Greek Tzatziki Salad

Greek Tzatziki Salad

This Greek Tzatziki Salad is a healthy salad which can be made quickly. It is ideal as a side dish or as lunch or a snack. Below are the ingredients and the directions:

  • 1 pint halved cherry tomatoes
  • 1 cup diced red bell pepper
  • 1 cup diced green bell pepper
  • 1 cup diced English cucumber
  • 1/2 cup halved kalamata olives
  • 1/4 cup Hidden Valley Greek Yogurt Cucumber Dill dressing
  • 1/2 cup garlic hummus
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon chopped dill
  • 1/2 cup sliced scallions


  1. Combine 1 pint halved cherry tomatoes, 1 cup diced red bell pepper, 1 cup diced green bell pepper, 1 diced English cucumber, and 1/2 cup halved kalamata olives in a large bowl.
  2. Add 1/4 cup Hidden Valley Greek Yogurt Cucumber Dill dressing, 1/2 cup garlic hummus, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 tablespoon chopped dill, and 1/2 cup sliced scallions.
  3. Stir until well combined and refrigerate until serving.
Greek Sweet Potato Dip

Greek Sweet Potato Dip

Greek Sweet Potato Dip is a quick and healthy dip you can make to go with chips or other finger food for almost any occasion. It is great for sports events. Below are the ingredients:

  • 1 large sweet potato
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup Hidden Valley Ranch Greek Yogurt Dressing
  • 2 teaspoons lime zest
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper


  1. Bake 1 large sweet potato in the oven for 85 minutes at 400 degrees F. Add 2 cloves foil-wrapped garlic to the baking sheet for the last 30 minutes of the potato's baking time.
  2. Scoop baked potato flesh into a food processor. Add garlic, 1/4 cup Hidden Valley Greek Yogurt Ranch dressing, 2 teaspoons lime zest, 1 tablespoon lime juice, 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper. Process until consistency is smooth.
  3. Serve with baked pita chips or veggie sticks.
February 16, 2017 by S M
Greek Cabbage Slaw

Greek Cabbage Slaw

Greek Cabbage Slaw is a quick and healthy dish which you can make at any time and whose ingredients you most likely have in your home or can easily be gotten. Below are the ingredients and the directions:

  • 4 cups shredded green cabbage
  • 4 cups Shredded Purple Cabbage
  • 1/2 sliced red onion
  • 1/2 cup Hidden Valley Ranch Greek Yogurt Dressing
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot sauce
  • pepper
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro



  1. Combine 4 cups shredded green cabbage, 4 cups shredded purple cabbage, and 1/2 of a sliced red onion in a large bowl.
  2. Add 1/2 cup Hidden Valley Greek Yogurt Ranch dressing, 1/2 teaspoon hot sauce, and pepper to taste.
  3. Mix well and refrigerate until serving. Before serving, top with 1/4 cup sunflower seeds and 1/4 cup chopped cilantro.
5 Intuitive Art Exercises For Radical Transformation

5 Intuitive Art Exercises For Radical Transformation

Have you ever muttered the words "I'm not an artist" while simultaneously feeling the undeniable urge to make something—anything—with your hands? If so, you're not alone.

I believe human aliveness and creative capacity go hand in hand, and I also know deep down in my bones that creativity is a crucial part of holistic well-being. Just like moving your body and eating well, fortifying your creative muscles is a powerful way to cultivate happiness, healthiness, and confidence—not to mention spontaneity, innovation, and play!

My soul's been craving a more integrated kind of creativity—the kind that easily weaves itself into all aspects of my life.

But so many of our days are full, and getting creative is the last thing most of us want to do when things get hectic. Even I, an artist at heart, know that to be true.

After painting large-scale, acrylic pieces for a couple of decades, the inspiration, time, and effort required to show up to this particular flavor of creative expression has felt increasingly harder to access lately. And while I'll always love painting huge, messy paintings on canvas, my soul's been craving a more integrated kind of creativity—the kind that easily weaves itself into all aspects of my life.

My quest has led me to an abundance of accessible, creativity-fueled moments. And the good news is, they don't require fancy art supplies, a special studio, technical skills, or a lot of time. In fact, some of these practices have nothing to do with making actual artwork at all. Instead, they're about living a more curious, intuitive, and tuned-in life by fueling the fires that support creative well-being. Here are a few you can try out in your own routine:

1. Draw musical lines

 Find some paper and your favorite drawing device, such as a pen, pencil, marker, or crayon. Tape the paper down to a table or wall, so it doesn't shift. Choose some music you really love, close your eyes, and take a few deep breaths. Keep your eyes closed, and allow the music to guide your pen or marker across the paper. Respond intuitively with flowing lines, jagged angles, luscious swirls, wild scribbles, or dainty marks—whatever moves you!

When you're ready to open your eyes, see if you can find any interesting shapes in your array of musical lines, or just enjoy the abstract quality of what you've created. Perhaps you'll be inspired to keep working on this piece, add new mediums, or move on to the next paper with a different song. You can also try this exercise using both hands simultaneously.

2. Wander intuitively.

Whether you call it following your inner guidance, responding to an inkling, or having a sixth sense, listening to and acting on your intuition can result in more clarity, self-trust, and serendipity. Intuitive wandering is a fun, simple way to flex your intuitive muscles.

Carve out some time, whether it's five minutes or five hours, to go on a walk without a plan, route, or destination in mind. At every intersection, pause and check in by taking a deep breath, closing your eyes, and placing your hands on your belly and heart. Notice where your body wants to go. Do you feel pulled in one direction? Without overthinking, follow your intuition and see where it leads you while staying open to magic along the way.


3. Gather inspiration.

 Many of us walk around with cameras (or phones, at least) in our pockets these days, which allows for easy inspiration gathering. You can further tune into the world around you by seeking out unique color stories with your lens. Notice where light and shadow dance. Get up close and personal with an interesting object. Turn your eyes to the sky, or find a bird's-eye view from above. Notice the textures, patterns, and shapes that draw you in for a closer look. Using your camera to explore what sparks your curiosity allows the world to come alive in new ways right before your very eyes.

4. Invite the sensual.

Did I get your attention with this one? The truth is human beings have an amazing ability to experience life more dynamically when our senses are more awakened and aware. Consider how many ways you could truly sip and savor your morning beverage or delight in the way the sun feels on your skin. What is it like to listen deeply to the soothing sound of your loved one's voice or taste a meal like it's the last one you'll have?

When you're able to slow down and truly experience the subtleties of these and other sensations in all their sensual glory, you'll automatically arrive more fully in the present moment, where creativity abounds.


5. Explore nontraditional tools.

I'm a big fan of thinking outside the box when it comes to painting tools. I find that it brings more play and less worry to the adventure of making art. Some of my favorite "brushes" include celery, corn on the cob, plants, corks, combs, and pen caps, but really anything is fair game! Instead of having a plan or working toward a finished painting, simply see how many different kinds of marks each tool can make. I suggest using fluid paint or mixing in a bit of water so your paint can flow easily off your wonderful, new tools and onto your paper or canvas.

February 13, 2017 by S M
4 Simple Ways To Run Faster

4 Simple Ways To Run Faster

Just about every competitive runner would like to be faster. But you may have reached a point where you feel that your diet and workouts
have made you as speedy as you can be. Even so, have you tried the techniques below? If not, you might find that they'll shave off a few seconds or more whenever you race.

1. Choose footwear with care.

If clothes make the man or woman, shoes make the runner. Thus, you should go to a running store and get an expert to help you. That way, you'll get shoes that perfectly fit your feet and your running style.

It might sound strange, but your running shoes should probably offer you little support. That's because the arches and muscles of your feet won't be as strong as they could be if you're relying on your shoes for support. It can be helpful to wean yourself off sneakers and
increasingly depend on minimalist shoes. No matter what kind of shoes you have, be sure to discard them after you've run between 300 and 500 miles in them.

2. Get stronger all over.

If you're a runner, you want all of your muscle groups to be powerful. If one group is significantly weaker than the others, it can create an
imbalance. That situation requires you to put more effort into your running, and it slows you down. It can also lead to injuries.

To avoid this issue, take up a program of strength training that will develop your entire body. You might want to work with a trainer who
specializes in running.

3. Take it in stride.

A good rule of thumb is that you should take about 180 strides per minute. If you're taking significantly fewer, you're probably using
more energy than you need to, and you're going more slowly than you could be.

Consider your stance as well; you ought to be leaning forward just a little. What's more, shorter strides and less movement overall can
protect your knees and ankles.

4. Head for the hills.

Finally, your running workouts should include hills and plenty of them. Sure, some people try to avoid hills as much as they can, but they incline workouts offer great benefits. They're effective at strengthening muscles. In addition, they'll get you more accustomed to raising your knees naturally instead of forcing them up too high.

February 13, 2017 by S M
Here's What To Eat (And What Not To) To Save The Environment

Here's What To Eat (And What Not To) To Save The Environment

Manifest the year of your dreams by going inward. Renew You 2017 is a month of mindfulness during which we’ll share content that guides you to create a deeply rooted intention for the new year. We’ll help you navigate inevitable obstacles with the latest science on habits, motivation, ritual, and more and equip you with tried-and-true techniques to outsmart even the toughest inner critic. 

At mindbodygreen, we believe everything is connected: how we feel, the state of our health, and how we interact with the environment.  While we often focus on eating for the health of our bodies, today, we asked Brian Kateman, the founder of the Reducetarian movement, to share some of the best and worst foods for the environment.  If you’re looking for ways to impact your eco-footprint with small changes to what you put on your plate, read on!

Becoming more conscious about our food choices was one of the major trends of 2016. As 2017 welcomes us, this trend will be sure to grow stronger. Consumers are becoming increasingly educated on various agricultural practices and their impacts on the environment, including deforestation, biodiversity loss, the acceleration of climate change, and the depletion of limited natural resources. But with the resiliency of the planet on our side, we can make small changes to our diets that will help to mitigate the impacts of agriculture on the environment.

Not all foods are created equal: some have larger environmental footprints than others. Comparing the most eco-friendly foods to some of the worst offenders may help you to make more sustainable choices next time you are at your local grocery store or farmer's market.

Say yes to:


A versatile and budget friendly ingredient, lentils rank high as one of the best “climate friendly proteins” with very low greenhouse gas emissions. Production emissions and “post farming emissions” (inclusive of processing, transport and cooking) of lentils are only 0.9 kg of CO2 equivalent for each kg consumed, 40 times less compared to other protein sources, such as lamb.


Following closely behind lentils, tomatoes are another environmentally friendly food with combined emissions amounting to only 1.1 kg of CO2 equivalent per kg consumed. This vine is fairly easy to grow, so plant some in your backyard and enjoy the true meaning of local produce.

Organic Tofu

With thirteen times less greenhouse gas emission than beef, tofu is a protein-packed food that requires less water than many sources of animal protein. Tofu produces the carbon emission equivalent of less than one mile driven per four ounces consumed. Furthermore, buying organic ensures the use of non-GMO crops and avoids the use of synthetic chemicals which can be damaging to the environment.


Green Peas

Green peas act as natural nitrogen fixers, converting the compound into a usable form for organisms. Because of this, peas often do not require synthetic nitrogen fertilizer and other possible additives, decreasing the amount of harmful resources needed while keeping vital nutrients needed to grow the plant.



When it comes to vegetables and fruits, buying produce that uses the least amount of fertilizers and pesticides is beneficial, as they account for about one-third of greenhouse gasses emitted in the United States. Broccoli, along with other cruciferous vegetables such as cabbage and Brussels sprouts, contains natural pesticides that protect from pests and other potentially harmful organisms. Broccoli also produces the carbon emission equivalent of less than one mile driven per 4-oz. consumed.


Avoid (as much as possible):


Perhaps surprising to some, lamb has fifty percent more greenhouse gas emissions per kilogram than beef. According to the Environmental Working Group, although methane gas emissions and amount of feed required for lamb are comparable to that of beef, lamb provides less edible meat which makes it the worst animal protein for the environment.


As noted above, beef takes a close second to lamb as one of the worst foods for the environment. Generating 27kg of carbon dioxide equivalents for each kilogram eaten, it takes roughly 2,500 gallons of water to produce a pound of beef. Deforestation and high quantities of feed required to raise cattle are also factors that contribute to the negative environmental impacts of beef.


Even though pork may not have as large of an environmental impact as its red meat counterpart, that doesn’t mean the impact that it has isn’t significant. Eating just a 4-oz. serving of pork, roughly about a size of a deck of cards, can be equivalent to the same carbon footprint of driving your car for three miles. Considering many people eat red meat several times a week, combining this with the carbon footprint equivalent of beef and lamb being greater than 6.5 miles driven by car, the impact adds up very quickly.


Ever wonder how much milk it takes to produce all that cheese at the grocery store? Answer: a lot. Of course this depends on the type of cheese, however the environmental impact of raising and feeding the livestock that provide the milk is significant nonetheless. Cheese produces 13.5kb (~29.8 lbs.) of carbon dioxide equivalents for each kilogram eaten, roughly thirteen times that of foods such as lentils and tomatoes. As noted by the Environmental Working Group, if a family of four were to leave out meat and cheese just one day a week for a year, it would be the equivalent of saving five weeks of driving or reducing the individual daily shower time by three minutes!

Farmed Salmon

Unfortunately, the impacts of commercial fish products do not prove to be any kinder for the environment either. The amounts of feed and electricity generation play a significant role in the amount of greenhouse gas emissions due to farmed salmon. Much of the farmed salmon are transported by plane or shipped to various destinations, further adding to total emission levels by as much as fifty percent.


Although chicken may not have as large of a carbon footprint, chicken processing does require more energy and water than other meats. Within the realm of conventional egg production, the majority of the total cage layer houses in the United States is “high-rise,” where poultry are arranged in layered, stacked cages. This style of house leads to poor air quality and higher emissions of ammonia, which has several harmful effects, including negative impacts on aquatic species and crops. Compared to plant-based protein sources such as lentils, chickens emit more than six times the carbon dioxide equivalents per kg.


Eggs aren’t off the hook either. It takes roughly 477 gallons of water to produce one pound of eggs. Assuming that the average “full” bath tub takes 36 gallons, that would be the equivalent taking about 15 baths! Combining this with the estimated 896 gallons of water needed to produce one pound of cheese, this shows you how a simple cheese omelet may be hurting the environment much more than you realized.

From an environmental standpoint, the trend is clear: eating fewer animal products and more plant-based foods is beneficial for the planet. Animal products generally use larger amounts of resources and energy than various other plant-based foods, plus produce higher carbon emissions. The good news is that when it comes to eating less meat and dairy and fewer eggs, it’s not all-or-nothing. Small changes in your diet will make a big impact. For example, consider experimenting with Meatless Mondays, eating meat only on the weekends, or cooking or ordering meals with smaller meat portions; in other words, see what works best for you.

And remember, no matter the degree of reduction or your strategy and motivation for cutting back on animal products, eating with an environmentally conscious mind is a simple yet powerful step in being able to support a healthy planet. Each and every plant-based meal is one worth celebrating.

February 10, 2017 by S M
Can't Stop Snacking? A Cognitive Scientist Explains How To Rewire Your Brain

Can't Stop Snacking? A Cognitive Scientist Explains How To Rewire Your Brain

If you're one of the millions and millions of people who have tried every "diet," made multiple attempts each year to slim down, or succeeded in losing weight only to regain it again, you may be convinced that the problem is you.

As a brain and cognitive scientist, I can tell you that emerging research proves the real problem is that the foods we consume today, and the way we consume them, quickly trigger changes in the brain that ultimately block weight loss by creating insatiable hunger and overpowering cravings.

The main culprits are flour and sugar, which are now in nearly everything we eat. They affect our hormones and neurotransmitters, and actually change our brains, rewiring them to ensure that we will continue eating more and more of both. Therein lies the propensity for addiction.

All too often, the knee-jerk approach to weight loss is to try the latest fad diet or hit the gym. But neither of these tactics takes into account how the brain has been rewired to block weight loss. There is a way to heal the brain, though, ending food addiction and the vicious weight-loss-blocking cycle for good. Here are four guidelines:

1. Eliminate sugar and flour.

Flour and sugar are as addictive in your brain as cocaine and other powdered drugs. In the quantities we consume them, I'm talking about hundreds of calories in coffee drinks and doughnuts in every break room, they overstimulate the brain's nucleus accumbens—its seat of pleasure, reward, and motivation. To protect itself, the nucleus accumbens down-regulates by turning off some pleasure receptors so it won't be bombarded as hard the next time. Thus, you need increasingly larger doses to experience the same level of pleasure. That's what addiction looks like in the brain.

Flour and sugar also cause insulin levels to rise, which not only puts you at risk for type 2 diabetes, but elevated insulin in the bloodstream blocks the brain from recognizing the hormone leptin, which signals that we're full. Without leptin able to do its job you can go from dinner to the couch with a bag of chips, followed by a carton of ice cream, and still go to bed feeling unsatisfied.

Healing begins when sugar and flour are taken out of the equation. Not only does excess weight come off, but the insatiable hunger ends.

2. Eat regular meals.

When regular meals become part of the scaffolding of your life, it takes the burden off of willpower. A schedule of eating three meals a day at consistent times—breakfast, lunch, and dinner—not only helps eating the right things become automatic but also passing up the wrong things in between.

Eating regular meals also lengthens the body's fasting window, which increases fat loss, improves insulin sensitivity, and sharpens the mind, too.

3. Eat the right quantities.

The majority of adults no longer receive reliable signals to stop eating from their brains and are no longer able to compensate for the extra calories they've consumed. And very few of us are able to eyeball portions correctly, which can result in slow and steady weight gain or can negate any weight loss.

Eating nourishing, filling, right-sized portions will revive the signals telling you to stop eating and over time will help you lose any excess weight and, most importantly, feel freed from food addiction.

4. Be consistent.

Like a drug rehab program, make these "Bright Lines" nonnegotiable. Doing so will take the burden off willpower, reinforcing your desire to make better choices and eventually repattern the sneaky brain pathway that leads to "just one more little bite."

February 10, 2017 by S M
Manifestation Practice Not Getting Results? This Is The Secret To Creating The Life You Want

Manifestation Practice Not Getting Results? This Is The Secret To Creating The Life You Want

Manifest the year of your dreams by going inward. Renew You 2017 is a month of mindfulness during which we’ll share content that guides you to create a deeply rooted intention for the new year. We’ll help you navigate inevitable obstacles with the latest science on habits, motivation, ritual, and more and equip you with tried-and-true techniques to outsmart even the toughest inner critic. 

Every year we set intentions, or resolutions, around becoming a better version of our self. A happier, healthier, wealthier, more fulfilled us.

We dream big, then cut images that represent those dreams out of glossy magazines and glue them to our vision board with high hopes. But too often those dreams never manifest. Why?

One reason our intentions and resolutions fall through is that even though we have a new dream, we are still stuck in an old way of being. Our thoughts and habits don't change to support the creation of the life we want.

Letting go of what no longer serves you is truly the first step in a total life makeover.


So before you set those intentions, create the affirmation, build your vision board, look around you. What do you see in your environment that is not supporting a future in which you have, do, or become what you dream of?

What thoughts, habits, or patterns are you engaged in that block you from manifesting your dreams?

Every year, before I set my New Year's intentions, I have a ritual of looking back at the past year and taking note of what didn't go the way I intended, asking myself these questions:

1. If I had a health goal, I look at what actions or habits prevented me from achieving it.

Was I in the drive-thru more than the gym? What's in my refrigerator? When's the last time I unrolled my yoga mat?

2. In my relationships, I look at who I spent most of my time with and how I felt afterward.

Are my relationships supportive and fulfilling? Do I need more like-minded friends? Do I need more room on my calendar for date nights?

3. With my financial goals, I look at whether or not my credit card statements reflect that I spent my money on what mattered most.

Or did I blow it on things I didn't want or need? Did I save as much as I wanted to? Why not?

4. Do my clothes and home décor represent the life I want?

Or am I wearing and living in the clothes and environment of the "old me"? Does my environment and wardrobe make it harder for me to have, do, and be what I want?

Then, I immediately get rid of anything that is obviously not supporting my new life vision. And I start to think about what I need to do to change the things that are going to take more time, like my thoughts and habits.

What thoughts are getting in your way? (Yes, you can declutter your mind, too.)

The best way that I have found to stop a negative thought cycle and clean out all of the chaotic thoughts that are keeping you stuck in those lower vibrations that are not manifesting the life you want is to meditate!

And, there's no time like the present to start or restart your meditation practice. If you're new, start with just two to three minutes a day of "watching" your breath. Notice when you're breathing in and when you're breathing out. Download a meditation app or an audio-guided meditation. A quick internet search will turn up endless free meditations.

When you're engaged in the one-pointed focus of watching your breath or following the steps of a guided meditation, your mind is occupied with that action and will slowly train itself to focus and not engage in chaotic, fearful thoughts. When your mind is clear, you can begin to insert new thoughts, affirmations, and mantras, which will help you call your manifestations into your life more quickly and easily.

This process of letting go of what no longer serves you is truly the first step in a total life makeover.

So, take it one step at a time. You can dig as deeply as you're ready to. Maybe you're only ready to clean out your closet or refrigerator, but the toxic relationships will be harder to let go of. Or perhaps transitioning out of the job you don't love will take a few weeks or months or even years to safely release.

Remember to be gentle with yourself, to be responsible with this process, and to set yourself up for success.

After you've done this major physical and energetic space-clearing, you'll have a beautiful, open space that you can slowly begin to fill with all of the things you need to support you in your new life and new way of being.

Be careful of what you put into this space—including the space inside your mind and heart.

When you act (and dress, and decorate, and speak) as if what you desire is already real, it helps you cultivate the emotion of it. You begin to feel the joy and abundance of already living the life you want.

And since I believe the universe responds to that vibrational cue, it will return to you experiences that mirror it.

Meaning when you feel good, the universe sends to you more reasons to feel good. When you feel healthy, the universe supports your health. When you feel loved, the universe will send you more love. When you feel wealthy, the universe sends you more money. When you feel joy, the universe sends you more experiences that will make you feel joyful.

This is how you manifest your dreams. Happy space-clearing and happy manifesting!

February 08, 2017 by S M
In Defense Of Tears: The Science & Spirituality Behind A Good Cry

In Defense Of Tears: The Science & Spirituality Behind A Good Cry

As a life coach and nurse, I end up talking to people about some pretty heavy stuff sometimes. Occasionally, there are tears. Tears that are usually followed by the inevitable words: "I'm sorry for being so emotional" or "I'm sorry for crying."

Statements like these break my heart because they imply that the tears are somehow inappropriate, embarrassing, or unwarranted. Nothing could be further from the truth. Having a big ol' mascara-running, gulping-like-a-fish ugly cry is actually really good for you.

But don't just take my word for it. There's some seriously cool science behind the benefits of an ugly cry.

After a good cry, most people feel calmer and more resilient.


The chemicals behind your tears

In the 1970s, Dr. William Frey, a professor of pharmaceutics at the University of Minnesota, analyzed the chemical makeup of reflexive tears (the kind you cry when you cut up an onion) versus emotional tears (the kind you cry while watching a sad movie). What he found was fascinating. While reflexive tears generally serve to protect the eyes by flushing and lubricating them, Frey postulated that the main function of emotional tears is to help the body recover from a stressful event by excreting excess hormones and other proteins.

When we experience stress, a substance called adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) is released into our bodies. If enough of ACTH builds up, it will eventually stimulate the release of cortisol, also known as "the stress hormone."

The neat thing that Dr. Frey found was that tears act to rid the body of these excess stress hormones. After a good cry, most people feel calmer and more resilient since their tears literally just drained stress hormones from their bodies. More tears = less ACTH = less stress. How cool is that?!

Crying can also protect you from getting sick. All tears contain lysozyme, a natural antibacterial substance that can destroy up to 95 percent of bacteria that come in contact with our eyes within 10 minutes. So when your eyes are welling up, they're also washing up.

Emotional tears also contain leucine-enkephalin, an endorphin responsible for reducing pain and improving mood. So crying literally making you feel better by releasing natural painkillers!

Your body's physical response

The actual physical act of crying can also make us feel better. Researchers have theorized that the rhythmic and repetitive movements and sounds that we make when we cry act as a self-soothing behaviors. Think of a mother calming a child: Mothers natural employ rocking, patting, cooing, or some other type of repetitive motion and sound to pacify a baby. The boo-hoo-pause-breathe-boo-hoo-pause-breathe pattern of crying mimics the way our mother's quieted us as infants. So go ahead and baby yourself a little.

Dutch researchers also found that people were more likely to offer some form of physical contact to someone who is crying than someone who is not. And physical contact such as a hug or even a simple touch on the hand has been shown to improve mood and relieve stress.

Emotional and spiritual benefits

Karla McLaren, empath and author of The Language of Emotions: What Your Feelings Are Trying to Tell You, advises that sadness, far from being a negative emotion, brings with it the gifts of release, fluidity, grounding, relaxation, and revitalization. Releasing sad tears is a natural way for the body, mind, and soul to process periods of loss or transition. Who hasn't cried at the end of crappy relationship, even when you know that it's for the best? When tears come up, McLaren says, they indicate that it's time to ask ourselves, "What is ready to be released? What is ready to be revitalized?"

Allowing yourself to cry moves you from "freak out" to "forget it" much faster.


Psychologists in the 1970s proposed that when an adult is moved to tears it "signifies recovery and adaptation rather than the continuation of distress or arousal." In other words, allowing yourself to cry moves you from "freakout" to "forget it" much faster. If you stifle them, it prevents you from moving on. So let 'em flow and let it go!

Crying is surrender, acceptance, and submission to the reality of what we are feeling. Nothing could be healthier than allowing your feelings, whatever they are, as they come up. So don't hold back. Let the tears flow and you will find yourself calmer, healthier, and more connected to yourself and to the people around you.

February 08, 2017 by S M
Tags: cry tears xcience
How Mindfulness Can Help Us Reset Our Belief System

How Mindfulness Can Help Us Reset Our Belief System

One of the most profound moments in my healing path was during a 30-day silent meditation retreat in Nepal, finally, when everything around me and in me was still. I finally had enough space to witness the noise inside me with a distance. After that I made a real commitment to change myself and become someone that adds to life, not subtracts from it.

There comes a point in our lives when we need to stop and reassess our belief systems to truthfully rewire our patterns of thought. We must evolve internally. This is the most profound work, to clean up that dusty mirror that has been passed on from grandmother to mother and now to you. It's time to clean the dust and reframe the mirror and maybe even move it from the bathroom to the front door.

This is why some scientists say humans don't really have free will, because we not only inherit our parents' genetic predisposition but their habits and thought patterns as well. When we finally have some internal space to see them playing out from a distance, we can start to respond to life proactively, not reactively. It's in that space between stimulus and response that we have the opportunity to make become compassionate.

Discover the person you want to be.

It's so hard to actually catch those moments when we notice our personal biases; these fragments of clarity are the opportunity to create congruence between our intentions, speech, and actions. We think that once the process of upgrading our negative subconscious agreements start all the poison leaves, but it's a slow process. The work lies in honoring our scars, but the real honor is in transcending and transmuting them. In this way we free ourselves of the old and implement new priorities in our nervous system.


Discover the person you want to be. As good as it sometimes feels to have that warm misery blanket, each time you decide to take the blanket off yourself you are waking up to the rest that is already awakened.

When we start to meet ourselves at these deep unknown places we start to question our belief systems, and we notice that a lot of what has been ingrained in us doesn't serve us. This is the work of the subconscious mind and our genetic predisposition. A lot of the work in the "NEW Age Movement" has to do with rewiring our belief systems, learning to let go of the old agreements that unfortunately have been reinforced over time and now are so hard to get rid of.

The deeper we meet ourselves is as deep as we will be able to meet others.

Think about the subconscious mind as a huge room in this house that you live in; in this room you notice how dirty and moldy some of the furniture is, like grandma's trauma from moving to another country, or that third-grade teacher who said you couldn't do it; it is in this place that all of your belief systems, behaviors, and memories are stored.


By the simple mechanism of noticing that these old agreements or pieces of furniture don't serve you well, it's a moment of mindfulness in which we can make a change. Start by cleaning out your extra baggage. We can only keep the usable baggage, everything else has got to go! The majority of stuff that fills up that subconscious part of ourselves is creating the blueprint of our lives; it has been passed on with so much fear and unforgiveness, trapping us in the past and future. This is why it's hard to notice these assumptions and prejudices.

One of the most powerful steps in getting in touch with personal biases is to forgive yourself for not taking such good care of your body, for how you have been your own worst enemy allowing the negative chatter to play out, and ultimately, for not believing in yourself.

You will start associating more with those who awaken the magic in you

Pay attention to these thoughts, beliefs, and behaviors that weigh you down. There's no need to unpack and open up the wounds; simply spread the healing cream on, which comes as self-forgiveness and affirmations to foster change and counteract negative thoughts. Put a reminder alarm on your phone, on the bathroom mirror and fridge, before bed and when you wake up.

You will start to notice your social circle evolving. You will start associating more with those who awaken the magic in you, those people who benefit your well-being: determined, funny, loving, and grateful human beings.

We know that our food habits are a reflection of our state of mind, so by eating clean you start to clean yourself internally. This physical cleanup is a crucial step on your healing path. Your body now has more time and energy to process other functions, and you can utilize this energy toward implementing a daily meditation practice, calming the conscious mind—then you can start to witness the prejudices playing out.

In this process we make friends with our most powerful tool, our mind. You intuitively know that we are all born good and that we all want the same things in life. Your worst deeds do not define who you are; compassion is tangible.

February 06, 2017 by S M