Spread Holiday Cheer With This Easy Fall Decorating Idea

I enjoy the changing seasons, the fresh crisp air and colors of fall, but when November comes around, I turn most of my focus to preparing for the big Thanksgiving dinner. I will be entertaining 18 friends and relatives this year. Weeks ahead I prepare or purchase my table decorations. These are some of my table decor creations.

pumpkin-cactus

I got the idea to make this at a garden store I visited. At first glance, it looked like the pumpkin would have to be scooped out and filled, but when asked, I was told everything was glued to the top. I thought I’d give it a try.

large-succulent-fall-arrangement

You too might like to make this centerpiece. Here’s how it’s done.

You will need:

  1. a pumpkin or decorative squash
  2. a few different sized succulent plants (Select plants with different shaped leaves and in a variety of hues.)
  3. a small package of green reindeer moss or Spanish moss
  4. a hot glue gun

First cut off the stem of the pumpkin or squash close to the skin. Then glue a layer of moss to the pumpkin.

Select the largest succulent and apply that first. Cut the stem 1/4 to a 1/2 inch from the base of the plant and glue it to the pumpkin through the moss. Fill in the top with the smaller succulents or cuttings from larger plants. You can add moss to the outside edges for a finishing touch.

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The arrangement will last quite a while, it just needs a spritz of water a couple of times a week. They make great hostess gifts!

pumpkin-cactus-garden

I enjoy decorating. It lifts my mood when I spread holiday cheer. Yet, the holidays can be the loneliest and most stressful time of the year for some people. I am holding a heaviness in my heart. My husband, daughter and I made a bittersweet trip to Pennsylvania to visit our brother law, Umberto, in the hospital. He went into the hospital for what was supposed to be a relatively minor cancer treatment and he hasn’t come out. My sister, Alane, will spend her holidays in the hospital by his side. It breaks my heart.

Happy Birthday Mom?

It was also my mom’s birthday while we were visiting. She wouldn’t let us sing “Happy Birthday” to her because of Umberto being so sick. “It’s not happy”, she said.

This is a tough one for the whole family. There is little we can do but rely on God’s grace to get us through this difficult time. We’re very fortunate to have each other to lean on. That is something to be thankful for and to smile about. God is able. We are all praying.

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I am reminded once again to be nice to everyone I meet because they are also carrying a heavy burden that I know nothing about.

Dealing with Holiday ‘Blues’
“You can improve your mood by practicing self-care during the holidays. Eat a healthy diet, and maintain a regular sleep pattern and exercise program. According to the kept Primary Care Companion to the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, as little as 30-minutes of cardiovascular exercise can provide an immediate mood boost similar to the effects of an antidepressant medication. Joining a support group where you talk to people with similar experiences to yours can also help.” ¹

Sometimes these things aren’t enough and medication is necessary for a time. Talk to your doctor if you are feeling sad for long periods. They can refer you to a mental health specialist. Explore every option. Getting your joy back is worth fighting for.

Wishing you all the joys of the season, Linda

“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction and faithful in prayer.” – Romans 12:12

Footnote:

  1. http://www.healthline.com/health/depression/holidays#1

 

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Not Our Usual Family Project – Let’s Shoot A Music Video!

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In Memory of Harry Jarvis

This past year, a virtual stranger came into our lives and poured his time and talent into a project for my niece because of his love for the entertainment industry!

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Harry Jarvis, a  videographer from Nashville, approached my niece, Marianna, a talented singer/songwriter and asked if he could shoot a music video of her song “Lady Luck”.

Harry had heard her song about Las Vegas and he also read excerpts of the book, Beyond Our Wildest Dreams, written by my me and my sister, Maria. A good portion of our book is about our experiences working with the Rat Pack and the entertainment legends of Las Vegas. Marianna’s song about the current ‘Sin City’, as well as our stories from the past, inspired Harry to come up with a concept and financing to produce the music video.

Here I am backstage with my sister and Frank Sinatra in 1977.

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Photo from our tour with Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin when my sister Maria and I were members of the famous girl group, “The Golddiggers”

Harry Jarvis had a great sense of humor, as you will see by the outtakes he added at the end of the video. It was fun doing this project with him. I was amazed by what he could create with a camera, lap top and green screen. His imagination was huge!

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Harry Jarvis

With insatiable curiosity to hear about our adventures in Las Vegas with the ‘Stars’, Harry could listen to our stories for hours if we let him. More than once, my sister and I had to snap him out of the spell our tales of the Vegas glory days cast on him, so he could get back to work and finish the project on time.

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Lady Luck

Marianna’s music video was homegrown. It was mostly shot at my home and featured friends and family with a special appearance by the ‘Alberici Sisters’. It was a party every night after the day’s filming was over! Unfortunately, not too long after we shot the video, Harry suddenly passed away from a massive heart attack. This is the last edit he sent us.

Harry was like an angel disguised as a stranger. He became our friend and left us much to quickly. It was shocking and sad. We connected with Harry on many levels. My sister Maria had the opportunity to answer questions he had about Christianity and Jesus. I have to think, in the grand scheme of things, maybe our meeting was not as much about making the video but perhaps more about sharing the gospel? We’ll never know. God bless you and keep you, Harry. Rest in peace.

Grateful for the the time we had together. May his love and passion live on.

~ Linda

Don’t forget to show hospitality to strangers, for some who have done this have entertained angels without realizing it! – Hebrews 13:2 (NLT)

Read stories about vintage Las Vegas in Beyond Our Wildest Dreams by Alberici Sisters on  Amazon

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It’s All In How You View It

“People are not disturbed by things, but by the view they take of them.” – Epictetus

Consider what your life might be like if you changed your perspective. Getting a different point of view can make life tolerable, even interesting, like the colorful shades of a sunset.

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My friends and I visited Newport Beach beach last week. While we were watching and photographing the sunset, a young lady rushed up to the beach with her camera just after the sun disappeared into the ocean. “Oh, darn I missed it,” she moaned, as she walked away disappointed.

The woman’s point of view was that the sunset was all about seeing the orb of the sun disappear behind the horizon. My friends and I knew to wait and see what magic awaits after sundown.  

“Never lose an opportunity of seeing anything beautiful, for beauty is God’s handwriting.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

More often than not, I have found the best part of sundown is the afterglow. The hues become deeper and more vibrant as the hidden sun reflects upward. I was not disappointed on Crystal Cove Beach that evening – same sunset but different views, same beach but a distinctive new horizon.

crystal-cove-newport-beach-afterglow

Crystal Cove Dining and Watersport’s

Crystal Cove in Newport has magnificent sunsets and a wonderful restaurant on the beach called Beachcomber Cafe. A little further down the road, I tried two good restaurants at the Crystal Cove Shopping Center. Javier’s, an upscale Mexican restaurant, has fabulous food and gorgeous decor but forget about going on the weekend. It’s very popular. Babette’s specializes in local organic produce and meats. They offer an eclectic array of dishes including delicious vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options. Their cocktail menu features a variety of unique handcrafted cocktails.

My travel companions and I worked off part of our delicious dinner by enjoying kayaking in the Newport channels the next day. Southwind Kayak Center is a great place to rent kayaks, stand up paddle boards and more. It’s in a superb location off Newport Harbor.

Making Memories and Getting Another Perspective In Relationships

I love seeing familiar things through new eyes but also making brand new memories with people. I can build successful relationships and become a better travel companion by blending my point of view with an other person’s. We never really know someone until we consider things from both their perspective and our own.

I like to look at all the angles of a person or situation. I’m learning not to make assumptions about people. It’s a challenge to view things based on the mind set of who I’m with while still being true to aspects of myself.

“Each person is like a multifaceted  gem that is to be viewed and appreciated from many different angles.” – Linda Eichberg

Getting a New Perspective On the World Around You

Take a trip – Travel, especially international travel, is a good way to broaden your world view and change the way you look at things. It has always taught me something.

Volunteer – Volunteering to help others in need is also a great way to break out of your mold, widen your perspective and grow compassion. When I give hope to others, it gives me a reason to hope.

Practice Gratitude – Reflecting on God’s perspective and character will adjust your attitude. I see life differently when I am gratefully counting my blessings.

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Look for the daily miracles God pours into your life and your perspective will change. When your perspective changes, your life changes. ~ Linda Eichberg

What will you see? Keep your eyes full of the light of God’s goodness.

Blessings ~ Linda

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

“Your eye is a lamp that provides light for your body. When your eye is good, your whole body is filled with light. But when it is bad, your body is filled with darkness. Make sure that the light you think you have is not actually darkness. If you are filled with light, with no dark corners, then your whole life will be radiant, as though a floodlight were filling you with light.” – Luke 11: 34-36 (NLT)

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Yoga Befits Children Of All Ages

In our family, we practice yoga for fun as much as for its many health benefits.

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Garland Pose modification with a bind

During family gatherings my grandniece, Riley, will frequently pull me aside and ask me to show her some new yoga poses. Children’s brains and bodies easily take to this form of exercise.

Riley-childrens-yoga-garland

Squat – opens the hips and groin as it stretches and strengthens the hips and ankles

Children who practice yoga postures, conscious breathing and mindfulness are better able to regulate their emotions, manage stress and calm themselves, according to scientific studies. They may also have better eating habits and engage in more physical activity than children who do not. Yoga addresses the whole child, encouraging academic and emotional competence. “The studies also illustrate that centered, calm and focused children learn more easily, have better social skills and, in general, are much happier kids.” ¹

childrens-yoga

Yoga Increases Static Motor Performance.

A sample of children from ages 9 to 13 were divided into two groups. One group received yogic training (physical postures, voluntary regulation of breathing, maintenance of silence, visual focusing exercises, and games to improve attention span and memory) while the other did not. Over a ten-day period, the children in each group were tested to observe their steadiness. The yoga group showed a 17% increase in steadiness while the control group showed no improvement. The study concludes that yogic instruction improves children’s ability to control their minds and bodies. ² 

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My nieces, Jocelyn and Marianna practice their splits together on family vacation.

Children Following Yoga Training Improved Their Visual Perceptual Sensitivity.

A study of 14 children with ages ranging from 12 to 17 years who received 10 days of yoga training and another group who did not receive yoga training were assessed on Day 1 and Day 10 for visual perceptual sensitivity through Critical Flicker Fusion Frequency (CFF) and degree of illusion. Yoga group practiced postures and meditation, along with specific activities to improve memory and attention. Following 10 days of yoga training, the yoga group showed a significant increase in CFF and decrease in degree of illusion while the control group showed no change. The study suggests that children can show better improvement in performance in a relatively short amount of time.³

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Me and Riley working on our Camel Pose

Twenty Benefits of Yoga for Children

The following are just some of the recognized benefits of yoga for children (and adults):

  1. Develops a strong and flexible body
  2. Encourages motor development on both sides of the body
  3. Assists neuromuscular-development
  4. Increases balance, body awareness and coordination
  5. Improves posture and alignment
  6. Reduces injuries and improves performance
  7. Improves digestion, circulation and elimination
  8. Strengthens the immune system
  9. Relaxes the body, promoting better sleep
  10. Calms and clears the mind, bringing us into the present moment
  11. Increases concentration, focus, memory and attention span
  12. Stimulates auditory processing and responsiveness
  13. Expands imagination and creativity
  14. Alleviates tension, stress and anxiety
  15. Balances energy (high or low)
  16. Builds confidence and self-esteem
  17. Develops discipline and self-control
  18. Supports individuality and self-expression
  19. Encourages a fit and healthy lifestyle
  20. Promotes an overall sense of well-being

Yoga helps children feel more comfortable with their bodies and helps them get in touch with who they are inside. “A child who learns yoga, mindfulness and relaxation will be developing essential skills for a lifetime of health and wellness in mind, body and spirit.” 4

Best in health, Linda

“Physical training is good, but training for godliness is much better, promising benefits in this life and in the life to come.” – 1 Timothy 4:8 (NLT)

 

For more info, please visit my website!

Footnotes:

  1. http://www.thekidsyogaresource.com/2012/09/research-on-yoga-for-children.html
  2. http://www.healthandyoga.com/html/research_papers/ips/om.aspx
  3. http://www.healthandyoga.com/html/research_papers/ypp.aspx
  4. http://www.yoga4classrooms.com/benefits-of-yoga-in-schools

 

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Keeping Your Peace In Tumultuous Times

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Choosing to look forward to a bright future is exactly that, a choice. The world seems a little scary right now. Every day, whether in the news or in our personal lives, we are presented with a multitude of problems and troubles. I yearn to keep this negativity from taking my peace.

“While it may sometimes seem impossible, inner peace is possible despite the emotional influences from world events, media, negative people, and our own judgments.” ¹

Peace is a State of Being.

I am not in denial. There is real evil in the world. Peace does not necessarily mean a world without problems, pain, or persecution.

This latest horror in Nice, France, on July 14, hit close to home because, Nina, the daughter of my good friends, was a couple of blocks away from the violence and she was caught in the stampede of panicked people that followed. Nina Heintz found refuge under a restaurant kitchen sink where she hid for an hour, not knowing if anyone was coming in with a gun. Thankfully she is physically fine but it will take a while for her to heal emotionally and regain her inner peace. “I wish I was more fearless like I use to be, but everyday gets a little better,” Nina said, “… and in the long run it will make me stronger…”

Peace state of mind_1

Finding Peace In Chaos

During a time of crisis strong emotions can overtake us and our very existence may come into question. Taking time to be alone with our thoughts and feelings is a valuable tool to develop a strong foundation of inner tranquility and hope.

I recall the day I drove by San Bernardino, right after the mass shooting on December 2, it was like a war zone. Numerous helicopters flew overhead  and dozens of police and SWAT vans zoomed past me. My heart pounded and my stomach turn with nervousness. The tragic details played over and over for days in the news. It took a while to work through my feelings of confusion and despair.

“Ego says, ‘Once everything falls into place, I’ll feel peace.’ Spirit says, ‘Find your peace, and then everything will fall into place.’” ― Marianne Williamson

Pursuing Peace

Some of my friend take periodic fasts from the news. Turning off the outside world from time to time is important. What helps you feel peaceful? For me it can be: meditating on peaceful thoughts, a walk in nature, yoga breathing, prayer, a day by the ocean or sometimes just time to rest and enjoy a book or a movie. Taking care of ourselves goes a long way to maintaining a calm state of mind. Self-care can easily be intertwined into our daily routine.

Creating A Peaceful Mind

Keeping our thoughts on happy memories and taking into account all the the wonderful things we are grateful about will also help us keep a hopeful attitude. Remove thoughts of “need,” “must” and “have to” from your life. These words communicate life-and-death direness that probably doesn’t exist and robs us of happiness and peace. ²

“An affectionate disposition not only makes the mind more peaceful and calm, but it affects our body in a positive way too.” – Dalai Lama

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Preserving A Peaceful Heart

Doing kind deeds or supporting others who are doing a good service, helps me to maintain a feeling that the world is becoming a more peaceful, loving place. Just looking at this photo of my grand-niece, Riley, and this New York policeman as she shares her plush unicorn, named Uni, and he shares his police cap, gives me a nice, serene feeling.

“A heart at peace gives life to the body.” – Proverbs 14:30

Positive Outreach – “To Protect and Serve Ice Cream”

The St. Louis Metropolitan Police department bought an ice cream truck dubbed, Operation Polar Cops . The police men and women hope their ice cream truck and free ice cream will help kids see them as positive role models and develop a better relationship with the community they protect and serve. Surely, it couldn’t hurt! The idea spread from the Boston Police Department; they also have their own ice cream truck.

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St. Louis Police hand out ice cream

Using our creativity in a peaceful and harmonious way can give us empowerment when we face injustice and feel like the moral compass of the world is spinning out of control.

First keep peace within yourself, then you can bring peace to others.” – Thomas a’ Kempis

My friend Theresa Bishop Miller created this graphic as a creative contribution toward unity and understanding and to move her own consciousness and purpose in a positive direction after a string of senseless killings throughout America.

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This photo is a reminder of our potential together as fellow human beings. We need to do whatever we can to spread love, dismantle hate and become the people we aspire to be as a nation.

“When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace.” Jimi Hendrix

Peace That Transcends Understanding

The world’s peace depends on having favorable circumstances: if things are going well, then we feel peaceful; when things go awry, the peace quickly dissipates. Jesus made the distinction between His peace and the world’s vacillating peace: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives” (John 14:27). ³

Christ’s peace has to do with having a right relationship with God, reconciled through his love and sacrifice. 

My faith is tantamount to why and how I can maintain peace in my heart. I know God is pure goodness. His goodness in the face of the atrocities that exist in the world are beyond my understanding but I know God is Sovereign above all, and desires that I come to Him with childlike trust and rest in His compassionate presence. Yes, I receive His supernatural comfort, protection and peace.

“There are many things that are essential to arriving at true peace of mind, and one of the most important is faith, which cannot be acquired without prayer.” – John Wooden

The bible reminds us to: “pursue”, “seek”, “promote”, “search” or “run after” peace (Psalm 34:14). I’m not trying to add work or pressure to your life; quite simply, peace can be promoted with something a easy as a smile or a prayer. In Christ we are free! Jesus paid it all. So, be grateful, lighten up, rejoice, have a little ice cream and laugh a lot. It’s good medicine!

With a grateful and peaceful heart, Linda

~~~~~

“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:6-7 NLT

 

References:

1. Quote from – Sandra Lee Schubert, an interfaith minister. http://www.beliefnet.com/inspiration/2008/10/9-ways-to-find-peace-amid-chaos.aspx?p=2

2. https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/happiness-purpose/201309/lighten-and-laugh

3. http://www.gotquestions.org/peace-that-passes-all-understanding.html

 

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Capturing the Aloha Spirit

Aloha is indeed a way of life, an attitude. The kahuna David Bray interprets this code of as “Come forward, be in unity and harmony with your real self, God, and mankind.” Be honest, truthful, patient, kind and humble to all life forms.

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North Kaanapali Beach

Aloha in the Hawaiian language means affection, peace, compassion, and mercy. It is also used for hello, good bye or love. But aloha stands for much more than that; its deeper meaning is “the joyful (oha) sharing (alo) of life energy (ha) in the present (alo).”

To Hawaiians, the joyful sharing of this life energy is the secret for attaining true health, happiness, prosperity and success as long as it is shared and used with love.

I endeavored to captured the essence of Hawaii aloha in photography. My experience in Maui last month was one of tranquility, beauty and friendliness with an awe of creation.

Maui-Kaanapali-North

 

Sunsets – God’s Artistry!

Maui Sunset by Linda Eichberg

 

I have visited Maui many times but there are always new surprises and new life. I had never seen a hibiscus with this unusual combination of colors.

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Hibiscus with extraordinary coloring!

 

We stayed in sunny Kaanapali but only a short 15 minute drive away to Kapalua, toward the rain belt, the landscape changes significantly.

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Kapalua

 

Hawaiian Blessing

The spirit of aloha is about giving blessings. 

Bless everyone and everything that represents what you want by giving recognition or emphasis to a positive quality, characteristic or condition, with the intent that what is recognized or emphasized will increase, endure or come into being.

 

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Gathering of the sailboats to honor the sunset

 

Focusing on the blessing, acts to increase the same good in your life.

The positive occupation of your mind stirs up the positive, creative force and allows that same energy to come through you.

 

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Nothing can compare to the fragrance of Plumeria.

 

When you bless for the benefit of others instead of directly for yourself, you tend to bypass any subconscious fears about what you want for yourself.

What is so wonderful about this process is that the blessing you do for others helps them as well as you.

 

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As you bless, imagine the person or thing you’re blessing is surrounded with some of the same peace, grace and positive energy that surrounds you.

To the Hawaiians of old, Aloha meant “God in us.”

 

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I cherished my morning meditations and beach walks.

 

The Aloha Spirit is a well known reference to the attitude of friendly acceptance for which the Hawaiian Islands are so famous.

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Our traveling companions, Jack and Chris!

Experiencing the aloha spirit is best shared with friends. One of the highlights of our trip was our canoe excursion to a fantastic snorkeling spot where we swam with friendly sea turtles and tropical fish.

Chris and I enjoyed the freedom of not having to style our hair. We just let it air dry. She came up with the mantra, “beach hair and I don’t care.”

Maui friends

We ran into some other good friends, John and Madi, who just happened to be on the island the same time were, an unexpected treat!

Together we experienced the spirit of aloha, fantastic food, hospitality and breathtaking scenery.

Double-Rainbow-Hawaii_

A magical moment-a double rainbow!

I hope you captured some of the aloha spirit too. Give a double portion of blessings and you will also be blessed.

With gratitude, Linda

~~~~~

A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed. Proverbs – 11:25

 

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The Power of Flowers

This has been a season of helping others carry their burdens. I have a few family members going through some very stressful and hurtful situations. Some difficulties cannot be avoided or ignored. When you love someone you feel for them and you hurt with them.

Finding Beauty in Unexpected Places

One of the ways I like to restore my spirit is by walking or hiking in nature. The hills above my home in Westlake Village are a close retreat. When I started out on my hike my heart was heavy, unaware of the beautiful treasures I would soon find hidden in the chaparral.

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Within minutes, I was dazzled by a burst of color. I had never seen this particular collection of wild flowers. They were much larger than any I had ever come across before, so vibrant and delightful!

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Yellow California Wildflowers – Sticky Monkey Flower

“Earth laughs in flowers.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Wellness Through Flowers 

Nature provides us with a simple way to improve emotional health. Flowers trigger happy emotions, heighten feelings of life satisfaction and increase positive social behavior, according to a study at Rutgers University.” What’s most exciting about this study is that it challenges established scientific beliefs about how people can manage their day-to-day moods in a healthy and natural way,” said Jeannette Haviland-Jones, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology at Rutgers and lead researcher on the study.

The study also found particular benefits for seniors. There was a marked decrease in depression for older adults who received flowers. “Seniors performed higher on everyday memory tasks and experienced enriched personal memories in the presence of flowers.”¹

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Another group of wildflowers I saw that day was such a lovely orchid purple color, I could hardly believe my eyes. Southern California is in a drought and these beauties sprang up without any man-made cultivation. Incredible! They were perfection.

wildflowers-purple-California

Purple California Wildflowers – Chinese Houses

 

Consider How the Wild Flowers Grow

Does God speak through flowers? I think so.  As I moved in closer to more fully experience their fragrance, Jesus’ words came to my mind.

“Consider how the wild flowers grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you—you of little faith! And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.” ~­ Luke 12: 27-31

These verses spoke to my heart, refreshed my soul and renewed my mind.

A Sweet Blessing

“Flowers are the sweetest things God ever made, and forgot to put a soul into.” ~ Henry Beecher, Life Thoughts

Mothers are the sweetest beings God ever made and put a soul into.

I was blessed with a visit from my mom from Pennsylvania,. I am very grateful for those rare and precious moments shared with my mom.

Linda-Mom_

May the garden of your heart be filled with flowers.

Many Blessing, Linda

~~~~~~~

© All rights reserved

Footnote:

  1. http://aboutflowers.com/health-benefits-a-research/flowers-a-seniors-study.html

Earth Day – Gratitude In Action

Earth Day is the perfect time to honor our common home for the bounty, beauty and sustenance God and Mother Nature gives us for free. It’s also the perfect day to esteem people who are making  a difference in preserving the beauty of our planet.

Earth Day Prayer

“The greatest gratitude is gratitude for existence, the greatest reverence is reverence for life and Mother Earth makes it all possible. With gratitude, reverence, and humility in our hearts we honor her today. Let us work to keep her sustainable so we may in turn be nourished and sustained.” – Deepak Chopra, MD

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My sister, Maria, and I sharing Earth Day gratitude!

We bend our bodies toward the earth and the beauty of all creation.

We open our hearts in thanksgiving for the mighty, deep, blue oceans.

We unite our breaths with life, inhaling the fresh and fragrant breezes.  

We turn our minds to gratitude for the sun’s radiant energy. 

~ Linda Eichberg

 

Earth Day Action

My husband and I love our solar panels, they are producing big savings on our energy bills. If you can afford the initial investment, I highly recommend buying solar energy.

My sister, Alane Degli Esposti, and her son, Marco, grow and distribute organic sprouts and wheatgrass from their Campi Verde Foods greenhouse. I must say, they offer the freshest, most delicious sprouts I’ve ever tasted!

The nutrient content of wheatgrass and sprouts are powerful and readily absorbed. Plus, they’re unprocessed, straight from Mother Nature. Buying from local  growers and farmer’s markets are some of the most effective ways to eat nutrient-rich food and reduce the carbon emissions of transportation and food processing.

 

THE FACTS 

Carbon Emissions

“In damaging our climate we become the architects of our own destruction. While the planet can survive the scorching of the earth and the rising of the waters, the human race cannot. The absurd thing is that we know exactly what needs to be done; we know we cannot adapt sufficiently to go on as we are, nor can we build ourselves a new atmosphere. To avoid catastrophe we must restrict climate change to less than two degrees, which requires a dramatic reduction in carbon emissions.” – The Prince of Wales, from his speech to the 2015 Paris Climate Conference

Ocean Health

If the current rate of ocean pollution continues, in less than 9 years there will be one ton of plastic for every three tons of ocean fish, according to a report by the 5 Gyres Institute.

“Currently, up to 95% of plastic packaging (valued at $120 billion) is lost after one use. The irony is, recycling plastic can take 90 percent less energy than making plastics from raw materials and, if managed correctly, plastic is virtually infinitely recyclable.” – Jose Minski, CEO of Wellnext

My family is invested in saving our precious oceans and I am an avid recycler but I know I can do more.

We are only here on this magnificent earth for a short time. We must stay mindful of making a positive impact on our environment and how we are respecting the world we are leaving for our children.

In Gratitude, Linda

 

“Let the trees of the forest sing, let them sing for joy before the Lord, for he comes to judge the earth.” – 1 Chronicles 16:33

 

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Music Does a Mind and Body Good

THE POWER OF MUSIC

Music has the power to stir our emotions, to move us to dance, cry or be still in wonder. Think about how adeptly a movie’s music sound track adds to its drama and helps to lift you into the movie’s emotional highs and lows. Music can affect the body and mind in very powerful ways. Scientific evidence has shown that music can change our mood or help us concentrate. It is even used to heal. Hospitals are beginning to use music therapy to help with pain management and to help ease stress and muscle tension. ¹

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Music and the Brain – Body Connection

Music can help your mood by stimulating the brain which affects changes in other bodily functions like breathing and heart rate. Some people listen to music to help them focus, re-energize or to help them relax. Listening to music with strong beats results in brainwaves resonating in sync with the beats of the music, which gives one more concentration and alert thinking. It doesn’t matter what your taste in music is, enjoying your favorite music could help your mood, according to a 2011 Canadian study, published in Nature Neuroscience. ²

Studies have also found that the beats per minute, the speed of a piece of music, can determine what music is best for performing certain tasks. For instance, to stimulate learning listen to music with 50 to 80 beats per minute, such as Mirrors by Justin Timberlake. This tempo has a calming effect on the mind that is conducive to logical thought, allowing the brain to learn and remember new facts, according to psychologist, Dr. Emma Grey

When selecting music for the fitness classes I teach, I match the music to the tempo of the workout. It helps participants get better results. A study at Brunel University in West London has shown that music can increase endurance by as much as 15 per cent and help lower the perception of effort during a workout.

Music and Wellness

Listening to music can stimulate reactivate speech centers of the brain, prompt memory and improve gait and coordination.  Gait training that uses music, significantly improves balance, coordination and walking speed for people with Parkinson’s. Patients who participated in music therapy improved their ability to do such tasks as cut food and get dressed, and said they were less likely to experience the  freezing-up of muscles that occurs with Parkinson’s. ³

Music can help promote positive focus and it is used as therapy in dealing with mental health conditions. Researchers at McGill University in Montreal showed that listening to pleasurable music of any kind triggered the release of the feel‑good chemical dopamine. It’s no wonder that I love music and singing; it’s a good kind of high!

“Music acts like a magic key, to which the most tightly closed heart opens.” – Maria von Trapp

My sister, Maria, and I sing with a big band. We love to get people dancing and in a good mood with music.

Linda-Eichberg-Maria-Lauren-Alberici-Sisters-2016

The Alberici Sisters

We’re grateful for music and for the wonderful musicians in our life.

Music-Big-Band-

We recently paid tribute to Frank Sinatra’s 100th birthday in a show and a fan captured a song on video! Enjoy “Fly Me To the Moon.”

You can read stories about when Maria and I performed with Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and friends in our book, Beyond Our Wildest Dreams!

Keep a song in your heart, Linda

“My heart , O God, is steadfast; I will sing and make music with all my soul.” – Psalm 108:1

 

beyond-our-wildest-dreams-alberici-sisters-the-golddiggers-dean-martin-frank-sinatra

BEYOND OUR WILDEST DREAMS is available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Alibis.

Footnotes:

1. http://stress.about.com/od/tensiontamers/a/music_therapy.htm

2. http://www.wwu.edu/wwura/1301.pdf

3. Mind-Body-Spirit News June 01, 2007 by Shirley Archer, JD, MA  & http://www.webmd.com/parkinsons-disease/news/20000620/music-helps-parkinsons-patients

*This blog is dedicated to my dear friend, Joanne, who is bravely living with Parkinson’s. 

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A Twist of Fate

My Yoga Story

Hawaii_

Becoming a Yoga teacher was punctuated by an enlightening God moment for me. While I was on vacation in Hawaii I signed up to take a yoga class at the hotel where I was staying and the teacher never show up for the class. I waited for a while and then started doing my own yoga exercises. Several of the people who were waiting with me asked me to please show them some of the poses.

I had never taught yoga before but I had been practicing it for a long time. My fellow vacationers began following me. I taught for an hour without missing a beat and, incredibly, everyone stayed for my entire impromptu class. At that moment I knew I had evolved from student to teacher. I felt God saying to me, You’re ready; what are you waiting for?

You’re never too old to do something great! 

I was in my early 50’s when I completed my training  and started my new career in yoga. This path led me to develop different styles of yoga classes for my students. I sometimes use guided imagery while my students are holding a posture. For example I might coach them to picture each of their internal organs healthy and vital as they rotate in Belly Twist Pose. 

Yoga for Healing

At times in my life, when I have been in stressful situations either physically or mentally, I have been drawn to yoga for healing. I have always been active, I danced and practiced yoga for many years until I sustained neck and back injuries in a car accident. After a year of rehabilitation, I was able to slowly return to yoga but I was still in some pain and not physically able to do all the things I had been doing before. It was a very frustrating time for me. That’s when I discovered Pilates and how important core strength and muscle balance is.

Getting Back In Balance

I realized I had strong abdominal muscles but my back muscles were significantly weaker. A good Pilates practice includes exercises for the entire core, so a girdle of muscle is built around the mid section, equally balancing the muscles front, sides and back. I began focusing on proper body alignment and building up the deep supporting muscles of my ‘powerhouse’.

Linda-Eichberg-Tree-Pose-variations-Yoga

Variations of Tree Pose – beneficial for improving balance and core strength

A strong core is the foundation for safety in all fitness practices and well as for everyday functioning in life. Through Pilates, I was able to attained the muscular support I needed for my injured back and neck. I made a full recovery and returned to dancing and doing the activities I loved. I have better back health now, than I did 15 years ago.

Our bodies are amazing miracles. My personal journey to recovery from my car accident gave me the passion for helping others heal and has given me insight to becoming a better fitness instructor. I am an AFAA certified group fitness instructor with additional certifications in yoga and Pilates. In my classes I spend a moment with my students in gratitude for how the body works so perfectly, doing the most complicated biological processes, without us having to tell it what to do. Simply incredible!

Mindfulness

Just as muscle imbalance can lead to injury. Imbalances in health are sometimes created when the mind and body are on two different paths. Being in the moment or mindfulness, will help keep you in sync body, mind and spirit. Lapses in memory or in your emotional, spiritual and physical health occur when your mind wants to do something different than your body does or vice versa.

The body mind and spirit are deeply connected an imbalance in one will effect the other parts.

Let go of any mental and emotional ‘baggage’. Deal with one thing at a time truthfully and courageously. It’s okay; you are not the sum of your environment or circumstances. You can create a positive transformation in your life. Yoga, Tia Chi and Qigong are good physical disciplines for reducing stress and calming the mind. Journaling, meditating, prayer and reading spiritual books or the Bible can also be helpful tools for attaining holistic health.

This inner work is as important as exercise, rest and nutrition for your overall well-being. Explore what helps you open pathways in your mind for renewal with Divine intuition. When you are whole, you can pass on this wholeness to everyone you come in contact with and that is a beautiful gift.

In gratitude, Linda

 

“Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits— who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.” – Psalm 103:2-5

 

http://www.LindaEichberg.com

Disclaimer: Consult your doctor before starting any exercise program.

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