The age-old practice of talking kindly to plants has captivated the human imagination for centuries. Many gardeners and nature enthusiasts believe that speaking to plants can promote their growth and well-being. This practice, however, raises a fascinating question: can the power of kind words also extend to ourselves? In this post, we will delve into talking kindly to plants and ourselves, exploring the potential benefits and mechanisms behind these two seemingly disparate practices.
Talking to Plants
Talking to plants is rooted in the belief that verbal interaction with plants can positively impact their growth and health. While this idea has been met with skepticism, some scientific studies have provided intriguing insights into this practice.
Talking to Yourself
Conversely, the practice of talking kindly to oneself is a form of self-talk or positive self-affirmation. This practice involves addressing one's inner thoughts, emotions, and doubts in a compassionate and supportive manner. The psychological benefits of talking to oneself positively have been widely explored.
Comparing the Two Practices
While talking to plants and talking to oneself might seem vastly different, they share common elements related to psychological and physiological effects. Here are some points of comparison:
The exploration of talking kindly to plants and oneself reveals that words have the power to influence both the natural world and human psychology. While the mechanisms and outcomes may differ, the common thread is the potential for positive impact. Whether nurturing plants with kind words or promoting self-compassion through self-affirmation, the belief in the transformative power of words reminds us of the intricate connection between humans and nature. So, whether you find solace in the garden or within your own thoughts, remember that a few kind words can go a long way in nurturing growth, be it in plants or in your own life.
This is a creative and speculative piece, and it does not directly reference specific scientific studies. While there is some research on plant communication and the psychological benefits of positive self-talk, the synthesis and interpretation presented in the article are based on general knowledge and trends rather than specific citations.
By Kat Palms
In our fast-paced and often stressful world, prioritizing wellness has become more important than ever. Achieving a state of well-being encompasses physical, mental, and emotional health. It's about finding a balance that allows you to live your life to the fullest. Below are three wellness tips that can help you lead a healthier, happier, and more fulfilling life.
1. Prioritize Physical Health
Physical health is the foundation of overall wellness. When you take care of your body, you'll have more energy, improved mental health, and a better quality of life.
Here are some tips for prioritizing physical health:
a. Regular Exercise: Incorporate regular physical activity into your routine. Whether it's walking, jogging, yoga, or weightlifting, find an activity you enjoy and can commit to. Exercise not only keeps you fit but also releases endorphins, which boost your mood.
b. Balanced Diet: Eat a variety of nutritious foods that provide your body with the necessary vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. Limit processed foods and sugar, and focus on fresh fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains.
c. Get Enough Sleep: Adequate sleep is essential for physical and mental health. Aim for 7-9 hours of quality sleep per night to allow your body to rest and recover.
d. Hydration: Staying well-hydrated is crucial for overall health. Drink plenty of water throughout the day to keep your body functioning optimally.
2. Cultivate Mental Health
Your mental well-being is just as important as your physical health. A healthy mind is the key to coping with stress, anxiety, and life's challenges.
Here are some tips for nurturing your mental health:
a. Practice Mindfulness: Mindfulness involves being present in the moment and fully engaging with your surroundings. It can reduce stress and improve your overall mental well-being.
b. Seek Professional Help: If you're struggling with mental health issues, don't hesitate to seek professional help. Therapists, counselors, and psychiatrists can provide valuable support and guidance.
c. Manage Stress: Find healthy ways to manage stress, such as meditation, deep breathing exercises, or creative outlets like art or journaling.
d. Stay Social: Maintaining strong social connections can help boost your mood and provide a support system during tough times.
3. Embrace Emotional Wellness
Emotional wellness involves understanding and managing your emotions effectively. It's about finding inner peace and happiness. Here are some tips for embracing emotional wellness:
a. Self-Care: Make self-care a regular practice. This can include hobbies you love, spending time with loved ones, or simply taking time for yourself to relax and rejuvenate.
b. Set Boundaries: Learn to say no when necessary and set healthy boundaries with others. This helps protect your emotional well-being and prevent burnout.
c. Positive Thinking: Cultivate a positive mindset by practicing gratitude and focusing on the good aspects of life. A positive outlook can improve your emotional health.
d. Accept Imperfection: Understand that nobody is perfect, and it's okay to make mistakes. Embrace self-compassion and self-forgiveness.
Wellness is a holistic journey that involves taking care of your body, mind, and emotions. By prioritizing physical health, cultivating mental well-being, and embracing emotional wellness, we can lead healthier, happier, and more fulfilling lives. Remember that wellness is a continuous process, and small, consistent changes can lead to significant improvements in your overall well-being. Start by incorporating these three wellness tips into your daily life, and you'll be on your way to a more balanced and fulfilling existence.
By Terri McDermott, E-RYT200, E-RYT500, IYTA, YACEP, CMA, IPC
We step into a world of perfectly pink where everything is as it should be, according to Barbie in her perfect world. This is a replication of what many of us long for, a perfect world. What exactly does that mean? Does this mean we overextend ourselves to a life of living for material possessions, the perfect career, the perfect family? Do we identify with and live life based on the size of our home, the numbers of cars in the driveway, the number of 0’s in our paychecks? For many, it certainly does. We’ve been led to believe that our importance lies with the things we possess, the letters at the end of our name, the things that pull us away every so easily from that beautiful voice and “being” that resides within. I wonder, often times, what that “being” feels as it watches us get pulled further and further away from source. It is in that pursuit we get lost, we move so far away from center we now lie within the physical realm of a constant state of flight, fright or freeze mode. Yes, it is indeed factual information that we, in this day and age, live in this constant state and it is considered to be the new norm. What does that mean? It means that we are pulled, energetically into a space of constriction, of struggle, of numbness and we exist there. There is neither gain nor loss, just continuous forces resisting one another creating the largest of stressors in our life.
Physically, that means that our body also has to work more intensely and with much more strain and difficulty to keep us healthy as we run in frantic circles to attain more with less. What does this lead to? This leads to stress, high BP, cardiac and respiratory issues, dis-ease in any way, shape or form that it chooses to settle and take root in a weak spot and inevitably takes over. Can you take a moment for me right now to stop everything you are doing and note your body and any tension you may be holding at this very moment. It’s there…it’s natural and it will remain until you choose to find balance and harmony in this life.
Energetically, our Pancha Kosha or five layers of consciousness move further and further away from our true nature, our soul. It is stated within the Vedas, the most ancient Hindu scriptures, that human birth is given to us to strive to know and understand the “being” within. How is that at all possible when we have moved so far away from that connection to self.
Spiritually, you no longer hear that beautiful voice of intuition, faith is lost, relationships are disrupted, values become questionable and disconnection to every living thing takes place. Patterns of the past are repeated and we remain in a rut that seems impossible to move away from.
Barbie’s Dreamland, where all is perfection, where day to day repetition of the same things and patterns exist and never change, until one becomes aware of what it is they are lacking in this life. How is it that we truly come to know that “being” within? Become aware of what it is that is important in this life. Become aware of what one truly needs for this existence. Become aware of the repeated patterns that provide continued uncertainty in life. It’s time that we all PAUSE, take a step back and seek our “being” within. How might we do that when we come to that realization of the need for self-discovery? It is the path of yoga! Yoga is not a practice of asana alone. It is not a path of meditation alone. It is not a path of soul searching alone. It is ongoing work in this life to shed the layers of illusion that “what we need lies outside of us and in possessions what allows us to feel secure in owning things”. It is a beautiful path of caring for oneself and others, even if that means stepping away from all that we’ve become comfortable with until now, this moment when we realize there is more. It is time for each of us to ask the question of ourselves, “What is it that truly matters in this life and how do I connect deeply to who I am?”
I am here to work with you, at your place of realization in this life to guide you back to the tools to connect you to your own personal space of contentment, of harmony, of balance and connection to self, to all that truly matters! No matter how far away we’ve gone from that connection to the self, we can always return, but the work must be done.
E-RYT500, Spiritual/Life Coach, Teacher, Nurturer, Guide and Friend
“When we become the observer of our own self, without identification, justification or condemnation, the inner music of silence becomes a joy. As long as we identify, as long as we condemn and as long as we justify, it will be noise.”
Yogacharya Dr. Ananda Balayogi Bhavanani
By Katherine Palms
Face Yoga is an ancient discipline pursued for thousands of years in India and other parts of South Asia. Today, Face Yoga has been adopted in western cultures as a stand-alone practice or blended with various exercises to make it more suitable to consumers. The mix of traditional techniques combined with a current understanding of the skin makes Face Yoga, in particular, both powerful and practical.
Face Yoga is the practice of various exercises focusing on facial muscles to create a firmer, more sculpted-looking countenance with fewer wrinkles and sagging skin and a more defined jawline.
The name' face yoga' may sound ridiculous, but it is a solid yoga practice by its very nature. 'Yoga' is the Sanskrit word for union, and Face Yoga is the union of numerous techniques to bring about holistic well-being.
The target of this practice is primarily on the physical body, but it also has a strong focus on the well-being of the inner self. Face Yoga concentrates on facial exercises, but to do so, it employs breath control and specific yoga-like body postures that benefit overall well-being. It can build a more positive sense of self that many lose as we start to age. Like all true yoga practices, face yoga's aim is self-realization.
No specific tools or equipment are necessary to practice face yoga. You can practice the exercises anywhere – while doing laundry, driving to work, walking, or even watching a movie.
Until recently, there has been little scientific evidence to support the positive personal experience and anecdotal evidence of Face Yoga practitioners. However, the first study of its kind was completed by researchers in 2018. This study from Northwestern University in Illinois, published in JAMA Dermatology, a monthly peer-reviewed medical journal published by the American Medical Association, showed that by spending 30 minutes a day exercising specific facial muscles, study participants were able to tighten and lift the cheek areas to look more youthful.
The scientists were able to rate an approximate three-year decrease in age appearance over 20 weeks, supporting the argument that Face Yoga improves facial appearance and reduces visible signs of aging. The most dramatic effect was seen in the participants' upper and lower cheek fullness, who were all 50+ years of age. According to the study's lead researcher, the exercises enlarged and strengthened the facial muscles so that the participants' faces became more toned and shaped like younger faces.
While it may seem strange that moving your Face in a specific way reduces lines rather than creating them, Face Yoga works a lot like resistance training. Certainly, the principles are the same. As a strength trainer, you move your body in a specific way to build muscle. So too, you move your facial muscles in a particular way to plump cheeks and define the area of your Face, the loose, inactive muscle that has been dragging downward thanks to gravity.
Are you interested in trying face yoga? You can find my classes via the classes/events tab in our website.
By Ken Scott
Chronic Stress is the result of prolonged engagement of the Sympathetic Nervous System, a branch of the Autonomic Nervous system often referred to as the Fight or Flight Nervous System. All living organisms can tolerate short term stress and in many ways acute stress can be beneficial to growth and evolution, but when we turn on stress and can't turn it off, we begin to push the genetic buttons that cause disease!
Heart Rate Variability Biofeedback (HRVB) is a foundational component of Transformation Coaching’s offerings where individuals are coached in self-regulating breathing techniques while being monitored by a Heart Rate Variability (HRV) monitor. The individual is then provided with a Coherence score which is a numeric output they can track and see improvement in over time. Coherence is a measure of autonomic balance, harmony, or order. When we are in a state of stress, we are Incoherent and as a result would see a lower Coherence score.
A meta-analysis of 881 studies was published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health in March of 2021. The analysis concluded "This systematic review shows significant improvement of the non-invasive HRVB training in stress related disorders like PTSD, depression, and panic disorder..."
According to the Stress in America Survey 2022…
Developing the skill of creating and sustaining a state of Coherence by using proven techniques and HRVB is an accessible way to reduce stress and the risk of stress related disease and disorders.
Interested in learning more? Contact Ken Scott.
Kennith James Scott
By Kat Palms
The specificity and rigidity of new year's resolutions can make it challenging to maintain them. While the desire to set your resolution comes from an intentional place, the loftiness and significant lifestyle change a resolution requires can be overwhelming.
According to a study by the University of Scranton, New Year's resolutions are about self-improvement (living healthier 23% of people, getting happy 21%, losing weight 20%, exercising 7%, stopping smoking 5%, reducing drinking 2%). In addition, people resolve to meet career or job goals (16%) and improve their relationships (11%).
Despite their big plans, only 8% of people will achieve their New Year's resolutions.
To avoid a feeling of "failing: on your New Year New Me Resolution, here are some suggestions for a different way to embrace a new year.
Suppose you keep a new year's resolution. All the power to you! You're part of the 8%. But if you're like most individuals and cannot stick to your lofty vision of 2023, the above ideas can help you re-focus and continue to work toward what's important to you.
Whatever you do, please know you have the power in your palms to live your best life. You have to discover what works for your unique body, mind, and soul and then pursue it.
A quote for this new year: "Small daily improvements are the key to staggering long-term results." - Unknown
Wishing you a bright, beautiful, and blessed 2023!
By Kat Palms
Meditation is a helpful practice any time of the year. Still, it can be especially challenging to pause and practice stillness during the busy holiday season, which is why mediation can be an even more vital practice during the Holidays.
According to NYC-based psychotherapist Mark O'Connell, meditation can help us strengthen our patience and lengthen our fuse. This practice helps to build tolerance by making time for moments of self-care with a clear start and finish line—every day. "When we think of this practice as a way of life as opposed to just a tool to manage our stress, we can lengthen our fuse over time," O'Connell says.
Especially during this holiday season, when we spend increased time indoors among family, it's important to permit yourself to commit to a self-care moment. "When you can train yourself to be where you are now," he says, "you're training your brain to be calm and clear in the moment of stress.
Committing to being consistent with a meditation practice can help meditation become a natural part of life, even during the holidays. So how do we implement meditation as a consistent practice?
Well, here are a few ideas:
Give a consistent meditation practice a try. You might be surprised at how meditation helps you to feel calmer, cooler, and more collected this holiday season.
Continued reading & practices:
Here are a few tips from Forbes Magazine to sneak in meditation and other wellness practices during the holiday season:
1. Meditate first thing in the morning before the rest of the day begins.
2. Sneak out to meditate (literally). (i.e., in your car after running to get groceries!)
3. Don't let perfect be the enemy of good.
Read more: https://www.forbes.com/sites/oliviaobryon/2022/11/06/how-to-overcome-the-holiday-stress-cycle-with-quick-meditation/?sh=6484b0b5705c
Here are five short, sweet, and easy mediations for over the holidays https://healingbrave.com/blogs/all/easy-meditations-for-the-holidays
A tip from mindful.org "Allow the holidays to happen. Take care to do whatever keeps you grounded, like sleep and exercise. Enjoy it, plan what needs planning, and let go of the rest. Focus instead on whatever you value and find most sustaining this time of year. Happy Holidays!"
Take 10 minutes: https://www.mindful.org/take-10-minutes-defuse-holiday-stress-mindfulness-practice/
By Ciara Glynn
Fall is here in Northern Michigan and it is no secret that there is no better place to spend this season than in Leelanau County. The beautiful scenery and idyllic cool temperatures create the perfect atmosphere to enjoy this time of year. What's another amazing part about fall? Your favorite local restaurants are way less crowded (at least on the weekdays).
There are so many delicious restaurants and eateries in Leelanau County. Some have been cornerstones of this community for decades and others may have just opened up this past year! Regardless, there are so many amazing and healthy options to choose from. Many restaurants feature produce grown right here in Leelanau County!
An article posted by Michigan State University Extension lists 7 benefits of eating local:
By Ciara Glynn
For as long as I can remember, I have loved to run. I would run around my house, the beach, or practically any wide open space that would allow for it. On most of my sports teams in my youth, I was the shortest and smallest, so I had to be the “fastest”. This need for speed continued throughout my childhood and into my teen years. I loved running competitively and counted down the days until cross country season would start again in the fall. Additionally to the competitive aspect of running, it was medicinal as well, running became a stress reliever for me and I relied on a good run to help gather my thoughts or feelings.
A few years ago, I began to feel pain and tightness in my hip. Running, and even walking long distances became painful. After two rounds of physical therapy, I am still unable to run like I used to. I lost the only way I had really known how to stay active and move my body. I had lost my stress reliever and my escape.
I have learned that lots of people have gone through an experience similar to my own. Since being injured, I have found various methods that I can do that provide that same stress relief as running once did. Practicing yoga, walking, and biking are all activities that I never thought I would be able to lean on, but now I enjoy them almost as much as I enjoyed running. Finding your new favorite way to stay active can be challenging, but it just takes stepping out of your comfort zone.
By Ciara Glynn
Summertime in Northern Michigan is the ideal place to be! Endless hiking trails, restaurants, shops, and of course beautiful beaches. Locals and visitors alike look forward to the days they can spend alongside the lake, but did you know that a day at the beach has numerous health benefits as well?
Stress Relief - In an article published by NBC on the effects of the beach on the brain, clinical psychologist Richard Shuster stated, “The color blue has been found by an overwhelming amount of people to be associated with feelings of calm and peace,” says Shuster. “Staring at the ocean actually changes our brain waves’ frequency and puts us into a mild meditative state.”
Soaking in the Sun - Laying in the sunshine on the beach not only is relaxing but also allows for Vitamin D intake. According to an article published by Harvard, “Under the right circumstances, 10 to 15 minutes of sun on the arms and legs a few times a week can generate nearly all the vitamin D we need.” There is no better place to receive a week's worth of nutrients than at the beach!
Taking time to do something for yourself is pertinent to your physical and mental health. Taking an hour, a day, or even a weekend and allowing yourself to relax can improve your mood and increase productivity in your day-to-day life. When in doubt, just head to the beach!
If you are looking for a place to reap these benefits, here are some of my favorite beaches that are well worth a trip. In Leelanau County, my favorites are Good Harbor, Vans, and the Suttons Bay Marina. If you happen to be making a trip to the East Coast, I must recommend Nantasket Beach in Hull, Massachusetts.