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Healthy Life Expo
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Healthy Life Expo
Healthy Life Expo

It’s mid-January; we’ve rung in the New Year with family and friends, the champagne has been toasted and drunk and now the kids are back in school and we are back to work. But, while warming our hands in front of the fire this evening, take a breath, feel the thrill, because life is presenting each of us with a gift right now.

January is a reminder that we are at the beginning of a year of opportunities — new friendships beckon, new interests call, travel awaits, hopes and dreams can be fulfilled. All we have to do is to reach out and embrace the opportunities that ’11 has to offer, lighting a fire in our soul that snaps, crackles and pops for years to come.

So, read on, reflect, respond and then, in the words of that great poet Maya Angelou, “Rise, Rise, Rise!”

Put the Snap Back into Life
So how do we ensure that we love ’11? The first step is to put the “snap” back into our lives. For so many of us, life falls into a routine — and sometimes a dull routine at that. We have our rhythms (shopping, washing, cleaning, working out) and we have our responsibilities (work, paying the bills, the kids’ swimming, karate, ballet lessons, that school charity fund-raiser) and our life becomes like that treadmill set to the steepest incline, causing our blood pressure to rise and hands to sweat. Over time, our passions get pushed to the sidelines, our hopes and dreams get sunk — and somewhere along the way we’ve forgotten who we are and what we want from life.

Redefining our hopes and dreams, figuring out what we want for ourselves and doing something about it is key to bringing our spirit back to life and ensuring our year (whatever the year) is the year to remember. The truth is that when we invest time and energy doing what we enjoy, we feel renewed, reenergized and reconnected with our world — and that’s what makes life magical. The “to do” list will never go away, but it can no longer overshadow what’s truly important — that which makes us sing.

Figuring out our dreams and turning them into actions can seem like a daunting task. Jack Canfield believes that “most of us have never allowed ourselves to want what we truly want, because we can’t see how it will manifest.” For me, the key to making our dreams a reality is simply to honor them with a first step, no matter how small. Once that first step is taken, each new step is made more achievable — that’s how dreams are built.

I honored myself and my dreams this year by signing up to attend a level 1 Qigong class. I wanted to build on my healing practice and wanted some time for me, away from my role as a wife and mum. As I sat there, listening to Master Jim Nance of the Spring Forest Qigong center, I was potently aware that he spoke my language and I was shocked to feel how “at home” and “understood” I felt working with these like-minded people. My first foray into education opened the doorway to a Pleiadian seminar led by Christine Day and then a Gemstone Therapy workshop.

Each workshop exceeded my expectations and, more importantly, lifted my spirits. I met people of a similar ilk. I shared my personal experiences and I learned. I had fun. I left each workshop feeling alive, passionate about my work and ready to be with my family in a more complete, more energized way. In the words of The Secret’s Rhonda Byrne: “Your job is you. Unless you fill yourself up first, you have nothing to give anybody.” Well said, Rhonda!

Get Crack(l)ing!
Of course, building a year to remember doesn’t stop here. Step two requires that we turn up the heat — and yes, I’m talking love. As an organ, our heart is responsible for pumping our blood around our body and keeping us alive. The heart chakra is also the center from which our spirit projects love into the world, which also ensures that our lives and the lives of others are rich and sustaining. Love is truly what makes the world go around, and seeking ways in which we can express caring and compassion in ’11 will ensure that the New Year crackles with a warmth that will keep us smiling the whole year through.

Loving others begins with a smile, a thank you, a holding of a door. It’s as simple as saying a kind word to someone every day or sending up a prayer. It’s taking soup to a sick neighbor, it’s donating used shoes to Soles4Souls, it’s collecting books for an orphanage in the third world. If God is love, then in taking loving actions you will create a divine new year.

Last Christmas, my children’s school banded together to bring food to a village in need in South America. For a couple of days, the community stood shoulder to shoulder and weighed out dried rice and vegetables. Holiday music blared, the atmosphere was electric. The joy of that combined effort to make a difference in the lives of people in need was awe-inspiring. If I wanted to experience the spirit of the holiday season in all its joyful forms, I got it standing in formation that day and it drove home how love — whether romantic, familial or humanitarian, whether demonstrated through compassion and empathy or through letters and poetry — really is, as Paulo Coelho says, the “force that transforms and improves the soul of the world.”

Pop!
We’ve snapped, we’ve crackled and now we want to get popping in ’11. How do we do it? Putting the pop into life comes from embracing the positive, having faith and believing in miracles, whatever the challenges that present themselves. We will all face challenges this year; that’s life. For some of us, those challenges may be life-threatening, and apparently insurmountable. Yet, surrounding oneself in a bubble of fear and anxiety does nothing to alleviate the suffering — it does the reverse. Opting for optimism, holding hard to hope and galvanizing through God bursts the bubble of disillusionment and pops open opportunity.

Two years ago, my husband was laid off. We didn’t know what would happen to our home. We didn’t know where in the world we’d end up, but we did know to have faith. Each night before sleep, we’d hold hands and pray. Despite applying for jobs all over the world, in spite of hours of interviews that went nowhere, and in spite of the fact that with each turn of the corner we’d appeared to have walked into a dead end, we never gave up hope.

After twelve months, my husband found contract work and amazingly, it was located just minutes from our children’s school. His three-month contract will have extended into an 18-month contract by this December, and there’s talk of more work to come. Miracles happen — and frequently. Knowing this truth, living this truth, will bring this truth into your life in ’11, lifting it from the ridiculous to the sublime.

Stamp Yourself all Over Your Life in ’11
So, before another calendar day has passed, make yourself a vow. Vow to stamp yourself all over your life in ’11. Vow to live your dreams, to love others, to believe in miracles — and as you make that vow, know that you are heralding in a year that you will love completely — beginning, middle and end.

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Nadine Penny attained her M.A. from the University of Denver in Counseling Psychology. Nadine lives in Minnetonka where she works as a medium, life issues reader and Reiki master. Contact her at nadine.penny@gmail.com and visit www.nadinepenny.com.

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