Posts Tagged ‘lifescript’

Published August 04, 2005

Have you recently gone through some dramatic and transformative changes in your life? Whether these changes are related to your job, relationships, or spirituality, the shift has taken some getting used to and you need something positive to focus on. You enjoy a lot of different pastimes, but you really want to devote yourself to something you simply love doing. How do you find your passion? Perhaps just as important, how do you turn that passion into something meaningful and substantial in your life? Find out now…
“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” –Eleanor Roosevelt
A passion in life isn’t something you’re born with. It’s cultivated by your interests, what stimulates you and what you are genuinely excited about. But what if you want to pursue many avenues and just don’t know which one you’d be the most successful at or want to invest the most time in? Or what if nothing particularly lights the proverbial fire under your bottom, but you have a lot of energy that you could devote to something? Or maybe you’re stuck in a job you despise, but don’t know what other route to take that would truly be fulfilling.
Don’t fear. We have plenty of ideas to get your creative juices flowing to find your passion and make something worthwhile of it.
Answer these Questions
Answering the following questions is a great exercise in deciding where your passion may lie and what direction to go in. Write down your answers and look for a common theme. Your passion might be so obvious that it jumps right off of the page.
  • What do you love about yourself?
  • What did you want to be when you were a child?
  • If money were no object, what would you want to do?
  • What do you daydream about or think about during downtime?
  • How do others perceive you?
  • List five things you really enjoy doing and five things you’re really good at.
  • Name one thing you’ve always dreamed about doing but never told anyone about.


Look Around
Your passion could be right under your nose, but you just might not be in tune with it. Watch out for signs or for moments that inspire you or move you.
It might come in the form of a movie, a human interest story from a newspaper or neighbor, or a great ending to a great book. Go through your closet or look through old photo albums. You may have simply “stored” away memories of any passions or inspirations you had as a child or before you were married, had children or started in the work force.
Once you’re aware of everything around you, finding your passion might be easier than you originally thought.
You know networking is a great tool to use in job hunting, but it’s also ideal to use to help find your passion and turn that passion into a productive endeavor. Let people in on your passion and dreams: They’ll become more of a reality the more you talk about them, and when an opportunity pops up that relates to that passion, they’ll let you know!
If the passion you’ve discovered has to do with a dream job, keeping the lines of communication open with all sorts of people will only increase your chances of pursuing your passion and achieving a goal.
Get Involved
Getting involved in volunteer projects is a fantastic way to test the passion waters. Start out by volunteering with one group. It can be at a soup kitchen, animal rescue group or reading to children at the library for an hour.
Really begin to feel what it means to do something positive for someone else – many people associate their passion with service. They feel it’s their purpose and their calling. Volunteer where you are drawn to, and then volunteer with something at the opposite end of your passion spectrum.
The more projects you’re able to experience, the more your imagination will be sparked.
Reach for the Stars
Nobody can live your life for you – your destiny is in your hands. If you’ve found your passion, you’re already on your way. If you’ve found a passion that seems a little more intangible than others, give it some serious thought, but don’t be afraid to go for it.
Too many people don’t follow their passion because they let the possibility of failure stop them before they even try. How will you know if things are possible if you don’t put yourself out there? Be proactive, reach for the stars and turn your passion into something productive and meaningful that will enrich your life and the lives of others.

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Published May 10, 2005

Creating sacred, personal spaces to go escape within and pray or reflect upon life can be as simple or intricate as you’d like to make it. The wonderful thing is about creating spirited places for yourself is that such space can be made at home, at the office or anywhere out in the wide world that you choose…
Stress and anxiety seem to be at the forefront of everyone’s mind these days. There is always something that needs to be done or that could be done better. Demands on us to always be “On” can be draining, to say the least. Thus, the need for sacred spaces and personal “Time-Outs” to help find happiness is in higher demand than ever. When the need arises for you to take or make some sacred space, it is possible to go there physically, emotionally or spiritually. Enjoy these suggestions to help you create sacred space for yourself in needed moments:


Headspace: When I am at the office, the greatest tool I have for personal enhancement is my set of headphones. If I need to create inner peace and am unable to leave my desk, I put them on with or without sound. Web radio stations have all kinds of material available – from ambient music to church services and more. Try this option at the office, the next time you feel the need for some serenity.
Find Your Spot: Remember that special secret spot you used to go to as a child? It was somewhere that you could let your imagination run free. Just because you’re a grown-up doesn’t mean that the need for that spot isn’t still there. Perhaps installing a bench in your garden that you visit each morning or evening, or a certain spot you stop at on your daily walk – all of these are scared places to help you find inner peace. For me, when I groom my horse and turn him out for exercise, it’s my playtime as well. At work, there is a complex across the street where I go and sit in the afternoon to have tea. A friend of mine finds happiness by climbing to the rooftop of her building on her afternoon break and looks out over the city where she lives. Find a spot to visit at least once a day.
Prayer Place: While the preferred place for people to pray or meditate may be in a church, temple, mosque or other place of worship, you can create a personal prayer space just about anywhere you feel the need. In the corner of my living room, I have a place to sit in the lotus position and practice meditating techniques, with a bookshelf for spiritual literature as well as inspirational sayings and pictures. Another idea is to create a spiritual “bag” that contains a shawl or pillow, some small spiritual books, candles and pictures that you can take with you on a hike, picnic or trip. A friend has a special “prayer kit” that contains a small Bible, rosary beads, a white candle and small pictures of Jesus, The Virgin Mary and the Saints, and is contained in a shaving kit bag. She only uses this for traveling.
These are just some examples of small ways in which you can nurture your spiritual, emotional and physical lives on a daily basis. If you take the time, even if it’s just ten minutes twice a day, to find and enjoy your sacred spaces, you will reap the infinite benefits of balance and heightened spirituality.

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By Stephanie Schorow, Special to Lifescript
Published March 03, 2010

It’s 4 p.m. and you’ve hit the wall. You can’t concentrate and your zip is zapped. But hold off on that Snickers fix. Find out what’s draining your energy and learn how to put more pep in your step…

You haven’t been getting enough sleep lately, but could that be all that’s zapping your energy?

Constant weariness may stem from more than a few late-night parties. Some culprits? Disease or heavy bleeding, for example. Or it could be your couch-potato habits and poor diet.

Whatever its cause, ongoing fatigue can leave you vulnerable to infections, according to a Carnegie Mellon University study published in 2009 in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

Of 153 healthy men and women aged 21-55, those who got less than seven hours of sleep were almost three times more likely to catch a cold than those who slept eight hours or more.

But fatigue isn’t just triggered by physical causes, says Lilian Cheung, R.D., a Harvard University lecturer and director of health promotion and communication at the Harvard School of Public Health’s Department of Nutrition. It’s mental too.

Being stressed out or working too hard – even thinking too much – saps energy levels, she says. “The mind needs to rest.”

Sometimes an underlying medical condition – diabetes, chronic fatigue syndrome, lupus, fibromyalgia – drains your get-up-and-go and you’ll need a doctor’s help to treat or manage symptoms.

But we can be our own energy-sapping enemies. Here are 8 ways you may be depleting your pep. Plus, learn new ways to get from slow to go:

Energy Zapper #1: A sugar- and fat-filled breakfast
Mom always told you to eat breakfast. But wolfing down a bagel or muffin as you sprint out the door isn’t the nutrition she had in mind.

That carbohydrate-rich meal tastes great, but you’ll be crashing in a few hours.

Sugar-and-starch combos boost energy temporarily because of the way our bodies process glucose (sugar), says Stuart Fischer, M.D., founder of the Park Avenue Diet and author of Dr. Fischer’s Little Book of Big Medical Emergencies.

Eating stimulates the pancreas to release the hormone insulin, which helps glucose enter your cells and gives you an energy burst.

A typical sugar-loaded breakfast puts too much glucose too quickly into the bloodstream. The cells can’t absorb it all, so excess glucose is converted to the molecule glycogen, which is stored in the liver and muscle tissue. That’s when blood sugar levels drop and you start to drag.

If glucose levels drop too much, “your brain can get a little fuzzy,” Cheung says. “Some people have trouble concentrating.”

Re-energize: Start the day with whole grains and/or lean protein, which take longer to convert into glucose and can sustain energy levels for longer periods.

Fisher’s breakfast Rx? A bowl of oatmeal or two boiled or poached eggs with tomato and lettuce.

Energy Zapper #2: Not exercising
Too tired to work out? Whatever you do, don’t skip it. Exercise will put spring back in your step.

People who regularly complained of fatigue increased energy levels by 20% with regular, low-intensity exercise, according to a 2008 University of Georgia study.

You don’t have to run marathons either. The study found that those who did low-intensity exercises, such as walking, cut fatigue levels more than those who ran or did high-impact aerobics.

Re-energize: Exercise every day, even for as little as 10 minutes.

If you’re in a time crunch, just “take a walk around the hallway,” Cheung says.

If possible, work out first thing in the morning, Fischer says. “It can be as stimulating as an espresso [for] waking you up.”

If you’re drooping after lunch, take a 10- to 20-minute walk. Even just standing up while working instead of sitting in front of a computer helps loosen the body.

“That’s why I love the speakerphone,” Cheung says. “I don’t have to hold it or bend my neck in a way that drains me.”

Energy Zapper #3: The bottomless coffee cup
Heading to the java joint around the corner for your fifth cup of the day? Not only will the caffeine keep you tossing all night, it also does a number on your hormones. Coffee stimulates production of adrenaline and cortisol, two hormones that increase alertness.

But that effect doesn’t last, so you pour another mugful. Trouble is, after the third cup, the caffeine stops working. “It’s like squeezing a sponge,” Fischer says. After a while, you only get a few drops.

People who keep chugging cups throughout the day may over-stimulate adrenaline production. That stresses and slows the adrenaline gland, causing hormone depletion, Fischer says.

Re-energize: Cut back – but don’t necessarily give up – coffee. One to three cups a day may make you sharper, Cheung says, noting studies have shown that java improves cognitive function in the elderly.

Researchers found that midlife coffee drinkers had a lower risk for dementia and Alzheimer’s as they age compared to those drinking little or no coffee, according to a long-term Finnish study published in 2009 in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease.

Check out 9 Caffeine Myths Explained.

Energy Zapper #4: Carb-loaded snacks
It’s 4 p.m. and you need a wake-up call. A trip to the snack-room vending machine might perk you up, right? Wrong that’s where you get burned.

“A candy bar actually depletes [energy] in the long term,” Fischer says.

Remember what happened with your sugar-coated breakfast? Candy, too, provides the boost but it’s quickly followed by a slump. So goes for high-energy drinks, such as Red Bull.

Energy drinks are particularly bad for overweight people “like poison,” Fischer says.

Obese people are already overproducing insulin from the excess sugars they consume. A candy bar sends another huge jolt of sugar into their systems, he says.

Eventually it leads to insulin resistance, a condition in which the body produces but does not process insulin correctly, and type 2 diabetes.

Watch out for “healthy” juices too, because they’re often loaded with sugar, Cheung says. About 12 ounces of orange juice has 10 spoonfuls of sugar – the same as in 12 ounces of cola.

Re-energize: Choose high-fiber or protein snacks, like a slice of turkey wrapped around a carrot stick or celery stalk, Fischer says.

For a refreshing low-sugar sip, drink seltzer water with a splash of juice, Cheung advises.

Edamame (green soy beans) are an excellent source of soy and protein – and healthy for women because they contain phyto-estrogen, a plant-based form of the hormone, Fischer says. Microwave them for a quick snack.

Nuts, such as pistachios, raw almonds and walnuts, are another energy-booster.

“I love nuts,” says Keri Glassman, R.D., author of The O2 Diet. “They’re filled with antioxidants and have fiber, healthy fat and protein.”

An added bonus: They keep your ticker healthy. People who ate nuts several times a week reduced their risk of heart attack, sudden cardiac death or cardiovascular disease by 30%-50%, according to three recent studies.

Just don’t mindlessly munch handfuls all day because nuts are high in calories. If you’re on a diet, practice portion control – an ounce or so a day, Cheung says.

Energy Zapper #5: You’re not getting enough magnesium
Nodding off at your desk? Sleepiness and muscle weakness are symptoms of magnesium deficiency.

Many Americans consume less magnesium than the recommended amounts. “The good news is that it’s widely available” in a lot of foods, says Jill Weisenberger, R.D., C.D.E, Lifescript’s Nutritionist.

The mineral is crucial to keep your body functioning – it plays a role in more than 300 of its biochemical reactions, according to the National Institutes of Health. It maintains muscle and nerve functions, keeps the heart ticking steadily and your immune system strong and promotes bone strength.

Plus, “blood pressure creeps up as we age and diets rich in magnesium help keep it in check,” Weisenberger says.

Certain drugs, such as some diuretics (Lasix, Bumex and hydrochlorothiazide) and antibiotics (Gentamicin, tetracycline and Amphotericin), can cause a magnesium deficiency. So can some disorders, such as Crohn’s disease, a serious chronic inflammation of the intestines, and poorly controlled diabetes.

Re-energize: Head for the salad bar: Dark-green leafy vegetables, such as spinach, are the best source of magnesium. Same goes for certain fish, like halibut, which has 90 milligrams (mg) in a 3-ounce serving.

“Eat a variety of whole grains, nuts, beans like pintos and kidney beans and dark-green vegetables,” Weisenberger says.

Women need 310-320 mg of magnesium a day – more if you’re pregnant (350-400 mg) or breastfeeding (310-360 mg). You can take supplements, but first get your doctor’s OK.

Energy Zapper #6: Heavy periods
Do you drag during heavy menstrual periods? You could have iron-deficiency anemia, a condition where you don’t have enough iron in your blood. The mineral is crucial to making hemoglobin, the protein in red blood cells which carries oxygen throughout the body.

Women are particularly susceptible to iron-deficiency anemia because of heavy bleeding, long periods and uterine fibroids. Tiredness is one hallmark; other symptoms include shortness of breath, dizziness and weakness.

“Anemia from a heavy period produces fatigue that can’t be helped by exercise, coffee or anything else,” Fischer says. “It’s as if the person isn’t breathing as much.”

Re-energize: Women need 18 mg of iron a day; less (8 mg) if you’re 51 and older.

See a doctor for a blood test to diagnose anemia. Don’t take iron supplements on your own, Fischer warns, because the supplements can cause upset stomach, constipation and other digestive problems.

Plus, it’s best to get the mineral from iron-rich foods, including clams, organ meats, eggs, green leafy vegetables, dried beans and legumes.

Energy Zapper #7: Not enough zzz’s
It almost goes without saying: If you don’t get enough sleep, you’ll be tired – and gain weight. Too many late nights spark cravings for sweets and high-carb treats, Fischer says.

Re-energize: Women need at least 7-9 hours of sleep a night. If you’re not getting that, take short “power naps” of 10-20 minutes if you can, Glassman says.

Or meditate for 10-15 minutes to clear your mind and refresh your body.

It’s like rebooting your brain, just like you do with your computer, says Hawaii-based psychologist Matthew B. James, Ph.D. The goal is to ease your brain temporarily from an active beta wave state to an alpha wave state, the state that precedes sleep.

His suggested meditation:

Step 1: Stare out the window or at a pleasant picture and slow down your thoughts.

Step 2: Take long breaths through your nose and out your mouth with a “ha” sound.

It doesn’t have to take much time. You can meditate anywhere and almost any time, says Cheung, who has written the soon-to-be-published book Savor – Mindful Eating, Mindful Life with Buddhist master Thich Nhat Hahn.

“People think you meditate only on a cushion,” she says. “You can be standing in an airport security line.”

Energy Zapper #8: Stress
The brain doesn’t distinguish between the anxiety of being late for work or being chased by a saber-tooth tiger. Either way, our “fight-or-flight” system releases hormones, including adrenaline, to give us a burst of speed or action.

But unless you’re actually running from a huge hungry cat, the hormones build up in your body and eventually wear you out. It may be in your head, but psychological stress can cause physical problems such as lower energy levels, chronic pain, digestive problems and illnesses like heart disease and diabetes.

Re-energize: There’s one stress management tool that women carry with them everywhere, Cheung says: Their breath.

“All they need to do is focus on the breath, following their ‘in breath’ and their ‘out breath,’ ” Cheung says.

Even simpler? Just smile, she says. This relaxes facial muscles and releases tension.

Are You A Stress Case?
Jobs, bosses, colleagues, family, money, and time… stress creeps into life from all angles. Do you ever wonder if you’re a stress case? Take this stress quiz to find out.

Check out Health Bistro for more healthy food for thought. See what Lifescript editors are talking about and get the skinny on latest news. Share it with your friends (it’s free to sign up!), and bookmark it so you don’t miss a single juicy post!

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The information contained on www.lifescript.com (the “Site”) is provided for informational purposes only and is not meant to substitute for advice from your doctor or healthcare professional. This information should not be used for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing any medication. Always seek the advice of a qualified healthcare professional regarding any medical condition. Information and statements provided by the site about dietary supplements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Lifescript does not recommend or endorse any specific tests, physicians, third-party products, procedures, opinions, or other information mentioned on the Site. Reliance on any information provided by Lifescript is solely at your own risk

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