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Be Great & Full

Be Great and Full!

Written by Janice Messino of Create Health

Mindful Eating

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Eat Joyfully

 

In the past several years I have become in harmony with my inner life and the mind, body connection.  Part of becoming more aware of my surroundings is realizing that I was eating unconsciously and barely tasting my food.  After a loss in my life I became aware of honoring myself by creating attractive and healthy food.  Setting a beautiful table and intuitively knowing to be grateful for the food. This is not the way things always were. I am not saying that changing was easy.  I had always read while eating alone and this was a hard habit to break. It took determination to realize the benefits of eating mindfully, this is part of living mindfully.  In addition, I started noticing that as I naturally slowed my eating and became attentive to the flavors, this gave my body time to give me clues, weight started dropping off and I finally had a realization, that eating mindfully allowed my body to balance itself in its own wisdom.  Now I understand that learning to show love for myself is eating well, by myself.

scared-eggs-2939061__340Mindless eating happens most often when we eat because of clues other than true hunger, addictive eating, which can be because of triggers to a situation, when the clock strikes 12:00, walking in the door, grocery shopping day.  Or because we are busy, distracted, stressed, in a hurry, sad, angry, impatient, lonely, or happy.  Part of learning to eat mindfully is learning to notice the signals you are receiving that make you want to eat; is it true physical hunger?  Your mind is looking for pleasure, our body is looking for nourishment.  

Mindful eating on the other hand, helps you to include awareness of the foods selected while preparing a meal.  Having inner thoughts of why you are eating, what and how much you are eating, how delicious or not the food tastes. When quietly eating our brain becomes more sensitive to the fusion of taste and smell, this will allow you to choose foods that are at the same nutritious and delightful to your senses.  In addition to having a more pleasurable experience every time you sit down to eat, mindful eating can re-energize you, so you can fully show up for your life.

Being grateful for your food allows you to be more conscious of the earth, plants, and animals.  When you take a moment to say, “thank you” we begin to reflect on what we’re doing more consciously. Be grateful for the sun, rain, the farmer and that you have access to these nourishing foods.  Be grateful for our body that works in amazing ways every time you eat and for and the energy it gives.   

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Breathe Deeply

 

Before you start cooking, take a couple of deep breaths, breathe in to the count of four, and then breathe out to the count of six. This will help you to clear your mind and make you more conscious of what you are doing.  When you are concentrating on something like your breath or your meal, your body is unable to have stressful thoughts, this is caused by the parasympathetic response.  As in any mindful practice, what you practice grows stronger, this is known through neuro-plasticity, repeated experiences shape your brains. What do you want to grow?

Janice Messino

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Create Health

Facebook/CreateHealthCT

Elevensies!

Infinity

 

It’s November 11 and that’s 11/11, even in the UK! Yeah yeah, you say, but so what? It’s just a set of two repeating digits. Whatever. In the larger scheme of things, those numbers don’t matter a bit. Do you think animals know what the date is? And what about places where dates are reckoned differently or not at all? And how do we know for sure that it’s really the 11th of November? Maybe somebody lost count way back when and it’s actually two days later?? At any rate, calendar dating is a human construct. Humans just made it up.

Calendar, Schmalendar

Yes, yes, that’s all true. Calendar dating (and time of day, for that matter) is a human construct and, although it’s based on the seasons of the year, basically random. The months could have totally different names and it will still be grim and bleak in the northern hemisphere in January. We could have assigned each day a letter or a symbol instead of a number and the moon will still cycle through its 28-day phases. Hey, it’s the 6th k’in of the 17th uinal in the 13th Baktun, according to the Mayan calendar. There’s no elevens in that!

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But, unless you live by the Mayan calendar or some calendar system other than the Gregorian (which is the most widely used and accepted international calendar system at this time), today IS November 11 because the accepted calendar—and the one you live by—says that it is. You’ve accepted it into your life, you schedule your workouts by it, you make lunch dates according to it; it’s yours!

Okay, okay, you say, fine—it’s my calendar, it holds meaning for me, sure. But only for organizing my life. What’s the big deal about today being the 11th day of the 11th month?

The Big Deal

Numbers aren’t just scratches on a page. Do you have a favorite number? A lucky number? Why? How can one number stand out as more or better than another number? I remember that, when I was a kid, there were several numbers I thought of as very friendly and others that I didn’t like because of their “sharpness.” Silly kid’s stuff or was I on to something? Something like numerology?? 

The most frequently invoked figure for the basis of the ideas behind numerology is Pythagoras. That’s right, of Pythagorean Theorem fame. A philosopher and mathematician in ancient Greece, Pythagoras believed that the natural world and the universe could be understood in terms of numbers. His studies revealed that everything that exists has a sort of underlying mathematical “signature.” If you’ve ever looked into sacred geometry or Fibonacci numbers, you know what I’m talking about. And if you haven’t, do it now!

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This idea goes beyond ancient Greece—many other civilizations have noted that all numbers emanate their own particular energy. And that mathematical signature of all things that I mentioned earlier? Many ancient peoples knew that the combined energies of all the numbers in that signature form a sort of vibrational symphony. The signatures of all that is, taken together, give us the song of the cosmos. That’s the Big Deal!

What Do I Do With That??

 

Well, first let’s take a look at the energy of 11. And then double it! Because it’s a double number, 11 is said to be a “master number.” It takes the vibration of the 1 and kicks it up a notch. An 11 as a doubled 1 has a very spiritual vibration and is sometimes referred to as the Spiritual Messenger. It brings messages of enlightenment, insight, intuition, and balance. But on 11/11, that doubled 1 becomes double doubled 1 and now we’re really kicking it up!

When it’s 11/11, it’s a good time to take a look at where you can begin to bring your life into better balance. Where does the see-saw of your life sit on the ground instead of float in the air? The 11th card of the tarot is Justice, the sign of balanced give and take. Does what you get out of each aspect of your life equal what you put into it?? Don’t be afraid to ask for more “give” from others—it’s very likely they they have been looking for a way to serve you! The human systems leans into equilibrium and your over-giving causes a dis-equilibrium that is felt on some level by all involved. And if they aren’t willing to equalize the give-and-take and are all set with their take-and-take, well, maybe it’s time to reassess that relationship.

How else can we work with 11/11 energy? Open up to your intuition. Look for ways to increase and embody your whatever spiritual practice you follow. Realign with your soul’s purpose. Work on opening your inner or third eye. Spend the day being super-aware of the symphony of the cosmos all around you by noting the signs and symbols that are being thrown into your path!

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Karen M. Black http://www.karenmblack.com/intuition-meaning.html

Yeah, But It’s Not 11/11 Anymore

Sure, okay, November 11 doesn’t happen every day. But that doesn’t mean you can’t work with the 11/11 vibration. Whenever you see the number 11, stop for a moment and breathe. Look around you, listen around you. Pay attention to the moment! Ask your guides or angels or inner being or who/whatever you turn to for guidance for a clear message. Reflect on what you’re dong in the moment you saw the 11 and ask yourself whether or not it’s in alignment with your truth and whether what you’re doing maintains or disrupts your balance.

The number 11 and the 11/11  combination are cosmic reminders. Even if it is later discovered that numbers have no vibrational pattern and no effect on the world around us, pausing to reflect and receive is a powerful tool for self-awareness, growth, and change. When 11 shows up in your life, make it your practice to become conscious, open up to your inner wisdom,  and show up in the present moment! It’s the little things that count the most.

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To Detox or not to Detox? Meet Judy Seeger ND

 

 To Detox or Not, and How?

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Feeling sluggish? Drained? Overwhelmed? Are you chronically ill? If you’re uncertain about trying and/or choosing a Detox strategy, make certain you are grounded and rooted in your own body before making a decision. There is a lot of information and opinion out there on the subject,  possibility creating more confusion than clarity.  Keep in mind that the best detox approach will come from YOU.

Making an educated decision to cleanse, not to cleanse, or how to cleanse requires more than researched fact.  What is essential to any individual’s decision relative to personal health and hygiene is that the individual ALWAYS remains in the driver’s seat (Insert medical disclaimer here). Listening to your body’s energetic response will cue you in on your best options. Your body will either expand energetically with a “Yes” or contract with a “No”.

An energetic expansion may invoke a sense of lightness in the body, a lift of the Spirit, a fresh deep breath or a feeling of peace or excitement.  An energetic contraction may provoke slumping shoulders, a sinking chest, tightening of the muscles and held breath. If you are new to this technique, ask yourself yes or no questions you know the answers to (ie Do I like spaghetti?) and ask a few times over to observe and confirm your responses.

Despite the simplicity of this natural technique for decision-making, listening energetically to your body may take some practice before you achieve a trusting level of confidence you can depend upon.

To Detox or not to Detox?

Some believe that the body is amply capable of eliminating metabolic waste through the use of its five dynamic organs (lungs, skin, kidneys, colon and liver) and is without need of additional help. Others say that current trend and marketing ploys are the forces responsible for the rising interest in the detoxification process.

But this fact is clear: Our global environment is infused with unavoidable toxins.

Toxins are lurking everywhere. They are in the air we breathe, the water we wash with and drink, the soil in which we grow our crops. There are myriads of toxins in many, if not most, of the products we use on a daily basis. So despite living a super clean lifestyle to try to keep the natural detox workload manageable, toxic overload may be unavoidable. Your five cleansing organs may not have the energy to provide and sustain you with optimum health.

Cleansing is an ancient practice. People sought out advanced detoxification long before the onset of industry and pharmaceuticals. The Ancient roman bathGreeks and Romans had their baths. The Nordic culture had their saunas. Traditional Chinese medicine and Ayurvedic medicine developed various cleansing strategies to address the problems of toxic burden. For thousands of years, all major religions used some form cleansing as part of their Spiritual practice. This process has accompanied Human evolution.

When choosing to detox, having a competent, trustworthy and inspiring co-pilot is a wise move. Changing food habits can be an arduous task.  Our surrounding environment does not support this challenge.  I was fortunate enough to find one of the leading pioneers in alternative medicine specializing in the detox and cleansing process. Her passionate, make-no-bones-about-it Detox & Cleanse approach gives you the best odds for achieving success. Please allow me to warmly present:  Judy Seeger ND!judy sJudy grew up in New York City with European parents and poor eating habits, eventually leading to the early onset of illnesses ranging from chronic fatigue and severe back pain to migraines, dizzy spells and more.  But as her good fortune had it, she stepped into a health food store and began to take the first steps on her healing quest. She learned early on that doing a liver cleanse was not enough and that the process of detoxification included adding things to her diet and lifestyle as well as taking things away.  Fresh juices replaced soda, fresh veggies made their way into her diet.  She discovered new ways to take better care of herself and soon began to heal!

Judy trained with world-renowned healers like Master Herbalist, Dr. Christopher; Nutritionist, Dr. Bernard Jensen; and Dr. Joel Robbins. MD, DC, ND. With their guidance, she learned about the importance of naturally detoxifying the WHOLE body, not only isolated organs.  She learned that alongside the physical aspects of detoxing, there are natural supportive therapies in the mental, spiritual, emotional and energetic realm that are necessary components to attaining optimum health!

Making a Difference in Our World

Inspired and determined to make a difference in the world, Judy became a Naturopath. She worked in the field of alternative medicine for 35 years, helping thousands of people heal. Her experiences and insights led to the meticulous fine tuning of her detox process which led to the development of her 3 Step Detox System (Pre-cleanse, Detox, Post-cleanse). She soon began to realize that the number of people she could help was limited to the hours in her day.  This realization inspired an entirely new approach to her healing outreach.  She began authoring books, creating video tutorials and webinars, and designing specific programs for specific needs.  She created her space on the internet!scaleI discovered Judy online and was pleasantly surprised to get a quick response to my inquiry.  My first professional experience with her was very powerful.  My father booked an online appointment with Judy early in his terminal illness diagnosis. Her candid approach to that very difficult initial discussion gave us a very realistic choice of options, and very importantly, awakened the denial of urgency we had succumbed to in that initial shock period.  We gained hope and inspiration.

As for engaging in Judy’s one of Judy’s detox strategies, Judy stays close with you during her assist.  You will not just get lists to follow and instructions on file, you will receive direct contact with her via email and private Facebook groups.  She will honor your energetic answers and help you navigate your best way to success.  I was able to receive immediate help when questions arose during my detox process. Whether your health is in a critical state or you simply desire optimum health for enjoyment of life and for preventative measures, Judy Seegerexpert is a trustworthy go-to.  She respects where you are in your level of personal care and understands the barriers that often sabotage the best of intentions.  She encourages you to pay attention to what your own body needs and desires and will customize your journey along the way.   You can meet Judy at judyseegerdetox.com and discover whether a formal detox is for you!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Are You a Maniac?

What is a Maniac?

Some time ago, I was overwhelmed by how stressed I was feeling, how many deadlines loomed, and how much I needed to ground myself and meditate. But, I couldn’t get myself there. Why, you ask?  Because the monkeys had control. I have The Meditation Pillow and everything. I understood perfectly that there’s nothing stopping me but me. The Pillow is still collecting dust in my front room, forlorn, lonely, neglected, but also a raging nag. That unused Pillow is a source of guilt. I must confess, I sort of hate The Pillow.

I concluded I couldn’t engage in a regular meditation practice because I’m a Maniac. And then I thought, if I’m a maniac, there must be a lot of other people like me that also have the best intentions, but just can’t get there. We just can’t seem to acquire the habit of expanded focus and time commitment that meditation requires.

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According to Merriam Webster, a Maniac is a person who behaves in an uncontrolled way, and also is a person exhibiting extreme symptoms of wild behavior. Okay, so maybe not in the classic asylum kind of way, but many of us struggle with uncontrolled worry and thoughts. Does that ring a bell? Gong a gong? Bang a drum? So, I might be getting a little carried away (hence, the need for meditation), but you get my drift.  I own up to being a Maniac. One hundred percent. Not arrogantly nor boastfully proud, but not sorry either. It just is what it is.

Are You a Maniac?

Are you often stressed out and easily distracted? Is it hard for you to settle in and settle down? Is mindfulness something you’re only vaguely aware of in theory but not in practice? Do you overthink and over worry about, well, everything? Do you have a mind that just will not shut off? If you answered yes to three or more of these questions, you just may be a Maniac. Welcome aboard.

So, What’s the Fix?

I realized at the same time that I discovered I was a Maniac that I really needed to develop a meditation technique for myself that was a quick, drive-thru approach. Think McDonalds of meditation versus the Four Seasons (Sorry, John Kabat-Zinn but we are who we are. No apologies). Meditation for Maniacs. That’s it! I had the proverbial “Ah Hah” moment. Meditation geared towards the Less than Zen.

Because we are a group of crazy risk takers,  Green Ink Radio is developing an app called Meditation for Maniacs and it will provide targeted, short meditations for all types of occasions. Asshole boss? Meditation for a Challenging Boss.  Bingo! In a traffic jam? Meditation (eyes open!) for Traffic Jams. Ba da boom!  At dinner with a pompous bore? Meditation for Patience in Social Situations.  Much calmer now.  And while we love all the Zen mindful meditations out there, what about the real world situations we encounter on a daily basis? We need some guidance and relief from those circumstances as well as transcendence and actualization meditations.

No Lotus Position Required

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The Meditations for Maniacs can be performed anywhere anytime. Of course we want you to self-actualize in addition to getting through life’s daily challenges, so those options are included in the app as well. Eventually, we will progress to longer and more mindfully based practices. For those that are already there, we will have a full library of options within the app for a deeper experience. However, our first goal is to help you get through the day in a more grounded, less emotionally laden way. And we’ll escort you through each step. You are no longer alone on a mindfulness island. We’ll captain your journey so you can relax and enjoy the ride. The meditations are only a few minutes in length, they’re guided, so no more having to figure out what to do, and you can easily fit them into your day.  They are small slices of peace in our otherwise often chaotic world. Who doesn’t need that?

Affordable

I bought access to a meditation app a while back, one that is very popular, and I was amazed by how expensive it was! So, Meditation for Maniacs will be far more affordable than other directive meditation  apps. It will be great to develop a community of Maniacs meditating for the very first time! Then the second! And third! And twentieth! It takes 66 days to change a habit, so I am coming on the journey with you! Let’s shoot for 66 days together! Every meditation I write (I am certified in meditation—I know—the irony isn’t wasted on me, either.) and record, I too will do. There will be daily meditations as well as circumstance specific meditations.

Benefits

The benefits of even a few minutes of meditation can last throughout the day by reducing heart rates, decreasing anxiety, increasing your quality of sleep, lessening tension headaches, lowering blood pressure, strengthening your immune system, reducing PMS symptoms, and  improving airflow to your lungs. A more consistent practice will yield even greater results and is recommended to assist with traditional treatments of chronic illnesses and to increase your overall quality of life.

 Tune in to Tune Up

The app is in production, so, in the meantime, for an introductory, quick and easy breathing meditation, tune into Green Ink Radio’s Spaz on Health Episode, Meditation for Maniacs. If you follow us on Facebook, the first 20 people who like us will receive the app free for one year. Please post in the Facebook comments that you would like the free app.

We are also looking for recommendations on what you would like to see included in the Meditation for Maniacs’ app. Please post your suggestions for development on this site. We will answer every post!

See you on The Pillow. Not! (Or not yet, at least). girl-eye-wink-16602174

 

Inflammation Proclamation

What is inflammation and why it is important to your longevity?

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Written by Janice Messino of Create Health

When I started to connect the dots between diet, lifestyle, chronic inflammation, and disease, I felt inspired to take control of my health.  Why?  Because our daily choices in our diet and lifestyle create our health, and inflammation is a big part of that.

Over the past five years I have improved what goes into my grocery cart, and my mind.  I have moved from a more stressful life, both physically and emotionally, to a more balanced existence with plant based nourishment, lean protein, healthy fats, and complex carbohydrates.  I have also chosen inner growth and consciously living and breathing.  

How to start connecting the dots in your life?  We will start by clarifying our understanding of inflammation since they play separate roles in our life.  Then we will cover ways to reduce inflammations effect on our health.

What is inflammation?

Acute Inflammation is your body’s natural and helpful response to tissues damage.  When you cut yourself it swells, reddens, and feels inflamed.  These are signs your body is busy sending white blood cells to the site of the injury, to repair damaged tissue.  At this stage inflammation is very important to our well-being.  An increasing body of evidence shows that chronic inflammation causes and advances many common diseases.

Chronic Inflammation:  The body’s over compensating immune response to a plenitude of environmental, and dietary, assaults.  Chronic disease is driven by inflammation, and there is more and more evidence showing the chronic inflammation causes and advances many common diseases such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and Alzheimer ’s disease.   https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3492709/.

Some of the causes of inflammation:

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Poor dietary choices:  Standard American Diet (SAD) sugar, processed foods, excess alcohol, certain unhealthy omega 6 fats

Chronic infections:  Bacteria, yeast, viruses, parasites

Gut health:  Bad bacteria, food sensitivities, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4579563/

There are other causes of inflammation.  Please don’t take inflammation lightly – it is a killer.

What is an anti-inflammatory diet?

To overcome chronic low – grade inflammation, have a diet rich in omega 3’s, (EPA and DHA).  Always choosing to eat protein when eating other foods to combat a blood sugar rise which is a big instigator of chronic inflammation.  Colorful non- starchy vegetables are full of polyphenols to also help inhibit inflammation.  Calorie restriction is also advised for longevity.  A diet with 40% protein, 30% complex carbohydrates and 30% healthy fats, 40:30:30 diet is recommended from the National Institute of Health as the proportions of macro and micro nutrients.  This might seem overly simplistic, but it is that simple to have good health, remember inflammation is no joke.  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26400429

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For more information on this topic and other ways to create your health go to Facebook/CreateHealthCT.  Or janicemessino@gmail.com

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Contact Janice Messino of Create Health for a lifestyle evaluation and health plan. The life she saves may be yours!

 

Wrestling Champion or Super Hero?

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What makes a superhero? Do they all have to encounter crisis, be shockingly injured, and from that wound arise with a strength that exceeds all other humans’ capabilities? If that is the definition of a superhero, then Patrisha Summerland is definitely a super hero.

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I must confess as I was preparing to interview Patrisha (aka Sunny the California Girl) Summerland, one of the original GLOW girls (Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling) I was filled with old-fashioned intimidation and (ashamedly) a little envy. Here was a woman so articulate, polished, and beautiful in her fifties that she makes the rest of us aging boomers, who avoid the mirror like a bill collector, feel a little gypped. I know, shame on me but hey, if you cut me, do I not bleed? Why does this woman get to not only retain her striking looks and gorgeous physique, but actually get more beautiful with time?

Super Powers aren’t for Sissies

Her story is truly compelling. On the surface, Patrisha (Trisha) had it all: amazing athleticism, stunning looks, a warm and engaging personality, and television success. But underneath, the genesis of her superpowers were forged in the fires of intimate partner violence, stalking, kidnapping, familial dysfunction, and rape.  This amazingly gifted woman endured these challenging issues all the while keeping her career afloat and staying in peak athletic shape. Concurrently, she also sustained life-altering injuries on the job, such as broken bones and concussions.

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After talking with Trisha Summerland, I think I discovered her superpowers and her fountain of youth. Her superpowers are resiliency and strength of character. Her fountain of youth is a radiant beauty that comes from within. She is not only totally committed to empowering women, but she also fearlessly shares her story of familial suicide and abandonment and intimate partner and sexual violence in the hopes of helping other women encountering similar circumstances. Trisha is almost single-handedly knocking victim stigma right out of the ring.   Wrestling is actually the least of her superpowers. Not to minimize her career in wrestling—because that, too is remarkable—but her journey of trauma recovery and women’s empowerment is where her strength of character truly distinguishes her from the rest of us mere mortals.

Powers for the Good

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This is not a woman who is easily vanquished. And like any great superhero, she uses her powers for the good. Trisha has taken her dark experiences and shined a light on them to help others.  She provides motivating and moving speaking tours for young women and has one of the most (forgive the cliché) sunny dispositions I have encountered. She is generous to a fault; hence, the interview with a startup podcast in order to help the Green Ink Radio team move forward.

Great news: Trisha is working on her memoir (what I have described thus far is only a snapshot of the challenges and extraordinary life events she has encountered and overcome). A movie is already in the pipeline and it’s going to be fascinating. Her astonishing experiences and how elegantly she has handled these challenges are truly remarkable. Trisha is a shining example of what a trailblazer can do for the hidden reality of many woman’s lives. She entered a man’s world—wrestling—and her unique and engaging performances helped catapult the GLOW Girls to seven million viewers weekly. Trisha and the GLOW Girls outshone the male wrestlers by several million spectators each week!  These athletic, brave women broke barriers and kicked ass! After meeting Trisha, I can totally understand why their current fan base keeps growing to over the tens of thousands. Trisha and the rest of the team are inspirational on so many fronts. I’m so honored to be able to interview Trisha and other members of this group of fearless barrier breakers.

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Trisha is a true superhero of epic proportions.  Personally, I have discovered that she is kind and generous beyond measure. She is the type of person you would want beside you in battle—or in the ring. And her story is far from over. Her courage, kindness, strength, and big-bigheartedness continues to inform her journey. As Batman used to say: Kapow!

Disney Delivers

 

  

Not too long after our mother died, my father took my sister and me to the newly opened Disney world.  It made sense, go to “the happiest place on earth” to get away from all that sadness.  My mother’s dying process was confusing to me.  She didn’t want us to remember her sick and feeble so she insisted that her illness be kept a hidden truth.  Hidden Truths are like deeply embedded splinters.  Eventually they get pushed to the surface for expulsion.

There was promise upon arrival that Disney world was, indeed, the happiest place on earth.  Enchantment began from the moment you parked your car.  The lots were so big they presented a world of their own.  I had never seen a tram before; I didn’t know they existed.  So once we boarded and sat down, I was embarrassed and excited to hear that we weren’t even in the park yet – and I was already brimming with happiness.

Finally through those entry gates, I felt like I was walking inside a freshly shaken snow globe.  The atmosphere was simply magical.  By the time we stumbled upon the Snow White and the Seven Dwarf ride, I was dopey with Disney manufactured happiness.

We drifted through a cheerful courtyard, Snow White singing to a admiring group of birds, but within moments, the cart pushed open two swinging doors and we were immersed in spine chilling darkness. Before us stood the magic mirror declaring the Snow White truth.  Suddenly, the cart took a sharp turn and we headed for the backside of the Evil Queen.

As we approached, our cart swung around.  Instead of the anticipated face of the queen, the bulging psychotic eyes of her bewitched counterpart appeared.  Her blood curdling gaggle frayed my every nerve ending and I spent the rest of the ride buried in my father’s rib cage.

Twenty years later I took my young daughter to Disney on Ice.  We were three generations in the family together, sitting in the second tier towards the back of the rink.  The stadium was sold out.  The show began as magnificently and magically as expected –until suddenly the arena went dark.

A sliver of light appeared at the arena entrance and that arrogant evil queen skated onto the ice. I froze up and stopped breathing.   I followed her vengeful glide along the parameters.  Every cell in my body was brewing with hatred and contempt.

Without warning -and very contrary to my non-combative nature, I jumped up and began booing at the top of my lungs.  I couldn’t stop.  My inhibited quiet family slapped at my thighs and tried to shut me down but I simply could not stop. I booed louder and raised my fists into the air. The queen actually stopped skating and glared in my direction.  I booed even louder at her, unleashing every stored cell of Terrified I had buried in my body.

Evidently, I was not alone.

A child somewhere in that dark stadium joined me. And then another.  And another, until the whole stadium was roaring.   The queen appeared to be caught in self-assessment: Performance success or failure? Then seemingly at the same moment as I, she realized she had performed to perfection and continued skating. Strangely, I felt as if I’d made a new friend.

The booing intensified, mixed with a bit of cheering. The energy in that stadium had shifted, just as it had for me decades prior when we passed through the swinging double doors – only in reverse.  From that cold and contracted emotional darkness brought in by the queen, a warm and expansive sense of delight emerged.

Years later I would use this story whenever I taught yoga.  It was especially effective in children’s classes where the concept of tension release and healing was the focus.  Living in the moment, enjoying that space in between each breath, liberates our life force and activates our strongest sense of vitality.  Our bodies absorb the energy from our experiences and if these experiences become trapped, our energy cannot flow freely.

What I especially loved about my Disney release was that I never saw it coming. I didn’t have to do any work for it to happen.  There was no mental deliberation and mustering up of courage.  It was a solid, holistic response to the call for self-preservation. The fact that I was joined by a stadium of self-preserving children was a ten-fold bonus. Disney finally delivered me to the happiest place on earth.