical health.

Businessman Holding Thank You Word by pakorn at
photo credit by pakorn at

You'll find four daily practices for increasing gratitude in your life.  Dr. Darren Weissman said, "We all have experiences that we are not thrilled to have and are painful.  But these challenges are really gifts in very strange paper.  If we receive them with gratitude, we grow."  You can check out his book entitled:  The Heart of the Matter:  A Simple Guide to Discovering Gifts in Strange Wrapping Paper.  Several years ago I participated in a gratitude experiment for one month and it changed my life.

What you focus on, grows.

Click here for the November 2014 Your True Colours Magazine.

Don't forget to catch us on the Your True Colours Image Radio Network on Blog Talk Radio with fascinating shows on fashion, laughter, travel, wellness, and more.  The Get Real with Mark and Kally program is on Wednesday at 1:00 p.m. central.  Check the schedule for times and future shows.

What article did you enjoy?  How has gratitude affected your life?  Please share your comments below, we'd love to hear what you have to say.

A Kally editedI'd like to express my gratitude to you, our readers, and our customers.  I'd also like to thank all my mentors and my family.  We are here because of you.


Indigo Mountain Wellness, Toys & Gifts

Stress Less This Season and Enjoy Some Delicious Herbal Tea

I've got two great radio programs to share with you and they are actually related, for me anyway.  When I sit and enjoy a delicious cup of herbal tea, I relax and unwind a bit and the stress melts away or at least I don't think about the things causing stress for a few minutes while I enjoy my tea.

Female Wearing Christmas Hat by imagerymajestic at Freedigitalphotos.netThe first show broadcast on October 22, 2014 - "Stress Less During the Holidays".

For many the holidays mean sickness, stress, depression and lots of busyness.  We've got 10 tips to help you stress less, so take a listen.

Fall kicks off the holiday season helping us transition to the busyness that can dominate this time of the year.  Fall is a time to let go and clear out the clutter and negativity.

If you find yourself dreading the whirlwind of the last quarter, then tune in with us and learn how you can make the most of fall and the holiday season.

One of my keys is from KISS - Keep IT Simple and Special for the holiday and all year really.  You don't have to be brilliant, super crafty, witty, or any other trait you see shared all over the media and internet.  You just need to be you, and you are special just as you are.  Share the good times and moments with those you care about.

If you want to read more about managing stress during the holidays, check out my article on Your True Colours Magazine, page 37.

Chinese Style Herbal Floral Tea by KEKO64The second show aired on November 5, 2014 - "All About Herbal Tea or Rather Herbal Infusions"

Personally, I love sipping on herbal infusion, especially as the weather cools down.  In fact as I'm updating the blog - I'm drink a nice warm cup write now.

Many people think they don’t like herbal tea/infusions, but they have probably not enjoyed a good cup.  Tune in and learn all about the traditions of tea, types of tea and how to get a good cup.  There is nothing I love more than visiting a friend in the afternoon and enjoying good conversation, relaxation and a delicious cup of herbal tea.

Find out which tea has more antioxidants than green tea, making it the super star of tea without caffeine..... I'll give you  a hint, it comes from South America.

And, by the way, herbal tea is really an herbal infusion.  Green tea is really green tea infusion.  Join us and find out why.

Kally and MarkMark and Kally on the Get Real! with Mark and Kally show on Your True Colours Image Radio.


Photos by imagerymajestic and KEKO64 at

Plan Ahead for Holiday Stress Relief Tips, Holiday Stress Management, Christmas Gift Ideas

A recent Mattel survey finds that parents experience holiday stress and will spend a full business day Christmas shopping for each child.   Are you still recovering from over spending last Christmas or holiday season?   Are you looking for ways to avoid holiday stress?   We've got some great holiday stress relief tips for you to help you find your way to a more joyful and relaxed holiday season.  

There was a time I had my holiday and Christmas shopping done in October, and holiday cards with pictures were sent to friends and family.  Then life got busier and then I couldn't remember what I had bought and where I put it.  Every year seemed to get a little bit worse.  Seriously, I moved once and found Christmas presents that I never gave - they were hidden and I forgot about them.

So here is what I've learned over the years.

  1. Have a Christmas budget.  Start saving all year.  If you earn some extra cash that you want to use for Christmas, add it to this fund.  I set up a savings account just for holidays and birthdays.  Check out this link for a Holiday Planner.  It is awesome.  If you don't have a holiday budget, no worries - start now.  What can you contribute for September through December.   Don't go into debt to pay for Christmas and don't use January funds to pay off December holiday spending.  Do what you can now to cover your holiday spending.   Seriously this really helps holiday stress management.
    • Avoid overspending during the holidays.  This will cut down on the stress and you will enjoy the season so much more.  When all is said and done the amount of money spent on holiday preparations and gifts pale in comparison to the joy of spending time together.  
  2. Plan Ahead - this will save you time and money.  When you shop intentionally, you save money.  Waiting until the last minute you will buy what you can get your hands on and impulsively.  Another great way to help you with managing your holiday stress.
  3. Make lists.  Write down all the people you want to shop for.  And guess what?  There are apps for this and spreadsheets and so many tools out there to help you get more organized for Christmas.  You don't have to re-invent the wheel.  Your lists should include who you want to shop for, what you want to get done during the holidays, and how you want to celebrate.
  4. Gifts - If you start now thinking of ideas you'll have a better chance at getting the right gifts.  Many retailers put things on sale now.  Watch what people say and are interested for clues as to what to get them.  Write it down - generate ideas.  Talk to their friends.  You'll be amazed at what a little observation will tell you.  If you find that perfect gift - don't wait until December to get it.   Carry your list around with you and write down your ideas.  You never know where that great Christmas gift idea will come from.
    • When planning for this holiday season, you'll naturally generate ideas for next year.  And on December 26th you can start shopping then.
    • Themed gift ideas are nice ideas too.  For example if they have an interest in art, then each gift can have something in common.  
    • Also themed from year to year.  I once won a bet with my father that I could solve a Rubik's Cube in less than 10 minutes.  Well that was the fall.  Guess what I got for Christmas that year - that's right another Rubik's Cube variation.  And every year after that I got another more challenging puzzle to solve.  It kept that memory of winning a bet against my father alive and  not only did I get a cool gift - I got to experience that feeling of winning each year.  My parents had an easy gift lined up for me each year.  I don't remember too many of the gifts I got growing up, but I do remember and will always remember those.  
    • We gave my father-in-law silly dancing figurines.  Well he loved the first one so much, that all during the next year we hunted down another goofy and majorly silly dancing objects and had so much fun doing that - and he really looked forward to what we were going to find.
    • Remember your budget with gifts.  Sometimes money is tight - that is just a reality.  For a special gift one year, we didn't have the money so we made a jar of quotes and memories.  The whole family had a blast doing this.  We typed them up and put them in a decorated jar and gave them to the special person.  They loved it and each day they get to experience that gift over and over.  You can't put a price on that kind of value.  
    • Mark's mother one year gave us a collection of family stories like one that we found out his great grand-father was kidnapped by Indians and had to be traded for blankets and sugar.  We had so much fun that Christmas reading stories.   My father recorded himself reading books to my kids.  They loved that!  They got to listen to papa - who lived far away - reading bed time stories.  My mother made me a small quilted blanket for my dolls from old scraps of material.  It is still one of my treasured items.
    • Wrap gifts as you buy them or plan a night to wrap gifts.  We started planning a night a week before Christmas that we watched a movie we had already seen (so we didn't have to pay attention to closely) and made a fun night of wrapping - no stress as Christmas was still a week away.  I spent too many years being awake all night trying to figure out how to assemble something or ran out of wrapping paper or whatever and then getting 2 hours of sleep.  
  5. Make a list of what you want to get done during the holidays - and be realistic.  Do you want to send out Christmas cards?  Go on vacation?  Decorate your house?  There are no rules - it is just up to you.
  6. Now that you have a list - get help from those around you.
  7. Some of the greatest advise I got - 'Have a cut off point'.  You have to decide when you will stop preparing and start celebrating.  Stick to it.  
  8. How do you want to celebrate Christmas and the holidays?  This is real important and it is totally up to you.  Imagine right now how you want to feel on that special day no matter what holiday your celebrating.  Who do you want around you?  Really connect to that feeling.  Is is joy?  Is it excitement?  Is it peace?  Whatever it is - write that down.  Describe your day.  Right that down.   Now start working on your lists.  Do the 2 add up?  Do you lists look like they will take you to the description of that day?  If not spend some time fixing that.
    • Create memories and traditions
    • Do something out of the ordinary and different.  It will keep everyone talking about it all year.

No one said you had to bake, send cards, make homemade gifts, decorate your house, and all that jazz.   So if you don't want to or don't have time, then don't.  One year we moved right on Thanksgiving.  We had to settle and eat in a hotel for Thanksgiving dinner I didn't have a house.  I was disappointed at first.  Turned out - it was one of the best Thanksgiving days ever.  No stress - no baking - just family time and enjoying our new community.  Take some control back with these simple holiday stress management ideas.  

So start now planning ahead just a little at a time.   You'll be so glad you did.  Remember step #8 - think about your special day and you'll get there.  Plan ahead using these holiday stress relief tips for a more peaceful and relaxing season.

One of the reasons we opened Indigo Mountain:  Wellness, Toys & Gifts was to help others enjoy Christmas and Holiday shopping a little more.  We had a hard time finding good gifts for our kids and wanted to open a toy store that had just what we were looking for.  So now we have our own specialty toy store.  If you don't want to spend 8 hours or more shopping for each kid on your list, contact us.  Whether you come in person to our store or call us over the phone, Mark is our Toymaster and he can help rescue you.  He'll help you with a budget and go through what we have available in our store and through all our catalog sources.  We have kids of all ages, 7 of them now aged 25 to 9 years old with 4 boys and 3 girls.  We've got you covered. Your shopping advice and help is FREE.  So take advantage of the unique shopping experience only an experienced dad and toymaster can offer.  You can also schedule some time with Kally for your personal coaching session for managing holiday stress.  Many have and are very happily planning for the holidays this year.

Connect with me on Facebook and let me know how you are doing.  Leave a comment below if you have a super duper holiday stress relief tip or a great way you plan on managing holiday stress. 

Joyfully - 

Kally and Mark

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