February: The Month of Love

It’s the month of love, hearts and valentines. The colors that come to mind are red, pink, a touch of green, and in some areas, a bit of purple appears. We express our love to our sweethearts, our dearest friends, and our beloved family members. We don colors associated with love and we search for the perfect card or gift for our own Valentines.

But how many of you think of sending love to yourselves?  Personally, I am so terribly guilty of being hard on myself and having such high expectations of myself that I often forget to be kind to me, to be thoughtful of ME, to treat myself as I would any other person I love.

When I was in high school I read Erich Fromm’s book, The Art of Loving. He discussed the many aspects of love including the notion of self love but I was being raised in a family in which we were being taught that loving oneself was conceited, selfish, even unGodly. We were to be humble, to think of everyone else as better than we were, to “not be above yourself”.

Indeed, at the tender age of 8, I had discovered Greek and Roman Mythology and loved reading the stories. Imagine how excited I was to discover my name was a variation of the goddess Diana. Now these were the days when you could go into any drug store or tourist stop and find tons of items with individual’s names on them. I never could find my own name anywhere which caused me to despair that my name was so odd, I must be too. Even worse, maybe I did not have the right to exist. But here in the book of myths was the name Diana and I was so excited I jumped up and down on my bed exclaiming that I was actually a goddess! I was THRILLED~until my Grandmother grabbed my arm, pulled me off that bed and told me in no uncertain terms that I was a sinner for sure, talking like that. That was the end of my goddess identification for about 40 years! And it took me about that long to believe in my worth again.

So back to high school: when I read in Fromm’s book that self love was necessary in order to really love others I thought it was a very radical, even sinful, thought. I was scared to believe in this. I tried to push the thought away, even though it stayed with me and in some very real way I knew it to be true. It was such a struggle to try to rectify the teachings of my parents and grandparents with my own inner knowing.

Which is a long winded way of getting to my point: don’t be late in coming to the conclusion that you are worth loving. God does not create anyone who is not worthy of love. There are people who do bad things, and people who go down the wrong paths, but they are misguided and misled. Their being is still of the Light. They just don’t remember that, and have allowed the Darkness to gain a foothold in their souls. But at their core, they too, like the rest of us, not only come from Love and Light, but still have a spark of that inside.

But I am talking to those of you who, like me, put themselves last over and over to their own detriment. I wish that you could see yourselves as the Light and Beauty that others see in you. One of my own challenges is in being so tuned into a person’s true essence that I forget they also have a personality and that personality may not be at that higher level I can see. I’ve been hurt deeply throughout the years by this inability to discern between a person’s  true nature and their earthly veneer. But I would certainly rather that than not being able to see a person’s goodness.

The good news is that with a lot of work, and the support of so many wonderful friends and family, I have come to see my own Light. Not in that conceited way my parents feared, but from a state of gratitude to God for creating me from star dust and LIght and the vibration of Love.

So this Valentine’s day honor your loved ones, but take some time to honor your SELF. You are one of a kind, a unique being, who is loved so deeply. Happy Valentine’s Day to you each day of the year!

Finding a Bedroom Color That Helps You Relax and Fall Asleep

A guest post by Myra Campbell

Myra Campbell is a researcher for the sleep science and health organization Tuck.com. Her passion for art and design brought her into the field. She began by researching how to create a relaxing bedroom and learned that great design can help improve our health and well-being. Myra lives in southern California and shares her queen-sized bed with two rescue dogs.


Color has an impact on the mind and body, setting the mood for a room. It can enliven and excite or calm and soothe. Because of the sometimes powerful emotions color can create, color choice can either help or hinder attempts to get a full seven to eight hours of sleep. Armed with the right knowledge, you can use color to create a sleep sanctuary where the mind and body can escape from the stress and pressure of everyday life.

Neutral and Earth Tones

Neutrals never go out of style. White, grays, and earthy beiges are still among the most popular paint colors for the bedroom. They don’t stimulate the brain, so they keep things calm and restful. The brain triggers the body’s sleep-wake cycle by adhering to the body’s natural circadian rhythms. If the brain gets the wrong signals, the cycle may not be started at the right time. You want to create an atmosphere that supports the body’s natural sleep-wake cycle. Neutrals do that and let the brain do its job.

Better with Blue

For those who want more color, blue is the most calming, sleep-inducing option. Special cells in the eyes called ganglions relay information to the part of the brain that controls the circadian rhythms. When the ganglions sense blue, they send signals to the part of the brain that sends feelings of calm to the rest of the body. Blue has been shown to reduce both blood pressure and heart rate, both of which help the body fall asleep.

Maybe Green Too

Blue isn’t the only color that calms the mind. Green, with its strong ties to nature, has a similar effect as it’s associated with tranquility and health. With any color, the walls don’t have to be painted green to get the benefits of the color. Plants and nature photos or paintings can have a similar effect. The more nature you invite into the room, the more calm and serene the bedroom becomes. You might also consider a blue with green undertones for something a little different with benefits of both colors.

Keep It Light and Cool

If blue and green aren’t a preferred color scheme, pastels and light, muted tones in other cool colors can keep things calm as well. Light colors don’t stimulate the eyes, which helps the mind remain calm and reduces excitement. Dark colors can stimulate strong emotions that are counter to the purpose of a bedroom. For example, red stimulates the appetite and purple stirs creativity, neither of which you want at bedtime.

Good Sleep is More Than Color

While the color of your room can have a big effect, sleep hygiene, all the habits that surround good sleep, plays a vital role in getting adequate rest. A supportive mattress and pillow can minimize aches and pains. Along with a comfortable bed, the bedroom should be kept cool, quiet, and dark. Once the right atmosphere is established, other habits to promote better sleep include:

  • Keeping a consistent bed and wake time

  • Establishing a bedtime routine

  • Avoiding stimulants within four hours of bed

  • Turning off screens at least an hour before bedtime

  • Eating an early, light dinner to prevent discomfort

  • Exercising regularly, so the body is tired at night

Better sleep comes from creating a sleep sanctuary in conjunction with developing good sleep hygiene. When the two work together, the chances of getting a full night of high-quality sleep increase significantly.

Quotes to Start the New Year

Anyone who knows me knows I love quotes. I enjoy finding them and basking in their wisdom so here are a few to start 2018 off well. Enjoy!

“Many of these people worked hard at jobs that no one else wanted and were poorly paid, I was sure. But it seemed to me that there was something resilient in their spirit, some essential quality that kept the music and the dancing and the color alive…..And I thought, as I had so many times before, that what’s important to a human being, any human being, isn’t the wealth that comes from money, but the richness that comes from community, a sense of connectedness to family and to friends and …. to the spirit of the Great Mystery that runs through all creation.” from Sulfur Springs by William Kent Krueger

“Love conquers all.” Virgil

“Can you imagine what I would do if I could do all I can?” Sun Tzu, The Art of War

“Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value.” Albert Einstein

“I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” –Michael Jordan

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do, so throw off the bowlines, sail away from safe harbor, catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore, Dream, Discover” –Mark Twain

“Life is 10% what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it.” –Charles Swindoll

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.” –Steve Jobs

“I am not a product of my circumstances. I am a product of my decisions. “–Stephen Covey

“You can never cross the ocean until you have the courage to lose sight of the shore.” –Christopher Columbus

“Who wishes to fight must first count the cost.” Sun Tzu


Happy New Year!

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