Thursday, March 14th, 2013 | Healing, gratitude, healthy living, joy, love, mindfulness | No Comments
The quote above is so appropriate for this post because it was love that gave me the courage for what I was about to do seven years ago today. The days leading up to March 14, 2006 were filled with hope, excitement and relief for both of us involved and yet those other emotions of fear and yes, a little anxiety, were evident as well, at least for me since I can only speak for myself at this point. And, yet, above all there was a sense of acceptance and while I embraced hope at this time there would be a day not too far from today that I would be on a quest to find my faith. More on that in part 2.
Some of you by now are wondering what I’m talking about, however for those of you who remember, you’re probably finding it hard to believe that it’s been seven years for I can hardly believe it myself. There were intentions, goals, plans and so much more going through my mind. When I decided to write this I thought I would be able to share a few lessons that I learned from this experience and I’ve narrowed it down to 5 Life Lessons and by the time I share Part 2 there may be a few more.
Seven years ago today I added another ‘mission’ to my life’s story, which was to become a live kidney donor. To be honest, this wasn’t something I thought about doing; it was something that life brought to me and there weren’t any questions about whether or not I would be tested because if I could help save someone’s life, well, it had to be done.
When I found out that I was a ‘good match’ to the recipient, the joy I felt was overwhelming. There were several important markers that created a good match and one of them was blood type. Needless to say, we were hopeful that our ‘B+’ blood types and ‘be positive’ attitude would help carry us through. To be a match was a miracle in itself, however the bigger miracle was to be a wife-husband match. The odds of being a match to a non-related live kidney donor are now more possible due to medical advances, however seven years ago it was a blessing to find out we were a match. And surely it meant that everything would work out. Right? It had to because my husband’s life truly depended on it.
Lesson 1: Control
If there was ever a lesson to be learned about control, this would be it. I had no control over being a match other than being the one (in thousands) that had the markers (and good health) that would create this endeavor. And, I absolutely had no control of the surgery itself or the outcome. More about that in part 2.
Lesson 2: Love
Love conquers all! Or, as Lao Tzu brilliantly quoted (above), “…while loving someone deeply gives you courage.” It was hard at first for me to embrace the idea about having courage as it was he who had courage. The courage to go through everything he endured with diabetes….and I really didn’t want that ‘D’ word to appear here as I speak of love and courage, however it was the cause of so much pain and yet at this point in our lives this undertaking brought us closer together. “Courage is being scared to death…and saddling up anyway.” – John Wayne
That says a lot……..it’s exactly how I felt just before the surgery. I remember being told (a couple of weeks prior), that if I didn’t want to do this it would be okay, however that wasn’t part of the equation. How could I not do this? It was meant to be so I saddled up!
Lesson 3: Uncertainty
I remember someone telling me that the only thing we can be certain of is uncertainty. I didn’t know what the outcome would be, all I could ‘be certain of’ was prayer, embracing hope and having faith that everything would work out. There was a part of me that was confident it would…which brings me to…
Lesson 4: Spiritual Surrender/Letting Go
One of the biggest lessons was to ‘let go’ and trust in God. My spirituality is important to me and at that time it was more important than ever. As we’ve heard, “If God brings us to it, He will bring us through it,”‘ and I’m sure that was on my mind as well as asking my sister to be sure I woke up after the surgery. Since I’m human, that was on my mind too, however I was ready, able and once again, embracing hope. Lessons 1, 2 & 3 were all involved here too.
Lesson 5: Anticipation and Expectation
This is still a tough lesson. If we live with anticipation then we won’t be disappointed by expectation. That is all I can really say right now for this lesson. More about this in Part 2.
And I think the biggest lesson of all is Gratitude. I can remember this day like it was yesterday. My family and closest friends were there to support us with countless others waiting for the updates by phone. We were so grateful to have their support and prayers. One team, one day, one chance to see this through. Love is powerful and it was certainly felt so deeply that day. It was a day filled with emotions and “they just showed up with their big old hearts…” from the Tracy Lawrence song, Find Out Who Your Friends Are
Closing thoughts for Part 1:
We often ask why when challenges arise in our lives and maybe it’s more empowering to ask what. What can I do with this experience? I wasn’t asked to consider being tested when finding out that a kidney transplant was his best chance of survival. I chose to be tested and volunteered to be a live donor and would do it again. I knew that a kidney from a live donor would be the best chance for him vs cadaveric kidneys.
Today, March 14, is World Kidney Day and maybe it’s serendipity, however I didn’t know this until today and also find it interesting that it’s taken me seven years to write something about this experience. I think once I get through part 2 you will understand the why (okay, had to use that reference here). For me and for today, I celebrate the gift of love and courage and ponder the idea of ‘what’ else I can do with this experience. Surely it will come to me if I continue to embrace hope and hold on to faith. My other hope with writing this is to spread awareness of the living kidney donor program and to take care of your kidneys. There are a few links included here that have more information.
Part 2 will be posted on March 26. Thank you for stopping by and stay well.
“The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” ~ Lao Tzu
Photo Credit: Donna Adinolfi (c)
Saturday, February 23rd, 2013 | Adventure, Beauty, Destination Spas, Meditation, Mii Amo, Red Mountain Spa, fitness, healthy living, spa, wellness | No Comments
When I think about Mii Amo, which is the Yuman (Native American language) for “journey, to continue one’s path, moving forward,” so many words come to mind for me like Intention, Sacred, Balance, Renewal, Contemplation, Self-care and the list goes on. There are many reasons to fall in love with this top destination spa including personalization, the stunning background of Sedona and the peaceful setting of such an intimate resort.
I think what I love most about Mii Amo is the Native American influence and traditions reflected in their program – the Crystal Grotto is a personal favorite, this is where you can go each morning to set your intention for the day.
And, because Mii Amo is more intimate (14 spa guest rooms and 2 spa suites), you have the opportunity to truly make this as personal an experience as possible from planning your activities in advance (which differs from some other spas) to narrowing down the journey you’d like to experience. There are Five Journeys offered at Mii Amo for a 3-, 4-, or 7-night stay beginning with either a Sunday or Thursday arrival.
The Five Journeys include:
- DeStress Mind, Body & Spirit (leads you to a more centered and focused life)
- Healthy Body in Balance (focus on exercise and nutrition)
- Spiritual Exploration (focus on your inner self, insight and balance)
- Rites of Passage (assists you in embarking on a new stage in life)
- Mii Amo Master (based on past guest experience and focuses on current needs)
Each customized journey includes your room, meals, spa treatments, consultations, activities and more.
Mii Amo is a magical place – full of beauty – where you can hike at Boynton Canyon or enjoy outdoor yoga; where you can enjoy healthy and delicious cuisine; where you can relax and take care of ‘you’ either in the spa, at the pool or in your private room; where you can immerse yourself in the abundance of activities offered daily, stargaze, and enjoy the stunning Red Rocks that surround you and where you are taken care of throughout your stay.
When you go:
- Fly into Phoenix and you can either rent a car or request private transfers (additional fee)
- Arrive early as it’s about 2-hours to get to Sedona
- Once your Mii Amo reservation is made you’ll receive a questionnaire and this helps the spa coordinators personalize your stay
Healthy Living at Home:
- Implement what you learned and enjoyed at Mii Amo
- Continue to journal each day
- Set an intention each day
- If you loved the cuisine (and I’m sure you will), consider getting their cookbook:
Journey of Taste: Favorite Recipes from Mii amo Spa in Sedona
Have you been thinking about going to Mii Amo?
If you’d like more information on Mii Amo, feel free to e-mail me directly at email@example.com and I’ll share more insight and details about Mii Amo.
(You’ll also receive an additional gift from me when I make your Mii Amo reservation).
Facebook Fan Giveaway:
- ‘Like’ the Mindful Adventures page on Facebook
- Look for the Fan Giveaway announcements
* One of our giveaways was the Mii Amo cookbook, Journey of Taste
Additional monthly giveaways including music, other healthy spa cookbooks, journals and more will be offered as well as inspiring quotes, photos, articles and special offers focused on a healthy lifestyle.
I hope you find joy, love, great health and a lifetime of dreams come true on your journey! ~~ Donna
“The Journey of a Thousand Miles Begins with a Single Step.” – Lao Tzu
Mii Amo – Mii Amo Spa
Red Rocks Sedona – Donna Adinolfi
Tuesday, July 10th, 2012 | Adventure, Canyon Ranch, Challenge Course, Cooking Schools, Destination Spas, Healing, Meditation, Miraval Spa, Nutrition, Rancho la Puerta, Red Mountain Spa, Relaxation, Zipline, fitness, healthy living, joy, mindfulness, spa, wellness | No Comments
A Spa Getaway offers opportunities to focus on healthy living – engage in new fitness classes, improve your Yoga or Pilates practice, meditate, relax and reconnect with yourself. Anything is possible at a destination spa.
Below is a sample of the summer promotions being offered at several of the top destination spas in the U.S. (and one just across the California border!). If you’re ready to take the next step, please see the contact info below and let’s get started!
Canyon Ranch – Tucson, AZ
Special: Students and Grads
Travel Dates: Through August 31
Brief Details: The first person pays the regular single occupancy rate and the student/grad stays free.
Spa/Services: A spa allowance is included for the full-paying guest and may be shared between both guests.*
* Allowance varies based on number of nights and package chosen.
NOTE: Canyon Ranch offers other promotions including one for new guests (two sharing a room) as well as for Teachers, Nurses, Solo Travelers and local residents.
Promotions based on availability and subject to change.
Miraval – Tucson, AZ
Special: Discover Miraval Package
Travel Dates: Through September 19, 2012
Brief Details: If you’re new to Miraval or thinking of returning and enjoying more of the activities vs spa services, then this is a great value for you. Double occupancy rates start at $299 (plus tax & resort fess) per person per night and Single occupancy rates start at $349 (plus tax and resort fees) per night.
Spa/Services: A spa allowance of $50 per night of stay is included.
Note: Additional promotions including the 5-th night free is offered through 9/19 – based on availability.
Promotions based on availability and subject to change.
Rancho la Puerta, Tecate, Mexico
Special: Family Weeks
Travel Dates: August 4-11 and August 11-18
For Families with children 7-17 years of age – Your promotion:
Brief Details: The rate for adults is $3000 per person (plus 8.14% tax) and the rate for children (ages 7-17) is $500 per child (plus 8.14% tax)*
*Each adult can bring up to two children for $500+tax each, staying in the same room. The third (or more) child per adult is $1000+tax each. Some restrictions apply.
Note: The regular schedule will be available as well as additional classes/activities for children.
For Adults traveling without children during these two special weeks – Your promotion:
Brief Details: The rate is $3000 per adult (plus 8.14% tax) and includes -five- 50-minute massages*
* Not valid with Four-Hands massage
If you’ve been wanting to go to Rancho la Puerta on your own- this is a great opportunity for the summer since it’s open to all, not just families. The regular schedule will be available.
Note: If these dates don’t work for you, we can review other possible opportunities for other dates through 2012.
Promotions based on availability and subject to change.
Red Mountain Spa, Ivins, UT
Special: Last Minute Savings
Travel Dates: Through August 31, 2012*
Brief Details: Midweek rates begin at $200 per person per night for double occupancy ($230 per person per night (Thursday, Friday, Saturday). Single occupancy rates begin at $230 per night/midweek and $250 per night (Thursday, Fri, Sat).
*Based on availability and may not be available between 8/5-18 due to limited space/high occupancy
Promotions based on availability and subject to change.
“The journey of a Thousand Miles begins with a single step.” – Lao Tzu
Let’s get started!
firstname.lastname@example.org for more details and to inquire about your travel dates.
You’ll also receive our bonus for stays of 3-nights or longer (7-nights at Rancho la Puerta)
Life is a journey…travel!
Friday, May 18th, 2012 | Adventure, Beauty, Canyon Ranch, Challenge Course, Destination Spas, Meditation, Nutrition, Relaxation, Skincare, Weight Loss, fitness, healthy living, mindfulness, spa, wellness | No Comments
We’re nearly a month away from the start of summer. Families may have their summer camps all set for their children and thoughts of road trips and family getaways on the calendar. That all sounds great and maybe you’re also looking for a week away to focus on fitness, relaxation, yoga, meditation and a place to unwind either on your own, with your friends or significant other.
With that thought in mind, I’ll keep this post short and let you in on a special week at Canyon Ranch in Tucson, AZ where you can do all of that and so much more.
Looking to work on improving your golf game? Check!
Looking to improve your Pilates practice? Check!
Looking to just unwind and say Ahh!? Check!
Looking to start a new activity like Tennis? Check!
Nutrition, Weight loss, stress management, better relationships, and the list goes on.
My personal experiences at Canyon Ranch have been profound and that’s one of the reasons I’m bringing this special reduced rate to my readers. It’s for the week of June 10 so it’s approaching soon and just in time for summer! If you’ve been wanting to experience Canyon Ranch, this is a great time to do so.
As always, e-mail me at email@example.com if you have any questions and if you’d like to get in on this reduced rate for Canyon Ranch (stays can be for 4-7 nights).
Tuesday, May 15th, 2012 | Adventure, Canyon Ranch, Challenge Course, Destination Spas, Healing, Meditation, Nutrition, Relaxation, Skincare, Weight Loss, Zipline, fitness, gratitude, healthy living, joy, mindfulness, spa, wellness | No Comments
There are times an idea becomes so powerful that restlessness moves you forward and that’s what happened here. It was about 4a when I started thinking about all of the possibilities that could fill a list from -A- to -Z-at Canyon Ranch in Tucson, AZ.
Have you been wanting to go to Canyon Ranch and maybe thought you’d wait for a great offer? This could be it and I thought I’d connect this -A- to -Z- list with something special for the Week of June 10. Mindful Adventures has a few rooms available at a lower than usual rate for the summer. Check out the flyer for the full details and connect with us asap to get in on this reduction and kick off the summer with a healthy getaway that may get you from where you are to where you choose to be!
Let’s get back to that A-to-Z list!
A is for Aquatic offerings.
B is for Burdenko Land Exercise.
C is for Cooking Demos.
D is for Dance!
E is for Exercise.
F is for Fabulous Facials.
G is for Golf (conditioning, clinics, lessons and more!) and the Gyrotonic system.
H is for Healing (and Hikes in the desert).
I is for Inner Wisdom and Integrative Medicine Consultations.
J is for Joy!
K is for Vitamin K and the many delicious ways Canyon Ranch prepares high K veggies!
L is for Life Management.
M is for Meditation, Mindfulness and Muscle Function Assessment.
N is for Nutrition.
O is for Optimum Health.
P is for Pilates.
Q is for Qi Gong.
R is for RELAX and Reconnect!
S is for Sleep, Sexuality and Stress Management.
T is for Tennis.
U is for Unconditional surrender!
V is for Vitality.
W is for Watsu.
X is for…..
Y is for Yamuna Body Rolling.
Z is for Zipline!
There is so much more available at Canyon Ranch in Tucson, AZ.
You’ll notice one letter is incomplete.
Any ideas? Leave them in the comments section and I’ll choose one for a follow-up post.
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Friday, May 11th, 2012 | Abundance, Adventure, Canyon Ranch, Healing, Peace, gratitude, healthy living, joy, love, well-being | No Comments
When I refer to ‘Getting Unstuck,’ you know I’m referring to a state of being. Whether it’s ‘Analysis Paralysis’ and yes, my hand goes up for that one or wanting to get from ‘Here to There’ and wondering what to do first. These are examples of being stuck in a moment or series of moments that have become days, weeks or maybe even months. Perhaps it was one event that caused us to get here or a series of events that pushed us further down the rabbit hole. Whatever it is, I hope some of this will get you to a place of getting ‘unstuck’ and moving forward.
1. Identify what is holding you back.
Maybe it’s a few things and if that’s the case, take a few minutes and start listing what comes to mind. Perhaps there’s a project you know you need to finish and it’s so overwhelming that you don’t know what to do first. Break it down into smaller projects, baby steps!
2. Breaking it down.
Perhaps this will help with getting from ‘here’ to ‘there’ and instead of looking at all that needs to be done, as noted above, break it down into manageable tasks. I realize this isn’t new information, you’ve heard it before, however perhaps knowing that you’re not alone and that others go through this will enable you to do one thing at a time and before you know it you’ll be done and ready to move on to the next.
“The Journey of a Thousand Miles Begins with a Single Step.” – Lao Tzu
3. How do you feel?
So how do you feel right now? Is it possible that feeling overwhelmed led you to feeling stuck in life and unable to move forward? Maybe that’s too simple and part of feeling ’stuck’ has to do with self-doubt. Moving on…
4. Think Confidence over Self-Doubt.
There could be other feelings connected here, however let’s look at this one. One way to overcome this is to think about past accomplishments. If you’re going to beat yourself up over what you’re not able to do, stop right now. Consider all of the great successes from your past and write them down. I like to keep a ‘Kudos’ file for this very reason – notes from others on a job well done , a thank you, a success in a previous task/job.
” I was always looking outside myself for strength and confidence but it comes from within. It is there all the
time.” — Anna Freud
5. Focus on the Positive.
Think about all you can do and not what you can’t do. You’ve heard this before, I’m sure of that, so that’s where you want to guide your thinking. Imagine/visualize positive outcomes.
“Once you replace negative thoughts with positive ones, you’ll start having positive results.” – Willie Nelson
6. Change your Environment.
Go for a ride and listen to music. Go into another room. Get up and move around. Stretch. Go for a walk in nature. Go to a cafe and feel the energy in that environment. Breathe. You get the idea! All of these (and add more to your list) could help you gain more insight.
“If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” – Dr. Wayne Dyer
7. Don’t Think About it, Do it!
Simple, so simple, yet when you’re feeling ’stuck,’ this is easier said than done and yet it’s one thing that will lead you in a forward direction. Once you start taking action flow can begin again and with repeated action you’ll continue to move forward into the ‘flow’ of your life.
“You have to ‘Be’ before you can ‘Do’ and ‘Do’ before you can ‘Have’.” – Zig Ziglar
8. Child like Wonder.
Do something fun (ah….there’s that ‘do’ word again!). Think back to when you were a child and what you liked to do back then. Was there a toy that brought you joy? Perhaps a game? Is there something you’ve been wanting to do and you keep putting it off? Maybe painting? Maybe going to the batting cage? Maybe you just want to dance! This is about you – create your own list and take the time to do something fun. That’s the point here.
“Never lose the child like wonder. It’s just too important. It’s what drives us. Help others.” - Randy Pausch
9. Reconnect to your Soul and Nourish your Soul!
A very wise person mentioned this to me the other day. Being ’stuck’ has caused me to wonder what could be fun…what makes me happy and do I even remember what ‘happy’ feels like? I often talk about connecting to that inner wisdom – you know, a ’soul’ connection and realized that much of what gives me joy has been put off.
Reconnect to that part of yourself and you’ll begin to get ‘unstuck’ and then continue to nourish it. I’m giving you permission! Maybe that’s all it takes is knowing that it’s okay to do something fun. So many of us feel the need to work as a way of being productive, however what I’ve discovered is that working more and not taking the time to nourish my soul has caused me to become less productive and I know I’m not alone.
So take the time and think about this one – it could very well be the most important point on this list.
“Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life’s about creating yourself.” – George Bernard Shaw
Conclusion: I hope you found this post helpful. If you did, feel free to pay it forward – it may only take one word, one thought or even one of the quotes above to help someone else in some way.
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Special Note: I have a special for Canyon Ranch in Tucson, AZ for the week of June 10 (for four-seven night stays). This is a reduced rate and an opportunity to change your environment and reconnect to your inner self and so much more. E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
Saturday, February 4th, 2012 | Adventure, Challenge Course, Destination Spas, Miraval Spa, Nutrition, Relaxation, healthy living, mindfulness, spa, wellness | No Comments
Miraval, a destination spa located in Tucson, AZ near the Santa Catalina Mountains is getting close to unveiling their new Life in Balance Spa this May. And I am so excited and really can’t wait to experience it. With a focus on sustainability, balance and mindfulness, I have no doubt that the new Life in Balance Spa will exceed expectations and continue to be a place for serenity and rejuvenation.
And, as if a new spa isn’t enough to ‘wow’ me this year, Miraval is also releasing their new cookbook, Mindful Eating. The cookbook, also debuting in May 2012, is a long awaited tool for my healthy kitchen and for those of you that have been asking Miraval about a cookbook and awaiting this release, now is the time to pre-order Mindful Eating
If you’re looking for more information and insight on Miraval or another health-focused spa, feel free to ask a question in the comment section of this post or e-mail me for personal feedback.
As always, enjoy your journey!
Photo Credit: Donna Adinolfi / Copyright 2010-2012
Saturday, December 31st, 2011 | Abundance, Adventure, Canyon Ranch, Cooking Schools, Destination Spas, Gratitude and Inspiration, Healing, Manifesting, Meditation, Miraval Spa, Nutrition, Prosperity, Rancho la Puerta, Red Mountain Spa, Weight Loss, fitness, gratitude, healthy living, joy, well-being, wellness | No Comments
Many of us are contemplating what we’d like to bring in to our lives as we enter 2012 as well as what we’d like to let go. I for one am working on letting go of the fears that hold me back and the disappointments, frustrations and things I can’t change. I’m focused on what I can change, choices that will get me from where I am to where I want to be and a focus on taking action rather than over thinking. And, first and foremost, I’m grateful for my family and friends. These are just some thoughts that come to mind as the dawn of 2012 approaches.
And, I also believe that 2012 will be another year of reinventing and redefining who we are. Our ‘to do’ lists will be different, however I believe we have a common goal of being the best we can be. Have you started your creation list for 2012? Each year I find there’s a bit of a ‘rollover’ from the previous year and then a few new goals. I’m finding a greater sense of urgency to accomplish these goals the older I get and it sometimes feels like a 2×4 is hitting me to move toward the direction of these dreams vs getting stuck in just thinking about them. It’s so empowering to reach even the smallest of goals and so with that said, here are a few plans I’m getting ready to work on for this new chapter, new year and what I hope will be an amazing journey moving forward.
1 Planning: This is an annual tradition – the purchase of a new day planner. A place where I can enter as much as possible for the new year. Birthdays, anniversaries, special dates, appointments and goal setting. If it’s written down, I find the odds are in my favor. I still have a book called, “Write it Down and Make it Happen,” and it works.
2. Vision Board: A must have moving forward. If you have one, you can easily refresh yours with new photos and new words, phrases and/or symbols. If you don’t have one, consider creating one that you can view every day. It works and I’m excited to see how the new one will unfold.
3. H2O: Yes, every year I make an effort to drink more water and I have to say that 2011 worked out okay, however I must refocus on this one. If this isn’t on your list, think about it. Are you getting enough water to stay hydrated and healthy? I picked up a water carafe to help me out – always keeping water on my desk ensures I’ll stay with this. For more on the benefits of water, perhaps some things that you haven’t thought about, check out this article.
4. Spa Cooking at Home: Let’s face out, going out to dinner is fun, great for socializing (outside the four walls) and it’s relaxing, however this year I intend on cooking at home more. Since part of my business is working with destination spas, I know how simple, healthy and enjoyable ’spa cooking’ can be and it’s really about cooking healthy – fresh veggies, organic products where possible and portion control. With that said, I’m going through my Spa Cook Books and staying in more…and will hopefully shed a few pounds. Check back here from time to time for some healthy spa meals, photos of my efforts and notes on how they turn out. And with the help of my new KitchenAid blender, healthy spa-like smoothies are on the menu!
Here is one Spa cookbook to consider from Canyon Ranch, a destination spa:
Canyon Ranch: Nourish: Indulgently Healthy Cuisine
5. Journal: This is always on my list. I have a Gratitude Journal and another journal for ideas, and day to day entries. I keep both the Gratitude journal and the Idea Journal by my bed. Begin yours by entering what you’re thankful for each day – it could be one, two, five or more things. A sunny day, connecting with an old friend, drinking your water, anything and everything you’re grateful for. A Gratitude Journal is about awareness – reflecting on what we’re thankful for keeps us in a positive mindset and that is what will help us move forward. Your journal can be a notebook, however if you’d like something special, consider this one Gratitude: A Daily Journal
If you’re looking for a journal that will help guide you to rediscovering yourself, this may be another to consider Soul Catcher: A Journal to Help You Become Who You Really Are
These are just a few of my personal thoughts, plans, ideas for 2012. What is on your list? Perhaps one of these will inspire you to Plan to Cook More at Home, Begin your Gratitude Journal, Create a Vision Board and Drink your Water. And, a carry over for me from 2011 is to write my book…looking forward to taking the first step to chapter one. (And, yes, exercise and moving more are always on the list!)
“The Journey of a Thousand Miles begins with a Single Step.” – Lao Tzu
What step will you take today to begin this new journey in your life?
May 2012 be a year of good health, joyful living, new adventures and much prosperity! Believe in yourself, continue to have faith and trust that you are exactly where you’re meant to be. Happy New Year from Mindful Adventures.
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The links for the above are also on the home page.
Photography by Donna Adinolfi. Copyright 2010.
Thursday, December 15th, 2011 | Abundance, Adventure, California Wineries, Canyon Ranch, Destination Spas, Gratitude and Inspiration, Healing, Meditation, Miraval Spa, Nutrition, Peace, Rancho la Puerta, Red Mountain Spa, Relaxation, Weight Loss, fitness, gratitude, healthy living, joy, well-being, wellness | No Comments
‘Tis the season and as much as I think about buying gifts earlier, I never do. So join me for a few minutes and review the latest Mindful Gift Giving ideas from Mindful Adventures for anyone else on your shopping list. Wishing all of you a very Merry Christmas and the happiest of holidays!
1. Shop locally
Now that I live in Michigan I’ve been paying more attention to what I can send from this area. Michigan is one of the largest producers of cherries and for that reason, I like Cherry Republic, located in Traverse City, otherwise known as ‘The Cherry Capital’ of the world. Cherries are also healthy and one of my favorites is the Dark Chocolate Covered Cherries – double dose of goodness. And, I must not leave off another Ann Arbor, MI institution – Zingerman’s! There’s still time to send out some delicious treats and you’ll love the choices – so many to consider. Both of these Michigan options are offering flat rate shipping.
Do you enjoy tea? This is another favorite gift because tea is more than a beverage to me, it’s ceremonial and all about mindfulness. Think about the old Tea Houses and Afternoon Tea. Nothing is rushed. It’s a time to be in the moment and enjoy a relaxing cup of tea with friends or on your own for a few moments of solitude. Check out Tea Forte for some last minute ideas and consider one of my favorite books Tea Here Now.
3. Nourishing & Natural Body Products
Most of you enjoy chemical-free, natural products and one of my favorites for this is Burt’s Bees. Their Cranberry & Pomegranate Sugar Scrub is great for this season as well as the Bee Pampered Spa Set. There are great gift ideas for everyone and they’re affordable and so well received.
4. Uplifting Books
Another favorite gift is a Day Book. It’s the gift that keeps on giving year round because each day there’s an uplifting message and when I find one I like for myself I often gift it to friends, family or colleagues. One of my personal favorites is by Mark Nepo titled The Book of Awakening.
And, if you or a loved one is going through a difficult time due to the loss of a loved one, or other personal loss, this one came into my life and helped me and I feel compelled to share with others, especially at this time of year. It’s by Susan Barbara Apollon and is titled Touched by the Extraordinary and her second book, Book 2: Healing Stories of Love, Loss & Hope
5. Wine & Dine with a different twist
These are some of my favorite vino finds. Some can be ordered online and others can be found at your favorite wine store. In addition to giving the gift of wine, consider making it more of an event – include a note to enjoy a wine-pairing dinner that you prepare at home, or perhaps a private wine tasting with your friends. These aren’t new ideas, however perhaps they’ll spark another idea for a last minute gift with more meaning and an opportunity to get out more and enjoy the moment with your friends and family. Okay, the list… Tres Sabores Vineyard – I love their Red Zinfandel; Husch Vineyards – check out the Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon; and Cline’s Cashmere – this one has a limited supply available for both the ‘09 and 2010. And how about an added link for some wine pairings for that special wine & dine gift at your house!
6. Gifts that Give Back
The best gift is the one that keeps on giving. These are few to consider: Rails to Trails Conservancy, Feeding America, Bread for the World, American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial.
7. Relaxation and Rejuvenation
Well, this one is on my list every year – it’s the gift of spa. A gift card to their favorite day spa to enjoy a relaxing massage or revitalizing facial, or perhaps a year of Yoga or Pilates. There are so many options to give the gift that enhances their health and rejuvenates their body, mind and spirit. Another favorite is a destination spa – an opportunity to immerse into a week or so of activities, healthy meals, hiking, fitness and services that uplift, rejuvenate and inspire. If you’re looking for more insight on a destination spa like Miraval Arizona, Canyon Ranch, Red Mountain Spa, Rancho la Puerta or other last minute ideas, e-mail me at email@example.com.
There you have it – a short list with some ideas to get you going or help you finish up your holiday shopping. Thank you for stopping by. – DMA
Tuesday, December 6th, 2011 | Healing, Healing Music, Meditation, Peace, gratitude, healthy living, joy, love, well-being | No Comments
One of my favorite books, Touched by the Extraordinary, has a lot of insightful information for everyday including the holiday season. What’s ‘extraordinary’ for me is that this book appeared in my life shortly after the loss of my husband. I don’t believe it was a coincidence. Since then, it has brought me peace and healing in many ways. So much so that it is my ‘go-to’ book suggestion for others going through a difficult time or a time of loss.
Author Susan Apollon shares ‘Eleven Steps to Help You Tune into Your Inner Self and Forgive and Love Unconditionally’ and I’ve included them as she has written them below. My hope is that you will focus on living in the moment and enjoy your own Mindful Adventures. Happy Holidays!
Find Peace on Earth…(and Peace Within):
Eleven Steps to Help You Tune into Your Inner Self and Forgive and Love Unconditionally
Being present and loving during the holidays is not always easy. But Susan Apollon, author of Touched by the Extraordinary, Book Two: Healing Stories of Love, Loss & Hope , says there are steps you can take to find inner peace that can help you survive and even enjoy the hectic holiday season. The practice of visualization and meditation can help you reclaim control of your mind and emotions during this time of year.
These methods will not only help you stay centered during holiday events, they will allow you to achieve your intention to show unconditional love to your family and friends. But perhaps most importantly, these techniques will help you forgive yourself and others and move past negative emotion. When you learn to let go of painful memories and release the power other people hold over you, the holiday season will brighten considerably. Read on to learn how to find inner balance and be present throughout the holidays.
• Set the stage. Choose a room that feels good and that has a chair or a comfortable place to sit: peaceful, safe, and inviting. If possible, use the same location and sitting position every time. You want to create a sense of strong association. This scene will become a trigger in your mind’s eye. With enough practice, you will be able to immediately quiet and center yourself just by thinking of the space.
• Play quiet, gentle music. Apollon recommends Pachelbel or Native American flute music. However, anything that helps you relax and get centered is fine.
• Assume the “meditative or intuition posture.” Sit comfortably with spine straight, feet flat on the floor, palms up. This will help you visualize. With your feet on the ground, you can visualize that you are connected to the earth. With palms up, you will feel more inviting and that the universe is open to your energy and you are open to the energy of the universe.
• Count to ten as you begin to quiet and center yourself. Hold your breath to a fast count to ten and release your breath to a count to ten. While you are exhaling, visualize the breath moving through the body, as it moves through every cell in your body. (The next two tips provide more details on how to do this. Understand that these tips are not necessarily sequential; some of them will happen simultaneously.)
• Give your breath color and shape. Feel the warmth of your breath as you breathe in. Visualize that your breath has a shape and color. You might find it helpful to choose a color that symbolizes your intent. For instance:
Green = Healing
Blue = Peace
White = Divine energy
Pink = Compassion
Research with imagery has validated the importance of visualizing your breath. As you consciously breathe deep, relaxing breaths, chemicals in the brain much like an elixir are released to help you feel greater warmth and relaxation.
• Follow your breath on its travels. See the breath actually entering the crown and watch it start the journey through the body. You want to see it to feel it in your mind’s eye. Visualize it going through every organ, limb, vertebrae, muscle, and tissue. Picture it flowing through your bloodstream. Envision every cell delighting in the breath. See yourself feeling the warmth and see yourself feeling good. This facilitates progressive relaxation. “While doing the breathing, you will experience an increased sense of heaviness,” notes Apollon. “The paradox is that you will notice a feeling of lightness.”
• Find your mantra. I’m feeling more peaceful. I’m becoming pure love. I am grateful for my loved ones. These are just a few suggestions. Your mantra can be a favorite expression, the first line of your favorite prayer (e.g., “The Lord is my Shepherd”), or something that just helps you relax, like “Shalom.” Whatever you choose, associate the tone of your mantra with finding peace. Whatever your mantra is, say it over and over in your mind. This creates your “mind’s ear” connection.
• Make a connection with something greater than yourself. It doesn’t matter whether your “something greater” is God, Jesus, Mary, Buddha, Universal Energy, or Mind. Just imagine breathing in Its divine energy. Ask your Higher Power for help and guidance.
•Begin with gratitude. Be certain to give thanks for your blessings, which include your family and friends that you may be seeing over the holidays. The vibration of thank you, the vibration of blessings, is very powerful. It brings to us what we secretly desire. Gratitude is a higher state of consciousness. So be very generous in reminding yourself of your life’s blessings.
• Love is the Key. Fill your body with love. Imagine your whole body being filled up with love. Not romantic love, but pure, unconditional love—the kind you would feel for a baby, a puppy, or a kitten. Make love your intention. Give it a color and a shape. See yourself feeling it and becoming love. If you are intuiting specifically “for” another person—perhaps someone you would like to forgive, consciously fill your heart with feelings of love and warmth for him or her. Visualize yourself becoming loving energy and put that energy to good use in your life.
• After you’ve made the shift, state your intention. After about ten or fifteen minutes of breathing, you will feel an inner shift of consciousness. (The shift may be very subtle, and the time required to reach it will shorten with practice.) You will know this subtle shift when it happens; it means you have established a connection with your higher wisdom. This is the time to state your intention of loving and forgiving. (You may also state your intention at the beginning of the process, before you begin your breathing.) I want to love myself unconditionally. Or I want to forgive and love my mother. Or even I want to be joyful and at peace at Aunt Eunice’s holiday dinner.
Additional Note from Mindful Adventures:
Consider using your journal to write about how you feel, thoughts that come to mind when you use one of the above steps. If you don’t journal (yet), consider beginning with a Gratitude Journal – document all of your blessings – it’s a way of staying focused on the positive in your life. It’s powerful and can enhance your well-being.
Also available on Amazon
Touched by the Extraordinary
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