Thursday, December 29, 2016

Our "Happy Chemical" Serotonin and How to Raise it Naturally (and with jade!)

Yesterday I went to Honeybaked Ham store to pick up an order I made for New Year's Day dinner.  Traffic was amazingly light and I got there about 10 minutes before it opened. It was already 80+ degrees so I got out of the car and walked around the stores in the complex.  The only one open was a Starbucks two stores away from Honeybaked.  When I got back to Honeybaked, a small, furry white dog that was outside Starbucks with its owner started yipping and barking at me, wagging its tail like I was a long lost friend.  When it started howling, the woman brought it over to me, telling me the dog wanted me to pat it.  It was my pleasure, as it rolled around and panted, almost like it was humming or singing.  It didn't want to leave.

I was smiling.  I had white fur all over my gray jeans, and drool on my hands.

I love dogs, but can't have one.  I walk for at least 30 minutes right at sunset.  And I always hope to see dogs out walking too, and pat them.

Why do dogs make us feel so good?  Dogs are companions, sometimes assistant helpers, often get brought into hospitals, nursing homes to cheer up the patients.  Some people will not fly on a plane unless they have their medical assistance dog with them.

Earlier in the morning, I read an article in the newspaper about science proving that touch,  human or animal, causes our serotonin  levels to rise.  Serotonin is our "happy chemical".  Not only does it make us happy, but is essential in treating cardiac problems, including a study that shows higher serotonin levels improve heart valves, especially the mitral valve.  Doctors look for a way to raise serotonin levels, and all they need to do is hug, touch, or find a dog to pat for the patient.  Well, I don't know if science can cure prolapsed mitral valves that way, but they are experimenting with it.

Patting dogs, getting a hug, improve serotonin levels.  How does jade fit in here?

When you are wearing a jade bangle bracelet, you probably touch it during the day.  The bangle edges touch your skin, acupoints during the day.  When you touch your jade bangle bracelet, move it around on your wrist, you are getting pleasure, therefore raising your serotonin levels.  And getting acupressure on major points in your wrist.

Another reason to not only wear a jade bangle bracelet all the time, but also get the one that fits closest to your wrist.

NJ2363 small Chinese jade bangle bracelet

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Happy Holidays: Why Can't I Feel Happy? Why do I Feel Depressed About Holidays?

One of my Facebook friends posted yesterday that she took all her Christmas decorations out of storage, unpacked them all, then sat down in her living room and cried until she thought her heart would break.  But it's the holidays!  We're supposed to be happy!

This past year two family members died.  This would be her first Christmas season without them.

Last year she was hit by a car leaving her street and so injured she was in a nursing home for months. 

The year before that, her husband was killed while riding his motorcycle to work.

All of her holiday decorations had memories attached to them.  She needed to talk about her grief and loss.  But some of her friends told her to just forget about the past, have a good time, come to a party where there will be lots of alcohol and drugs to help her feel better. 

She's still sad today, and now she doesn't want to be social because of the response of her friends.

The older we get, the more loss we have to remember on holidays and special occasions. 

My father died on New Years Eve six years ago.  I have trouble being happy at New Year's Eve parties even though six years have passed.  And his birthday was around Thanksgiving, so when we had our family Thanksgiving dinners, I always brought his favorite chocolate cake for a birthday cake.  And I have always made a chocolate cake for Thanksgiving dinner, which I prepare for several friends. And when I serve dessert, instead of feeling like I'm honoring him, I feel sad.  This year was the first year I didn't make the cake, because one of my girlfriends offered to bring dessert.  She knows how that chocolate cake, which they all love, has such a sad effect on me. 

A few years ago, my husband and I noticed that people who grew up with, went to school with, their names were showing in obituaries in the hometown newspaper we read online. 

I used to call my mother every Sunday morning at 10 AM when she got home from church.  Now she is in assisted living, and when she first moved there, I called at 10AM on Sundays.  But I told her I was going to call her at different times and on different days.  That's my way of planning for the future when she's no longer here, so I won't be depressed on Sunday mornings. 

When someone you love dies, they always remain in your heart.  You can move through the grief process, but that sadness and loss will still be there at times. 

My friend felt better when she was able to talk about her memories.  She had some anger that she vented, and I listened without judging, and hugged her when she needed it. 

On New Year's Eve, the people I'm with will give me a hug and know I'm thinking about my father.  It's OK to feel loss and grief.  It's even more OK when you have someone who will listen to you.


Friday, November 25, 2016

Tai Chi, Yoga, Feng Shui and a Messy Room

Yesterday was Thanksgiving, and I cooked a big dinner, had friends over.  It was late when everyone left, I was happy but my firbromyalgia was raging through my body.  We cleaned up before we went to bed so the feng shui atmosphere here at home felt better.

This morning I was very sore, and started my tai chi and yoga because even though it starts out painful, I feel much better when I complete my final "om". 

I start with a few yoga poses to warm up, then do some qigong,  tai chi form, and end with several yoga poses.  I was glad I cleaned up the area I use last night because I need all the space for the tai chi, including the kicks.  But as I started the tai chi, I noticed a drawer that wasn't closed completely, and knew it would take just a small push to close it while my hand was going by it doing tai chi.  But I didn't want to break my form.  Then when I was bending,  I noticed a ball of lint on the floor and wanted to pick it up as part of the form, but didn't want to break the good qi movement I had going.  And both those things were difficult to get out of my head, and it probably affected the qi / spiritual / energy benefits of the tai chi.  Then I did some yoga, put the mat away, and forgot about the drawer and the lint. 

I have been doing tai chi for at least 20 years, and fall into the good energy qi state of mind as soon as I start the first movements.  I didn't realize how balancing it was until I started becoming so aware of the "things" that were out of order in my space, the feng shui of the space.  And it's been several years since I realized that, and still have trouble "detaching" from the out-of-order things like drawers and lint. 

Most of us live in a busy, noisy world.  My "space' opens to a screened outdoor room and I like to let nature in and open the door even on very cool days.  Then I hear cars, lawn mowers, barking dogs.  I can detach from sounds, but not the room feng shui.

Sometimes I wonder what I can add to my tai chi form after doing the same thing for 20 years.  And by being mindful, I always find something.  Now, it's about the feng shui.  Even though I think everything in the space is in order,  I don't notice that it's not until tai chi. 
So I have to detach, yet stay mindful. 

Dao Bagua Yin Yang Jadeite Pendant - Root of Feng Shui

Monday, November 14, 2016

How to Stop Hating Someone: If Trump or Clinton Win, I'm Leaving the Country

Our nation has been through many emotions during the presidential election this year.
Postings on Facebook, news interviews, political debates brought out strong feelings, with hate being one of the strongest.  And the emotional turmoil will continue, with some people vowing to leave the country since Donald Trumps election to the presidency.

Protests in communities started after the election results were announced.  Most of these protests are started by hate mongers, which haven't resolved the problems of hate.

When you feel hate of being surrounded by haters, or have the hate feeling inside yourself, if you are honest with yourself, you probably don't feel well, physically, mentally and spiritually.

I woke up at 3 AM when the election results were announced, and could feel so much conflicting feeling and energy in the world.  My distress was very strong the morning of November 9, 2016.  I had strong feeling inside myself about what was going to happen to all of us not only in USA but throughout the world with a Donald Trump as president.  And I meditated.  It occurred to me that Donald Trump has been relatively successful in his life and if his behavior was what we saw during the pre-election period, he would not have become as successful as he is now.  He's also an actor who had a television show.

Now we Americans have to accept him as president, whether or not we voted for him.  If we were against him, how could we feel good about having President Trump lead our country?

Then I watched the meeting Mr. Trump had with President Obama.  I first noticed both of their body languages.  I expected to see President Obama "just getting through it" because Trump made statements so much against him.  But Obama's body language was open, accepting, and he was very peaceful, assertive and not aggressive.  And so was Mr. Trump in body language and his speech.  Looking back, I think President Obama's behavior has had a tremendous impact on Mr. Trump starting out his presidency.  If Obama had been scolding and finger pointing, Trump would have been defensive and accusing.  During that time together, Obama did what was best for the nation.

But how did he let go of the hate he probably felt toward Trump who accused him of birthing issues, threatened to cancel Obamacare as soon as he was in office?  Obama has probably learned that nothing positive can be accomplished when you are full of hate.  So you have to find a way to stop hating.

Consider: Is it the person you hate or is it the behavior of the person that you hate?

If you pray, and you pray for the person you hate, it sends good blessings their way and those good blessings come back to you to soothe your hate and help you feel better.

If you are an energy practitioner, you may spend time each day doing distance healing and sending Love and Light, energy around to people, places, things. If you practice qigong or tai chi, you know that energy is real when you feel that ball of qi energy you move around during practice.  Reiki practitioners send distance healing to those who need it.

Try this:  Pose yourself in a meditation so you will be comfortable for at least 20 minutes.  Feel the energy inside yourself, and feel it flow freely through yourself.  Focus on the person whose behavior you hate.  Without judgment, send Energy to the person.  Feel the Energy surround the person.  Move the energy around the person to inside the person.  Feel the Light envelope the person.  Never judge, just let it "be".   Do this practice daily for awhile. You will probably feel better after doing it several days.  You are opening your own heart, letting go of hate, taking some of that Hate out of the world.

Hate doesn't help you or anyone.  Hating someone is hurting yourself.

Peace and Light to you who need it.

 Your comments are welcome.  Please note comments will now show immediately as they are moderated to avoid SPAM

Monday, September 26, 2016

Ying Yu Jade Roller Sale - Best Jade Roller for Face and Body and What Jade Roller is Best to Use

Earlier this month I had a nagging thought to purchase additional jade rollers for inventory.  I had enough for the holiday season, and planned to order more prior to Chinese New Year.  But I gave in to the nagging, and purchased almost as many jade rollers as are in inventory, small, medium and jade rollers with two sizes one on each end.

Ying Yu Jade Rollers

As soon as they arrived, I was surprised to get 2-3 times more orders for jade rollers than usual.  A fashion magazine had post a page about jade rollers being a natural and "miracle worker" for face and wrinkles. The jade roller that was featured was a jade roller that our jade carver supplied to their company, but the price was twice what Ying Yu Jade web site charges when it is full price. 

Jade rollers truly are "miracle workers" for your face and body.  Your face skin, muscles and tissue don't get much of a workout, and stimulation is what helps improve your facial appearance.  The jade roller moves the blood, tissue and stimulates the muscles.  Jade rollers break down the fascia which gives you a smoother appearance.  And stimulating areas of wrinkles and lines helps to smooth them by supplying more blood and energy.

So what kind of jade roller is best to use?  For your face, the size of the small jade roller is perfect.  It moves easily and stimulates the small areas of the face.  The jade double roller has a small roller on one end and larger on the other end to use on your neck and body.  The jade rollers are hand made by our jade carver in China.  The metal roller holder is adjustable so you it will roll smoothly or with slightly more pressure.  The small, medium and larger jade rollers are not designed for heavy duty body work, but the acu roller and practitioners model can be used with more pressure from your had.  If the roller falls out of the metal holder, simply put it between the metal parts and squeeze lightly until it rolls the way you want.

The jade stone is genuine Chinese jade that has been used for centuries by Chinese doctors and people who use jade rollers like over-the-counter medicine for aches, pains, and general health use.  Jade is stone, stone is not "perfect" and Ying Yu Jade roller are smooth and polished.  You might see lines in the jade stone, but that's natural.  The jade rollers that have cracks or chips are listed in the Clearance Collection.

Visit the Ying Yu Jade web site for more information and a video about jade rollers and their use. 

And since I orders more inventory of jade rollers, I can offer a lower price for a limited time. Most have a sale price now.  As a Calm Spirit Blog reader, you can get an additonal 10% discount on jade rollers, even those already on sale, if your purchase is for $50 or more.  Use coupon code   ROLLER10   which will be valid while the extra inventory is available.

Ying Yu Jade Rollers - traditional jade rollers made by hand for YYJ and ship from Florida, USA so you get your purchase fast. 

Friday, August 12, 2016

Chi (Qi) Energy Expercises, Tai Chi, Qigong

More than 20 years ago I was working full time, living in a rural area of Ohio, and trying to learn yoga on my own.  I was purchasing DVD's to learn, but hadn't found "just the right one".  One day I ordered a DVD on line, but what I received was the Discovering Chi DVD.  I had heard about tai chi, but not about qigong.  Ordering online and shipping was a big hassle back then, so I kept it.  And I loved it.  I fell into the practice so naturally.  I had never experienced the kind of bliss you get from doing qi (chi) energy exercise.

Then came my China experience, and I learned qi healing, qigong and tai chi, and disovered jade and its qi energy.  But my basic routine continued to be, and still is, this form. This is a form you can learn, and continue to do without getting formal training.

Each episode of Discovering Chi introduces viewers to a facet of the ancient Chinese art of chi-gong, a form of exercise designed to regulate and focus the flow of chi energy through their bodies. In this particular episode, viewers discover how chi concepts can help the very old and very young, and learn the basic exercises of the discipline. Instructor Linda Modaro leads viewers

Discovering Chi Energy Exercises only $5 on Ying Yu Jade

Monday, August 8, 2016

Cleansing and Blessing a Home or Room with Sage Smudging

We moved into our new home about three weeks ago. It took almost two weeks to unpack boxes, find new places for things, get settled.  I was happy to have a new home, and actually be able to live in it, but I didn't feel "at home".   I think the process of moving out and going through all our belongings, donating or discarding what we didn't use or want to keep any more helped with my "attachment" issues.  Attachment is one of the of the causes of suffering in Buddhist teachings, and although I'm not Buddhist, the teachings have been very helpful to me.

After two weeks on a morning when my husband left early to golf with his group, I decided it was time to sage smudge the home.  I had purchased three 6" sage smudging sticks.  It's sage leafs tied together but not too tightly so that when you light the end with fire, the stick will smolder.

I didn't have a plan of how I would proceed.  I started in my home office, my most personal room.  The classic Reiki symbol came to mind, and I made the symbol with the smoldering sage in each corner, and verbally stated my hopes and wishes for the room and each corner.  Then I continued to all the other rooms, with the same blessing.  I was feeling quite blissful when I finished, and went through some spaces that are challenging to me, like the kitchen, my office and repeated with extra blessing.  I left the windows closed, and sat and meditated for awhile.  Then I went out to shop for home window treatments for an hour.

When I returned home, there was surprisingly no odor or smoke from the smudging.

I didn't mention the smudging blessing to my husband.  But later in the evening, he mentioned that this house was really feeling like a home to him and we both agreed that we were happy with our decision to have the old home torn down and a new one built after the storm damage.  It's been easier and more intuitive now to finish the little details in each room.

I learned about sage smudging at a Wicca retreat I accidently wandered into about 30 years ago.  I didn't even know what Wicca was, but it opened a new world to me.  My work as a psychologist and counselor opened my spirit more, and I was able to combine my cognitive-behavior techniques with more humanity and spirituality.  I have saged homes for other people, and taught them to do it themselves.   And I have some sage sticks saved for blessing the exterior: the porch, lanai, carport, storage shed when they are finished.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Taking Care of Yourself First (Especially for Home Business Owners)

I have finally been able to move into my new home, a replacement for the one that was damaged in the hail/tornado storm.  Although it's livable, there are a lot of things that weren't built or installed correctly, so I am "held hostage" by needing to be here when they arrive.  And they often arrive unannounced.

The biggest task I had to do, and which I did all by myself, was move the business inventory from the temporary office space to the room designated as office in our home.  It took four people to move it to the temporary location, but I wanted to move it to the home office because I needed to organize it, to be able to find it when customers place orders.  It took me a week, but it is done.

If you have a home business, you know that you can work 24/7 if you allow yourself.  It was nice that I had limits on myself when I had to travel to the temporary office, but it was also a hassle.  I couldn't respond to specific customers requests about some products immediately. With me new home office, I have pledged to take more care of myself working from home.

1) Take care of your inner world.  There is stress trying to run your business with perfection from home.  You are deeply involved in a project, and you suddenly have to leave it to respond to a family member's need, take a phone call and deal with it for someone else in your household, and plan meals, cleaning and other household tasks.  It can be exhausting.  And that makes it difficult to have that perfect business that you want.  Use your income to hire a business coach to point out ways to run your business more smoothly. Follow your intuition and listen to yourself rather than over-analyze to the point of exhaustion.  Feed your creative side so you can keep your business creative. 

2) Give yourself a break.  Sometimes I have to get up from my desk and go outside and take a walk just to have some time for myself.  And lunch is always a break.  I never take my work to the table.

3) Slow down, be mindful of your happy time and place.  I take a break in the late morning when my husband leaves for tennis to do tai chi, qigong, yoga, and or do a meditation.  It's an appointment I make with myself.  I never schedule anything else for late morning.  And it is so important to me.

4) You are not alone.  Networking groups can help you feel less isolated and be a support group for you.  One of the things I like about the Shopify ecommerce program is that every day I get an email from Shopify with hints and tips, stories from other online shop owners. 

5) Be gentle on yourself.  Set firm boundaries for yourself.  Like my late morning self help program.  Or rules like absolutely no work after 8 pm.  Make sure you take a vacation or day off occasionally.  Every year my husband and I take a cruise.  Once we are aboard the ship, there is nothing I can do about my online business.  It's time for me.  I can do and be "nothing" for the week or 10 days I'm on the cruise.  And when I return, I open my online shop again, and it was fine without me.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Habits of the Happiest People

Happy people don't just find happiness, they make it happen with action.  Happiness habits can make a tremendous difference in your life.

*Be deliberately optimistic.  When you think or hear something negative, think about how  you can make the thought or statement realistically positive.

*Keep positive and uplifting resources on hand.  I keep a book of spiritual readings handy, and when I start feeling down, I read a section, then meditate on it.  It really changes attitude.  I also keep playlists of music that "blisses" me, and listen to some every day.  When I feel like I need a lift, I put the music in my head.

*Imagine the worst that can happen in a threatening situation.  Often the reality of a bad situation isn't as bad as the illusions you imagine.

*Practice loving-kindness.  Compassion helps you to feel more kind, and feel better about yourself.

*Seek out the good in everything.  Even if it's something terrible, it's a learning experience.  And coping brings strength.  It helps you to see everything more positively.

These are examples from Kristi Ling's book "Operation Happiness:3-Step Plan to Creating a Life of Lasting Joy, Abundant Energy, and Radical Bliss".

What an amazing gift for yourself!

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Prescription Medication Safety

Most people take at least one prescription medication for their health.

A friend spent a week with us and when I went to clean up the guest bedroom, I saw a line of nine prescription medicine bottles on the dresser.  During a discussion I asked him how he was doing physically, and he looked surprised as he told me he was doing good.  I told him I noticed all the medicines in the bedroom.  He smirked and then started a story about going to his primary care doctor for what was diagnosed as gout, and was given a prescription.  Blood testing also showed high cholesterol, which earned him another prescription, his blood pressure was high, one more prescription.   He was also going through some personal challenges in his life, and got an anti-anxiety medication.  When he returned six weeks later for his follow up appointment, he told his doctor about feeling worse.  His doctor told him sometimes medications cause side effects, and gave him more prescriptions for the side effects.

His story is a common story, unfortunately.  Most people trust their doctors and take their medications that are prescribed.

And sometimes they read about natural herbal medicines, vitamins and minerals that are helpful and takes these along with their prescription medication.

There is so much information about prescription drugs and natural herbs and supplements online. Some of it is not accurate, most of it is confusing.

I was recently notified about a web site that believes in educating the public about thousands of prescription and over-the-counter medications, many of which have the potential to cause serious side effects. It  has an  easy to navigate online database that is constantly being updated with drug recall news, and provides comprehensive, unbiased information about serious side effects, complications, and interactions of commonly prescribed drugs.

The site has been added to Calm Spirit resources.  If you visit the website and have comments about it, please post them.

I hope it is helpful to you.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

A Living Meditation Practice to Move on My Life Path

This morning I watched CBS Morning Show and there was a feature about Wanda, the Disney themed park in Shanghai, China.  It started with a man doing taiji (tai chi) with two Disney characters as part of the attractions. Wanda wants to keep Chinese culture in Western Disney.

I was drawn to the slow, deliberate movements of both the characters and the "human" as they showed a few seconds of the taiji.  I could "feel" the qi (chi) and internally visualize it as the man did his movements.  It was morning, so I went to the open space in our rental unit and did my taiji for the day.  I could almost feel the man's qi working with my qi.  It was one of the best taiji sessions I had.  I do taiji daily and by myself,  and have been doing it 20 years.  For me, taiji, yoga, qigong are part of my morning routine, not a "class" I go to once a week: it's part of my life,

My experience today relates well to the book I'm reading, "Wherever You Go, There You Are".  I did, and I was.  Still am.

The remnants of our storm damaged home were removed yesterday.  Watching it wasn't as sad as I thought it would be.  It was actually joyful.  I feel like I am accepting the circumstances and moving on.  Having more time as we are living in a rental space has slowed me down, given me more time for reflection, like a living meditation.

There was also a shot on television of Minnie Mouse doll for sale in the Wanda park.  Minnie was wearing a classic jade bangle bracelet, that was included with the doll for purchase.  Sweet!

Classic Round Chinese Jade Bangle Bracelets

Thursday, May 19, 2016

I'm still reading "Wherever You Go, There You Are", a small portion daily prior to my meditation.  It's amazing that wherever I open the book, it's right where I need to be, the chapter pertaining to something very relevant, important to me. That's how I started the book: I opened it and read, and now I am following the format until it feels like it's time to do something different.

A recent section I read was about escaping from "the world" by doing your meditation.  When it's time to be doing something you need to do, and you choose to escape it by meditating, it's not helpful and is actually like taking a step backwards.  One of the reasons for meditating is to lose your attachments.  And escaping can be an attachment.

And that's exactly what I've been doing the past couple weeks.  Since we are moving out of our home and having a new one built because of storm damage, I have until May 30 to get everything packed.  My husband and I are both packing, but I have more "stuff" plus a business with inventory, so I have at least three times the "stuff" husband has, and I'm working a lot longer doing the packing.  He leaves the house to play tennis every day just before noon, when he leaves, that's when I do my meditation.  And instead of doing a meditation, then getting on with what I need to do, I've been making my meditation time longer.  My regular meditation is 20-30 minutes and I've been making it last an hour to avoid packing things.  And I've not felt good about it, but didn't understand why, because wasn't meditating an hour a "good thing"?  Yes, it is, according to Jon Kabat-Zinn, but not if you're using meditation as an escape, and letting meditation become an attachment.

Interesting how I opened the book to that chapter.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Color Therapy, Colors of Jade, Colors of Chakra

My first trip to China in 1999 was to learn Chinese medicine, Qi Healing, and tai chi and qigong.  Chinese medicine practices seem to agree with me, my philosophy, practice and go-to when I need healing.

My second trip to China a few months later was to continue a treatment the doctor had started with me and was working well.  That's when I learned about jade use for Chinese medicine practice, and about meridians.  Colors of jade are often used for balancing the meridians, and some of the Chinese jade that has all five colors of white, green, black /  charcoal, red ("hong") and yellow.  When I'm feeling out of balance, I look at and touch all my jade bangle bracelets, and always find one that "feels" like what I need.  And it usually does help.  The jade also gets a "glow" as I'm wearing it, so I know my body qi and the jade qi energies are working together.

I also do yoga as part of my daily practices.  Yoga also uses colors that relate to the Chakras.  The colors and locations have some similarity in both yoga and qi healing.  But yoga has more colors, because there are more chakras than meridians.

Sometimes people who are searching for their path in life try many different methods, and try to practice them all.  While trying them, if a person tries to practice them all, their life can get very out of balance, and can actually work against them.  So I chose Chinese medicine as my practice.  It's the Dao, being in harmony with nature, and is also were feng shui and yin and yang theories come from.

But I still do yoga and part of my daily practice.

Color therapy is becoming part of Western healing practices,  The US government and medical organizations are trying to cut back on prescribing opiod drugs for chronic pain and looking for alternatives.  Studies are being done about color therapy used with cognitive behavioral therapy to be helpful for both chronic and acute pain.  I read an article today "Color Therapy Yoga Offers Fresh Perspective".  The yoga teacher occasionally teaches a class that focuses on a certain chakra color and has colored sunglasses the students can wear to perceive everything through a certain color lens.  The class participants find that by focusing on a color they can see a lesson rather than a problem in a situation.  When interviewed for the article, the students felt moved by the experience, more focused and motivated.  They not only got the benefits from the yoga practice, but also from the color exposure.

Perhaps this is a trend now.  A Chinese practice that has worked for centuries now being incorporated into modern wellness.

Friday, April 29, 2016

World Tai Chi and Qigong Day

Tomorrow April 30 is World Tai Chi and Qigong Day.

I remember many years ago when it first started, it was regional, then moved to national celebration, now for several years it's a world event.

In 2003 before we moved to Florida, we were driving from Florida to Ohio on our trip home from a spring break week.  I told my husband that we had to stop at 10 AM so I could do Tai Chi.  As 10 AM approached,  I saw a gas station on hilltop that looked like it was not surrounded by buildings, and told him to stop there.  While he filled up the car with gas, I went to the back of the station that overlooked a valley and did my tai chi form.   Then we got in the car and drove.  I could feel all the energies of other people practicing and happy to be part of the 10 AM celebration at Eastern time.  And my dear husband didn't make any wisecracks or roll his eyes.

If you play tai chi or practice qigong, wherever you are at your 10 AM, do your practice.  If  you don't do either, stop and breathe deeply for a minute or two and share in the good qi energies not only in your time zone, but around the world.

World Tai Chi and Qigong Day Website

Sunday, April 24, 2016

What Makes Smart People More Happy? More "Alone" Time

Psychologist have studied for years about what makes people happy in their lives, and how to increase life satisfaction.   Studies  date back to  our ancient ancestors.  They use what is referred to "Savanna Theory of Happiness" to explain findings of tests and analysis of a large national survey involving 15,000 adults ages 18-28.

  They find that people who live in more densely populated areas tend to report less satisfaction with their lives overall.  And they found that the more social interaction with close friends, the greater they report self happiness.

Then they found that life satisfaction who live in densely populated areas was twice as high for individuals with low IQ than for high IQ individuals.  And more intelligent individuals were less satisfied with life if they socialized with their close friends more frequently.  The findings suggest that those with more intelligence and the capacity to use it are less likely to spend so much time socializing because they are focused on other long term objectives.  For example, think about really intelligent people you might know.  Maybe the person is a writer working on the Great American Novel, or a human rights lawyer working on a program to protect vulnerable people.  To them, the time they spend on social interaction detracts them from pursuit of their goals, which affects their overall satisfaction with life.

And think about intelligent people you know who have worked long hours and days during their working careers on projects that are very important to them, then they reach "retirement age".  They stop working, and realize they don't have an adequate social circle to help them enjoy their retirement time.  Often these people will continue working through their lifetime on projects that were important to them. 

We are all social creatures.  But the amount of social activity that makes us happy can vary. And this "Savanna Theory of Happiness" is an explanation for the different in happiness in high and low intelligent people.

Now that's sure an interesting theory to meditate on.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Coloring Books for Therapy-Balance Body, Mind and Spirit

Coloring books for adults have become very popular.  My mother-in-law who is in her 80's has a stack of them. She and friends also have a weekly coloring book group activity.  I gave one of my girlfriends a coloring book for her birthday last month.  She asks me if I want to put on of her colored pictures on my refrigerator, like we used to do when we were in elementary school.

Coloring can be psychological transformation.  It gives a sense of freedom, a childlike innocence, pure and simple joy.  It's not only fun,; it helps you get in touch with your creative, artistic side.  Since it works with a positive and creative part of your brain, you may find it helps you accomplish tasks in your home and at work joyfully and more quickly than it used to take to do those tasks.

Coloring can help you de-stress, relieve anxiety, and even achieve a meditative state.  It calms the mind, grounds and balances, and increases your feelings of joy and contentment.

Coloring therapy has been used for years with adults and children in counseling and health centers.  It's being used more for helping people with chronic pain and other health problems, especially senior citizens who could benefit more from coloring than
 taking medications.  Coloring is even being used in addiction recovery therapy.


Some intuitive people also choose jade by the color that appeals to them.  They also know intuitively the color related to the meridian and qi energy that needs balancing.

Wearing your jade while coloring can be a healing experience, for your body, mind and spirit.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Treatment for Addictions in Lodi Ohio

The first Calm Spirit web site was launched in 1998 and was an online counseling site.  Then I added information about Qi Healing, Reiki, Chinese herbs and tea.  My first trip to China was 1999, and that's when I discovered jade and the qi energy used for Chinese medicine, and added jade to the site.  The site because too "crowded", and I started the Ying Yu Jade website in 2002.  A Chinese medicine doctor suggested the name.

When I moved to Florida in 2004 and no longer had my Ohio counselor license, I removed the online counseling.  Then the entire Calm Spirit web site, didn't change much, it was mostly informational, and although I kept renewing the domain name, I stopped doing updating on Calm Spirit.

Then about three years ago, I was wondering why YYJ was getting referrals from Calm Spirit pages, and realized the pages were still being found in search engines, so I put the site in a new mobile friendly format.  That's when I started getting requests from drug, alcohol and addiction services to list their web sites.  I made a Resources page.

When I worked as a counselor in Ohio, I developed drug and alcohol programs for school districts, and eventually worked in a district for a few years doing drug and alcohol education and counseling before I moved on to more general counseling and therapy.  So I've always had the interest in addictions.  The reality is that the root of many problems people go to counseling for is related to drug and alcohol use and abuse.  And I knew how to learn that from my clients. 

In the rural area I lived and worked in Ohio, there was AA and Alanon, but no other treatment centers.  One of my Facebook friends is the chemical dependency educator and counselor at the school I worked for, so I keep up with what's going on with drugs through her postings. Yesterday she posted that a drug treatment center opened in Lodi, Ohio which is in the school district I worked, and she still works.  The two people who started it are using their own funds to get the program going, because people really need it. 

A New Day, outpatient drug treatment center will treat patients battling addiction through assessments and therapy.  If you live in Medina county, or Wayne county in Ohio, it's a very useful and helpful resource for you.. It's located in the former Lodi Medical Building at 402 Highland Drive in Lodi.

If you need this service for yourself, or someone's use is affecting you, and live in the area, this is the center to go to for help.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Meditation and Healing

Last week was very stressful cleaning up after the hail storm, dealing with loss,  getting estimates for repair and decisions about what we should do.  I tried to keep our lives as normal as possible, and that includes cooking a healthy dinner.  And cooking while being stressed and distracted, I got three burns, one where my thumb attaches to the wrist on my dominant right hand.  The burn is located where it gets hit during the day, and it just won't heal.  Yesterday when I was getting ready for bed, it was so red, swollen and full of pus so I put antibiotic cream and a bandage  on it, and promised I would go to the CVS Minute-Clinic if it wasn't better in the morning.  It was worse this morning, no healing overnight, bleeding and with lots of pus.  I went to the grocery store to get foods for dinner tonight that would be easy to prepare because I guessed the nurse would clean it and bandage it, and I didn't want to bump it while it healed. 

I wanted to do my morning meditation before I left for CVS.  I had done yoga and tai chi but still distressed and hoped the meditation would calm me so I could drive to CVS more safely. I decided to use the comfortable chair on the porch for meditation because it was quiet, birds were singing, and I felt more blissful as I sat.  As I started mindful breathing, I put my mind on my burn wound, and held my hand with my jade bead mala, the Buddha charm next to the wound, and visualized healing.  25 minutes later when I did my end of meditation activity, I looked at the wound, and it had healed over.  I believe in meditation and healing, but was amazed at how much it healed in 20-25 minutes.  The pus was gone, the redness gone, bleeding stopped, and instead of a scab, there's skin over it.  I can still see the wound, but it's 95% healed.

I've helped many people heal with Reiki, Qi Healing work, and always am aware of how much better I feel after doing a Reiki session.  The energy flowing through me, through my hands as I hold them on another person, makes me feel like I had a nap, a good workout, and an emotionally satisfying experience.

And of course I believe in the healing qi energy of jade.  That's why I started Ying Yu Jade business, learning how Chinese doctors use the jade gua sha tools, and other jade tools for healing work because of the qi energy.

If you use natural methods for health and healing, meditation is very helpful.  If you like the healing energies of Chinese jade, there are videos and descriptions on Ying Yu Jade web site of the tools, like jade rollers, gua sha tools, "needles", acupressure rings, pillows and masks.

And of course good jade qi energy from all the jade bangle bracelets and jewelry.

Chinese Jade Bead Mala Bracelet with Buddha

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Ying Yu Jade Eggs and Ben Wa Balls Kegel Exercise for Women

For years women who had symptoms of "gotta go", wore diaper panties, lost vaginal tightness after childbirth, or experienced vaginal dryness after menopause, went to their doctor and took medications and/or had surgeries to correct the problem.

Now, more women are turning to kegel exercise as a natural alternative to surgery and medicine.

Ying Yu Jade introduced jade ben wa balls and eggs for kegel exercise 10 years ago, and women are finding improved kegel functioning as well as overall better health by using the healing energy of jade along with kegel exercise.

Jade eggs and ben wa balls have been used for centuries in China, Japan and Asia.  I personally started using them for urinary control and dryness problems.  They worked so good for me, I went to see my jade carver in China to show him the kind of jade I expected, and the quality western women expect, especially using them in such a personal area.  He and my Chinese doctor friend from Beijing bought the best genuine pure and natural Chinese jade directly from the jade mine and worked together to make the jade eggs the size and quality we women appreciate.

The problem with some of the other gemstone that people are selling as eggs for women is that the stone would be very expensive if it were natural, like quartz and crystal.  This desire for quartz and crystal eggs has caused a dangerous experience for women because to get the quartz and crystal clear, colorful and pretty, they have to bleach it in acid to remove the imperfections, then use heat and/or polymer to add the color.  And that acid stays in the stone, and then gets into the body, which can cause serious problems for women who use it.

Ying Yu Jade uses only genuine and natural Chinese jade.  Sometimes customers ask for certificates for this kind of jade, but it's not common practice to have certificates for Chinese jade.  I've seen jade sellers with piles of fake certificates for Chinese jade, and jadeite, and I would be very suspicious of buying Chinese jade eggs or ben wa balls that include "certificates".  True certificates are costly.

There are also videos and instructions about how to use the eggs and perform kegel exercise.  There's a right way, and and ineffective way that can lead to other problems.  If you purchase Ying Yu Jade eggs or ben wa balls, there's the correct method from urinary specialists included.

Ying Yu Jade is having a Women's Wellness Sale on jade eggs and ben wa balls now.  For a limited time, a cute "purse" is included with the purchase to store your jade eggs.

Sunday, March 27, 2016


I've been reading "How to Practice" by Dalai Lama the past few weeks.  I read a little, let it sink in, then meditate.  I've been meditating for at least 20 years, but meditation is a never-ending practice.  You are never "there", completely enlightened.   If YOU are, I would like to hear about your experience.

The last few paragraphs I read were about moving on to the next life after this life.  For me, that practice not only prepares for the end of this life, but helps build the Karma for the next life.  I can't articulate my thoughts about it, but that's where I am with "How to Practice".

These past few days in central Florida have had unusual weather.  On Thursday there was a strong storm and a tornado warning for our area.  I could actually feel the change in atmosphere as it was over us, and then when it left.

Then yesterday, the day before Easter, we were eating an early dinner and I saw another storm approaching. We made it home just as the rain started, which was very lucky for us.  It was forecast as a "storm" but nothing special about it.  It turned into the worst storm we have had in this area for year, maybe never.  The winds were almost tornado strength and it hailed for 40 minutes.  The hail started small and then was larger than a golf ball.  We made it home just as the rain started, which was very lucky for us.  And it was frightening.  The hail cracked our skylights, water came in.  It dented and made holes throughout the siding all the way around our home.  Roof damage, gutters collapsed from the weight of the hail, and the hail piled up 3-4 inches here in central Florida.

The hail shredded all the trees and plants in the neighborhood.  Orange trees became bare, shredded foliage everywhere.  Today we cleaned up, and I took care of the plants, trimming the ones that were still alive.  Some were extremely large plants, totally shredded.  I cut the outer stems and worked toward the center of the plant.  In the center of every one was at least one sprout undamaged and ready to bloom.  Florida summer is so hot and humid, plants grow fast, and I am guessing in two months they will be beautiful again.

And that reminded me of what I had been reading in "How to Practice", for reaching the end of our present existence.  In nature, there is often rebirth.  I loved and cared for those plants.  If we love and care for ourselves and others,, follow the teachings of our spiritual belief system, there is rebirth.